For a while Eddie Murphy decided to distance himself from Saturday Night Live after the show took a shot at him during a sketch with David Spade. It was well known that Eddie was upset over the bit but years later we finally get a little insight on how serious he was about being made fun of on the show he helped saved.
For an interview with Salon, David Spade opened up about the moments before and after the sketch aired. He goes on to share receiving an angry call from Murphy that had him use Chris Rock as back up.
I was staring at this page in disbelief. Why on God’s green earth was this superstar blowing me up three times in a row?? Didn’t he have money to count or chicks to bang? (One day, twenty years later, someone had this very thought about me! Success!)
Chris Rock then walked in and said, “You better call him; you don’t want him coming down here. Don’t forget, he’s still a black guy.”
No shit. I don’t want this guy coming to have a talk with me. Even if he’s famous. He scares me. I have no choice. So I take his number and asked Chris to get on the other phone to listen in and protect me.
“Um, is Eddie there? It’s . . . David Spade.” I’m sure my voice cracked like Peter Brady in that Brady Bunch episode where he goes through pubie.
Now here comes Eddie . . . “David Spade, who the fuck do you think you are?!! Honestly? Who. The. Fuck. Going after ME?? You dumb motherfucker! I’m off-limits, don’t you know that? You wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for me. Talking shit about me??” Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera . . . on and on and on and making me feel like shit.
I barely spoke. I just stared at Rock in disbelief. It was so much worse than I had imagined. I wanted to apologize, explain the joke, anything, but nothing came out. Here was one of my favorite comedians of all time ripping me a new asshole. I had worshipped this dude for years, knew every line of his stand-up. And now he hated me. Like, really really hated me. The opposite of Sally Field.
Rock felt bad for me. He was caught in the middle. Old friend of Eddie’s, new friend of mine. I said, “Rock, Eddie makes fun of Mr. T getting AIDS and a million other people in his HBO special. This joke was barely a flesh wound; it won’t hurt him. WTF is he freaking out about? I’m nobody!” Rock tried to make me feel better but there was nothing he could do. He split back to his office. I kept thinking it wasn’t fair.
Since then the two have reconciled according to Spade after seeing each other in passing. Tough day at the office.