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Cosbyology: Essays and Observations from the Doctor of Comedy

Cosbyology: Essays and Observations from the Doctor of Comedy

4.1 8
by Bill Cosby

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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

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

Product Details

Cengage Gale
Publication date:
Basic Ser.
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.82(h) x 0.77(d)

Meet the Author

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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Cosbyology: Essays and Observations from the Doctor of Comedy 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Fan4SFGiants More than 1 year ago
Bill Cosby's observations and explanations about everyday life are simply brilliant! If you're a Lewis Black or Andy Rooney nut,you'll love Cosbyology,which puts Bill Cosby's observations and explanations about everyday life hilariously and brilliantly. A must read for any Bill Cosby,Lewis Black,or Andy Rooney nut!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
nprfan1 More than 1 year ago
I have to agree with the reviewer who said that Cosby's material just doesn't translate well to the printed page. Most of this book is composed of anecdotes, commentary, and a little bit of biography that's mildly amusing.

If you're a Cosby fan, however, you should buy this book for the bit about the bug in the first chapter ("Oh, Baby!"), which is laugh-out-loud, roll-on-the-floor funny. Though I've never heard Cosby do this routine in his stand-up, I can see him incorporating it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is great therapy for the blues. Side splitting observations from the master. I dare you to read the ski story without wetting your pants.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anyone who loves Bill Cosby has to read this book. I don't see how ANYONE could say they were disappointed. It's great! I've read it twice!!!!!! I'm a major Bill Cosby fan, and also suggest any of his other books!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Cosby but this book only got about 2.5 chuckles out of me and no belly-rolls, that's for sure. I was disappointed. It seemed that it got printed because of who Cosby is and content made no difference...because there wasn't much too it. I bought it for my husband as a gift and now I don't really want him to waste his time on it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For those who will forever be fans of Cliff Huxtable M.D., you will not want to miss 'Cosbyology.' In this book we find brilliant obversations from the 'Doctor of Comedy' as only the great Cosby could tell them. I just wish the book were longer - it ended too soon for me!