Bill Cosby was born in
Bill Cosby is a “multifunction man”. People often know him as a comedian and actor, but he also proved to be a television producer, an activist and an author as well.
Thanks to Carl Reiner who believed in him, his career took off. He appeared on the NBC program Tonight Show (and later became one of the regular guest hosts). His humour was inspired from recollections of his own childhood, unlike many other comedians of that time who used more controversial matters to make people laugh.
In 1965, he acted in a series as the first black star of a dramatic television series. The series was called I Spy and was inspired by the James Bond films. This series was a huge success and thanks to this, Cosby was honoured with three Emmy Awards (television production awards). After three seasons though, the series ended and Bill returned to live performances.
He released albums recorded during his stand-up comedy performances and even tried singing. His first hit single was called “Li’l Ole Man”. Even if he tried in music, most of his recordings were of his stand-up comedy work (no fewer than 40 albums).
In the early 1970s, he starred in another series, The Bill Cosby Show, where he played a physical education teacher. After having received his MA, he appeared in The New Bill Cosby Show, which had poor ratings.
From 1970 to 1979, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, an animated series based on his own childhood, was successful. It even knew a “spin-off” from 1979 to 1984: The New Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. This series was even used by schools as teaching material, being also Cosby’s doctorate subject. Each episode dealt with issues and problems commonly faced by young children. Despite the reputation of educational children television series for being unpopular on commercial television, the series enjoyed one of the longest runs in the history of the Saturday morning cartoon timeslot. Here is the opening theme of the series:
He also played in comedy films against the violent “blaxploitation” films of that time.
The Cosby Show was definitely his greatest television success. This began in 1984 and dominated Thursday evenings on NBC until 1992. The sitcom was both humorous and family-oriented. It focused on the everyday adventures of an upper-middle-class black family. Every aspect of the series was under Cosby’s control. The series revived a television genre, namely the situation comedy. The series was so popular that it received several awards such as Emmy awards, Golden Globe Awards and People’s Choice Awards.
During the 1990s, Cosby mostly appeared in films.
The years 2000
In 2001, he published a new book (he has written 11 books so far) and signed a deal with 20th Century Fox to develop a movie centered on the popular Fat Albert character from his 1970s series.
Having his doctorate in education, he now often gives speeches in churches dealing with the fact that it is important for African American families to educate their children on the different aspects of American culture and not only set priorities on sports and fashion.
Céline et Louise