'I used to be a comedian': Bill Cosby performs comedy for first time since 2015 at Philadelphia jazz club... as he awaits retrial in sex assault case
- Bill Cosby performed at a Philadelphia jazz club on Monday
- It was the disgraced comedian's first public performance in more than two years
- He had to cancel a comedy tour two years ago when about 60 women came forward to accuse him of sexual assault or misconduct
- Cosby was arrested in December 2015 in connection with his alleged 2004 drugging and assault of Andrea Constand
- Following a hung jury in the case in 2017, he's due to be retried April 2, with jury selection commencing March 29
Accused rapist Bill Cosby was back on the stage Monday in his first public performance in more than two years, as he regaled the crowd with stories, sang and played the drums at a jazz club in his native Philadelphia.
'I used to be a comedian,' Cosby, 80, said in a dialogue with a son of one of the musicians before a welcoming crowd at LaRose Jazz Club, in what his first advertised outing since May 2015, when he had to prematurely end a comedy tour due to protesters repeatedly showing up to his gigs.
Cosby, clad in a grey hooded sweatshirt that read, 'Hello Friend,' was accompanied by his rep Andrew Wyatt.
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Unexpected: Bill Cosby, 80, was back on the stage Monday in his first public performance in more than two years, as he regaled the crowd with stories, sang and played the drums at a jazz club in his native Philadelphia
The surprise appearance was announced in a statement released by his camp earlier Monday, that read, 'Bill Cosby will honor his fans with a historic performance with the Tony Williams Jazz Quartet and he will be performing a special comedy concert that will culminate the evening.'
The announcement was met with a predominantly negative reaction from social media users in the form of memes and one-liners referencing the accusations made against him by around 60 women, who say The Cosby Show star drugged and then sexually assaulted them in incidents dating back decades. Cosby has denied all of the accusations.
In his show on Monday, according to the AP, the embattled Cosby imparted an anecdote from his youth, regaling the crowd with a tale of how he quizzed his imbibing uncle William about his brother, who his mother was pregnant with at the time, and if the stork was going to be delivering him.
Bobby Allyn shared a video to Twitter of the performance.
In another instance, Cosby, who is legally blind, almost dropped a jar he was holding, leading the crowd to gasp, 'Whoa!'
Cosby made light of his medical condition, following up on the gaffe, saying, 'Let me tell you something about people talking to blind people, you sighted people: 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!"'
The beat goes on: The veteran comic took to the drums in the outing
Peachy? Cosby seemed to be in a jovial mood despite an upcoming retrial in his 2004 sex assault case
Back to basics: Cosby told stories, sang and played drums amid the outing
Out and about: Cosby, who's been accused by about 60 women of drugging and raping them, shook hands with bystanders outside the venue
Cosby joked, 'You laugh when blind people walk into things - and guess what - blind people laugh when sighted people fall down!'
Cosby was arrested in December 2015 in connection with his alleged 2004 drugging and assault of Andrea Constand, a Temple University worker, at his house in the Philadelphia suburb of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.
Following a hung jury in the case in 2017, he's due to be retried April 2, with jury selection commencing March 29.
Holding court: The entertainer was the center of attention at the venue
Keeping mum: Cosby did not make any references to his ongoing legal issues in the gig
Feedback: A number of social media users referenced the accusations against the once-beloved comedian after he announced his show on Twitter, some shocked he would show his face amid the ongoing social awareness movement against sexual harassment and assault
Home cooking: Cosby was decked out in Philadelphia Eagles gear as he made his way through the city earlier in the day
He's kept a relatively low profile, though he did appear before reporters when he stepped out for dinner earlier this month at the Philadelphia eatery La Veranda.
There, he shook the hand of a female reporter and joked with her, 'Please, don’t put me on MeToo,' in reference to the ongoing movement of women speaking out against their past experiences of sexual harassment and abuse.
The timing of the local outing came as morale in the City of Brotherly Love was high following the Philadelphia Eagles win in the NFC Championship game Sunday, earning them a spot in the Super Bowl. He was seen out in the city earlier Monday sporting an Eagles hat and warm-up jacket.
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