Last Thursday, Temple University held its 127th Commencement Exercises at the Liacouras Center on North Broad Street. Inquirer co-owner (well, at least for now) Lewis Katz gave a pretty good speech after receiving his honorary doctorate, and singer Jill Scott said a few inspiring words after getting hers.
And then, as the nearly two-hour ceremony came to a close, Temple President Neil D. Theobald asked Temple trustee and alleged sex assaulter Bill Cosby if he wanted to say a few words. Has Cosby ever declined such an invitation? Read more »
For whatever reason, Jimmy Fallon had Bill Cosby walk a tightrope on The Tonight Show last night. In classic Cosby style, the comedian mostly rambled and yelled at the audience until Fallon hopped on his back, and then the two took off on a little piggy back ride. Something tells me it’s not the best idea to jump on the back of a 76-year-old man, but Cosby seemed like he was having a good time. Check out the video above.
The Tonight Show continues its streak of being the most Philly show on Earth. Tonight, according to the TV that’s on in the background at my colleague’s house, legendary Philly comedian, actor and Picture Pages host Bill Cosby will sit down with Jimmy Fallon. Fingers crossed he makes another epic entrance like the one he made when he guested with Jay Leno last fall. Video above.
One bit of fallout from the Woody Allen-Dylan Farrow story is that folks are starting to remember that Bill Cosby once was accused of sexual assault himself. The accusations emerged on the Today show, then were detailed in a 2006 Philly Mag story by Robert Huber—then quietly died, with Cosby’s folksy, funny image reasserting itself in the public mind. No more.
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Philebrity reminds us that Bill Cosby’s got a comedy special airing this coming Saturday night for the first time since “Bill Cosby: Himself” aired in 1983. Here are the three clips of the show, “Far From Finished” that his YouTube channel has made available.
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Bill Cosby, last seen bemoaning the Supreme Court’s decision to dismantle a key section of the Voting Rights Act, has decided to go contrarian on us again–his default, when it comes to race. “Let’s not go into a racial discussion unless we really have something there,” adding that “he found that the prosecution did not tell the story well. And they lost.” He did seem to suggest, however, that Florida’s Stand Your Ground law was a little out-there, delivered in classic Cosby-speak:
So you have a gun and you come up to me and I don’t have a gun, but then you show me your gun and I become frightened and according to the State of Florida, I have a right to defend myself. According to the State of Florida, the person with the gun has the right to defend him or herself. I mean this is getting out of line.
Bill Cosby, who’s been criticized plenty for his “black conservatism,” has taken to Facebook to criticize the Supreme Court’s recent decision to water down the Voting Rights Act. Whatever his advice for African-Americans, safe to say he doesn’t want them disenfranchised.
Hey hey hey! Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids is getting the deluxe treatment, with all 110 episodes being released on DVD as a boxed set later this month. Bill Cosby, the show’s creator, talked to the New York Times about the show and its roots in his North Philadelphia childhood.
Q. Did “Fat Albert” start as an idea that you pitched to the studios and networks, or did they come to you about it?
A. Wrong on both sides. [laughter] “Fat Albert” was first a monologue, and it had people in it like some of the guys that I went around with, in both my early pre-teens and into my late teens, in North Philadelphia. In the close quarters of the housing projects, people had nicknames, invented by the kids. So a guy with a lot of fat, that was the first thing he got. Later, as we decided to not hurt people’s feelings, “Fat Albert” would become “Big Fella.” Overweight people, back in the 20s, 30s and 40s, on the Broadway stage and in movies they immediately became the funny person, the clown. The person you could make fun of, the person who made fun of himself. But these characters were invented because I wanted to change, break the stereotypes. I changed Albert, making him the leader and giving him the intelligence.
Q. Did you see “Fat Albert” as presenting an authentic depiction of the world you grew up in, or was it meant to be more idealized?
A.I saw it as a black, who’s been rejected as a human being. In the eyes of some – capital letters – people, this color causes an insanity in their minds. Their joy is in pulling the legs off, wrapping a rope around the neck of, denying any place, specifically attacking the mind of the brown-skinned person. All over, these crimes, these atrocities, placed on these people of color. I’m specifying where I lived, and who I am, to these people. It is not idealized at all. It is a continuation of the thought that, if what I’m saying happened to me and to my guys, and you are of a different culture, color, race, religion, and the same thing happened to you, where’s the difference?
Read the whole thing.
Germantown High is closing at the end of this school year, but one of its most famous alumni—Bill Cosby—isn’t shedding any tears. He told NewsWorks why in a May interview that’s just now being published:
“I gave a talk there maybe four years ago, and on the way there, the area felt drug-infested.
“When I got up on stage, they said, ‘Here’s Bill Cosby to talk to you, students.’ I looked out and they were looking back at me like I’m the problem. Kids laughing, not paying any attention, not wanting to be there. Some were just sitting there and trying to look angry; some really were angry.
“Ordinarily I’d say it’s a shame and just do my talk. But, I said look, some of you may not care, but a lot of you don’t know what you’re future is going to be. You may think you do, but you don’t. Without credentials, an education, whatever it is you want for your future, it’s not going to happen for you.”
Cosby said that years of diminishing enrollment force administrators to make such choices. “When this all came about, we were looking at it, and Johnny Baines called and said we should get out and protest. I said, ‘John, it’s too late.’ The ministers, the politicians, they know that’s the truth.”