Bill Cosby on laughs, race and pound cake | Rock Candy

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bill Cosby on laughs, race and pound cake

Posted By on Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Bill Cosby comes to Robinson Center Music Hall April 1.
  • Bill Cosby comes to Robinson Center Music Hall April 1.

The Arkansas Times recently spoke with legendary comedian and actor Bill Cosby in advance of his April 1 performance at Robinson Center Music Hall.


Arkansas Times: How would you describe the style of your humor?

Bill Cosby: A friend sitting with friends. Storytelling. Identification, and being very, very specific about making the listener see and understand exactly what I’m talking about.

How has your style changed over the years?

In my young years, in my 20s, 30s and 40s, I would go out and plant my feet to destroy. I’d just not let them breathe. Now, it’s the appreciation, it’s like — the difference between eating great barbecue with the fingers and the sauce and mixing the coleslaw with the French fries and the beans, and the meat at the same time for flavors. Now it’s gourmet time, and there’s an appreciation of getting the tastes for everything, and maybe taking longer to eat, but tasting more. So there are smiles and then there’s conversation. There’s reality, there’s laughter and there’s a lot of face hurting. Because the people are laughing, and laughing hard.

You were a young man when the Little Rock Nine were sent to Central High School. What do you remember about that event? How did it make you feel?

I do think that, when one looks at those photographs, of those angry people … when I look at them, and their faces, where they’re yelling at those children, I see an anger that, although controlled, if not controlled, could really and truly do bodily and physical harm. Because they’ve been taught something, and they’re sick. [Now,] one can see that publicly, in voting, that the numbers have changed. But there’s still this sickness, so that we have the youngsters who have come along … in politics that are still trying to take away the voting rights of black people while looking like they are not really aiming at them.

It’s going on 10 years since your "pound cake" speech. A lot of people loved and a lot of people hated what you had to say in 2004. Would you make the same speech today?

There’s a fellow, his name is Earl Lloyd, who wrote a very wonderful book [“Moonfixer: The Basketball Journey of Earl Lloyd”]. He tells a story that goes with my pound cake story. As a kid he came home, and his mom says, “Where have you been?” She says, “You’ve been out there with those boys,” speaking of the boys who stand on the corner and do nothing, then go off and do something, and get into trouble. She says, “I don’t want you with those boys.” And he says, “But mom, I wasn’t doing anything.” Mom says, “If you’re not in the picture, you can’t be framed.” You want to save your child’s life then you teach your child: ‘You leave those things alone. You are more valuable than a slice of pound cake.’ Now anybody who doesn’t like that, I just feel sorry for them.

Your business is understanding how to make people laugh. So who are some people — or movies, shows, whatever — that make you laugh?

I will take everything you just asked and change it. I just had a laugh yesterday … that was so hard that tears ran, that the left and right side of my body burned. Well, it was because my grandchildren, three of them, had come to the house and they wanted me to be the monster. So it’s after dinner, and here they come, and all I do is just walk. I don’t walk like Frankenstein or anything, I just walk, and they run.

So this particular evening, I was just walking around, and I went upstairs. This one granddaughter, I guess she had just totally forgotten, and she came out of the bedroom and turned around, and she turned and saw me, and lost all vocabulary. I think, had she been a paramecium, she would have split. Her left leg was going left, her right leg was going right. And I lost it. I lost it, and, last night, while sitting in the bed, my wife is sitting across from me in our bedroom. And I started to describe it to her, and lost it again, and my wife started laughing, and our daughter started laughing. There was a confusion of whether they were laughing at me, just laughing, or whether they really saw the picture. Either way, it was one of the best ones I’ve had in quite a while.

Bill Cosby will perform at Little Rock’s Robinson Center Music Hall, April 1 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $34-$81.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Philip M. Provost

Readers also liked…

  • Federal judge wants John Goodson to explain class action maneuvering

    A show-cause order filed Monday by federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith indicates class action attorney John Goodson has some explaining to do about the move of a class action complaint against an insurance company from federal to state court with an instant pre-packaged settlement that has been criticized as a windfall for Goodson.
    • Dec 22, 2015
  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016
  • John Goodson and others add lawyers for hearing on forum shopping

    Lawyers facing federal court sanctions for forum shopping a class action insurance case have brought in new legal guns from out of state to fight potential sanctions.
    • May 26, 2016

People who saved…

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Riverfest calls it quits

    • Executive Director and the board failed the festival. Period. They blame other festivals, rising costs,…

    • on July 21, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation