Prayer Focus
Movie Review

Bill Cosby: Himself

Not Rated

Reviewed by: Jarl K. Waggoner
CONTRIBUTOR

Better than Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 45 min.
Year of Release:
1982
Bill Cosby

Written, Directed, and Starring: Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby is a funny man, and this live performance taped in 1981 showcases his comedic talent. For an hour and a half, Cosby, with just a microphone and a chair, provides plenty of laughs as he looks at matters with which most adults can readily identify.

Does your dentist try to carry on a conversation with you while working on your teeth? Why is it that expectant parents have to go to classes to learn how to give birth naturally? Have you really ever seen someone have a conniption? Cosby explores such subjects as only he can, with wit and an endless variety of expressions.

Marriage and parenting provide the bulk of Cosby’s material, and anyone who has been there will appreciate the humorous side he sees in commonplace occurrences in the home. In his own eloquent way, he describes the changes that take place in the way people talk and act when they become parents. (Warning: Some may strike close to home!) He also talks about drugs and drinking. Some viewers may not be comfortable with this, but the emphasis of his humor is on the stupidity of taking drugs and drinking to excess.

Parents should view this video themselves before allowing their children to watch. They may decide to do as I do—mute out the one mild profanity near the beginning and cut off the final five minutes or so, in which Cosby describes the antics of his father, which includes his swearing and taking the Lord’s name in vain. Nothing is really lost with such editing.

Those who know Bill Cosby only through his television sitcoms will find in this video Bill Cosby, the stand-up comedian. It is therein that his real genius lies. Even with the aforementioned warnings, one will find a whole evening’s entertainment in this home video.

Viewer Comments
I agree with the reviewer. Cosby is in a class by himself. Besides the portions the reviewer mentioned, I also edit out a sequence where Cosby says that at the urging of his father, he blew into his infant daughter’s mouth to try to change her into a boy and ended up popping out her eyeballs instead. Like most of the rest of Cos’s humor, this sequence is highly exaggerated from any real-life event it might be based on. But the very idea of trying to select the sex of your child, or even of asking God for a healthy child only, is the opposite of unconditional love. Children must know that they’re loved and wanted for who they are and not for their special characteristics or abilities. My Ratings: [3½/4]
Brett Willis, age 49