It’s been almost 30 years since Eddie Murphy brought down the house with his stand-up, but he offered a taste when accepting an award on Sunday.
Murphy was onstage accepting the prestigious Mark Twain prize for Insight and Comedy when he decided to shred fellow-winner Bill Cosby, in light of the many rape and sexual assault allegations brought against him in recent years.
Holding his award, Murphy mused that Cosby was another past winner, and wondered aloud if he had been forced to return his trophy.
“You know you’ve f****d up when they want you to give your trophies back,” Murphy quipped in the fast-talking comedy style, made famous with his ’80s stand-up films Raw and Delirious.
Next, in an impressively accurate Cosby impersonation, Murphy yelled: “I would like to talk to some of the people who feel like I should give back some of my (expletive) trophies.”
Murphy had clearly changed his tune since refusing to take part in a sketch on comedy show Saturday Night Live‘s 40th anniversary because he felt Cosby jokes were in poor taste.
“There’s nothing funny about it,” the comedian and actor told the Washington Post of the Cosby sketch after the show aired.
“If you get up there and you crack jokes about him, you’re just hurting people. You’re hurting him. You’re hurting his accusers.”
Despite not telling a joke onstage for 28 years, Murphy has enjoyed a hyper-successful film career, with ’90s hits Mulan, Dr Dolittle, Shrek and The Klumps.
Recent Murphy films have been less successful, especially The Adventure of Pluto Nash, which came close to being the least financially successful film of all time.
In 2006, Murphy won a best-supporting actor Oscar for his role as James “Thunder” Early, in the huge hit Dreamgirls.