When Hannibal Buress made his now-infamous Bill Cosby rapist joke in October of 2014, allegations of the beloved television patriarch’s nefarious deeds were public knowledge, just not public knowledge. Even 30 Rock once made a public dig at Cosby’s expense, but in the end, all it took was someone filming part of a stand-up act that went viral for Cosby’s house of cards to finally collapse.
But Buress doesn’t want to be known as some kind of social justice warrior who took down Bill Cosby. He’s a comedian who was telling a joke, and while it’s great that Cosby is finally facing repercussions for his horrible actions, Buress has always maintained that his involvement was purely accidental. Plus, the guy’s career is blowing up. Aside from his own Comedy Central series and continued involvement in Broad City, he’s got a new Netflix special coming out and steals the scene in literally every big blockbuster comedy he appears in.
So, you’d think that during a Netflix panel with Patton Oswalt and John Mulaney at the Television Critics Association’s press tour on Sunday, reporters would, oh, have other stuff to ask Hannibal Buress about besides Bill Cosby. Sadly, you would be wrong. At first, Buress gamely played along, joking about how no one paid attention when he called Mulaney out for rape, but unfortunately the questions were relentless, and he quickly lost patience. Here are just a sample of the exchanges:
Public perception about Cosby changed after your joke. How do you feel about that?
“I didn’t put the joke out. People ran with it. That wasn’t my intention.”
I mean you did put the joke out.
“I didn’t put the joke out. It was stand-up and then it was put out, so that wasn’t my intention.”
How has it impacted your life and career?
“Not at all. No impact on my life.”
At the end of the day, you ended up being the hero because you brought this to light and were part of the process in bringing this man down. It’s a good thing right?
“You said that, I didn’t say that.”
Has Cosby ever gotten in touch with you?
Was it rooted in any kind of knowledge or information that you had? Where did that joke come from?
“All right, I’m good, yo. Thank you.”
Unfortunately, it’ll probably be awhile before Buress is finally able to shake the stink of Bill Cosby off of him. But in the meantime, go see Angry Birds?