On Friday night, Husband and I went to see Bill Cosby perform. We were very curious to see if he would have an opening act (like Jerry Seinfeld did earlier this year), but our question was answered pretty quickly when a few minutes after the 8 pm showtime, the man himself sauntered out onto the stage and sat down in a makeshift "living room" setting with a chair, a table, and a trashcan. He wore open-toed sandals, athletic windbreaker pants and a grey sweatshirt emblazoned with the phrase "HELLO FRIEND." The only aspect belying the intimate setting was the large TV screen hung up behind him so that all us cheapskates in the upper balcony seats didn't miss out on any of Cosby's renowned facial expressions!
He started out tentatively, asking a roadie to bring out water a few times and the sound guy to turn down the echoing sound, both lighthearted requests that warmed the audience up just as effectively as an "opening act" would have, and serving the double purpose of endearing Cosby to his audience right from the start.
For the next two hours and fifteen minutes, Cosby told a series of funny stories, ranging from fried turkey fiascos to his grandchild's Godzilla obsession to his confusion about the Book of Genesis. Apparently, (at least according to Husband) some of the stories were his old standby jokes, but it was all new to me, and even Husband enjoyed the nostalgic flavor of the oldies but goodies. He had an overall theme of "Thanksgiving" jokes, which he almost skipped, when early on he started to tell a Halloween story and stopped mid-sentence because the "voices in his head" were telling him to do the Thanksgiving bit.
At seventy-three years old, Cosby was just as lovable and vibrant as I always imagine him, with a little bit of curmudgeonly grandfather tossed in, too. A few times while watching him, scenes from Ghost Dad (my Cosby-throwback memory of choice) popped into my head with a certain inflection in his voice, or movement of his hands. I occasionally caught myself focusing more on the large TV screen behind Cosby, and I tried to force myself to watch him instead, to get the real experience rather than filtered through a TV lens.
At the end of the night, my face hurt from smiling for two straight hours, and my abs ached from laughing. I had even laughed at all of the wife jokes that normally seem jaded to me in comedy routines--but from Cosby they seemed more like an endearing tribute to his life and family. (And how could I contain myself when he complained about how his wife gives him only one drawer in the house for his clothes....and it's always moving....) He even managed to slip in a few "grown-up" jokes without ever having to elaborate inappropriately (I saw some young kids in attendance). In fact, his timidity and feigned baffledness at such topics, was itself funnier than any explicit joke would have been.
All in all, it was a fantastic night, and very reasonably priced, which I'm going to further attribute to Cosby's awesomeness (even though I have no idea how prices get figured). And, dear readers, for allowing me to indulge myself today in preserving these fond memories on my blog, I leave you with an outfit. A boring one, yes, but it features my new Verveine Necklace from Anthro's latest sale. When I put this necklace on Saturday morning, Husband confusedly asked me, "You do know we're only going to Dunkin' Donuts, right?"