Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bill Cosby interview: comic great discusses defining moment early in his career

Here's the Bill Cosby story I did to advance his two shows today at the Van Wezel in Sarasota. Due to the rather distinct nature of the interview, it's a bit longer and different — first person — than the stuff I usually do for the Herald, where the piece ran today on front of A&E/Accent.
Cosby’s spot-on comic timing has always reminded me of a jazz musician’s. Like Coltrane or Miles Davis, he understood early in his career that the pauses are just as important as what you actually say -- or in the case of a musician, play. I share this with Cosby and he runs with it.
“Listen to John Coltrane enough and after two bars, just two bars at any place, and you know that’s him,” Cosby says. “We all have signature things that happen to be similar that you can predict and you try to stay away from that except the rhythms: those pauses, they’re part of my signature, the part where I know when I say nothing, I already painted enough, led enough and I don’t even have to say anything.
“But those pauses don’t belong to me,” Cosby quickly adds as a matter of record. “Jack Benny was one of the first guys in comedy to make the anticipation so great that during the pause people start to laugh before the execution.”
Continue reading

Bill Cosby on why he though his name was Jesus Christ

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