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

  • Stars turn out for lavish French Riviera AIDS fundraiser

    Entertainment CTV News
    CAP D'ANTIBES, France -- A star-studded French Riviera AIDS fundraising gala has raised more than $20 million (17.8 million euros) to combat the disease globally. Guests at the 24th annual amfAR Cinema Against AIDS gala were treated Thursday to musical performances by Nicki Minaj, Rita Ora and Diana Ross, a fashion show and auction of items for the superrich. Source
  • Private service, public viewing for Cornell planned Friday

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell is being laid to rest Friday at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. Representatives for the late singer-songwriter say a private memorial service Friday will be followed by a public viewing of Cornell's burial site at 3 p.m. Source
  • Movie reviews: Wet 'n wild 'Baywatch' pokes fun at TV series sibling

    Entertainment CTV News
    BAYWATCH: 3 STARFISH On the surface “Baywatch,” the big screen reboot of the cheesy 1980s television show, is about beach bunnies who uncover a criminal plot that may bring with it trouble to the Baywatch lifeguards. Source
  • Stars turn out for amfAR Cinema Against AIDS gala [Photos]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    CAP D’ANTIBES, France — A star-studded French Riviera AIDS fundraising gala has raised more than $20 million (17.8 million euros) to combat the disease globally. Guests at the 24th annual amfAR Cinema Against AIDS gala were treated Thursday to musical performances by Nicki Minaj, Rita Ora and Diana Ross, a fashion show and auction of items for the superrich. Source
  • Maud Lewis 'black cats' painting goes for $36,800 auction

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- For the second time in a month a Maud Lewis painting has been sold for five times a pre-auction estimate. The Nova Scotia artist's "Black Cats" fetched $36,800 at the Consignor Canadian Fine Art live spring auction event Thursday at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto. Source
  • Maud Lewis 'black cats' painting goes for $36,800 at auction

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- For the second time in a month a Maud Lewis painting has been sold for five times a pre-auction estimate. The Nova Scotia artist's "Black Cats" fetched $36,800 at the Consignor Canadian Fine Art live spring auction event Thursday at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto. Source
  • Dwayne Johnson unfazed by bad 'Baywatch' reviews

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Action man Dwayne Johnson is brushing off critics’ bad reviews of his new Baywatch movie revamp, insisting fan feedback has been all positive. The wrestler-turned-movie star has taken over David Hasselhoff’s iconic TV role as head lifeguard Mitch Buchannon for the raunchy big screen adaptation, which also features Zac Efron and Priyanka Chopra, but critics haven’t been too kind to the project, which currently holds a score of just 20% on review website Rotten Tomatoes. Source
  • Winnipeg author Katherena Vermette wins $40,000 Amazon.ca First Novel Award

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Winnipeg writer Katherena Vermette has added to her growing list of accolades with top honours from the Amazon.ca First Novel Award. The award-winning Metis author received the $40,000 grand prize for "The Break" (House of Anansi) at a ceremony held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto on Thursday night. Source
  • 'I'll never be sorry': Dirty Dancing remake viewers might disagree

    Entertainment CBC News
    ABC entered the musical adaptation game with a leap on Wednesday night, but its Dirty Dancing remake landed with a thud with many viewers and critics. Live television and singing and dancing shows are among the more reliable ways to attract viewers in the fractured television landscape, and musicals have increasingly become important dates on the network calendars. Source
  • Taraji P. Henson crashes sports car on film set: report

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Actress Taraji P. Henson was left a little shaken up on the set of her new movie Proud Mary after crashing a Maserati sports car into a fire hydrant. The star was filming a driving scene in Lawrence, Massachusetts on Sunday when she lost control of the expensive motor and slammed into the hydrant, according to TMZ. Source