Bill Cosby has appeared on stage for the first time since 2015, following the sexual abuse scandal that has engulfed his career.
The 80-year-old took to the stage at the LaRose Jazz Club in Philadelphia for around an hour on Monday night, leading a band, scatting in lieu of the band’s horn section, and playing drums.
When he handed over the drum sticks to the 11-year-old son of the band’s bass player, he asked the boy if he knew who he was.
“I used to be a comedian,” he told him, to laughs from a receptive crowd.
He also reminisced on stage about his childhood, and later posed for photos with fans.
Cosby has been accused by as many as 60 women of drugging and raping or molesting them in the period from 1965 to 2008.
“I came here tonight to enjoy being with my friends and the musicians and the people who came,” he said after the show, but refused to talk about an upcoming retrial.
He will be tried again on April 2, over charges that he drugged and molested a woman at his home in Philadelphia in 2004.
Cosby pleaded not guilty to the charges, with the first trial ending with a hung jury and Cosby released on bail.
His last comedy tour ended with protests. One woman protested outside last night’s show, reportedly a familiar face from Cosby’s trial last year.
She held a placard reading ‘Perseverance to all survivors’, and played the song I Am Woman by Helen Reddy on loop.