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DP File Photo

Comedian Bill Cosby will be the annual Connaissance Fall Speaker, the Student Planning and Events Committee announced Monday.

Cosby’s comedy career culminated in The Cosby Show on NBC, one of only three television series to maintain the number one spot in the Nielsen ratings for five seasons in a row. He has been a guest on talk shows such as the Dick van Dyke Show and The Tonight Show.

“We’re not going to have a problem convincing students who he is,” SPEC President and Wharton senior Adam Thompson said.

A Philadelphia native, Cosby is no stranger to Penn. He has been a regular for years at the Penn Relays, in which he ran as a high-school student in the 1940s. He was also Penn’s 1997 commencement speaker.

Thompson said Cosby was selected on the criteria that he would have “wide appeal to the community” and that he is someone students “would not have an opportunity to see speak otherwise.”

Many students are excited to hear Cosby speak.

College and Wharton sophomore Janson Pan plans to buy a ticket. “I’m so freakin’ excited,” he said.

Calling Cosby a “quality comedian,” College senior and Bloomers chairwoman Rachel Romeo asked, “Can I open for Bill Cosby? That’d be sweet.”

College sophomore Jonalyn Ongos exclaimed, “I love him. Oh my god! I grew up watching him.”

A few remarked that they were not familiar with Cosby’s show. “I know that he’s famous but I’ve never actually seen him act or any of his shows,” said College sophomore Irene Lee, who is from South Korea.

He will speak in Irvine Auditorium on October 20 at 8 p.m. PennCard holders can enter the ticket lottery on SPEC’s website starting Monday, October 4. Tickets will be five dollars each.

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