Bill Cosby may have gotten some laughs and applause at his Thursday night comedy show in Canada, but overall, it was a disaster. He was not only heckled by a protestor who called him a rapist, but also went out of his way to turn the sexual assault allegations against him as a punchline.
According to people in the audience of the London, Ontario performance, the 77-year-old comedian told a woman, "you have to be careful about drinking around me," when she got up from her front row seat and offered to get him a drink.
The bit seemed to be a clear reference to the over two dozen sexual assault allegations against him. Many of the women who have accused Cosby of offenses spanning the 1960s through 2008 say they believe he drugged them with a cocktail or coffee. Some allege that when they regained consciousness, he told them they must have had too much to drink.
Not everyone thought the joke was funny. The Huffington Post reported that, according to people in the audience, Cosby was interrupted several times by hecklers and protestors. In this video of the show, a man yells "You are a rapist!" and Cosby replies, "No, no, stop!" and tells the audience, "No clapping."
Cosby has made jokes about drugging women before. After several new women came forward to accuse him of sexually assaulting them late last year, "Spanish Fly," a 1969 bit on his album It's True! It's True! during which he talked about about slipping an aphrodisiac into women's drinks, became the subject of new scrutiny.
This week, Phylicia Rashad, the actress who played Clair to Cosby's Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby Show, came to his defense in controversial remarks insisting that the claims against him were "orchestrated" and represented "the destruction of a legacy."
Cosby and his lawyers have denied all of the allegations.