Better late than never, Eddie Murphy.
The decorated comic, who until recently had been notably tight-lipped about the sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby, addressed the issue during a five-minute standup performance while accepting the Mark Twain Prize in Washington, D.C., this weekend — his first live standup routine in 28 years.
While accepting the award — which has also been given to Cosby — Murphy did a rock-solid impression of the scandalized star, imagining how Cosby might address the critics who want to "take his trophies away." He further improvised by adding some profanity, which Cosby has spoken out against in the past (in fact, as the Atlantic pointed out, Cosby twice turned down the Twain award because of "profanities used" in the ceremony presenting the award to Richard Pryor).
Cosby has also personally criticized Murphy for using so-called foul language in his stand-up. Still, Murphy declined an opportunity to perform a sketch about Cosby's fall from grace for Saturday Night Live's 40th anniversary special.
"There’s nothing funny about it,” he told the Washington Post. “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.”
Clearly, Murphy had a change of heart. But until we see the full routine when the broadcast of the Mark Twain prize ceremony airs on PBS on November 23, we won't know if Murphy addressed the assault allegations directly or just used the opportunity to do a spot-on Cosby impression. Either way, we're happy to see Murphy back on stage.
Photos by Noel Vasquez / GC Images