Freshly released from prison after serving more than two years behind bars, Bill Cosby may be setting his sights on a return to stand-up comedy. In 2018, Cosby was sentenced to serve 3-10 years for the sexual assault of Andrea Constand at his Pennsylvania home in 2004. This week, Bill Cosby was freed after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that he hadn't had a fair trial, noting that the decision wasn't based on his guilt or innocence.
After he was released, Bill Cosby was quick to celebrate his freedom. He released an official statement that read, "I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence. Thank you to all my fans, supporters and friends who stood by me."
Though Cosby won't be sleeping in a cell tonight, that doesn't necessarily mean the public is back on his side. Given that dozens of other women have accused him of sexual assault, Cosby's release from prison has been very controversial as many argue that he hasn't done nearly enough time for his alleged crimes. Though, Phylicia Rashad stood by Bill, many celebrities had joined the public in condemning Cosby's prison release.
Given the nature of the allegations, it would seem that Bill Cosby's career as a working comedian is finished. Even so, the Ghost Dad star is said to already be trying to secure some dates for a comedy comeback tour. According to The Philadelphia Enquirer, Cosby's spokesperson Andrew Wyatt had told reporters that the disgraced comic has been "talking to a number of promoters and comedy club owners" and "is just excited the way the world is welcoming him back."
"A number of promoters have called. Comedy club owners have called. People want to see him," added Wyatt, suggesting there is a market for Cosby out there despite the backlash surrounding his release.
Anyone interested in booking Cosby for a comedy show will need to be aware of the probable protests that will surround the venue. Attorney Lisa Bloom, who represents multiple Cosby accusers, also says the comedian could face new defamation claims if he continues to proclaim his innocence and cast the accusers in a negative light. In any case, the road to a comedy comeback is probably going to be a bit bumpier than Cosby and his reps are banking on.
Comedians have been able to come back to comedy after falling from grace, as we've seen with Louis C.K. After admitting to pleasuring himself in front of five different women in 2017, Louis made a somewhat successful return to show business, releasing his latest special through his website last year. It's of course worth pointing out that the circumstances of their indiscretions were very different, and based on the number of accusers alone, Cosby will likely have a much harder time trying to revive his comedy career.
It has also been reported that Bill Cosby could potentially fetch up to $20k a pop for speaking engagements, so even if he can only secure very limited bookings, he might still be able to make some decent money. It remains to be seen where he goes from here. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.