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Eddie Murphy rejected 'SNL40' Bill Cosby skit: Norm Macdonald

Eddie Murphy rejected an offer to play Bill Cosby on the 40th anniversary "Saturday Night Live" special, according to cast member and writer Norm Macdonald.
Eddie Murphy on Feb. 15, 2015 at the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special. (Photo by Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty)
Eddie Murphy on Feb. 15, 2015 at the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special.

Eddie Murphy rejected an offer to play Bill Cosby on the 40th anniversary "Saturday Night Live" special, according to cast member and writer Norm Macdonald.

Murphy appeared on "SNL40" on Sunday, speaking just a few words out of character about what the NBC show meant to him.

Macdonald said Murphy turned down a suggestion that he do an impression of comedian Bill Cosby, who has been accused of sexual assault by more than 20 women. Cosby has never been charged and through lawyers has denied the allegations.

"[Murphy] knew the laughs would bring the house down. Eddie Murphy knows what will work on SNL better than any one [sic]," Macdonald said via his Twitter account. "Eddie decides the laughs are not worth it. He will not kick a man when he is down."

Macdonald wrote around 100 tweets detailing the writing process leading up to the anniversary show. He said he had met Murphy in his dressing room and tried to persuade the comedian to perform the sketch.

"Eddie Murphy, I realize, is not like the rest of us. Eddie does not need the laughs," Macdonald said.

Murphy joined "Saturday Night Live" in 1981 when he was just 19 years old and left in 1985.