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~ RERUN ~

The Cosby File:
Rock -- Cosby -- Hard Place

William Henry "Bill" Cosby, Jr. (born July 12, 1937) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, author, television producer, educator, musician and activist. A veteran stand-up performer, he got his start at the hungry i in San Francisco and various other clubs, then landed a starring role in the 1965 action show I Spy. He later starred in his own sitcom, The Bill Cosby Show. He was one of the major performers on the children's television series The Electric Company during its first two seasons, and created the educational cartoon comedy series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, about a group of young friends growing up in the city. Cosby also acted in a number of films.

During the 1980s, Cosby produced and starred in one of the decade's defining sitcoms, The Cosby Show, which aired eight seasons from 1984 to 1992. It was the number one show in America for five straight years (1985–89). The sitcom highlighted the experiences and growth of an affluent African-American family. He also produced the spin-off sitcom A Different World, which became second to The Cosby Show in ratings. He starred in the sitcom Cosby from 1996 to 2000 and hosted Kids Say the Darndest Things for two seasons, from 1998-2000.

In 1976, Cosby earned a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His dissertation discussed the use of Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids as a teaching tool in elementary schools.

But, after doing so well for himself over the years, it was all going to be brought down, it seemed.

There was a monkey wrench in the works. Several women brought accusations of being drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby.

Time passed and, even after several women brought those accusations, no charges were ever filed and the issue faded out of sight.

A new NBC show, scheduled for summer or autumn 2015, created by Mike O'Malley and Mike Sikowitz and to have been produced by The Cosby Show's Tom Werner, was set to feature Cosby as Jonathan Franklin, the patriarch of a multi-generational family. On November 19, 2014, NBC scrapped Cosby's new show after accusations that he sexually assaulted women resurfaced. On the same day, TVLand announced in November that it was pulling reruns of The Cosby Show from its schedule and also removed clips of the show from its website.

During this past year, the number of allegations not only resurfaced, but to date the count of female accusers number 18 (some reports say 20).

In this latest round, as with the first round, Cosby has neither confirmed nor denied the allegations. In fact, he has made it a point to say nothing and let his attorney speak for him. His attorney has said the allegations are "ridiculous" and a rehash of old unproven allegations.

Another monkey wrench now shows up.

A man claiming to be Cosby's cleanup man came forward to say that he was the person Cosby turned to, to hush his accusers up. He said he even has four receipts for "payoffs" he made on behalf of Cosby. The last of that side of the story hasn't been heard.

Cosby is still doing his standup (or rather sit down) routine around the country, wherever he is welcome.

It won't be known for a while what the result of all of these accusations will be.

I personally feel that with so many women coming forward, there has to be some truth to the matter.

But, to be sure, as the title of this piece suggests, Cosby is definitely caught between a rock and a hard place.

I hope it all resolves amicably; I like the Cosby show reruns. They're some of the few shows on TV that are still rated G.

And we sure could use that.

That's in my opinion.

Michael C. Quinn
Publisher
NewsManatee.com