Dr. William Henry “Bill” Cosby Jr. demonstrated that family matters in an enthralling preacher-lecture style performance where family value was the centerpiece of his comedic act before a packed house at Queens College’s Kupferberg Center for the Arts.
“Whenever there was a beating you would follow,” said the producer and star of “The Cosby Show,” the number one sitcom for five consecutive years, which captured Black life with professional parents – was making reference, of course, to his childhood days.
The veteran stand-up performer, raised in a humble working-class family in the projects of Philadelphia, explained that beatings during his childhood was an effective act of disciplining children, without recourse and no outside intervention.
“The social worker would beat you too,” asserted Cosby, to applause from a diverse throng in the Colden Auditorium in Queens, N.Y.
The producer of “A Different World,” jokingly explained the use of instruments such as a broom, an ironing cord and a switch utilized on disobedient children. Not surprising, there was a wave of support for this current prohibited act.
Even the beloved philanthropist and father of four (a fifth child, Ennis, was brutally murdered) revelation of the standard threat by parents to children of, “I am going to beat the daylight out of you,” was embraced by the evening’s patrons in attendance with young children.
An engaging and intelligent family moment, where likely excerpts of Cosby’s dissertation on “Fat Albert” and the “Cosby Kids,” as educational tools, seemed to unfold during the extended one-night attraction.
Much of the excitement generated throughout the smart and lively first-rated one-man act were first-hand accounts of portraits of God-fearing stable families striving for a better life.
“Children did not talk back to their parents,” Cosby reminded the delighted cheering contingent, as he was seated on the stage donning a Queens College ensemble and looking like a president of a university. “There was never time out,” he added to nods of approval. “You were not sent to your room to think about it without help.”
As anticipated, the Kennedy Center honoree and the Presidential Medal of Freedom Awardee’s inspiring humor struck a chord with the multi-ethnic and multi-generational group.