Hannibal Burress likely never thought that he would be the voice that finally reigned in Bill Cosby. It was this comment in 2014 during a show in Philadelphia that set off the frenzy that helped lead to his conviction.
“Bill Cosby has the f*cking smuggest old Black man persona that I hate,” Buress said in 2014. “He gets on TV, ‘Pull up your pants Black people, I was on TV in the 80s! I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom!’
“Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches.”
On May 19, Burress will return to the City of Brotherly Love since that night in October 2014.
Burress will be at the Merriam Theater on May 19. But, for now, he has nothing to say about his return to the city.
To date, about 60 women have publicly accused Cosby, 80, of sexual misconduct, with some alleged incidents dating back to the late 1960s. Cosby faces up to 30 years in prison following last week’s conviction in connection with his assault of Andrea Constand in 2004.
Burress, whose edgy no holds barred comedy had already made him a rising star, said that night he just wanted to “make it weird to watch Cosby Show reruns.”
He’s managed to do more than that.
“If you don’t know about it, trust me,” he said. “When you leave here, Google ‘Bill Cosby Rape.’ That shit has more results than ‘Hannibal Buress.’”
Shortly after the clip went viral, and the allegations poured in, Cosby was forced to pull out of dates on a comedy tour, lost a sitcom deal with NBC, had several civil suits filed against him, and – eventually – criminal charges filed against him in the Constand case that ultimately led to his downfall.
Burress, however, has largely shied away from talking about Cosby since.
He said during a 2016 at Netflix panel discussion, that the Cosby comments were a part of a bit, and was shocked that people caught on and took it seriously.
“I was calling a bunch of other comedians rapists, and that was the only one people took seriously,” he said. “That’s just one joke people took and really ran with it.”