Jerry Seinfeld, doing the rounds to promote his new Netflix special, stopped in to The Late Show With Stephen Colbert last night, where the two men briefly debated whether it was still possible to enjoy Bill Cosby's comedy in light of the dozens of allegations of sexual assault against the comedian.
While discussing comedic influences, Bill Cosby comes up, giving Colbert an opportunity to ask Seinfeld if he can still listen to the man's comedy. Seinfeld shrugs and says that he can still listen to Cosby, who he said has the greatest body of work in comedy. Colbert on the other hand, says that he can't bear to do it anymore despite the fact that listening to Cosby albums "saved my life" after a tragedy when Colbert was younger.
"It's tragic," Seinfeld says of the accusations against Cosby, "but there's a lot of tragedy in comedy, there's a lot of people who have tragic lives," in comedy Seinfeld says, bringing up Jerry Lewis cutting his sons out of his will. Though Seinfeld did quickly agree with Colbert that Cosby's alleged drugging and raping women wasn't the same thing as Lewis denying his children money.
Earlier this year, Seinfeld had the same discussion with Norm Macdonald, though in this case it was Seinfeld asking Macdonald if he was able to separate the man from the art. Which, Macdonald suggested he could: Macdonald said, "Not at all," before bringing up hypothetical scenarios for comparison,
"[If you hear] Beethoven raped his own daughter...would you care?"
"I would," Seinfeld said, "That's pretty bad, pick a different crime."
Seinfeld has counted Cosby as a huge influence for his entire career, and back in 2014 called the sexual assault allegations against Cosby "sad and incomprehensible. Two years ago, Seinfeld asked the publisher of a biography of Cosby to drop an endorsement blurb for the book after the allegations began coming to light.