Friday, November 22, 2013

Bill Cosby's "...Far From Finished"




The Cos is back.

I don’t think you understand how incredible that statement is, so I’ll say it again. 

The Cos is back.

The Cos. Is back.

And he’s “Far From Finished.”

Not that he ever really went away. Despite the fact this is his first stand-up special in 30 years (Nope, I don’t feel old. Nope), he hasn’t been slacking by any means. He’s always kept himself busy by hitting the road and performing shows and it’s probably safe to say he is the most revered comedian we have around. I still think back to the scene in Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedian documentary where Chris Rock is telling Seinfeld about the Cosby show he went to see and how it blew him away. A few scenes later, Seinfeld is ducking backstage to catch a few words with the comedian and there’s a sense of awe and wonder; Dorothy finally entering the chamber of the Great Wizard.

There’s a reason Cosby is so widely revered. He's funny as all get out.

The first thing people say when I tell them there’s a new Cosby project is, “How old is he?” He’s 76 and just as funny as he was when he was talking about Noah, his brother Russell, and his trip to the dentist. In fact, for those of you have listened to Cosby’s comedy over the years, there are a couple of callbacks to some classic routines that are genius. Cosby doesn’t overplay them or make someone feel left out if they don’t quite pick up on them, but it’s a playful wink to those who are paying attention. 

If you're concerned that Cosby has become less funny with age...I mean, come on. What’s wrong with you? When someone is as funny as this, it never goes away. And if you were concerned that Cosby + Comedy Central = Crass, well...he addresses that concern at the beginning and does it so perfectly, you know in an instant that nothing has changed, and classic Cosby is here to stay.

Cosby’s material is still rooted in the classic themes in which he’s always thrived: Wives/Girrrlfriends (there’s a classic chess metaphor just waiting to kill you), his children (he brought you into this world, and...hey, let him say it!), his own stories from childhood (his buddy Otis and the sweet story of his boyhood crush on Bernadette), and how he’s never grown up (his tale of trying to sneak chocolate chip cookies is a lot of fun and his wife makes the perfect foil)

When I first received this project, I was excited to pull the bulky two-disc CD case from the envelope. My initial reaction was, “Oh wow, a CD/DVD combo!” Imagine my amazement when it dawned on me that both discs were CDs. That’s how much incredible material is included. Two hours and 15 minutes of brilliance that you’ll be raving about to friends immediately. They shouldn’t even offer single tracks on Amazon or iTunes because, really, you need to buy the entire thing. I’ve listened to it at least five times in the last couple of weeks and I’m not tired of it by any means. (And yes, the project is also available on DVD and Blu-Ray.)

I was talking to a friend about how much I love this project and he asked a good question. “Is it good because it’s good, or is it just because it’s Cosby?” The answer, really, is both. Yes, it’s good and yes, it’s Cosby, and the two of those factors together make for an album that is one of the best CDs I’ve heard not just this year, but in a long, long time (and maybe I’m just prejudiced because of the constant repeating of the phrase, “My friend Ed!”).

If you’ve laughed at anything Cosby has ever done, you will loveFar From Finished.” It’s a perfect addition to your Cosby collection and I don’t believe I’m exaggerating when I say it’s going to be an instant classic. I love that it’s coming out so soon to the holidays. When friends and family are over and the turkey has been eaten and everyone just wants to sit and digest, put this CD on. You’ll love watching the people you love laugh. 

Thanks, Cos. 



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