A year after joining the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” Kenan Thompson starred in the 2004 live-action film adaptation of “Fat Albert,” which was originally an animated series created by comedian Bill Cosby in the 1970s. Thompson not only played the titular character, but also appeared on-screen with Cosby himself during a scene in the movie. Sadly, the film’s legacy would be tainted in the mid-2010s, when over 60 women came out with allegations against Cosby for sexual assault, resulting in a legal fallout that destroyed the reputation of “America’s Dad.”
As someone who not only worked with Cosby but was influenced by his comedy, Thompson was heartbroken at learning the truth about a figure he considered an inspiration, telling Variety in 2021, regarding “The Cosby Show,” “It was a show that brought everybody together, and it was all positive. It’s tough to separate the man from the art.”
However, Thompson may have been one of few people who recognized clues that something with Cosby was amiss, albeit in hindsight. During an interview on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” Thompson recalled an instance while filming “Fat Albert” where — in terms far too crass for Cliff Huxtable to ever use — Cosby advised him to be prepared for all the attention from women he would get after the movie.
If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN’s National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).