Brandon Wetherbee is the host of You, Me, Them, Everybody, a podcast/talk show that is not nearly as good as any Bill Cosby bit. It records tonight at the Wonderland Ballroom with guests Haywood Turnipseed Jr., Dana Bell, Adam Friedland and The Mercy Alliance.
Cosby is the best. Better than Lenny Bruce or Richard Pryor or George Carlin or Steve Martin or Joan Rivers or Bob Newhart. All of those performers are amazing, inspiring, influential and other nice words. But Cosby is the best.
This isn’t a controversial or thought provoking statement. It just needs to be said every once in a while. The same way it’s important to bring up The Beatles every once in a while.
My good friend Adam Friedland brought up Mr. Cosby last night while catching up over drinks. Apropos of nothing, Adam mentioned Cosby’s bit about getting new trifocals. Adam reenacted the bit. It was great. It made me remember just how great Cosby was/is.
That bit? The bit right above this sentence? In addition to getting laughs over relatable minutia, this bit is also the last five years of Louis CK’s act. I’m not saying Louis CK stole anything or isn’t hilarious (he did not steal and he is hilarious), it’s just that Cosby did it in 1986.
I’ve gone through multiple Cosby kicks. The first was when I was 19, DJing at a pirate radio station in an abandoned movie theatre (because I’m a stereotype) and playing “The Best of Bill Cosby” record between garage rock/noise/hip-hop/free jazz acts no one has ever heard of and no one cares about anymore. Cosby broke up the noise. A story about Weird Harold was my favorite story to spin.
When the talk show began I gained some comedy friends. These comedy friends of mine enjoyed vices like alcohol and cigarettes and illegal drugs. Since vices aren’t very welcome when the sun is out we’d spend time together indulging in vice when it was very dark. Most of these nights began with a comedy show or two then go to a late night bar then someone’s house. Once we arrived at the house or apartment, a computer would be turned on and a YouTube spiral would begin. For an hour or two comics and friends of comics would play bits from podcasts and classic “Kids In The Hall” skits and Norm MacDonald late night appearances. The last thing played was a Bill Cosby bit. It was usually the classic, “Chocolate Cake.”
None of us ever played the bit about drunk people from “Himself.”
A bunch of people living below their potential, some on drugs, all drunk, never once played the bit that’s a mirror. Nope, we wanted to hear about a good dad and happy kids and chocolate cake.
Cosby is still good. The 76-year-old is not resting on his laurels. His March 2013 Letterman appearance is one of the best stand up sets of 2013.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ak-5-UDWek
“Go eat some jelly beans!” What is that? That’s amazing!
He’s using his face as a punchline. He’s pausing more than ever. He’s still tackling minutia. He’s screwing around with stereotypes of aging and dementia. He’s screwing around with the band. He’s off-the-cuff. He’s laying the groundwork for every working comic how to kill at 76.
Following the stand up is an equally good interview. Cosby came prepared. He knew what would work and made it work. Jesus Christ, this guy is good.
Side note: Who watched this clip on YouTube and decides to give it a thumbs down? Who? Why?
Later this year Cosby will release his first stand up special in 30 years, Bill Cosby: Far From Finished. I’m excited. I’m going to celebrate and eat some chocolate cake.
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful night.