A BREAK EXCLUSIVE: The nation was shocked when allegations came out in the news that everyone’s favorite TV dad, Bill Cosby, was actually a creepy serial rapist. Almost everyday new allegations surface that Dr. Huxtable is really Mr. Hyde. These allegations have put a halt to Bill Cosby’s career with TV Land pulling episodes of the Cosby Show, standup comedy gigs being cancelled, and NetFlix has cancelled a Cosby special. But the allegations against Bill Cosby have hurt more than Bill Cosby and his victims –it has also hurt our nation’s hardworking Bill Cosby celebrity impersonators.
Lloyd Diamond is a New York-based comedian and celebrity impersonator. As a child, Lloyd had a gift for doing impressions of Jerry Lewis, Richard Pryor, and especially Bill Cosby. His friends in high school encouraged him to pursue a career in comedy. Since then he’s appeared on Showtime at the Apollo, Chapelle’s Show, and America’s Got Talent. Lloyd also played Sammy Davis Jr. in the production of “The Tribute to the Rat Pack” in Las Vegas. Lloyd also does impersonations of James Brown, Ray Charles, Chris Rock, Jerry Lewis, and Michael Jackson and many others.
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But now allegations have surfaced about one of his most popular celebrity impersonations, Bill Cosby. Lloyd sat down with Break (at his computer via email) to talk to us about how the Bill Cosby allegations are affecting his career as a Bill Cosby celebrity impersonator. Break asks the hard-hitting questions that no other media outlet would dare ask a Bill Cosby celebrity impersonator!
BREAK: How did you get started as a Bill Cosby Impersonator?
BILL COSBY IMPERSONATOR: I originally started out as a stand-up. I did that for 13 years for NO money and it got to the point that I wasn’t having fun with it so I kind of took a break until I could figure out what I was gonna do next. In my comedy I always did impressions so the character stuff I’m doing now wasn’t hard for me to do.
BREAK: Can anyone else in your family do a Bill Cosby impersonation?
BILL COSBY IMPERSONATOR: I’m born and raised in NY and no, no one else in my family can do impressions. As a child I was always funny. I watched a lot of TV and would imitate what I saw for my friends. In my teens I knew if I did something funny I could get a reaction.
BREAK: Have Bill Cosby’s recent problems effected your being booked for Bill Cosby impersonating gigs – or has there been an increase for those jobs because he’s in the news?
BILL COSBY IMPERSONATOR: Cosby’s issues haven’t affected me cuz I recently got requests to do him. I felt it wasn’t in good taste or a good time so I declined.
BREAK: Who was requesting you to do impersonate Bill Cosby – and what type of event was it?
BILL COSBY IMPERSONATOR: The request I got was kinda silly. They wanted me to be Cosby working as a bartender serving drinks. That was the only request I’ve received. The person that requested was a guy from Jersey.
BREAK: What was your reaction when you heard about the Bill Cosby allegations in the news?
BILL COSBY IMPERSONATOR: My reaction was utter shock cuz Cosby always had a clean-cut image.
BREAK: Do you think there will be a time you would want to impersonate Bill Cosby again?
BILL COSBY IMPERSONATOR: I’d like to impersonate him again but it won’t be a smart move to do him with the controversy that came up surrounding him.
BREAK: Since the controversy has put the breaks on your Bill Cosby impersonating, what impressions are you currently working on to add to your act?
BILL COSBY IMPERSONATOR: I’m trying to expand and learn more impersonations like Bob Marley and Barry White.
BREAK: (In regards to Bill Cosby problems) what is your showbiz philosophy?
BILL COSBY IMPERSONATOR: My philosophy is show biz is like a roller coaster it’s a fun ride with a lot of twists, turns and ups and downs, but if you sit back and enjoy it, it can be fun. Another philosophy is enjoy your work first, cuz if you get into it just for money, you’re going to fail. Jerry Seinfeld once said for comedians to just “shut up and work” I guess that can fit for anyone. I’ll change it and say just enjoy your work and don’t read about what other performers got going on. Focus on your own work and you’ll be fine.
To book (former) Bill Cosby Impersonator Visit Lloyd Diamond
Follow Harmon Leon on Twitter @HarmonLeon