Bill Cosby is 73 years young. Along with my wife and two sons, I saw him last night at Purdue’s Elliott Hall. He performed for right at two hours. He used story lines I had never heard and sprinkled in lines that he is known for. He was relaxed, witty, and original. His facial expressions were spectacular and, oh so “Cosby.” His engagement with the audience was fun and relaxed. He is the best there is at storytelling and that’s a fact.
You know, in every story that I have ever heard him tell, never once did he get a laugh at somebody else’s expense. Today’s comedians and storytellers would do well to emulate that (I’ve done it myself a time or two and have always come to regret it). He also never resorts to swearing to get a laugh. In fact, the story is told that he has tried to encourage several of the currently well-known comics to work clean. People like Bill Cosby are proof positive that humour does not need profanity. I remember seeing Red Skelton in concert in Danville, Illinois in 1987. At the end of his show, he made it a point to remind the crowd that (and I quote) “you don’t need to swear to be funny.” Bill and Red have had it right all along. Neither have ever used profanity or taken cheap shots at people.
For a man who just loves a great story, last night was a night I wish had never ended. Bill Cosby still has it and he probably always will. If I could tell a story 1/100th as good as he does, well, I can’t.