Cosby, handing the drumsticks off to the bass player’s 11-year-old son, asked if the boy knew who he was and then told him. “I used to be a comedian,” Cosby deadpanned.
Cosby reminisced about his childhood, telling the crowd about how when he was 4 he grilled a relative about the impending birth of his brother. He mimicked his Uncle William, who took a swig from a cocktail before answering every question — including whether a stork was really delivering the baby to his parents. Afterward, Cosby nearly dropped a glass jar he was using as a prop, prompting a “Whoa!” from the crowd. Cosby, who’s legally blind, seized on the moment.
“Let me tell you something about people talking to blind people, you sighted people,” Cosby said. “If you see a blind person walking into a pole or something, if you speak perfect English, there’s a word called ‘Stop!’ Not ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!’
“You laugh when blind people walk into things,” he continued. “And guess what: Blind people laugh when sighted people fall down!”
Bill Cosby, sitting on a stool in a hoodie at a Philly jazz club, telling stories and working the crowd. No mention yet of his looming trial on sexual assault charges. pic.twitter.com/D7qldKi79B
— Bobby Allyn (@BobbyAllyn) January 23, 2018
Bill Cosby plays the drums pic.twitter.com/VDwTvCtxfY
— Jeremy Roebuck (@jeremyrroebuck) January 23, 2018
Cosby arrived at the jazz club on the arm of his spokesman, Andrew Wyatt. He wore a gray hoodie bearing the phrase “Hello Friend,” something his late son, Ennis Cosby, often would say. He posed for photos with friends, including a couple he honored at the start of his set. They all grew up in the same public housing complex.
“I came here tonight to enjoy being with my friends and the musicians and the people who came,” he said after the show.
He declined to discuss his upcoming retrial in a sexual assault case.