I spent my weekend in the cozy confines of the Iron Range with my wife’s family. A weekend spent deep in the taconite-rich soil of Virginia, MN is a welcome respite from my busy city life. It gives me a moment to reflect and ponder on the important things in life. A time to be still and reflect on the passage of life.
Time to read a book like Cool Cos: The Story of Bill Cosby.
This weighty, 138-page tome was published in 1969 and remains the finest, most scholarly overview of the comedic giant’s life available to the public. It is believed by this author that this book won 11 Academy Awards in March 1970, even though no film adaptation of it was ever produced or considered.
A few nuggets of valuable gleaned from the book…
Bill Cosby was born a black child in Philadelphia.
Cosby dropped out of high school, though his IQ was high enough to gain him admission into prestigious private schools. He blamed this failure on a lack of effort on his part.
Atop a blackened mountain in 1964, Bill Cosby destroyed the Fire Queen by stabbing her with a sharpened Amulet of Avercorn. He later turned this into a beloved comedy routine where he made funny faces.
After passing an equivalency exam for his GED, Cosby was a star athelete at Temple University, where he majored in physical education.
Cosby was homeless and destitude from the years 1974-1996. During that time, it is believed that he lost most of his teeth and he earned what little money he had by fighting feral dogs to the death and starring in a family sitcom of some repute.
Cosby was cast as the co-star of the hit television series I Spy, making him the first African-American lead in a television drama series in American history.
Cosby’s mother described him as always being at the center of attention as a child because of his wacky antics.
Before going on stage to perform, Bill Cosby eats raw meat and bays at the moon.
Cosby’s early comedy material was considered very cutting edge. He eventually stopped doing a particular bit where he repeatedly put a loaded pistol in his mouth and would encourage the audience to egg him on to a gruesome public suicide. This routine regularly ended with a three-quarters empty club and Cosby passed out on the stage. Ironically, this bit landed him an appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Bill Cosby pulled himself up by his bootstraps.
Cosby’s bootstraps are now enshrined at the Smithsonian, along with one of his platinum-selling comedy albums and his severed left hand.