Bill Cosby Gives First Performance Since Scandal
Bill Cosby got back on the stage for the first time since his public image of “America’s Dad” was shredded by dozens of sexual assault allegations.
Earlier Monday, Cosby announced a performance in Philadelphia for that evening, to be done in honor of jazz musician Tony Williams.
The disgraced 80-year-old comedian hit the stage at the LaRosa Jazz Club.
NPR reporter Bobby Allyn tweeted out a some footage of the event, showing Cosby dressed in a gray sweatshirt and sitting on a stool, holding his cane and speaking to a small crowd of people.
Cosby took the stage for about an hour, reports the Associated Press. He told stories, honored old friends and finished by leading the band in a set, first using his mouth to scat in place of a missing horn section and then taking a turn at the drums.
Handing the drumsticks off to the 11-year-old son of the bass player, Cosby asked if the boy knew who he was and then told him.
“I used to be a comedian,” Cosby deadpanned.
According to the AP, Cosby reminisced about his childhood, telling the crowd about how when he was 4 he grilled a relative about the impending birth of his brother. He mimicked his Uncle William, who took a swig from a cocktail before answering every question — including whether a stork was really delivering the baby to his parents.
Afterward, Cosby nearly dropped a glass jar he was using as a prop, prompting a “Whoa!” from the crowd.
Cosby, who’s legally blind, seized on the moment.
“Let me tell you something about people talking to blind people, you sighted people,” Cosby said. “If you see a blind person walking into a pole or something, if you speak perfect English, there’s a word called ‘Stop!’ Not ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!’
“You laugh when blind people walk into things,” he continued. “And guess what: Blind people laugh when sighted people fall down!”
Meanwhile, prosecutors are preparing for Cosby’s retrial in Philadelphia on sexual assault charges. They told a judge last week that they want to call 19 other accusers to try to show a pattern of “prior bad acts” over five decades.
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Source: USA Today