bill cosby

The Actors Who Turned Down Controversial Movie Roles

Earlier this week, Saturday Night Live vet Norm Macdonald took to Twitter to pen an account of the events leading up to SNL‘s recently aired 40th Anniversary Special. The comedian and writer hoped to get Eddie Murphy to star in a “Celebrity Jeopardy” sketch as fallen comedian and accused serial rapist Bill Cosby (a role left to Kenan Thompson), but Murphy refused. Macdonald applauded Murphy’s decision, and the Internet was ablaze with opinions on the matter — especially after learning that Cosby was “very appreciative” of Murphy’s decision. Of course, Murphy is hardly the only actor in pop culture to turn down a controversial part in a project. Cinema is filled with them. The recent events inspired us to revisit a few controversial films and the roles that saw Hollywood talent turning away from them. … Read More

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Bill Cosby “Applauds” Eddie Murphy’s Refusal to Impersonate Him on ‘SNL’

Former Weekend Update host Norm Macdonald counterintuitively took to Twitter to write a longwinded account of the… Read More

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From Eddie Murphy to the Afterparty, Behind-the-Scenes Stories From ‘SNL 40′ Trump the Show

SNL‘s 40th anniversary bash was a mixed bag for all but the diehard fans, more of a sappy nostalgia fest than a showcase for new and original laughs. That result was predictable. When institutions reach a certain cultural cornerstone status, they’re granted the privilege to be deservedly, if dully, self-reflective. Yet the stories and photos that have subsequently surfaced from behind the scenes provide something of what was missing from the broadcast: a look at the spontaneity and unlikely collaborations, the friction and synergy created by having so many comic and musical geniuses in one place, at one… Read More

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Watch Larry Wilmore Skewer Bill Cosby on the ‘Nightly Show’

Larry Wilmore’s Nightly Show, which took the place of the recently departed The Colbert Report, had its second show last night.… Read More

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From ‘Broad City’ to Fey and Poehler: When Female Comedians Tell Rape Jokes

“Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them,” goes the famous and profound quote attributed to Margaret Atwood. But what to make of a situation in which women artists, by acting like men, are trying to make us laugh at the threat men pose to women? … Read More

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Fey, Poehler, Maron, and Apatow Begin Stand-Up’s Overdue Reckoning With Bill Cosby’s Comedy Legacy

Last week, I was reading (and enjoying) Patton Oswalt’s new book Silver Screen Fiend, a memoir of his four-year film addiction, which occurred as he was simultaneously finding his footing as a comedian. In describing the latter progression, he writes: “I’d spent the first nineteen years of life memorizing every comedy album I could play on my parents’ turntable. I knew the exact timing for the pause between the words ‘waited’ and ‘July’ in Bill Cosby’s ‘Revenge’ routine.” That line, the first of several examples of his comedy obsession, jumps out and jars — due, of course, to timing beyond Oswalt’s control. The book was presumably put to bed long before the accusations of Cosby’s decades as a serial rapist resurfaced last fall; the line serves as a reminder not just of his vaunted position in the comedy community, but of how slow that community has been to react to the accusations. This week, the tide began to turn, first with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s jaw-dropping Cosby jokes in their Golden Globes introduction, then with a candid conversation the next day between Judd Apatow and Marc Maron on Maron’s WTF podcast. … Read More

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