Before Bill Cosby became the tight-lipped man who responds to sexual assault accusations with silence, he was the budding comedian and "I Spy" star who told rape jokes about drugging women. On Monday, after yet another alleged victim came forward with claims that Cosby drugged and raped her in 1969, the Village Voice unearthed audio clips from the comedian's ninth comedy album, "It's True! It's True," which was released the same year. An unfortunately titled compilation given the current headlines, the album includes a disturbing track of Cosby describing his long-standing desire to drug women and take advantage of them.
In the routine, Cosby describes his childhood fascination with a drug, "Spanish fly," that supposedly makes women go crazy (or renders them incapacitated) if slipped into a drink. He says his fascination continued into adulthood, when he and "I Spy" co-star Robert Culp had the opportunity to go to Spain -- and he became hopeful he might finally get his hands on some Spanish fly. Cosby describes how Culp, too, wanted to get his hands on the drug.
The clip takes on an unsettling new meaning in light of the rape allegations, which overwhelmingly include women's accounts of being served alcohol before becoming disoriented and waking up to find that Cosby had violated them. But, as the Village Voice's Alan Scherstuhl aptly notes, the entire situation Cosby describes as well as the response to it are alarming on their own:
Even when I heard this bit as a kid, I wondered: Why would famous TV stars need a drug to get women interested in them? Why is sex something to lie and cheat and scheme to get, rather than something to share? Hearing it now, it's positively chilling, especially the crowd's easy laughter, which suggests that Cosby was able to put over his fantasy of women stripped of their ability to say no as something near universal. Boys will be boys, hahaha, and then refuse ever to speak of it once they become rich and powerful men.
Listen to Cosby's 1969 jokes below: