Bill Cosby comes to campus, shares laughter


The recognizable voice of one of the biggest names in comedy filled a packed out McCain Auditorium Sunday night when Bill Cosby took the stage.

With just a chair, a rug and a coffee table in the middle of the stage, Cosby kept the audience laughing the entire show with stories of what he said were “missing parts” from the Biblical chapter of Genesis, stories of his 47-year marriage and with the gives and takes of marriage.

Missouri resident, Duane Levin, who came to Manhattan to see the show, said he thought it was great and found many ways that he could relate to the show.

“I loved it,” he said. “I’m a pastor so his talking about Genesis and all of that was absolutely fun.”

Levin’s wife, Marene, said it was a great show and they both got a laugh out of Cosby’s take on marriage and how relatable the comedy routine was.

Cosby, 74, has seen a great deal of success throughout his comedic career. He has more than three decades of experience in comedy, five Grammy’s under his belt, several books that have made it on to the “New York Times” best seller list and shows like “Fat Albert”, “I Spy” and “The Cosby Show” that sky-rocketed to popularity.

Cosby’s take on why he loves comedy is a simple one, and it has kept him going for years.

“I kept getting funny thoughts, I kept writing them down, people kept smiling and laughing when I told them these things,” Cosby said. “My job is I come out, I sit in that chair and I cause you to smile and laugh. This is a wonderful business.”

Along with his success in the entertainment business, Cosby is also seen as a man who has worked to positively impact American culture. In particular, his leading roles in several of his TV shows helped to break down racial barriers and portray African-America men in a positive light.

He has been recognized with numerous honors including the Kennedy Center Honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and the Beacon of Hope Award.

For audience members Sunday night, Cosby’s routine wasn’t just any comedy routine, but rather one that was relatable and conversational. And for some, it reminded them of the shows they used to watch when they were growing up.

“It was great, I grew up with ‘The Cosby Show,”‘ said Rachel Breneman, senior in dietetics. “It was relatable, but it was still funny. I think it just sort of had a wide appeal. It’s humor everybody can relate to, familiar stuff.”

The relatable comedy, is one of the things Cosby said made some of his shows, like “The Cosby Show,” so popular.

“It’s the actors,” he said. “I think that families viewed us because were similar, in many instances from the father, mother, baby, up to the oldest.”

Take Mrs. Huxtable from “The Cosby Show” for example.

“She was strong and had a sense of humor and didn’t stand for any foolishness. She probably reminded you of your mother,” he said.

Whether it’s the characters he has played, the people he has reached out to, or just his comedy routines, people have for years found ways to relate to Cosby’s entertainment style, and for many, it’s what he talks about.

“I think it’s right about where I thought it would be, just a good clean sense of humor,” said Breneman. “Nothing vulgar.”

Duane agreed.

“It’s just fun to hear somebody do comedy without being risqué or whatever,” he said.