Bill Cosby Expected 'Something in Return' from Women in Bizarre 70s TV Skit

The disgraced (and now convicted) comedian peppered his work throughout the years with bits that hinted at sexual predation.

|
Apr 27 2018, 11:13pm

(L) April 26, 2018: Bill Cosby walks after it was announced a verdict is in at the Montgomery County Courthouse for day 14 of his sexual assault retrial on April 26, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images (R) Screengrab from Bill Cosby on Prejudice

On Thursday in Pennsylvania, "America's dad" Bill Cosby was found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault. The 80-year-old entertainer now faces up to $75,000 in fines and 30 years in prison, and his conviction is being touted as a landmark win for the #MeToo movement in America's legal system. But even before dozens of women came forward with accounts that Cosby drugged and assaulted them—and before Hannibal Buress helped call him out in 2014—the comedian peppered his work with references to sexual misconduct.

Take, for instance, "The Last Barbecue," an episode of The Cosby Show that finds Cosby's character, Dr. Cliff Huxtable, boasting about a special sauce that makes people want to have sex. "Haven't you ever noticed, after people have some of my barbecue sauce, after awhile when it kicks in, they get all huggy-buggy?" Huxtable drawls to his wife, Claire. "I got a cup of it on the night table in our bedroom."

And then there's the "Spanish Fly" bit off Cosby's 1969 comedy album It’s True! It’s True! "Boy if I had a jug of Spanish Fly, I'd light that corner up over there," Cosby joked about dosing women at a party with an aphrodisiac that would make them unable to resist. He also joked about Spanish Fly in a 1991 interview with Larry King.

Both bits are rather disturbing given that Cosby has admitted to drugging women he wanted to have sex with. (Last March, at Cosby's first trial, his defense argued that the comedian's references to the drug be dismissed as humor taken out of context.)

Given everything that's transpired, a long-forgotten video from 1971 is particularly creepy. Bill Cosby on Prejudice was a TV special made for the Los Angeles PBS station KCET. The synopsis, via Archive.org: "Black comedian Bill Cosby appearing in white make-up and green eye shadow in a special that discusses bigotry. Shows Cosby assuming the role of a super-bigot, and employing all the stereotype prejudices in his monologue."

Cosby’s 22-minute skit, which some commenters on YouTube claim they were shown in school, involves him seated on a stool while smoking a cigar and riffing on all the minority groups his stage character hates—African Americans, Italians, Jews, Puerto Ricans, and Mexicans. He also has a fair deal to say about women. "They’re not pieces of flesh, but if I want to take one out, I’ll take her out. I buy the dinner—she didn’t pay for it. I expect something in return!” His rant about women begins at 18:56 in the video above.

Although satire, the video is damning in context: what kicked off Cosby's precipitous downfall was Buress's routine about Cosby's means of chiding black people, as he does in this very video. But the later bits, about how women aren't "as strong as [men] are," and women being "put here to have babies, that’s all," are chilling.

Watch it and remember Cosby for what he's now been exposed to be. A sad, angry old man.

Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.

Harmon Leon is the author of Meet the Deplorables: Infiltrating Trump America. Follow him on Twitter.

More VICE
Vice Channels