02/19/2015 03:25 EST | Updated 02/20/2015 12:59 EST

Bill Cosby Thanks Eddie Murphy For Not Mocking Him At SNL's 40th Anniversary Show

"He will not kick a man when he is down."

Bill Cosby is thankful to Eddie Murphy that the former "Saturday Night Live" player did not mock him for the show's 40th anniversary.

Murphy was in discussions to play Cosby in a "Celebrity Jeopardy!" skit for the anniversary show last Sunday, but later backed out because he didn't want to "kick a man when he is down," comedian Norm Macdonald relayed in a lengthy series of tweets on Wednesday.

And Cosby, for one, is grateful. He said the following in a statement to NBC News: "I am very appreciative of Eddie and I applaud his actions."

Macdonald issued a succession of tweets giving a behind-the-scenes look at SNL's 40th anniversary. Much of it was devoted to how "Celebrity Jeopardy!" came together.

He talked about how writer Steve Higgins came up with the idea of a "Video Daily Double" in which an actor played Cosby mixing a drink, in a reference to the allegations he has faced of drugging and sexually assaulting women, Macdonald tweeted.

Cosby would be played by Murphy, marking the comedian's first appearance on the program since a hosting gig in 1984.

Macdonald related how discussions went with the long-absent former cast member.

The sketch went ahead with current cast member Kenan Thompson playing Cosby, as Will Ferrell's Alex Trebek tried to stop the "Video Daily Double" from playing, saying it had been taped in June, before the sex assault allegations became a matter of public discussion last year.

Murphy ended up making an approximately 70-second appearance on the show in which he said being there was like "going back to my old high school, kind of."

But this isn't the first time that Murphy and Cosby have crossed paths in their comedy work.

Murphy did an impression of Cosby in his 1987 stand-up show "Raw," in which he related how the comedian called him and objected to the language he uses in his act.

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