Why Eddie Murphy refused to play Bill Cosby on 'SNL' special

Chris Rock, left, introduced Eddie Murphy on Sunday during the "SNL" 40th anniversary special.

Story highlights

  • Murphy appeared on the "SNL" 40th anniversary show Sunday
  • Norm Macdonald said he tried to convince Murphy to play Cosby
  • He said Murphy refuses "to kick a man when he's down"

(CNN)Remember that awkward Eddie Murphy moment during the "Saturday Night Live" 40th anniversary special on Sunday?

According to Norm Macdonald, Murphy's return after 30 years to the show that made him famous was supposed to be so much more.
In a series of tweets Wednesday, Macdonald explained that he attempted to talk Murphy into portraying Bill Cosby during the "Celebrity Jeopardy" sketch. Macdonald set the scene with the many superstars involved in the special, which included former cast members and some of the show's most popular (and infamous) hosts and musical guests.
    But according to Macdonald, Murphy was one of the biggest stars in a room filled with celebs. Macdonald said he thought he had Murphy on board to do one of his most famous impressions, but alas, it was a no-go.
    Instead, Murphy was introduced by Chris Rock and offered a few words about his time on the show. It clocked in at just over a moment and struck some viewers as odd and awkward, as there had been so much buildup to the return.
    The "Celebrity Jeopardy" sketch, led by Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek, was still one of the special's most memorable.