Eddie Murphy teased during an interview earlier this week that he may bring back his Bill Cosby impersonation in his return as Saturday Night Live host after 35 years, and he did during his monologue.
“If you told me 30 years ago that I’d be this boring stay-at-home house dad and Bill Cosby would be in jail, even I wouldn’t have took that bet,” Murphy said, adding in the voice of the disgraced comedian, “Who is America’s dad now?”
There is a history between the two comedians. In Murphy’s 1987 standup film Eddie Murphy Raw, he talked about getting a call from Cosby in which Cosby berated him for cursing on stage, blasted his parenting skills and labeled him a bad role model to his kids.
Murphy got a very warm SNL welcome, with the audience chanting his name when he took the stage in Studio 8H.
“It’s good to be here,” said Murphy, whose only appearance on SNL since his 1984 hosting stint was a cameo in the 40th anniversary special. “This is the last episode of 2019, but if you’re black, this is the first episode since I left back in 1984.” Showing a photo of himself during his years on SNL, which he joined as a teenager, Murphy quipped, “You know what they always say: money don’t crack.”
“What a moment we’re having!” Murphy exclaimed, flanked by Rock, Chappelle and Morgan.
Their banter produced a number of zingers, like:
“I wouldn’t miss this for the world. My kids love Lizzo,” said Rock, referring to the episode’s musical guest.
“I’ve followed your blueprint for my entire career. I became the biggest star on television, and then I quit” said Chappelle, a reference to Murphy’s exit from SNL and Chappelle’s abrupt departure from his hit Comedy Central series.
“Right now you are looking at half of Netflix’s budget right here on stage,” said Chappelle. He, Murphy and Rock all scored huge, eight-figure paydays to do standup specials for Netflix. Murphy also stars in the Netflix movie Dolemite Is My Name.
Added Murphy and Rock, “Thanks, Netflix.”
“Not me, I made all my money on the road,” said Morgan.
“You mean touring?,” asked Murphy.
“No, I got hit by a truck,” said Morgan, a reference to his financial settlement with Walmart after his car had been hit by one of the retailer’s tractor trailers. (Watch the video above.)
During his hosting return, Murphy brought back a number of classic characters from his time on SNL: Gumby, Buckwheat and Mr. Robinson.