Some aspiring comedians think they need to start performing stand-up as soon as possible; like yesterday, even. Just watch Bill Cosby. Take notes.
Cosby returned to Late Show with David Letterman last night, and at 75, he remains at the top of his game. Even when he’s pretending he isn’t, as he did in this performance which plays with the notion of dementia and is unlike most any stand-up clips you’ve probably seen of Cosby in the past 30 years. For one thing, the Cos gets out of his chair. Wait. As you let that soak in, remember this: Cosby says he only dove into a comedy career at 24 — but that means he has been entertaining us and making us laugh for going on 51 years. Also this: While comedians only half as legendary as Cosby (or those who’d be delighted to be mentioned in the same sentence as him) rush right past the microphone and stage to skip to panel talks on late-night TV shows, the Cos still prefers to prove his worth as a stand-up comedian first; chat guest second.
Back to the chair. When was the last time you saw a Cosby stand-up clip like this?! It’s almost Kaufman-esque if you really stop to think about what he accomplishes in his first six minutes, toying with Paul Shaffer and the band and the audience’s sensibilities. Love it.
Cosby. Still tops.
This clip covers both his stand-up, as well as his panel chat with Dave, in which he continues to poke fun at his old age and also talks about how the Harlem Globetrotters theme song impacted his own high-school basketball years. Roll it!