Arts & Entertainment | July 12, 2021 10:11 am

Bill Cosby Is Banned From NYC’s Comedy Cellar

The famed comedy venue will not play a role in Cosby's planned comeback

Bill Cosby arrives for sentencing for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse on September 25, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. After being recently released from prison, he was told he will not be able to perform at the Comedy Cellar.
Bill Cosby arrives for sentencing for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse on September 25, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
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Last week we reported that Bill Cosby, who was recently released from prison after his indecent assault conviction was overturned on a technicality, is planning a stand-up comedy tour. Cosby’s publicist Andrew Wyatt claimed that several comedy clubs and promotors “are open to the idea,” but today we know of at least one that isn’t: according to the New York Post, Cosby is not welcome at New York’s legendary Comedy Cellar.

Comedy Cellar owner Noam Dworman told the publication that he won’t allow Cosby to perform at his venue because “audiences wouldn’t support it.” Interestingly, however, Dworman has allowed other disgraced comedians to grace the stage after their own sexual misconduct scandals. In 2018, he allowed Aziz Ansari and Louis C.K. to perform at the Cellar. (He reportedly received death threats after allowing the latter to perform.)

Dworman says he draws the line at Cosby because the former TV dad was actually convicted of a crime (before said conviction was overturned) and the allegations against him were far worse than anything Ansari and Louis C.K. were accused of doing. “Comparing Bill Cosby to these other guys is absurd,” he said.

The Ansari case is more nuanced — while it sparked important conversations about coercion and consent, Ansari was not accused of any actual crimes — but it’s fair to say that Louis C.K. should not have been allowed to perform after he admitted to exposing himself to multiple women and masturbating in front of them without their consent. (It’s important to note that while no one pressed charges against him, that is a crime.) Cosby, who was accused by 60 different women of rape, sexual assault or sexual misconduct, is obviously worse, but that doesn’t make what C.K. did any better.

Dworman, on the other hand, doesn’t seem interested in reflecting on his decision to allow the latter to perform.

“I didn’t want to talk about this to begin with,” he told the Post. “I just think these comparisons are ridiculous.”