It's Worth Revisiting Bill Cosby's Old Routine About Slipping Drugs Into Women's Drinks


Bill Cosby's 2005 deposition, which was obtained by the Associated Press and publicized Monday night, includes details of his sexual assault of women, in which he repeatedly drugged them before having sex with them. The news has reignited Cosby's sexual assault scandals, which emerged in December when he hired an investigation firm to collect information on 26 women who accused him of raping and drugging them. 

"He got Quaaludes with the intent of giving them to young women he wanted to have sex with," the AP writes

The revelations of Cosby's alleged systematic drugging and raping of women is disturbing enough. But the Village Voice uncovered a 1969 standup routine which takes the scandal down an even darker path. In it, Cosby jokes about a magic drug — the parallels with Rohypnol, or roofies, are striking — which allows men to have sex with women. What makes the entire recording even more distressing is the audience's uproarious laughter in response to Cosby's "joke."

"Guys stand around talking about Spanish Fly," Cosby says, appearing to use "Spanish Fly" as a euphemism for the date rape drug. "You know anything about Spanish Fly? 'No, tell me about it.' Well, there's this girl — Crazy Mary — you put some in her drink, man, she blahhhhhh [imitating the sound of an impaired woman] ... yeah." 

In the bit, Cosby describes the drug as "really groovy, man." After any man discovers the drug's power, Cosby claims they will crave it in perpetuity:

"Yeah, boy. From then on, man, any time you see a girl: Wish you had some Spanish Fly, boy. Go to a party, see five girls standing alone — boy, if I had a whole jug of Spanish Fly, I'd light that corner up over there."


To make matters even worse, Cosby discussed the joke on Larry King Live in 1991. The eponymous host can be seen giggling along and encourages Cosby as he explains what Spanish Fly is and describes its benefits. 

"You can drop it in a Coca-Cola, doesn't matter?" King says. "It doesn't," the comedian responds. "And the girl would drink it and..." 

"She's yours," King chimes in, finishing Cosby's sentence. 


Each new revelation of Cosby's predatory history exposes another dimension of America's perverse rape culture. From the laughing, goading audience during Cosby's date rape joke to Larry King egging Cosby on as he jokes about it during the interview, drugging and sexually assaulting women are celebrated in these instances. While people are right to be outraged about Cosby's alleged rapes, it would behoove them to think about where we draw the line of acceptability.