Did ’30 Rock’ Subtly Call Out The Bill Cosby Rape Allegations Way Back In Season 3?

Before Hannibal Buress unwittingly thrust Bill Cosby’s many rape allegations into the mainstream media spotlight, one has to wonder how well known and discussed of a topic this was behind closed doors amongst those involved in the entertainment industry. If this old clip from season three of 30 Rock is any indication, the answer to that question could be “very.”

Jenni Maier of Crushable has recenty been rewatching season three of 30 Rock when she came across what seemed like — at the time, all the way back in 2009 — a total throwaway joke. In an episode titled “The Bubble,” the setup was that after Tracy was threatening to quit over contract negotiations, Jack had a guy named Rick from accounting impersonate Bill Cosby to try to talk some sense into him. You can watch the scene here (or on Netflix, where the entire series is available to stream), but here’s the transcript, via Crushable:

Jack Donaghy: I’ve arranged for one of Tracy’s childhood idols to reach out to him.

Tracy Jordan: Hello?

Jack Donaghy: Tracy, this is Jack, I have someone here who wants to speak with you.

Rick: Tracy, this is Bill Cosby…

Liz Lemon: [whispering] Really? This is your strategy?

Jack Donaghy: [whispering and smiling] I heard him do this at a party!

Rick: …I want you to come back to the TGS for the people who like the jokes and the things.