Things changed drastically for Hannibal Buress after a joke he made about Bill Cosby went viral.
The comedian’s bit reignited the media firestorm against Cosby, who had been accused of drugging and raping women. Following Buress’ joke, dozens of women came forward to claim the star of “The Cosby Show” violated them, and lawsuits were filed by the accusers. Then, on July 6, a judge partially unsealed documents from a 2005 Cosby deposition, in which he admitted to purchasing quaaludes with the intent of giving them to women he wished to have sex with.
And many Buress fans have been quick credit Buress with spurring the collapse of Cosby’s empire.
"You can't predict s--t like that,” Buress told GQ of the Cosby’s fall from grace.
The magazine questioned him about being painted as a feminist icon.
"People are going to put on you whatever they want to put on you. It is conflicting, because people think I'm like this amazing guy or something,” he reflected. "I'm a decent guy."
The Twitterverse, however, tells a different story. On social media, some have labeled Buress a hero.
Comedian Hannibal Buress is a hero. He basically revitalized the Bill Cosby is a rapist topic.— Nique. (@PolosNKicks) July 16, 2015
The more I discover about Bill Cosby, the more I want to thank @hannibalburess— The Tokist (@thetokist) July 19, 2015
@hannibalburess tugged on a loose thread and started the unwinding of the shroud hiding a monster. That is amazing.— Kevin Erhard (@kevinerhard) July 9, 2015
The Cosby accusations have impacted Buress’ career too.
His viral Cosby bit immediately catapulted the up-and-coming comic into the limelight, but it also stalled a project he had in the works. He revealed to GQ the announcement of his Comedy Central show was delayed, in the hopes of waiting to promote the series until the Cosby uproar had died down.
"This deal closed, like, June of last year," Buress told GQ. But even so, once “Why? with Hannibal Buress” was finally announced, some Twitter users slammed Buress and defended Cosby, stating the funnyman who “sold-out” Cosby shouldn’t have a show.
So, does Buress regret making the Cosby joke? He told GQ he doesn't.
And he has—obviously—kept his sense of humor throughout never-ending Cosby/Buress headlines. At Justin Bieber’s Comedy Central Roast he quipped, "I hate your music more than Bill Cosby hates my comedy."
Click here to read Buress’ entire interview in GQ.