THE FIRST time I ever heard of Bill Cosby (pictured) it was by accident. The Cosby Show was showing and his character uttered a line that I will never forget. It was the funniest thing at the time, and to date people still say it, although in different ways.
He said, “Which part of the word NO are you failing to get?”.
There is no doubt about it: Cosby is the godfather of comedy. Through Cosby, the sitcom, he carved his own niche and managed to portray blacks as affluent and ambitious just as all other races.
The show was one of the most successful sitcoms of the ’90s and it went on to build careers of the likes of Raven Simone and Doug E Doug. Although it was his show, Cosby never let the light shine on him too much and was happy to share it with the other cast members.
But that was TV. One of Cosby’s main interests has always been stand-up comedy. He has been at it since 1962 and very few people can say that they are in the same league.
Thanks to TV and other commitments, Cosby has not been able to do as many stand-up gigs as we would have liked. And with that, time came and went, and the stand-up scene adapted to a new era.
Now you have names like Chris Rock, Anthony Jeselnik and even our own Trevor Noah who rule the stage.
It is almost as if Cosby is dead, he has been gone for so long.
For this reason, two things are likely to happen when he steps on the stage in his first comedy special in three decades, Bill Cosby: Far From Finished. One, the older crowd will probably sympathise with him and relate to some of his senior citizen material, while the rest of the world fail to get it or, as we all hope, he’ll let it rip and show us that, as the title of show suggests, he is far from finished.
For Cosby, comic timing comes naturally. Thanks to his droopy look, you can start laughing simply by looking at him. So he’s not going to jump up and down on the stage like that Martin Lawrence rubbish that comes with lack of good material.
But looks are not enough. Chris Rock looks funny too, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to come up with good jokes. For any comedian those are a must. Cosby has no problem in that area.
After you get over the face, it’s the hilarious stuff he mumbles and how he does it that will have you in stitches. Even if he decides to keep it real and tell ancient jokes, Cosby’s material is still funnier than most of the talented dudes today. He might not have jokes about Twitter or Instagram, but just like watching Sanford & Son today, Cosby’s work is nothing short of classic.
You get your comics like Jeselnik, who are quite funny but soil their set with foul language. This will not be the case with Cosby, I am sure. He doesn’t need to use the F-word or N-word to enhance his jokes.
It’s 2014 and Bill Cosby is back, you better tell somebody.
• Bill Cosby Special: Far From Finished airs on Comedy Central (DStv Channel 122) tonight at 9pm.