"Happy Mother's Day," began Bill Cosby at the Hard Rock Live, "There's no other way to get on this earth."
Writing something Cosby said during his standup act doesn't do him any justice. It's his affable delivery, his sneaky grin, and the roll of the eyes that brings his words to life and causes an arena to fall into laughter.
One of his trademarks is that his only prop is a chair, however for this show there was also a small table with a bottle of mineral water and a box of tissues. The water was for him. The tissues aided in some of the funniest stand up bits I've ever seen, including one where he wished that men taught boys about life the way women teach girls.
"If the grandpas and the fathers would sit down with a box of tissues in hand, and say to a boy about the age of 11, 'Now, you're going to have a dream...'" Seeing the 75-year old comic legend talk about wet dreams is not something I'll soon forget.
Bill continued the show by walking us through Genesis, but this isn't your grandma's Sunday school. He talked about Adam naming Eve. He doesn't name her Eve, of course, he names her Woman. "But back then it wasn't pronounced like it is today. Back then Adam saw her and her naked body, and he said 'Wooo, man!'" If that sounds cheesy in print, let me reiterate that in person it brought the house down. Cosby is a comic meant to be seen, not quoted.
The dynamic between husband and wife was the main theme of his show. In the middle of explaining how wives move around the house like ghosts you can see, moving objects seemingly at random and then yelling at their husbands if they move them back, he relayed the story of how a man called out during a performance, "Is your wife here?" to which Cosby responded, "Does it sound like it? Am I talking about Jell-O?"
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Cosby's observations on males and females would probably send modern feminists into a roar if he didn't deliver them in such a smart and almost goofy way. He switched back and forth between an innocent husband and a crotchety old man, neither of which seemed to understand women at all. But he has such a quick wit (for a man of any age) that his humor finds the funniest truths in even the most common stereotypes. Do wives nag? Yes. But he used his own complete bafflement at his wife's behavior to also poke fun at himself.
His unique nature made for great audience participation. He's the only comedian I've ever seen address so many hecklers, who were less hecklers and more fans dying to tell him how much they love his brand of old-timey comedy. One woman yelled out midway through the show "I want to kiss you!" to which Cosby replied, "No sense in doing that dear, it's all gone."
He veered off topic, talking to the audience like we were all old friends that he decided to catch up with, but then picked right back up where he left off in his act, barely thinking twice about it.
It doesn't matter how old you are or your race or religion, Bill Cosby will make you laugh. Where so many comedians today use wit that deprecates and degrades, with Cosby there's hardly any cringing that comes from his humor. It's funny in the purest form.
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