The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday December 7th

Cosby Brings Wit, Laughter to Memorial Hall

"When you love a woman, and you love to look at her, and you love to just think about her -- you never expect that that woman who is so sweet and kind is capable of such evil."

In two performances at Memorial Hall on Friday night, Cosby delivered a routine on the double standards of men and women in relationships, particularly marriage.

"When you love a woman, and you love to look at her, and you love to just think about her -- you never expect that that woman who is so sweet and kind is capable of such evil," he said.

Any more of these rants, and he would be toeing the line on Sam Kinison territory. But Cosby understands that the trick is in the delivery.

At the conclusion of each risky diatribe, he alternately flashed his knowing grin or his giddily surprised "you-know-what-I-mean" expression, made famous in both his long-running TV staple, "The Cosby Show," and more recently in his prime-time stint, "Kids Say the Darndest Things."

The world of prime-time television can be a cold and cynical world, but veteran Cosby is anything but a product of his environment. If Friday night's shows proved anything, it's that Cosby radiates warmth. No matter what comes out of his mouth, he retains his aura of kindness and approachability.

But Cosby's show of humanity revealed that he is aging now, too. He is 64, as he readily admitted, and though he is still sharp as a tack, he has lost some of his vibrant appeal. For the most part, he remained seated center-stage, only getting up to walk around or illustrate his arguments.

Those who have seen his classic stand-up performance, "Bill Cosby, As Himself," will know that Cosby's physicality adds immeasurably to his stage routine. Whether it be mocking his wife's Lamaze breathing or gleefully mimicking a child eating cake, the physical element of his routine has always heightened the comedy in his jokes.

Friday's shows reacquainted audiences with a quieter, gentler Bill Cosby. That said, what power Cosby lost in his lack of outward exuberance was made up for by the insightfulness of his quips.

The applicable nature of his comedy is also its sterling trademark. Throughout his life, Cosby has remained an advocate for the value of education, and in turn has always geared his comedy towards its ability to teach.

Cosby, himself, is not averse to learning from his own routine. At one point, having submitted to the confounding nature of male-female relationships, he turned to the audience for answers.

"Is there a woman here who can help me?" Cosby said. "I just want to understand."

The Arts & Entertainment Editor can be reached at artsdesk@unc.edu.

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.



Comments

The Daily Tar Heel for December 1, 2021

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive