Bill Cosby.
Despite multiple accusations of sexual assault, comedian Bill Cosby has never been chargedReuters

Hannibal Buress has provoked controversy after branding fellow comedian Bill Cosby a "rapist" during a stand-up set.

The New York-based funnyman was performing at the Trocadero in Philadelphia when he touched on the sexual abuse allegations that have blighted The Cosby Show creator for over a decade.

Multiple women have accused the entertainer, best known for playing of one of America's favourite dads, Dr Heathcliff Huxtable, of drugging and sexually assaulting them in recent years.

Although no cases have gone to trial and Cosby has never been publicly accused of rape, Buress insisted that it was hypocritical to give out advice considering his alleged seedy past.

"It's even worse because Bill Cosby has the f***in' smuggest old black man persona that I hate," Buress told the audience.

"He gets on TV, 'Pull your pants up black people, I was on TV in the 80s! I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom!' Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches."

"I guess I want to just at least make it weird for you to watch Cosby Show reruns. I've done this bit on stage and people think I'm making it up... when you leave here, Google 'Bill Cosby rape'. That sh** has more results than 'Hannibal Buress.'"

Although Cosby has yet to comment, online discussions have raged on since on Buress's remarks went viral.

"Some folk would like to destroy him, because he refused to be controlled, he is his OWN MAN," one fan posted.

Another wrote: "He's been accused of it, but has never even been charged with any such thing. If Hannibal ever gets famous enough, he will discover that people will accuse big celebrities of all sorts of stuff without evidence - Hannibal has just made that point with his own 'act'.

"Cosby has a long history of messing with women - both those who wanted his attention and those who didn't - for decades. So don't be mad at Buress for keeping it real."