- Oh, baby!
- Why I don't like melting snow going down the crack of my back
- The day I found out how the projects were built
- Don't ever do your brother a favor
- How I became a marked man
- To Mr. Sapolsky with love
- Praise the lard
- Tranquillity: just a thought while listening to a jackhammer
- A gift from God
- Passenger abuse
- This will never change
- Ingrown hair
- Why Dave Schembri's friend is still alive
- How you can chip your teeth and pull a ligament
- Seating arrangements
- The day I decided to quit show business or the night I met the enemy and it was I
- The Lone Ranger.
In this small collection of wry comments and comic observations, Bill Cosby, Ed.D., approximates the character of his last TV incarnation, Cliff Huxtable, M.D., centerpiece of Cosby's then-groundbreaking portrayal of a black professional's family. As in that show and in earlier essays on family-oriented fun, Cosby largely ignores social issues and showbiz concerns in favor of gentle, almost sentimental humor. In places, the humor is mellow almost to the point of inducing somnolence, as in his riff on men's changing nocturnal urination strategies as age and the duration of monogamy advance. Not that his invocation of feeling for the porcelain bowl in the dark with one's calves doesn't hold water; it is just that the subject is more mundane than a politically and socially astute guy like Cosby might choose. On such subjects as going to the doctor, assessment tests, and that most annoying of yuppie pastimes, skiing, he often sounds for all the world like his old Jell-O pudding commercials. Still, he is consistently amusing, probably just the thing for desultory reading, and he still has legions of fans. ((Reviewed September 1, 2001))Copyright 2001 Booklist ReviewsReview by Publishers Weekly Reviews
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.Review by School Library Journal Reviews
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.
In a collection of hilarious stand-up routines, the comedian and author of Fatherhood reflects on childhood, marriage, school, work, sports, and other familiar topics in a volume complemented by original illustrations by New Yorker cartoonist George Booth. 200,000 first printing.Review by Publisher Summary 2
In a collection of stand-up routines, the comedian reflects on childhood, marriage, school, work, sports, and other familiar topics.