With this economy, the casinos should take food stamps. I just lost my last twenty dollars on the two cent slots.
You would think twenty dollars would last long.
What’s worse is the guy next to me just hit for two thousand dollars.
Okay, I’m ready to go home now.
It’s Saturday night and I have just been dragged out to Morongo Casino to see the ten o’clock showing of Bill Cosby. Not that I wasn’t excited seeing the Cos’, I just didn’t like seeing him broke.
“Hey, do you take food stamps?” I ask a waitress. She gives me a dirty look. Man, I was playing to a tough crowd.
But Bill wasn’t. He had everyone laughing. Young or old, black or white, Bill Cosby, now at 71, can still entertain the masses.
He came out onstage in an outfit that would bury any comedian’s career. Old khakis, a grandpa sweatshirt with Romper Room colored letters that spelled out “Hello Friend”, and some hideously blue Crocs. He sat for the whole act, sometimes in a chair, sometimes off the edge of the stage, and once he even lied down. But the Cos’ can do that because we are all just friends.
While I can’t stand casinos broke, can’t stand going out with no money, I was not going to miss the chance to see Bill Cosby. To America, Bill is like the father we never had, the grandpa we always wanted, and the neighborhood of friends we wished we still knew. He is the eternal storyteller, never a really a comedian trying to hit the punch lines, and for two hours we went and laughed at whichever direction Bill’s stories took us.
From childhood to marriage, parenting to discipline, and to that tragic Thanksgiving story that everyone has, Bill Cosby invites you into his house, sits you down on his sofa, and lets you laugh at a world that is in every way the world that you live in. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, young or old, or black or white; there is something in the comedian’s stories that relate to everyone.
I grew up with Bill Cosby in my life. Whether it was his Picture Pages on Captain Kangaroo or Fat Albert’s Gang in the junkyard, Bill taught me. With his two television shows, he parented me and with his comedy shows, he made me laugh. And through it all, he never swore, he never played the race card, and he never made me see him as anything else but a good man, a teacher, and a father figure. I would have been happy to have him as a dad.
I believe most of America would have, too.
At least we would have all eaten Jell-O pops and drank Coca Cola with a smile.
So to see him on stage, to see him perform live, made me nostalgic for a life I’ve left behind and the family and friends that have passed through my life.
And forever, the eternal storyteller, Bill Cosby will be on the list of someone who has been important in my life.
Keep going, Cosby. We need you now more than ever.