*While accepting his Mark Twain Prize for American Humor Sunday at The Kennedy Center in DC, Eddie Murphy did his infamous impersonation of former Mark Twain award winner Bill Cosby — who was one of his “heroes,” but has been accused by various women of sexual misconduct.
Murphy joked, “You know you f***ed up when they want you to give your trophies back.”
“Bill has one of these. Did you all make him give it back?” he asked, before performing an impersonation of Cosby refusing to give back his award.
“I would like to talk tooooo… some of the people who feeeeel like I should give back my motherf—in’ trophies!” Murphy said in the Cosby voice made famous from his 1987 standup film “Eddie Murphy Raw.” The comedian continued, “You may have heard recently that I allegedly put the pill in the people’s stomach … If I ever see or meet this Hannibal Buress in person I am going to try and kill this man!” (Scroll down to watch.)
Celebrities on hand to celebrate Murphy included Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, George Lopez, Kathy Griffin, Arsenio Hall and Tracy Morgan.
The evening’s most emotional tribute came from Morgan, who received a standing ovation from the audience. He called Murphy his “comedic hero.”
Morgan survived a serious car crash last year that left him in a coma. Morgan said Murphy was the first person to call him on the phone and make him laugh after the tragic accident that killed a passenger in the limo and seriously injured two others
“He’s the reason I’m in comedy. He’s the reason I have a job. He’s the reason I have a career,” Morgan said.
Among the other “SNL” alumni who paid tribute to Murphy were Jay Pharoah, Kevin Nealon and Joe Piscopo.
“Some people are just blessed with talent, and with Eddie, it was just luck,” Nealon joked.
Nealon said Murphy saved “SNL” from slumping ratings in the 1980s, and he hoped he could also save the Kennedy Center from becoming the Trump Center.
“I can see the slot machines in the lobby,” joked Nealon, who starred with Murphy in “Daddy Day Care.”
Trevor Noah, who took over hosting “The Daily Show” in September, said he was introduced to the comedian after viewing “Coming to America.”
“Eddie Murphy’s influenced almost every single comedian — especially of my generation. He did everything brilliantly,” Noah said in an interview with The Associated Press. “He showed me a benchmark to aim for. He made me realize that there was a level of excellence to try and attain, and I still think I’m working at that ’til this day.”
Murphy called the prize a “tremendous honor,” but asked the center to clear up any confusion over the prize for future recipients.
“Actually, it’s an award, but they call it a prize,” he said. “Usually when there’s a prize, there’s money.”
The tribute will be broadcast Nov. 23 on PBS.
Watch the AP’s wrap-up of the evening below. (Cosby bit starts at the 2:30 mark).