The 80-year-old comedian honored Tony Williams on Monday night at LaRosa Jazz Club in Cosby’s hometown of Philadelphia for the first time since 2015, telling stories about his childhood, joking around with the audience, and then playing drums.
According to the Associated Press, he handed his drumsticks to the son of the bass player, quipping, “I used to be a comedian.”
After the show, he was asked by a reporter from NBC 10 in Philadelphia if he had any comments about his upcoming retrial. His publicist tried to wave off the question, but Cosby addressed it by saying, “No ma’am. I came here tonight to enjoy being with my friends and the musicians and the people who came… That was a lot of fun.”
The reporter then asked if it was tough for him to go out in public, not knowing how he’d be received. “No… This is life, and life changes. It’s not to be feared to go out. I go out.”
Former Temple University employee Andrea Constand alleged that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her at his home in 2004. The case went to trial last year, with Cosby facing three felony charges of second-degree aggravated indecent assault, and after the jury remained “hopelessly deadlocked,” the judge declared a mistrial. A retrial in a suburban Philadelphia county will begin on March 29. Cosby pled not guilty and has maintained his innocence as dozens of other women have accused him of similar claims.
Cosby, of course, has been keeping a low profile since facing the flurry of sexual assault claims, though he made a public appearance on Jan. 10 at a Philadelphia restaurant and answered a few questions from reporters. And this past weekend, he posted photos on Facebook of a visit to a Philadelphia bakery in support the now Super Bowl-bound Philadelphia Eagles with the headline “Bill Cosby comes home to Philly to support the Eagles Chase For A Championship and stops by Velvet Sky Bakery & Cafe for Hot Chocolate and Cupcakes.”