Bill Cosby's career is so diverse, so storied, so divine -- there's something for everyone. Some still thrill to his pioneering turn on I, Spy. Others tout the cosmic significance of Leonard, Part Six. Many more fell for the treacly plot lines of that 80's powerhouse The Cosby Show. Me - I'm a straight-up Fat Albert Fan. What can I say - something about the Saturday morning cartoon spoke to my seven year old self. The junkyard jams, the urban verve, the way MushMouth always sounded like he'd just ingested Heroin ... I never missed an episode and since I wasn't careful, I very often learned something. So you can imagine how stoked I was to share some air with 'The Cos' himself. He was in town today, speaking to students at Bennett College. I was but another glass-handler, hanging on his every utterance. Surely we'd get a chance to talk over old times...
Well...No. As a card-carrying member of the Photog Nation, I can't very well interrupt the press conference to tell the man how much I dug that Bet Your Life debacle, can't insist he riff on A Different World, can't ask him to sign the collection of Jell-O shots I just happened to have with me. Okay, I suppose I could, but such a move would prove me to be an absolute tool. We 'slingers gotta keep it all in focus. If we lose our cool in the presence of greatness, we won't be asked to cover anyone more famous than that sanitation worker who croons while he manhandles your cans. Thus, I kept my head in check as the lovable curmudgeon held court. Sure, I wanted to ask him what that thing on Dumb Donald's head was, but I didn't dare. See, I learned a thing or three about celebrity watching Simon Cowell jones for another smoke on the set of American Idol - namely don't get in between a snarky Brit and his next pack of Kools.
What that has to do with the good Dr. Cosby I can't really say - other than I know when to give a famous guy his space. In today's case, it was about three and a half feet. That's how close we media vermin got to the podium after Brother Bill warned the Bennett Belles about the inherent perils of Hoochie-dom. Yeah, he worded it differently, but his essential message was this: Have respect for yourself and others will too. As the father of girls, that's a sermon I can get behind, though I'd probably rephrase it as "Act like you got some sense". In fact, I found myself nodding in agreement as Cosby chastised the all-female student body for allowing themselves to be ogled by lesser lifeforms. Make no mistake: Bill Cosby has no use for the dudes drinking 40 ounces on the corner. In rather frank language, he warned the gifted young women of Bennett not to cheapen themselves by association, let alone get knocked up by some cat with his slacks hanging off his crack. And he did it all while keeping the room in stitches. How cool is THAT?
Okay, not as cool as an autographed Jell-O Shot - but still, pretty cool.