As a one-man comedy journalism band, sometimes I don't get to things as timely as I should, and other times things stack up on my desk and around my apartment, waiting for me to give them the proper attention they deserve here on The Comic's Comic. So when I do get to take a closer look, I'll do so with a new feature I'm calling Upon Further Review. Today: Bill Cosby.
The Cos was on The Jay Leno Show last night. He took Kevin Eubanks to musical comedy school for not knowing his cues, and took Leno to interview school by talking about how his wife has him on Twitter. This is a true thing. You can follow Bill Cosby's Twitter @billcosby. You can watch the Cosby/Leno interaction for a limited time on Hulu. Here's a clip:
But Cosby's appearance last night also is a good time to bring up some current/recent things he has been up to, all of which are worth your attention. For one, the Cos is going to be performing Saturday night in NYC for two shows, then sticking around the city for a livestream event on Monday night.
Yes. Details? On Oct. 19, Cosby and the Cosnarati Band will kick off his "State of Emergency" CD event with a virtual town hall meeting via Ustream, beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern on urban radio station web sites across the country as well as billcosby.com and facebook.com/billcosby, featuring songs from the CD as well as a live Q&A — you can participate through http://www.tinyurl.com/ASKCOSBY and http://twitter.com/BillCosby.
Secondly. All of these people snarking about Cosby putting educational lyrics into a hip-hop album haven't been reading their Picture Pages, because Cosby has been all about helping kids know their rights from their wrongs since you and I were kids. He long has known that children say and do the darnedest things, and it has been part of his life mission to make sure they do the right thing — he had a two-hour special last month with MSNBC called About Our Children.
Because lastly, and perhaps just as importantly, Bill Cosby continues to perform stand-up comedy at a top level for several hours a night. It reminds me of the scenes from Comedian, Jerry Seinfeld's documentary, in which Chris Rock talks up the Cos to Seinfeld and urges him to check out his show. That film came out in 2002. Seven years later, Cosby is now 72, and when I saw him this summer at Montreal's Just For Laughs festival, he did two shows, doing two different sets of more than two hours apiece. He could sit there, only needed a chair and a bottle of water and a box of tissues on the table next to him, as he regaled the audience with tales from his childhood. All of the people in show business and comedy who talk about the storytelling craze in comedy should remember that Cosby has been teaching us all the master class in stand-up storytelling for five decades. The show I saw in July had the Cos spending most of his set discussing how he awkwardly and humorously learned about sex, going back to when he was 7 and spying on his best friend's older brother, thinking "If a girl ever put her tongue in my mouth, I would punch her so hard in the stomach that she'd have a baby." There was facial mugging, to be sure, but Cos also could get up out of his chair to roll around on the floor. And there was the encore of the dentist routine from Bill Cosby: Himself. Hard to believe that Cos still can pull that routine out of the bag a quarter century later and kill. Then again, he's just being himself. Go and see Bill Cosby perform live if you get the chance to do so. You'll be glad you did.