Bill Cosby, on prejudice, circa 1971

More than three decades before Dave Chappelle rocked Comedy Central with his portrayal of “Clayton Bigsby,” and less than a decade after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech that capped off the 1963 March on Washington for civil rights, Bill Cosby delivered a devastating 22 minutes of televised thoughts on tolerance and equality (or lack thereof) for KCET.

It was 1971. The year “Archie Bunker” debuted as a sitcom bigot fronting TV’s #1 show, All in the Family.

If you laughed out loud at Archie Bunker’s prejudices, what would you make of the same thoughts coming from the nation’s top comedian? In whiteface makeup, no less.

This was “Bill Cosby, On Prejudice.”

See how much of Dr. King’s dream was yet to be realized then, how far we’ve come since, and how far we still have to go.

(h/t to @TVMoJoe)

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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One thought on “Bill Cosby, on prejudice, circa 1971

  1. Umm …

    It’s probably me, but Bill Cosby’s PREJUDICE isn’t the least bit funny.

    Maybe it wasn’t meant to be [edgy was never really Cosby’s forte]

    At least Dave Chappelle’s Clayton Bigsby had the gift of making a biting social comment while being hysterically funny at the same time.

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