Cosbyology: Essays and Observations from the Doctor of Comedy

( 8 )


In his long and illustrious career, Bill Cosby has been many things: award-winning actor, bestselling author, doctor of education, media icon, and role model. But first and foremost, he is a comedian, and here he returns to that role in this wonderfully funny collection of stand-up material that touches on everything from childhood and marriage to school, sports, and work. Fusing his classic jazzy timing and edgy humor with the intelligence and perception that have made him a huge star, Bill Cosby draws from his ...
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In his long and illustrious career, Bill Cosby has been many things: award-winning actor, bestselling author, doctor of education, media icon, and role model. But first and foremost, he is a comedian, and here he returns to that role in this wonderfully funny collection of stand-up material that touches on everything from childhood and marriage to school, sports, and work. Fusing his classic jazzy timing and edgy humor with the intelligence and perception that have made him a huge star, Bill Cosby draws from his own life to tell these laugh-out-loud stories. With a dry wit and uncanny insight, Cosby writes about his first experiences skiing, lying to his mother, and fretting about ingrown hairs. Fans young and old will be eager to add this volume to their collection, while new fans everywhere will delight in this sampling of great comic genius.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
On stage, page, and screen, perhaps no one in the entertainment industry is more well known than Bill Cosby. Now the bestselling author of Childhood, Fatherhood, and Time Flies hones his comedy down to a science, in a new collection of stand-up material, Cosbyology.

Just as biology is the study of life, Cosbyology is the study of life as Bill Cosby sees it, and these short stories, essays, and observations put his whole lifetime under the microscope. From learning responsibility watching his siblings ("This bothered me for three reasons: 1. They were not my children. 2. I didn't know how to spell responsibility. 3. I was eight"), to learning geometry the hard way, that is, without reading the book, ("You got the answer correct. And I followed your philosophy. You're a genius!.... For the year four hundred A.D."), Cosby's recollections of growing up as a "very bright boy" in the projects of Philadelphia are as charming as they are hilarious. And whether he's recalling his early days as a stand-up comic in Greenwich Village and Chicago (where he was told, "When you get back to your hotel, will you tell Bill Cosby to come back here and do the second show and to never again send you because you, sir, you are not funny") or his unlikely path to Temple University via the U.S. Navy (standing watch over a clothesline), Cosbyology is not just a collection of humorous stories -- it's also a patchwork autobiography, giving us glimpses of the life that led him to the spotlight. Of course, it wouldn't be Bill Cosby without also offering educated rants on everything from skiing to boating, from the joys of marriage to the dangerous pitfalls of dinner seating arrangements, from ingrown hairs to everything else that he can't stop thinking about, and we can't help but laugh about.

With his signature dry humor and impeccable timing, Bill Cosby has pulled together a slim collection that is a smorgasbord of comic genius. Whether as a gift or a guilty pleasure, for anyone who needs some light shed on the wonders of life, Cosbyology should be required reading. (Elise Vogel)

