Controversial comedian Bill Cosby made his return to stand-up yesterday, performing for crowds in a Philly jazz club.
The 80-year-old comedian made his first performance since his trial last summer by playing at the LaRose Jazz Club in Philadelphia to a crowd of about 50 people. Cosby performed a brief stand-up routine (or, more accurately, a sit-down routine) to a mostly elderly African-American audience.
Most of his material focused on his struggles with age-related blindness. He did not discuss his ongoing court case, which recently ended in a mistrial.
Bill Cosby, sitting on a stool in a hoodie at a Philly jazz club, telling stories and working the crowd. No mention yet of his looming trial on sexual assault charges. pic.twitter.com/D7qldKi79B— Bobby Allyn (@BobbyAllyn) January 23, 2018
Cosby has been on trial since December 2015 for felony aggravated indecent assault of a woman he was in contact with back in 2004. However, the trial is seen to judge Cosby over a much larger history of abusive behavior trailing all the way back to 1965.
Holding a cane and wearing a grey hoodie that read “Hello Friends,” Cosby sat on a wooden stool while he told stories of his life outside of his legal issues. At one point he also engaged in a jam session with the Tony Williams Jazz Quartet, playing the drums as best as an octogenarian can.
Bill Cosby plays the drums pic.twitter.com/VDwTvCtxfY— Jeremy Roebuck (@jeremyrroebuck) January 23, 2018
The comedian has been under fire for some time after being accused by multiple women of using drugs to bed women without their consent. The allegations began in 2014 and since then have grown to include over 50 women in a pattern of behavior that runs from 2014 all the way back to 1965.
Cosby maintains his innocence but has admitted to using sedative-hypnotic methaqualone (Quaaludes) during casual encounters.
Most of the incidents are now beyond the statute of limitations for felony charges, however, one incident from January of 2004 was used to bring charges against Cosby at the end of 2015. Numerous motions were filed by Cosby’s attorneys while his syndicated TV show was pulled from the airwaves.
Last June the trial ended in a jury deadlock, prompting the judge to call for a new trial set to begin this April.