The latest CD I pulled from the 266 CD stash is Bill Cosby – Himself. The TL;DR version is that it’s still a funny CD, but the HBO/DVD special is far better.
Long version : This CD brings back a lot of memories for me. Bill Cosby was the first “adult” comedian I was able to listen to on my parent’s original LP collection late at night. Completely without their approval and knowledge, of course! Little did I know the Bill Cosby I was familiar with from the Fat Albert cartoon was not the same character who was recorded in the comedy circuit! I remember hearing “adult” topics from him was shocking the first time I played one of his concerts on vinyl. By today’s standards, though, he is very inoffensive, and yet far more genuine in his delivery than any other comedian in recent memory.
This CD is a compilation of the same show that aired on HBO waaaay back in the 80s. Having heard Cosby’s previous material on vinyl, I was definitely ready for the HBO special when it aired. Although this CD captures the main portions of the comedy show, it’s just not the same. There are dozens of minutiae you lose out on by not seeing his facial effects that accompany the delivery of the jokes and punchlines. There are also lead-ins and denouements in the HBO special that greatly enrich the jokes and bridge one segment into the next. Having seen the HBO special first, I know exactly what is missing in this CD.
Having said all that, it’s still a good slice of nostalgia for me. The jokes will probably fall short for the current generation, but for me, this was a very pleasant diversion down memory lane. I still laughed out loud at “The Dentist” and “Natural Childbirth” segments, while the rest of the CD had me smiling throughout the performance.
If you can, I recommend you see the Bill Cosby, Himself DVD first. Keep the CD for the iPhone/iPod.
4 out of 5 stars.
You can still buy the Bill Cosby: Himself CD from Amazon.