Time Out New York
Imagine Cosby's voice as you read -- we dare you to keep a straight face.
Publishers Weekly
Cosby has entertained readers on subjects ranging from aging to marriage and parenthood. Some, however, will be disappointed in these 19 lightweight pieces composed of free association, fleeting memories and digressions: about how at age eight, for example, he went out to play, leaving his two-year-old brother alone, or about his refusal to do his geometry homework ("'cause home is for play"). Cosby's conversational humor involves repetition and minimalistic reduction of everything to brief sentences and simplistic language: "You don't want to have it checked because the doctor may say: Ooo! You've got it! That means you have it. If you don't go, it means you don't have it." Amid expositions on grandparents, plastic packaging, noisy boats and ingrown hairs, truly funny bits occasionally surface. On seating arrangements for the elderly, he says: "You cannot put someone who eats salt and regular food next to someone who can't have anything except a stainless steel fork and water because, if you do, they're not going to like each other." The best chapter recalls his move from Greenwich Village stand-up comedy to big-time clubs, particularly a big-time flop in Chicago. His honesty makes readers want a full-scale autobiography in place of these miscellaneous bits. Even the great George Booth falters here with offhand illustrations. (Nov. 7) Forecast: Hyperion plans an intense marketing campaign includes a radio and TV satellite tour, 12-copy counter displays and author appearances on Good Morning America, Rosie O'Donnell and numerous other national shows. This might have a big spike in sales at first, but word of mouth will slow it down. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Comedy is funniest when it stays as faithful to the truth as Cosby keeps it in his latest collection of 19 autobiographical essays. His topics range from the unromantic changes in married love over time to the discomforts, dangers, and expense of learning to ski. Students will laugh hardest at his quirky jokes about the problems of growing up in the projects, being identified as an intellectually gifted child, and coping with threats to health and safety. The author reveals his most vulnerable moments as a young comedian who was too nervous to make his audience laugh. He describes how he walked off of the stage feeling totally humiliated. He also discusses his difficult adjustment to the military, and explains how that experience drove him to work hard in college. In stand-up comic style, Cosby shows readers different stages of his life, and he highlights all of the laughable moments in hilarious, hyperbolic detail throughout this short book. Such a highly successful person's willingness to share his stories of triumphing over adversity, and overcoming moments of failure, is sure to inspire many teens. Even reluctant readers will breeze through this book while laughing out loud along the way.-Joyce Fay Fletcher, Rippon Middle School, Prince William County, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Rounding 40 years since he first stood up to recount comical things, Dr. Cosby is the Cal Ripkin of standup. Just as regularly, no matter what, he suits up and delivers another slim volume of agreeable musings on matters of general interest (Love and Marriage, 1989; Childhood, 1991, etc.). An integral part of Cosby's writing is his powerful persona, and a reader can hear the droll delivery on each page, if not actual rim shots on the punch lines. When Cos was six, he informs us, "my father said to me: ‘Son, I'm going to tell you something and I want you to never forget it.' And then he knocked me out." There are many pleasantries about growing up in the projects in North Philly, where Cosby was the brightest kid in his school. When he found that out, he joined the Navy. Then he attended Teachers College at Temple University (things move quickly in Cosby's world). Matters uxorious, a Cosby stock in trade, are not neglected, as in the discussion of nights long after the wedding in which he seeks the toilet without turning on the light. And no one can present a better exegesis of a little kid's tantrum. The tales, true or false, are generally diverting, though not all equally so. There is a particularly nice story about playing the Big Time for the first time at Mr. Kelly's in Chicago all those years ago; but frankly, Bill, we could have done without the detailed essay about your ingrown hair. Though the text contains no Fat Albert, each chapter is graced with a drawing by the great George Booth. A quick and easy senior seminar taught by a quick and easy senior instructor, false attempts at grouchiness notwithstanding. It's amiable entertainment-it could not be otherwise-and fullyanodyne. TV/radio satellite tour
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641556074
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 11/7/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 7.64 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby is an American entertainer, comedian, actor, producer, author, educator, musician, and activist. He is best known for his portrayal of Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby Show, which has become a television classic. Born and raised in Philadelphia, he earned a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Massachusetts, and is a jazz musician.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix
Oh, Baby! 1
Why I Don't Like Melting Snow Going Down the Crack of My Back 15
The Day I Found Out How the Projects Were Built 29
Don't Ever Do Your Brother a Favor 39
How I Became a Marked Man 47
To Mr. Sapolsky with Love 53
Praise the Lard 71
Tranquillity: Just a Thought While Listening to a Jackhammer 81
Boats 85
A Gift from God 91
Passenger Abuse 95
This Will Never Change 101
Ingrown Hair 107
Why Dave Schembri's Friend Is Still Alive 117
Grandparents 123
How You Can Chip Your Teeth and Pull a Ligament 139
Seating Arrangements 143
The Day I Decided to Quit Show Business or The Night I Met the Enemy and It Was I 153
The Lone Ranger 169
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2004

    Decent, but I expected more

    There were certainly laughs to be had, but it seemed that many stories ended before you learned the final resolution. A couple of laugh-out-loud moments, but not as many as I'd have liked.

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