There’s not a lot of humor to be found in the ongoing controversy surrounding Bill Cosby, but that didn’t stop Seth Meyers from trying to tell a joke on his show Thursday night. The “Late Night” host was just about to finish his monologue when a planted audience member questioned why Meyers hadn’t touched upon the most topical item of the week.
“Aren’t you missing a news story there, Seth?” asked the unnamed man. “I think everyone in this audience is waiting for you to tell a Bill Cosby joke.”
“That’s not something I really want to make light of,” Meyers said. “It’s a really delicate issue.”
The audience member persisted, however, goading Meyers into taking a crack at a Cosby punch-line.
“It’s clear to me now that I didn’t know what the Bill Cosby news story was about,” the audience member said, wincing at Meyer’s failed attempt to be funny. He had assumed the public outcry had something to do with, “Jell-O,” or “sweaters.”
Making fun of Cosby’s several rape allegations would undoubtedly be in poor taste but Meyers and his writers’ decision to turn the joke on themselves provides an unexpected and appropriate payoff.