When I posted about the Kennedy Center Honors Mark Twain Prize For Comedy for Bill Cosby the other day, I realized that there were two more things I was going to post about.
When Rita Moreno came out, I immediately flashed to the short-lived series The Cosby Mysteries. As I recall, Bill's character was a police criminalist who retired after winning millions in the lottery. Rita helped him out, because of course the police kept coming back to Bill for his help solving cases.
I think Mrs. Dr. Phil and I were like the only two people who watched this show -- Bill's first after the end of The Cosby Show.
Then they showed quite a number of clips, but two stood out, since I'd just seen a number of them on the 25th Anniversary of The Cosby Show special. One was a clip from like a 1968 Bill Cosby special where he ran into a group of kids playing street football. They were losing to the other kids like 72-6 -- the other team had given them six points because they felt sorry for them. So Bill "joined" their team and came up with a play for them to run. Typical Bill Cosby, talking in a serious tone to kids and telling them outrageous stuff, like going long and waiting in the lobby of their building or taking a bus.
They said the clip hadn't been aired in forty years... and yet I saw it, and so did Mrs. Dr. Phil. We remember it clearly. And Mrs. Dr. Phil was at a conference and didn't see the Kennedy Honors, but as soon as I started describing it, she knew it.
And several people of course referenced Bill Cosby's legendary Noah routine. Towards the end they showed a clip of a very young Bill Cosby doing Noah. It wasn't quite the nuanced performance I'd ever seen -- or the perfectly executed version on the comedy albums -- but it was the genesis of Noah. (grin) A young dark black man shot against a black background, being nothing more than very funny. A legend in the making. A change in the pulse, and the funny bone, of America.
And that, my friends, is why they honored Bill Cosby the other night. All that and more.
Thank you, Bill.