Sometimes, the best way to get people wanting you back in the spotlight is to actively stay out of that spotlight for a while. That’s what happened with Eddie Murphy, whose return to comedy is highly anticipated (as if Meet Dave never happened), and the world saw a return of the classic Eddie over the weekend when he dusted off his Bill Cosby impression when accepting the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. It’s everything we hoped it would be. Check it out in the video below, with Murphy getting on stage at the 2:23 mark.



It’s crazy to think that Eddie Murphy’s Cosby impression is around 30 years old, as it was first brought to audiences at large through his ridiculously successful (and raunchy) stand-up feature Raw, and his updated impression actually creates a glorious full circle for Murphy. Rather than plainly shitting on Bill Cosby’s legacy, Murphy angled it to talk about him giving up trophies and awards after the plethora of rape allegations surfaced, and in Cosby’s voice, Murphy said that he wanted to talk to some of the people “that feel I should give back my motherfucking trophies.” Part of Murphy’s act on Raw was about Cosby asking him to never say “fuck” on stage again. It certainly didn’t stop in that show, and he’s still dropping F-bombs decades later. Felt kind of like a diss to me.

While it’s not clear if Murphy still respects Bill Cosby as a human being these days, he clearly isn’t interested in stirring up the hate-mongering pot just to do it. He had a chance to crap on Cosby during SNL 40 earlier this year and chose not to, recently explaining that joking about Cosby in that context would have only hurt him and his accusers, as well as not being a very good vehicle for Murphy to return to Saturday Night Live with. Cosby liked that approach, though we’re not sure what he’d have to say about this.

The question now becomes: Will PBS keep that joke in the final broadcast of the award ceremony, or will they cut it out in order to remain as non-controversial as…well, as PBS. Each year’s ceremony is obviously edited for TV for both time and because of light censorship, but now that the Internet has jumped all over Murphy’s impression, the producers’ decision becomes that much harder.

Mark your calendars to find out, because Eddie Murphy: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize will hit PBS on Monday, November 23. In the meantime, we’ve still got our fingers crossed that the comedian will be working with Netflix soon.

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