Bill Cosby

Posted in Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on July 10, 2016












As you may have heard, Bill Cosby is back in the news. If you want details, they won’t be tough to find. If you want to hear what people think about it all, that will be even easier to find.

PG quit watching TV about the time the Maytag repairman got his last service call. Allegedly, Mr. Cosby had a warm and fuzzy TV show a few years ago. A lot of people have trouble accepting that the wonderful man, on the boob tube, is a rapist. It was a performance by an actor.

When PG hears the name Bill Cosby, he goes back 50 years. It would be a summer afternoon like this one. A couple of doors down, a Bill Cosby comedy album would be playing on a monaural record player. We would have heard it a few dozen times already. Childhood would not have been the same without Bill Cosby comedy albums.

There was another incident. In 1981, PG was riding a bus to points west. In Reno NV, he left his bags at the station. Bill Cosby was performing in a casino. There was a ten dollar cover charge. The door man said that PG’s clothes were compliant with the dress code. And yet, PG did not feel like sitting down long enough to see the show. The opportunity passed by.

So, it is a July afternoon, just like one in 1966. With youtube, you can search for a Bill Cosby album. When you play one, Youtube/google superimposes an ad, telling you how to self publish poetry.

The first one to play was Wonderfulness. It has a picture of Mr. Cosby on an non motorized downhill device. PG remembers seeing the album on sale at K-mart. Listening to the first part of the album, the material was not familiar. And, truth be told, not very funny.

Comedy albums on vinyl are dinosaurs. Today, if you want to see a comedian, you can see something on cable tv, or a dvd, or a youtube. The concept of white boys sitting around listening to a black comic, on vinyl, is archaic. If Norman Rockwell had been relevant in the sixties he might have captured the moment. (Mr. Rockwell died in 1978, so it was possible. Saturday Evening Post was only bi-weekly by 1966, and might not have wanted to publish such a thing.)

The next album on the playlist was Why Is There Air? There were a few punch lines that PG could remember from 1966. If you are driving in San Francisco, and your VW bug rolls into the bay and you die, you go to hell. Its a lot funnier when Bill Cosby says it.

There was one routine, about pregnancy, that stands out. The possibility of a Polaroid baby… you kiss your wife, sixty seconds later the kid pops out, you did him in lacquer to keep him from fading. Today’s listener under forty will not have a clue what he is talking about.

The pregnancy routine talks about how tough it is for the mother, and the baby. One can only wonder if Mr. Cosby had begun the chemical seduction routine in 1966. The idea that Bill was out druggin and buggin, while Camille was at home having his babies, is not funny.

This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.












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