Bill Cosby For some people being funny is a simple thing for them to do. They just have to turn up, bust a move, sing a song, and then allow the audience to soak up the ambience in their wake. Now a good example of this would be in this interview between Bill and Dick that lasted for a whole 66-minutes' in 1971. Check it out to see what I mean.

Dick Cavett - Bill Cosby

He is a producer. He is a stand-up comic. He is an actor. He is a teacher. He is a recording artist. And he is black, sports a mustache and glasses, plus smokes a cigar as well. No - it's not a black Groucho Marx - its Bill Cosby - and he's the man who sits down and then has a chat with his one-time college, Dick Cavvett, live on his late night talk show.

Now in fine form this program commences when both Dick and Bill banter with each other about their early days in stand-up - which is a vocation that they shared with other comedians like Richard Prior and Woody Allen. Thankfully, this then gives them the opening that they need to start talking about - the current state of play with Richard - 'booming' on stage - tooth ache - and the wonderful world of Bill.

Next, Bill explains to Dick his most recent movie project 'Man and Boy', and how he was urged to finance this movie himself, due to the fact that 'Black Cowboys' were not a done deal in the film business. Moreover, this topic of conversation leads Bill to explain how he perceives America's 'racial issue', and how he is trying to curb this by educating himself, whilst devising a televisual-teaching aide called 'The Electronics Company'. Plus, in addition to this, Bill also elaborates on topics such as music and his own brand of vocal lunacy. 

Here, have a read of a couple of Bill's quotes taken from the show:

  • If I boom on stage in the first five minutes, I turn my thirty-five minute act into a fifteen minute act by saying it faster.
  • You look like Gary Cooper, Dick - he was 4'11 too.
  • The best performance I ever did in my life was when I went on stage and told the audience that I had a headache - it lasted two hours.
  • My family has a strange sense of humor, and I would not want to wish it on anybody in the world.
  • The strongest thing that my mother ever took in her life was deodorant.
  • Why would a cowboy go into a bar and ask for milk? Why couldn't he have just gone to a Deli or something?
  • Even thought I like to watch 'Amon and Andy' in my own home - I understand why it was taken off of the air because of how America is today.
  • Now who would have guessed that I would have wanted go to the library at the age of 34? When I a kid, you would have had to beat me to get me into one of those places!

In closing the show, Bill tries to lighten the mood a bit by saying to Dick 'Quick. Think of something funny to say'. Ha!

When I was a kid, I remember that I used to quickly rush home from school, do my homework as best as I can, and then watch one of my most favorite programs on the old goggle-box (not Google box). That program was 'The Cosby Show'.

I loved it I did - as I saw this cool and hip family that just had something for everyone. It had a foxy Mum - a cute little sister - a sexy older sister - a boisterous brother - and a Dad that made me want to buy some black paint, and splash mine with a darker hue. Like 'The Simpsons' by another color.

You see, Bill Cosby just seemed so sharp and so debonair to my impressionable young eyes, that everything he did felt right to me. He said funny things - he did funny things - and he was a funny thing. Heck, that's why when I saw him on this episode of the Dick Cavvett show, I was not disappointed at all.

In fact, I was somewhat impressed as well.

Bill Cosby Glasses

For example: (1) Bill had a very nice and relaxed way of presenting himself - and this made whatever he said appear funnier somehow - even if he did not mean it to be. (2) Bill's take on seventies 'racial culture' was very insightful indeed - and showed that you had to understand the ways of 'those on high', for you to be able to satirize them. (3) Bill's willingness to learn and better himself was very apparent with what he was doing at the time - which was to go into higher education and gain a PHD, so that he could also devise his show 'The Electric Company'. To me, this showed great temerity - and just proved that it is never too late to adapt to change. (4)  My personal favorite segment in this show was when Bill and Dick talked about their time together on the stand-up circuit. Boy-oh-boy, could you imagine what it would be like to be sitting in a coffee shop with Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, and Richard Prior? Class in a coffee-can! (5) Bill's skill for mimicry and riffing on a routine is just a lovely thing to watch - plus it made his conversation with Dick appear more like a chain of thought than a conventional question and answer season. And (6) I loved it when Bill came on stage looking like a black Groucho Marx. Granted, he did not mean it. Still, I loved it. Ha!

Bill Cosby

Overall 'Bill Cosby on the Dick Cavvett show' was a nice slice of both American history and a man in his prime. Moreover, the rapport between host and interviewee really did emolliate the proceedings - even if on occasion Dick did seem to be somewhat flummoxed with what Bill was saying to him. Nevertheless - great show - and well worth the watch for all you comedy-historians out there in cyberspace.