It may come as a shock to some, but Eddie Murphy is still funny. And he still knows how to command a crowd with the perfect joke. For a while, it looked like Eddie had retired his Bill Cosby impersonation in light of the legal troubles facing the befallen comedy legend. But he surprised everyone with some very funny Cosby banter during his acceptance speech for the Mark Twain Prize in Washington, D.C. And the AP Wire now has video from his appearance.
Eddie Murphy hasn't had a hit movie in years. Hard to believe, but his last big screen outing was in the 2012 comedy A Thousand Words. Since then, he has been laying dormant, plotting his return to the stage for his first stand-up comedy show in decades. Of course, we're no closer to that happening than we were back in 1987, when his final stand-up movie Eddie Murphy Raw hit theater screens. But while accepting his Mark Twain Prize, he did tease that something is on the horizon.
Which, if he can bring the energy and humor seen in his award acceptance speech from this past weekend, might be reason to celebrate. Because of his long absence from the big and small screen, with just a quick appearance on the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary being the exception, fans are eager to see him return to the limelight in some fashion. Though, it was believed that he wouldn't be making any Bill Cosby jokes ever again following his decision to not participate in a Bill Cosby-themed sketch at the SNL anniversary show.
That clearly isn't the case. Though, his jokes aren't mean spirited. Instead of reflecting on the subject of Bill Cosby's troubles, he jokes about the iconic comedian having to give all of his awards back. As Eddie Murphy notes, Bill Cosby was also the recipient of the Mark Twain Prize. It is America's foremost award for humor, and is named after the 19th century novelist, essayist and humorist Mark Twain and is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to American humor, as both Eddie Murphy and Bill Cosby have over the past couple of decades. Bill Cosby received his award in 2009. In the video, /person/eddie-murphy/Murphy wonders if he'll have to give it back.
You can see Eddie Murphy's Bill Cosby impersonation at the 2:23 mark in the video, and it is as flawless and funny as it ever was. The Beverly Hills Cop star has been doing his Cosby impersonation for more than thirty years, first performing it for the public at large in Eddie Murphy Raw while describing a conversation he had with Richard Pryor. As he tells it, at that time, Bill Cosby had issues with Eddie Murphy's raunchy humor, and had asked for Eddie to tone it down.
Now, in light of that, nothing Murphy has ever done on stage has been as offensive or shocking as the allegations pointed at Bill Cosby. While Eddie Murphy doesn't seem interested in taking shots at Bill Cosby while he's down, he still knows how to find a good joke in the matter. And that's what makes hims such a master of his craft. There was some speculation that PBS would cut this joke when they broadcast the full ceremony. But they have since confirmed that the broadcast will include the full bit. Take a look, and then wonder aloud, when will Eddie Murphy return to the stage? Hopefully it's not another 30 years. Eddie Murphy: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize will air on PBS Monday, November 23.