A long time ago, before Mark Hamill was Luke Skywalker and Bill Cosby was a convicted sex offender, their careers crossed paths on a 1970 TV show. Hamill described the moment on Twitter Tuesday.
Comedian Tim Barnes posted video Monday of a scene from “The Bill Cosby Show,” which ran from 1969 to 1971 and starred Cosby as Chet Kincaid, a physical education teacher at a Los Angeles High School. Hamill played a poetry-loving student who was gentle-hearted, but willing to throw down (very ineffectually) when pushed to his limits.
“Thought it was an April Fools’ prank, but no — there somehow IS footage of @HamillHimself acting with Bill Cosby in a TV show from 1970,” Barnes wrote as he shared the video.
— Tim Barnes (@TimBarnes451) April 1, 2019
Hamill himself chimed in: “My very 1st job as a professional actor on TV. I never saw it because I was in college & didn’t own a VCR to record it. Cosby was very serious & all-business- far from the lovable character on his comedy albums. My 1st lesson in the difference between public vs private personas.”
That’s for sure. Cosby was convicted in April 2018 on three counts of sexual assault and sentenced to three to 10 years in a Pennsylvania prison. Dozens of women have accused Cosby of sexual assault, and one accusation dated back to 1965, according to Philadelphia Magazine. That was four years before “The Bill Cosby Show” aired, and five years before Hamill met Cosby.
The video offers a hint of the vulnerability Hamill would bring to his role as Luke Skywalker in 1977’s “Star Wars.”
In the scene, Hamill’s character tells fellow students who are apparently looking for trouble: “Alright, you goons have had your fun. Now, why don’t you just cool it?”
They make fun of him, and one “goon” steals his book. Hamill responds with two punches that don’t even make his antagonist flinch. The other student throws him up against a wall, and Cosby’s character sweeps in to break up the fight.
Cosby then hands Hamill everything he’s dropped, including a poem. But it turns out Hamill’s character didn’t write it. We don’t get to find out how the mystery resolves, because some very mildly funky music plays, ending the scene, and we clicked over to some other weird thing on Twitter.