Bill Cosby ad-libbed a joke that apparently alluded to the sexual assault allegations that have engulfed the iconic comedian and TV star of The Cosby Show from 1984 to 1992.
In an appearance tonight in London, Ontario, the second stop of his Canadian tour, Cosby asked a woman in the front row where she was going when she got up to leave during his performance.
The audience member told him she was going to get a drink and asked him if he wanted one too.
TV’s Dr. Cliff Huxtable responded by holding up a bottle of water, “I already have one… you have to be careful about drinking around me,” the National Post reported.
The audience’s first response, reportedly, was a gasp, which then transformed into cheering and applause. The seemingly inappropriate quip in Cosby’s stand-up routine immediately moved like wildfire across Twitter, however.
As widely reported, Cosby, 77, has been accused of drugging and raping 20 or more women over his long show-business career. He has offered minimal public comment to date about the controversy that seems to be growing as more alleged victims come forward. Many, if not all, of the allegations are outside of the statute of limitations, however, meaning that it’s likely too late to bring legal charges in court.
Shortly before Cosby’s joke that may have been in poor taste, a heckler in the same audience accused Cosby of being a rapist. Security evidently removed the man from the venue amid audience applause. He was later released.
According to CBC News, protesters were on hand outside the building and things were tightened up inside.
“Security was tight for the second of Cosby’s three Ontario shows. Ticket holders’ bags were searched, and some were subjected to patdowns as they entered, and Budweiser Gardens was enforcing a zero electronics policy.”
The venue also warned ticket holders in writing that no disruptive behavior would be tolerated.
In his first public appearance in Canada on Wednesday evening in the city of Kitchener, Ontario, Cosby received a standing ovation from the audience. The crowd of 1,500 reacted the same way to his one-man show this evening as it concluded. He is scheduled for another show in Hamilton, Ontario, tomorrow night. Several U.S. appearances have already been canceled in the fallout from the ongoing controversy, however.
Cosby at this point seems to enjoy more popularity in Canada than in the U.S. for undetermined reasons
Do you think Bill Cosby’s joke about being careful of drinking around him was at all funny given the circumstances?