Comedian calls impact of his Cosby joke 'weird'

PASADENA, Calif. -- Hannibal Buress calls it a weird surprise that his Bill Cosby "rapist" joke precipitated the star's fall from grace.

See Full Article

"I was doing a joke in my show and that shouldn't influence public opinion. I don't know if it should go that far," Buress said Sunday. "It's weird to me that a joke did that."

Buress said he didn't perform the joke with the idea it would have repercussions for Cosby. He stopped short of expressing regret.

Speaking earlier to a TV critics' group, Buress said he's moved beyond Cosby as a punchline and doesn't see his career as defined by it.

"I've been working for a while and I continue to work," Buress said, citing his voice-over performances for films including the upcoming "The Angry Birds Movie" and ongoing stand-up appearances. A comedy special for Netflix will be released Feb. 5.

"That's just one joke that ... people took and really ran with it," he said.

In October 2014, Buress called Cosby a rapist during a Philadelphia stand-up performance. It was captured on video and posted online, gaining wide exposure and renewing scrutiny of decades-old allegations of sexual assault lodged by a number of women.

The chorus of accusers grew, eclipsing Cosby's public image as a charming, family friendly comedian and an African-American groundbreaker with his role in the 1960s in "I Spy" and his 1984-92 NBC TV sitcom "The Cosby Show."

Cosby had previously come under fire from some in the African-American community for critical remarks about the conduct of poor blacks.

Buress declined Sunday to discuss what prompted making Cosby a comedic target.

Cosby repeatedly has denied the sexual-misconduct claims, with his attorneys noting he had never been charged. That changed on Dec. 31, when he was arrested on felony assault charges in suburban Philadelphia stemming from a 2004 encounter with a former Temple University employee.

The decision represented an about-face by the district attorney's office, which under a previous leader declined to charge Cosby in 2005 when Andrea Constand first told police that the comic put his hands down her pants.

Responding last month to the charges, Cosby's attorney Monique Pressley accused the new prosecutor of "playing political football" with Cosby's life.

Buress, who appeared on the panel with John Mulaney and Patton Oswalt, drew support from his fellow comedians.

"Many, many people knew him as an excellent standup before that," Mulaney said.

Added Oswalt: "Hannibal was doing fine without that (the Cosby controversy). He'd be sitting here now if that had not happened. ... That's just incidental to where he was going anyway."



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • 'The Great Wall' role never intended for Asian actor: Matt Damon

    Entertainment CTV News
    BEIJING - Matt Damon said Tuesday that his role in the new China-Hollywood production "The Great Wall" was always intended to be European, responding to criticism that an Asian actor should have been picked for the part. Source
  • Prosecutors can use Bill Cosby's deposition at trial, judge rules

    Entertainment CTV News
    PHILADELPHIA - Damaging testimony that Bill Cosby gave in an accuser's lawsuit, including admissions that he gave young women drugs and alcohol before sex, can be used at his sex assault trial, a judge ruled Monday. Source
  • Judge signs off on Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt custody agreement

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    A Los Angeles judge has officially approved Angelina Jolie’s temporary custody agreement with her estranged husband Brad Pitt. The former couple appeared to be gearing up for a custody battle in September, after Jolie filed for divorce to end her two-year marriage to Pitt and requested sole physical custody of their six children, ranging in age from eight to 15. Source
  • Jessica Williams, Cate Blanchett star in Sundance permieres

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES - Former "Daily Show" correspondent Jessica Williams flexes her dramatic chops, Cate Blanchett pays homage to great 20th century artists and "Silicon Valley" star Kumail Nanjiani tells a very personal story in some of the films premiering at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Source
  • Jessica Williams, Cate Blanchett star in Sundance premieres

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES - Former "Daily Show" correspondent Jessica Williams flexes her dramatic chops, Cate Blanchett pays homage to great 20th century artists and "Silicon Valley" star Kumail Nanjiani tells a very personal story in some of the films premiering at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Source
  • Prosecutors can use Bill Cosby’s deposition at trial judge says

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    PHILADELPHIA — Damaging testimony that Bill Cosby gave in an accuser’s lawsuit, including admissions that he gave young women drugs and alcohol before sex, can be used at his sex assault trial, a judge ruled Monday. The defence has insisted Cosby testified only after being promised he would never be charged over his 2004 encounter with accuser Andrea Constand. Source
  • Lady Gaga reveals she suffers from PTSD: 'I've never told anyone that before'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Lady Gaga has been secretly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) ever since she was raped at the age of 19. The Perfect Illusion hitmaker has been candid about her sex assault since going public with the news in 2014, revealing she was attacked by a producer at the start of her music career. Source
  • Director Bernardo Bertolucci tries to clear up 'Last Tango in Paris' controversy

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci has clarified controversial remarks he made about a rape scene in his film Last Tango In Paris, insisting late actress Maria Schneider was aware she would be taking part in the violent scene with Marlon Brando. Source
  • Where does 'Westworld' go from here? And other questions about the season finale

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    "Westworld" ended its season on a strange note. The episode was not exactly a cliffhanger, but it also did not offer much in the way of closure. The final moments were not unlike another story of A.I. Source
  • Jimmy Kimmel to host Academy Awards

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — The Oscars finally have a host: Jimmy Kimmel will emcee the 89th Academy Awards. Kimmel will be hosting the show for the first time, the Academy of Motion Pictures said Monday. In September, he hosted the Emmy Awards for the second time. Source