Comedian himself should have been punchline
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