Earlier this week, news surfaced that Tina Fey had taken digs at Bill Cosby over the sexual-assault allegations against him since around 2009 with an episode of 30 Rock entitled "The Bubble." Now, it appears that she called attention even earlier than that on a 2005 Saturday Night Live Weekend Update with Amy Poehler.
Crushable's Jenni Maier, who also unearthed the aforementioned 30 Rock bit, posted a transcript of the Weekend Update bit yesterday, which features Fey and Poehler reporting the first allegations against Cosby. The pair joked about why comics, such as Cosby impersonator du jour Kenan Thompson, likely wouldn't sling any bits about those allegations the comedian's way.
"A California lawyer alleged Wednesday that thirty years ago, Bill Cosby drugged her and tried to molest her, and after she fought back, he dropped two hundred-dollar bills on a table and fled," Fey reported. "Cosby says he can't be held responsible for his actions, since at the time he was suffering from, 'the brain damage!'" she added, trying out her Cosby impression.
When Poehler asked if Thompson would be coming out as Cosby to defend himself, Fey continued her impression, saying, "No, Kenan is not coming out because of the 'Fat Albert,' and the money, and the sequels!"
"Of course he can't talk about the boobies, and the groping, and the pudding pops!" Poehler added.
When Thompson did come on the set, as himself, he said, "Wow, thanks for that. Great job, you guys. I didn't say any of that, because Kenan Thompson loves to work, OK? Peace."
Four years after that bit, Fey would go on to make the more subtle yet more scathing Cosby joke through Tracy Morgan's character on 30 Rock. Incidentally, 30 Rock, like the 2005 episode of SNL, is a product of Fey and executive producer Lorne Michaels.
Given the track record we've seen with Fey's comedic takedowns of Cosby over the sexual-assault allegations against him, she clearly was aware of the situation and likely was attempting to use her position as a high-profile entertainer to keep the issue present in pop culture. Sadly, though, that effort appears to have gone more than a little under-appreciated until now.
However, as Rebecca Rose at Jezebel notes, the next step here would appear to be Fey coming forward and speaking about why those jokes ended up where they did. After all, none of Cosby's coworkers or colleagues have come out and addressed the issue, save for Jill Scott, Whoopi Goldberg and, as of late, fellow accused rapist CeeLo Green. Fey, judging by the digs mentioned here, may well be one of the first — which is surprising, especially considering Chris Rock's lame "I hope this isn't true" response from earlier this week.
The difference this time, of course, is that perhaps we will listen.