ABOVE: Watch the Celebrity Jeopardy sketch from the SNL40 special. According to Norm Macdonald, Eddie Murphy refused to play Bill Cosby in the sketch.
TORONTO — Eddie Murphy declined to play Bill Cosby for Saturday Night Live‘s 40th anniversary special, according to fellow SNL alum Norm Macdonald.
On Wednesday night, Macdonald tweeted “Murphy will not kick a man when he is down.”
Macdonald is an avid Twitter user, and through a series of 140-character posts, the Canadian actor and comedian detailed the process of gathering stars for the weekly comedy show’s anniversary special.
Murphy was a cast member during the early ’80s, and has been widely credited with keeping the show alive during his stint.
Macdonald tweets that while writing a Celebrity Jeopardy spot for the special, the team came up with the idea to do a Daily Double called Potent Potables, with Murphy as Cosby, standing in a bar.
Macdonald says SNL creator Lorne Michaels tasked him with convincing Murphy to do the sketch.
In the end, current SNL cast member Kenan Thompson stepped in to play Cosby.
Murphy did return for the special, speaking for a moment on stage. It was Murphy’s first time in the SNL studio in 30 years.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson Thursday, Cosby said: “I am very appreciative of Eddie and I applaud his actions.”