Rarely does a performer this iconic come to town. Younger audiences who are being raised with profanity and graphic violence as their entertainment barely know Bill Cosby as the Jell-O Pudding man. However, with all the momentous change Cosby has brought about, to skip the opportunity to see him live would mean missing out on one of the greatest civil rights leaders alive.
Cosby’s entire life has been about overcoming racial and social boundaries with dignity, integrity and—above all—humor. From his early days on I Spy (the first TV show to feature a black co-star) to his heyday as the star of The Cosby Show (one of the highest-ranking sitcoms of all time), Cosby has always aimed to show that the similarities between the races far outweigh the differences. In 2004’s infamous “Pound Cake Speech,” Cosby chided some black Americans for destructive behaviors that counteract the sacrifices made by members of the civil rights movement. Cosby has had to defend that speech numerous times, and has even been accused of race treachery. His message always was, and continues to be, nothing more than helping those around you to be kinder to each other, and working hard to achieve your potential.
Though, at age 72, he’s a little slower and quieter, it’s still electrifying to see him walk out on stage, sit down in his chair and fill you in on all the latest with his wife Camille, his kids and now grandkids, and tell stories that are so sweet and so real that you can’t help but think you know him personally. And that’s the whole idea.