During the opening monologue in his first appearance on “SNL” since he left the show in 1984, Eddie Murphy took a moment to tell a really funny joke at the expense of the comedian who once tried to shame him for swearing, but is now in jail. Obviously we’re talking about Bill Cosby.
Murphy set up the joke by talking about his 10 kids and how much he devotes his time to them. “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 joked.
“Who is America’s dad now?” he continued.
The joke was a callback of sorts to one of Murphy’s classic stand up routines, included in the 1987 concert film “Eddie Murphy Raw.” In the bit, Murphy told the story of the time he got a phone call from Cosby. Excited to hear from one of his idols, Murphy is instead disappointed to discover that Cosby has called to berate him for all the curse words in his act. Murphy does an incredible impression of Cosby, including Cosby’s many references to his wife and kids, as he recounts how Cosby dressed him down for being a bad influence — and according to Murphy, actually said the word “f—.”
The bit ends with Murphy telling how he called up his friend, Richard Pryor, to talk about it, and Pryor, who obviously had Murphy’s back in terms of swearing, told Murphy to tell Cosby “Tell Bill I said have a coke and a smile and shut the f— up.”
Watch it here:
Murphy’s monologue also included surprise appearances by three other living comedy legends — Tracy Morgan, Dave Chappelle, and Chris Rock.
All three comics came out and joked about sketches they pitched to Murphy, which Murphy clearly didn’t intend to use during the show. Chappelle pitched a sketch about a biopic of “Good Times” star Jimmy Walker, called “Dy-no-mite Is My name.” Rock pitched a sketch called “Law & Order: UTI” where the part of Ice T was played by Cranberry Juice. And Chappelle pitched a sketch where T.I. is forced to work at a drive through gynecology clinic.
But the main thing was that the four comedians took a moment to celebrate their success as black entertainers. “When was the last time we were together like this?” Murphy asked. “Last Thursday a Sinbad’s,” Rock joked. At that, Chappelle joked that “right now, you’re looking at half of Netflix’s budget.”
“Not me, I made all my millions on the road,” Morgan said. “Touring?” asked Murphy. “No,” Morgan joked. “I got hit by a truck.”
There was also a funny bit where cast member Beck Bennett tried to join the camaraderie, but fortunately, Keenan Thomson headed him off at the pass. Check out Eddie Murphy’s monologue above.