Co­me­dian him­self should have been punch­line

SundayXtra - - OPINION - By Jen Zoratti

In Poehler and Fey’s bit, as told, Bill Cosby isn’t the punch­line. As RH Re­al­ity Check’s An­drea Grimes tweeted Mon­day morn­ing, “Sleep­ing Beauty’s fail­ure to pro­tect her­self from a rapist is.”

In fact, at a show in London, Ont., ear­lier this month, Cosby made a sim­i­lar joke about him­self. He asked a woman in the au­di­ence where she was go­ing when she got up and walked by the stage. When she told him she was go­ing to the lobby to get a drink, Cosby re­sponded, “You have to be care­ful about drink­ing around me.”

The joke, ac­cord­ing to CBC, was met with loud ap­plause, be­cause ev­ery­thing is the worst al­ways. (So far, you’re look­ing an aw­ful lot like 2014, 2015. Do bet­ter.)

From where I am sit­ting, both jokes are hinged on the same premise, which is “Ha ha, be­ware that kooky old grandpa Bill Cosby — he drugs women’s drinks and as­saults them!”

That is not only un­funny, it’s un­ac­cept­able. It triv­i­al­izes his be­hav­iour, as though drug­ging peo­ple and as­sault­ing them is but a mere per­son­al­ity quirk.

As Dan Solo­man tweeted, “It makes ‘Bill Cosby is a rapist’ as comfy as ‘Wes An­der­son is twee’ and ‘Emma Stone has big eyes.’ ” Back to Grimes: “De­scrib­ing the means by which Cosby preyed on/ raped peo­ple in a ‘Cosby voice’ turns Cosby into, at best, a clown rather than crim­i­nal.”

Also, and I can’t be­lieve I have to write this, but here it is: A rape joke doesn’t sud­denly be­come fem­i­nist be­cause it is told by a woman (if this is what equal­ity looks like, Je­sus take the wheel). Women make crappy rape jokes, too.

Fey and Poehler are smart, tal­ented, funny ladies. I am a fan of both. And I’m glad they ‘went there.’

I’m just dis­ap­pointed by the route they took. The orig­i­nal ver­sion of this blog post can be found at

screaming­i­nall­caps.com.

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