Published on November 23rd, 2013 | by Kevin Young0
Growing Up on the Coz
My first exposure to the genius of William H. Cosby was back in the late ’70s every Saturday morning. Sandwiched between episodes of Looney Tunes Hour and Soul Train was Cosby’s animated kid’s show, Fat Albert.
Outside of the violent misadventures of Bugs Bunny and Tom & Jerry, the only worthwhile cartoon for me was Fat Albert and The Cosby Kids. At the beginning of each episode, “the Coz” would intro a story such as “The Runt,” the tale of Fat Albert’s new friend Pee Wee being constantly dissed by the gang. Naturally, the tale ends on a happy note, punctuated by the song “Don’t Look Down On a Small Guy,” which offered a synopsis of the previously mentioned parable. Along with any valuable lessons I was given, I was treated to a funky song and the kid-friendly coolness of Bill Cosby.
The next time I saw the Coz was on HBO. This time, it was the 1983 concert movie, Bill Cosby Himself. It was amazing how effortless and off-the-cuff his stand up was. I was little, but old enough to laugh at his facial expressions, voice impressions, and overall cranky demeanor.
One year later, NBC premiered his sitcom The Cosby Show. I watched it eagerly. I loved to recognize certain bits of stand-up from the movie turned into scenes for his TV show. I’ll always remember Cosby saying, “You know, I brought you in this world, and I can take you out,” in his stand up and then reiterating said statement to Theo (Malcolm Jamal Warner) in the show’s pilot episode.
It didn’t take long for the show to blow up like a laughter-filled explosion. The Coz was everywhere. If it weren’t for him, I never would’ve known about dads that could turn into ghosts. If it weren’t for him, I never would’ve known how cool his I-Spy co-star Robert Culp was. If it weren’t for him, I never would’ve been curious why the films Leonard Part 1 through 5 were unavailable to rent, but there were multiple copies of Leonard Part 6 everywhere. If it weren’t for him, I never would’ve known to have a New Coke and a smile. If it weren’t for him, I never would’ve known never known awesomely delicious Jell-O Pudding Pops were.
Like his character Ghost Dad, Cosby himself has become an entity that rose up here and there with various mildly successful television shows (The Bill Cosby Show, The Cosby Mysteries) and books (Friends of a Feather: One of Life’s Little Fables, I Didn’t Ask to Be Born [But I’m Glad I Was]).
On Nov. 24, the man himself will perform his “Far From Finished” show at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center from 7-10 p.m. with tickets from $56 to $76 a pop. To some that may seem steep, but to those who know and love the genius of the man whose kept us laughing for decades, it’s priceless — like those Cosby Show sweaters he used to rock back in the day.
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