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