Bill Cosby denies his standup act is meant to repair his image

Bill Crosby's Philadelphia appearance was his first show since 2015, when dozens of women accused him of molest.
Bill Crosby's Philadelphia appearance was his first show since 2015, when dozens of women accused him of molest. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (WP) - Bill Cosby went to a club in Philadelphia on Monday to perform a comedy show that he and his publicist said had nothing to do with rehabilitating his image ahead of his retrial for sexual assault charges.

This was his first show since 2015, when dozens of women accused him of molest.

A reporter tried to ask Cosby about his retrial in three months, and whether he was worried about the new #MeToo movement. Last year, a jury could not reach a unanimous consensus on whether he assaulted a woman, and the judge declared a mistrial.

Since then, a wave of accusations against other celebrities have inspired a new culture of zero tolerance for sexual misconduct.

"I don't know," Cosby told the reporter, and made a funny face.

Quite a lot of his routine on Monday was about his poor health. He performed from a stool at the front of the stage, with a cane in his hand.

"You laugh when blind people walk into things," Cosby said. "Guess what? Blind people laugh when sighted people fall down."

 

The crowd laughed. Reporters noted that quite a few of his friends were in the audience.

A lot of people did not realise Cosby had serious health problems until his first court appearance in 2015, when he stumbled over a cane and his lawyers had to help him hold a pen.

Some suspected he was playing up his ailments for sympathy but now Cosby says he is totally blind.

His act went over quite well, by most accounts. Lots of people took wefies with him.

Cosby's standup act had been announced only a couple hours before it began.

Nevertheless, a protester managed to get there and stood outside the club while he performed, playing the song I Am Woman on a loop.

Sixty women have accused Cosby of sexual assault since the scandal broke in late 2014.