Friday, June 17, 2011

Bill Cosby laughs on life

Iconic comedian, writer and entertainer to keep it real

Express Staff Writer

Courtesy photo Bill Cosby will perform at the Sun Valley Pavilion on Wednesday, June 22, at 7:30 p.m.

"Yes, it is," said Bill Cosby when he answered the phone for an Idaho Mountain Express interview.

A living comedic and television legend and author, Cosby will bring his wit, style and incredible sense of humor to a Sun Valley audience for a performance at the Sun Valley Pavilion on Wednesday, June 22, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets—which vary in price from $29 to $81.25—are available online at or by calling the Sun Valley Recreation Office at 622-2135.

For 49 years, Cosby has been one of America's most beloved comedians. When he goes on stage, he talks about subject matters that he identifies as a part of life.

"At 28, Billy Cosby was hot," he said. "In my day, profanity was really an advanced move for me. Now, comedians all use profanity and there's not a word they have not uncovered."

Cosby said it was a huge moment in his life when he was on stage with his mother in the audience and he was making the decision whether or not to use the word "hell."

"I had to use the word 'hell' or people would not laugh," he said. "The word 'hell' in my family and to my mother was a curse word. If you did wrong things, you were told you would be going down the hottest sliding board ever."

Cosby said he thinks avoiding the use of profanity is smart humor. In addition, Cosby said audiences don't have to "row the boat" when it comes to being entertained, they just need to sit back and he will "row the boat" for them.

Cosby has fans of all ages from his comedy routines, iconic albums and best-selling books, including "Fatherhood." His comedy transcends age, gender and cultural barriers. He broke television's racial barrier with "I Spy," becoming the first African-American to costar on a television series while winning three consecutive Emmy Awards. He created and produced the Emmy-winning cartoon "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids," which began airing in the 1970s and was made into a film in 2004. The show, based on Cosby's childhood in Philadelphia, was designed to educate and entertain.

His greatest contribution to American entertainment and culture is "The Cosby Show," about a close-knit, upper-class black family. Cosby's next book, "I Didn't Ask to Be Born, But I'm Glad I Was," will be released by the Hachette Book Group in November. Cosby talks about the Bible, being a grandfather and his first love in his humorous and insightful manner.

He and his wife, Camille, have raised four daughters, Erika, Erinn, Ensa and Evin, and one son, Ennis. They now have three grandchildren.  

His performances, he said, are almost always spontaneous.

"Walking out on stage is the most planning I do for a show," he said.

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