Bill Cosby attracts standing ovation, protests at Canadian show

2015-01-08 07:24

Veteran comedian Bill Cosby, embroiled in a growing controversy over sexual assault allegations, was greeted yesterday with a standing ovation by Canadian fans at his first show of 2015.

Despite Cosby’s warnings to fans attending his three Canadian shows of possible disruptions during the performances, the first stand-up routine in Ontario went on without a hitch.

Cosby was “getting good laughs” from the audience after taking the stage at Kitchener’s Centre in the Square, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported.

Journalists said the comedian did not address the issue of sexual assaults. The venue was about three-quarters full.

A handful of protesters gathered outside the venue ahead of the show, with some heckling fans as they entered the theatre, CBC reported.

A much larger crowd gathered at a local nightclub for an alternative event to raise funds for Kitchener-Waterloo’s Sexual Assault Centre and Women’s Crisis Services.

Organisers offered free admission to anyone coming to the 20-dollar event with Cosby tickets.

The event drew so much interest that it was moved to a larger venue than originally planned.

The 77-year-old comedian is also scheduled to perform two other shows in Ontario: in London today and Hamilton tomorrow.

In each city, Cosby’s critics have organised concurrent events to raise awareness of the sexual assault issue.

After being accused by at least 18 women in recent months of sexual assault, the embattled comedian has had to cancel or postpone at least 10 shows on his current world tour.

Cosby, who starred as Dr Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby Show from 1984 to 1992, has never been criminally charged in connection with any of the alleged sex assaults. Cosby, through his lawyers, has repeatedly denied all allegations.

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