Comedian Bill Cosby returned for a comedy show after nearly three years in Philadelphia Monday night at LaRose Jazz Club. (YC.NEWS PHOTO/NIK HATZIEFSTATHIOU)
Comedian Bill Cosby returned for a comedy show after nearly three years in Philadelphia Monday night at LaRose Jazz Club. (YC.NEWS PHOTO/NIK HATZIEFSTATHIOU)

(AP) — Bill Cosby performed in public for the first time since 2015, joking that he “used to be a comedian” and playing with a jazz band in his hometown.

The 80-year-old entertainer took the stage for about an hour Monday night at a Philadelphia jazz club for his first show since May 2015. Before a friendly crowd, he told stories, honored old friends and finished by leading the band in a set, first using his mouth to scat in place of a missing horn section and then taking a turn at the drums.

Cosby, handing the drumsticks off to the bass player’s 11-year-old son, asked if the boy knew who he was and then told him.

“I used to be a comedian,” Cosby deadpanned.

Cosby reminisced about his childhood, telling the crowd about how when he was 4 he grilled a relative about the impending birth of his brother. He mimicked his Uncle William, who took a swig from a cocktail before answering every question — including whether a stork was really delivering the baby to his parents.

Afterward, Cosby nearly dropped a glass jar he was using as a prop, prompting a “Whoa!” from the crowd.

Cosby, who’s legally blind, seized on the moment.


The Associated Press contributed to this article.