Bill Cosby

American actor and comedian (born 1937)

William Henry "Bill" Cosby, Jr. Ed.D (born 12 July 1937) is an American actor, comedian, television producer, and author. He first found success as a standup comic before moving into acting. In the action series I Spy (1965-68) he was one of the first black actors to have a leading role on a regular American series, and in the 1980s and '90s The Cosby Show (1984-1992) was a major hit for NBC, being the most popular American television program for five consecutive seasons.

Bill Cosby in 2011


Our children are trying to tell us something, and we are not listening. I don't care what the statistics say.
I said to a guy, I said, "Tell me, what is it about cocaine that makes it so wonderful?", and he said, "Well, it intensifies your personality." I said, "Yes, but what if you're an asshole?"
Because of my father, between the ages 7 through 15, I thought my name was "Jesus Christ."
  • If at first you don't succeed, you're about average.
    • Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids.
  • The weatherman is always right, It's his timing that's off.
    • Id.
  • The only thing that you can get into without a lot of trouble is a lot of trouble.
    • id.
  • Let the message be known to bigots and racists that they don’t count!
    • In 1968 when accepting his third Emmy Award.[1]
  • People putting their clothes on backwards. Isn't that a sign of something going on wrong? Are you not paying attention? People with their hat on backwards, pants down around the crack. Isn't that a sign of something or are you waiting for Jesus to pull his pants up?
  • We've got to take the neighborhood back. We've got to go in there. Just forget telling your child to go to the Peace Corps. It's right around the corner. It's standing on the corner. It can't speak English. It doesn't want to speak English. I can't even talk the way these people talk. "Why you ain't where you is go." I don't know who these people are. And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. Then I heard the father talk. This is all in the house. You used to talk a certain way on the corner and you got into the house and switched to English. Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can't land a plane with "why you ain't…". You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth. There is no Bible that has that kind of language. Where did these people get the idea that they're moving ahead on this? Well, they know they're not, they're just hanging out in the same place, five or six generations sitting in the projects when you're just supposed to stay there long enough to get a job and move out.
    • "Dr Bill Cosby Speaks at the 50th Anniversary commemoration of the Brown vs Topeka Board of Education Supreme Court Decision," known as the "Pound Cake" speech (May 2004).
  • I am not interested in statistics that tell me things are not as bad as they seem. Things are horrible. I have met people crying about what is happening, but there is no solution yet. Our children are trying to tell us something, and we are not listening. I don't care what the statistics say.
  • We see a successful, elegant man now, but as a child, an adolescent, his life was not a done deal. Sidney respected his mistakes. When failure came, he never said, "This is too difficult, too hard," he had the resiliency to try again. His life is somewhere between astounding and unbelievable.
  • My father walked to school 4 o'clock every morning with no shoes on, uphill, both ways, in 5 feet of snow and he was thankful.
  • I know I didn't say anything, but I'm asking your integrity that since I didn't wanna say anything, but I did answer you, in terms of I don't wanna say anything of what value will it have? ... And I would appreciate it if it was scuttled.
    • Associated Press interview, 2014-11-06, quoted in Maya Rhodan (2014-11-19). "Bill Cosby on Rape Allegations: ‘I Don’t Talk About It’". Time. Retrieved on 2014-11-24. 
    • Post-interview on-camera remarks, requesting they not air his interviewer's attempt to ask him about comedian Hannibal Buress' comedy routine about multiple women having alleged that Cosby drugged and raped them:
      • Brett Zongker: I have to ask about your name coming up in the news recently regarding this comedian—
        Bill Cosby: No, no, we don't answer that.
        Brett Zongker: OK. I just wanted to ask you if you wanted to respond about whether any of that was true.
        Bill Cosby: There's no response.
        Brett Zongker: I'm gonna ask you, if— With the persona that people know about Bill Cosby, should they believe anything differently about what—?
        Bill Cosby: There is no comment about that.
        Brett Zongker: OK.
        Bill Cosby: And I'll tell you why.
        Brett Zongker: OK.
        Bill Cosby: I think you were told. I don't want to compromise your integrity, but um, we don't— I don't talk about it.
  • I have always been proud of my association with Temple University. I have always wanted to do what would be in the best interests of the university and its students. As a result, I have tendered my resignation from the Temple University Board of Trustees.
  • 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 through this ordeal. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rules of law.
    • In 2021 on his acquittal concerning sexual assault allegations that involved him.[2]
  • My wife and I have five children, and the reason we have five children is because we do not want six.
  • My father established our relationship when I was seven years old. He looked at me and said, "You know, I brought you in this world, and I can take you out. And it don't make no difference to me, I'll make another one look just like you."
  • Carol Burnett put it best when she described labor pains. She said, "Take your bottom lip, and pull it over your head."
  • I said to a guy, I said, "Tell me, what is it about cocaine that makes it so wonderful?", and he said, "Well, it intensifies your personality." I said, "Yes, but what if you're an asshole?"
  • Dentists tell you not to pick your teeth with any sharp metal object. Then you sit in their chair, and the first thing they grab is an iron hook.
  • A person with no children says, "Well I just love children," and you say "Why?" and they say, "Because a child is so truthful, that's what I love about 'em — they tell the truth." That's a lie, I've got five of 'em. The only time they tell the truth is if they're having pain.
  • My wife stood up in the stirrups, grabbed my bottom lip and said "I want morphine!" I said "But, dear —" [vigorously breathing]. She said "You shut up! YOU did this to me!" And on the next contraction she told everybody in the delivery room that my parents were never married.
  • Fathers are the geniuses of the house because only a person as intelligent as we could fake such stupidity.


