Norm MacDonald reveals Eddie Murphy refused to play Bill Cosby in epic behind-the-scenes story of 'SNL40'

“Saturday Night Live” alum Norm MacDonald returned to his roots on Sunday to be a part of the show’s 40th anniversary special.

In one of the most memorable sketches, MacDonald resumed his role as Burt Reynolds, aka “Turd Ferguson,” during a “Jeopardy” bit filled with SNL cast members impersonating celebrities.

Norm MacDonald Burt Reynolds SNL jeopardy

Later in the sketch, current cast member Kenan Thompson played Bill Cosby, mixing a drink in a video daily double that was “taped” six months before the scandal.

Alex Trebek, played expertly by Will Ferrell, quickly stops the video and apologizes for the previously taped segment.

The Cosby moment in the Jeopardy sketch would have been perfect for Eddie Murphy to play the embattled actor.

Norm MacDonald explained the set up to his 518,000 Twitter followers in a detailed play-by-play of how “SNL 40” came together:

The iconic doors would open and on to home base would step Eddie Murphy. The audience would know what to do. Why is Eddie wearing a multi-coloured sweater? He steps behind the bar, begins mixing a drink. The audience covers the fact he has not spoken. When he speaks, he is Cosby. Eddie Murphy doing a perfect Cosby impression. The audience does not let him finish. The sketch ends. The show, for all intents, ends.

It’s my job to talk him in to doing Jeopardy. We talk in his dressing room a good hour. When it’s over, I’m convinced he’ll do it. He doesn’t. He knew the laughs would bring the house down. Eddie Murphy knows what will work on SNL better than any one. Eddie decides the laughs are not worth it. He will not kick a man when he is down. Eddie Murphy, I realise, is not like the rest of us. Eddie does not need the laughs. Eddie Murphy is the coolest, a rockstar even in a room with actual rockstars.

Read the rest of MacDonald’s insightful tweets on SNL’s 40th anniversary special below:

Watch the Jeopardy sketch below:

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