He’s still doing his best to keep the young comedians straight. Thanks, Cos, for fighting that uphill battle.
For decades he has made a point to reach out to younger comedians who hold cultural sway at the time and let them know what he thinks of their material. Most famously, a younger Eddie Murphy mockingly recounted his fatherly phone call with “Cliff Huxtable” in his 1987 comedy special Raw. So this has been going on for at least 25 years or so.
Some comics have bristled and lashed out in response to Cosby’s scolding. Others have endured and ignored Old Bill. A few – Brian Regan [Yay! – j] and Jerry Seinfeld, for example – have attempted to embrace the vulgarity-free trail blazed by the living legend and have done quite nicely for themselves.
And so here is an elderly black man – one who is active and vocal in the black community – telling not only us, but some of the greatest comedic minds of our time, that there was something better and more respectable about the way people used to do comedy. He has walked the walk and talked the talk for nearly half a century with his unique brand of humor. His sitcom The Cosby Show spoke to a generation of Americans from across racial and socio-economic divides. He’s not perfect, and he’s suffered immense personal tragedy along the way, but Bill Cosby is someone who actually cares where his culture is headed.