Comedian Hannibal Buress Calls Bill Cosby a "Rapist" in Standup Set

Performer drudges up sexual allegations against Cosby Show star, calling him "smuggest f--king smuggest old black man public persona that I hate"

By Rebecca Macatee Oct 21, 2014 4:18 PMTags
Hannibal Burress, Bill CosbyMichael Loccisano/Getty Image

New York-based comedian Hannibal Buress took aim at Bill Cosby during his stand-up set Thursday night at Philadelphia's Trocadero Theatre, calling the 77-year-old "a rapist."

A video posted to features at least a portion of Buress' remarks, including when the 31-year-old identifies the Cosby Show star as "the f--king smuggest old black man public persona that I hate."

"He gets on TV, 'Pull your pants up, black people. I was on TV in the '80s. I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom,'" Buress mocked. "Yeah, but you raped women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches."

Buress poked fun at the squeaky-clean, profanity-free image Cosby has tried to create through the years; he's also encouraged others, particularly in the African-American community, to live wholesomely with values not out of line with those heralded on The Cosby Show. Pretending to be Cosby, Burress cried, "I don't curse on stage!"

He then shifted back to his own voice, pretending to address Cosby.  "Well, yeah, [but] you're a rapist," he said, "so I'll take you saying lots of motherf--kers on Bill Cosby himself if you weren't a rapist."

Multiple women have made allegations of sexual assault against Cosby; he has denied all such allegations, and per a lawsuit obtained by The Smoking Gun, none have resulted in criminal charges against the comedian.

So why drudge up Cosby's controversial past at all? In Buress' recent set, he joked the motivation behind his material was "to just at least make it weird for you [the audience] to watch Cosby Show reruns."

"People think I'm making it up," he added. "That s--t is upsetting. If you didn't know about it, trust me. You leave here and Google 'Bill Cosby rape.' It's not funny. That s--t has more results than Hannibal Buress."

Buress got a chance to clarify his Cosby commentary (and address the reaction to it) on Howard Stern's Sirius XM radio show Tuesday. "It's a weird thing," he said of the public response to his remarks. "Somebody filmed my show in Philly, [but] I've been doing that bit off and on for six months, talking about the Cosby situation. But it's just information that's out there, you know?"

"[It] wasn't my intention to make it part of a big discussion," Buress told the shock jock. "It was just something that I was doing at that venue right there."

Reps for Cosby have yet to respond to E! News' request for comment regarding Buress' remarks.

—Additional reporting by Holly Passalaqua and Lindsay Good