Bill Cosby, Noah and me

While commenting on a post which reviewed the movie “Noah” I felt compelled to end my comment with recognition that I liked Bill Cosby’s “Noah” better. The blog author concurred. Cosby was already a notable stand up comic, when he wrote and presented his famous “Noah” skit. The back and forth between Cosby’s, at first, unbelieving Noah and God is priceless. With each instruction from God, Cosby’s Noah would say “right” in a skeptical way. If you have not seen or heard Cosby’s “Noah,” please do yourself a favor and link to the attached video:

Cosby would go on to fame with his first TV show, “I Spy” which was actually a drama. But, after several tries, he finally hit it big on TV as Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show” which was a TV ongoing version of his most famous comedy stand-up routine called “Bill Cosby, Himself.” The routine and the show speak to the humor around his large family. The show remains one of the most treasured comedy shows in TV history.

However, long before his huge TV stardom, I was given a Bill Cosby comedy album while in the sixth grade. I remember this as I would play it endlessly memorizing each skit. In fact, my teacher let me pretend to be Bill Cosby and get in front of the class to deliver the comedy routines. She even talked another sixth grade teacher into letting me do an encore. I probably was not as funny as I thought I was, no matter how good the material. But, I did have in my favor, that by listening to me, the class was not doing school work.

These routines would include my version of “Noah” as well as some other routines such as “Toss of a Coin” where various battles would follow a toss of a coin. Because they won the toss, the American rebels could shoot from behind the rocks and trees, while the British had to wear red and march in a straight line and so on. “Karate” where Cosby would learn Karate then go into dark alleys with money hanging from his pocket only to be accosted by a midget. “Little Tiny Hairs” was about men’s need to rip their face to shreds to rid themselves of “little tiny hairs growing out of my face.”

We had the good fortune to take our whole family to see Cosby perform. It was quite the treat, especially for me. He re-did his “Dentist” routine where he said you could actually walk out of the chair using only your buttocks. Since Cosby was always above-board, parents never hesitated to take their kids. In fact, during his “Bill Cosby, Himself” DVD, Cosby goes out of his way to define his wife’s pain in child delivery when she stood up in the stirrups and told everyone in the room “my parents were never married.” I have never seen my mother laugh so hard when we first watched that together.

I will always have a strong affinity for Bill Cosby. To me, he is a paragon of comedy. There are similarly funny people, but we are hard pressed to find some who has done it for so long at such a high-caliber. Plus, he is far more than that. He is civic-minded and is a spokesperson for many in need. He is a gift to us all. Thanks for all you have done for many, especially me.

7 thoughts on “Bill Cosby, Noah and me

  1. Comedy is and will always be a mystery to me. I was married to a man who by everyone else’s account was comedy personified. I just thought he was the king of non-sequiturs. But the beauty of comedy is it’s relief. There is no better way to diffuse a tense situation than to slip in some off-the-wall comedic commentary about it. Everyone relaxes, steps back and tries again. Obviously, I’m not the one you want to have around you in a tense situation! ;-}

    • Linda, your second two sentences are a microcosm for many, many folks where the public persona does not match up with the private persona. The life of the party can be less enthralling when away from the party. But, I digress. Comedy does all you say it does when done well. Cosby does it well. The are others who are so over the top, we don’t find them as funny as others do. Yet, at the end of the day, if we are laughing, we are not fighting or crying, at least at that moment. Thanks for your comments, BTG

      PS – My daughter has a delightful sense of humor. When dropping her off for an exam at the local community college, we saw a man walking across the street with a bicycle helmet on. She noted immediately, “well you never can be too safe” and we burst out laughing.

  2. I love Bill Cosby. One of my favorite skits of his was when he made his kids chocolate cake for his kids for breakfast. “Dad is great, give us the chocolate cake!” Then mom finds out! Funny! Once when I was irritated with my dad as a kid, he asked if I would rather have Cliff Huxtable as a dad. Then he started to imitate him to make me laugh. It’s a fond memory:)

    • Amaya, that is a classic one. I am glad you and your dad had a great moment over Bill Cosby. I also like the one where his son came home with a reverse Mohawk and his wife told him to go upstairs and kill your son. When he got up there, he asked him what happened to his hair. He said “I don’t know.” Cosby said, “Son, was your head with you all day?”

  3. Note to Readers: I was looking again at the album cover which has a more expanded version of Cosby’s Noah routine. The piece included as a link was from a Cosby appearance on the Johnny Carson Show and a much shorter version. To me, the funniest line comes toward the end of the album version when Noah is extremely frustrated and tired. He finally complains to God, “Have you looked in the bottom of the ark? No. Who’s going to clean up that mess down there? To which, God responds with thunder, lightning and rain. Noah concludes after hearing the rain, “It’s me you and Lord” and gets back to work.

  4. Note to Readers: I felt with the storm of activity pointed at Bill Cosby these past few months, I owed an update to this post. I am disappointed that with the number of folks coming forward that my boyhood idol and someone we all welcomed into our homes each week on TV appears to have done things wrong. Someone should not be tried in the court of public opinion, but the shear number of women who claim sexual abuse is staggering. I am sure there will be questionable claims by some who may not have their story straight, but that should not discredit the numbers of woman who appear to have been taken advantage of. I mention this as I saw one person was claiming abuse when Cosby was not in that town on those days. These stories are highly troubling to me and his many fans. I hope they are not true, but it appears that they may.

    • Note to Readers: updating this on July 7, 2015, evidence was released from a court settlement where Cosby admitted to buying drugs to make women drowsy to have sex with them. This revelation breaks my heart as I am sure it does others.

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