  • [Eddie Murphy imitating Bill Cosby's voice] "Yooouuu can not say filth flarn filth flarn filth in front of people." And I said, "I never said no 'filth flarn filth'!" He said, "You know what I'm talking about. I can't use the type of language that you use, but you know what I mean when I say 'filth flarn flarn flarn filth'." And I said, "I never said no 'filth flarn filth', and I don't know what you're talking about, and I'm offended that you called. Fuck you." And that's when Bill got pissed. "That's what I'm talking about! Yoooouuuu cannot say... 'fuck'!"
    • Eddie Murphy, Eddie Murphy Raw (1987)
    • Recounting a phone call he received from Bill Cosby.


  • I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
    • Originally from Herbert Bayard Swope (1882-1958); often attributed to Cosby, he actually cites this as a sound advice he once read elsewhere, in "Dr. Bill Cosby" in Ebony, Vol. 32, No. 8 (June 1977), p. 136
  • The very first law in advertising is to avoid the concrete promise and cultivate the delightfully vague.

Quotes about Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby in 1969
  • There was no knowledge on my part about his specific actions, but… There was just energy. And that type of sinister, shadow energy cannot be concealed
  • And it's even worse because B‎ill Cosby has the fuckin' smuggest old black man public persona that I hate. He gets on TV, "Pull yo' pants up, black people. I was on TV in the '80s! I can talk down to you, cause I had a successful sitcom!" Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so, kinda brings you down a couple notches. "I don't curse on stage!" Well, yeah, you a rapist, so, I'll take you sayin' lots of motherfuckers on Bill Cosby: Himself if you weren't a rapist.
  • Well let me tell you, and I understand this about the current victim. The first thing you feel is stupid, and then you feel that no one will believe you. This is the great Bill Cosby, he has tremendous wealth, power, a p.r. machine, a reputation, he is Mr. Jell-O, but the worst thing you feel is stupid. There's a shame element involved.
  • But there’s something else, along with the plight of poor people, dogging Bill Cosby. His lawyers have gotten it pushed to the back burner, down to a simmer, and maybe it will amount to nothing, yet there is also the possibility that it will bubble up to destroy him.
    It is still Cosby’s no against her yes, except for one difference: Thirteen women are waiting to be deposed in the suit; in a court filing, Constand’s lawyer says that all of them — with nothing to gain, with no payout waiting, with their own statutes of limitations run out — have stories about Bill Cosby as well, and some of them will claim a similar drug-and-fondling M.O.
    These accusations are about as far removed from the character of Heathcliff Huxtable — that’s Bill, right? — as we could imagine.
    And as Cosby's lawyers string out the suit, filing motions, keeping it in limbo, with those witnesses largely quiet and nothing substantiated, it remains — even 14 strong — nothing more than allegations, about which Bill Cosby has nothing to say.
  • We are formed by all kinds of strange or vague memories from childhood. That kind of understanding is needed to see that Cosby was involved in a symbiotic, push-pull thing with his wife, where he went out and did these awful things to assert his own independence. But for that, he required the women to be inert. He needed them to be dead! Cosby is actually a necrophiliac--a style that was popular in the late Victorian period in the nineteenth-century.
  • No one was there except for the two people to know exactly what happened. All I can speak to is the man that I know and I love
  • Sixteen women have publicly stated that Cosby, now 77, sexually assaulted them, with 12 saying he drugged them first and another saying he tried to drug her.
    The saga of the abuse allegations is set in locales that speak to Cosby’s wealth and fame: a Hollywood-studio bungalow, a chauffeured limousine, luxury hotels, a New York City brownstone. But it also stretches into unexpected places, such as an obscure Denver talent agency that referred two of Cosby’s future accusers to the star for mentoring.
    The allegations are strung together by perceptible patterns that appear and reappear with remarkable consistency: mostly young, white women without family nearby; drugs offered as palliatives; resistance and pursuit; accusers worrying that no one would believe them; lifelong trauma.
    There is also a pattern of intense response by Cosby’s team of attorneys and publicists, who have used the media and the courts to attack the credibility of his accusers.
    If his accusers are to be believed, the earliest allegations against Cosby remained hidden for decades, private artifacts of an era when women were less likely to publicly accuse men they knew of sexual misdeeds and society was less likely to believe them. But they have flared periodically throughout the past nine years, both because of changing attitudes and, particularly over the past month, because of social media’s ability to transform a story into a viral phenomenon almost impossible to suppress or control.
    The allegations represent a stunning reshaping of Cosby's legacy. Cosby built his fame on a family-friendly comedic persona. He has lectured black youths about proper behavior. He has been honored with a Presidential Medal of Freedom and been lauded for making the largest donation ever by an African American to a historically black college, Spelman College in Atlanta.
  • A pattern has clearly emerged among many of the women—totaling 18 so far—who’ve come forward sharing stories alleging inappropriate sexual behavior on Cosby’s part: companionship, abuse of trust, and a drugged beverage leading to an unwanted sexual violation.
    To recap: 12 of the women who’ve come forward with allegations against Cosby claim they were drugged prior to their assault, 12 of them were white females, and most were allegedly promised some form of mentorship or professional help. Many of the women also claimed they were in emotionally vulnerable states when Cosby allegedly set his sights on them.
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