Bill Cosby, who comes to Poughkeepsie for a single-night performance benefiting the Mid-Hudson Civic Center on Thursday, May 15, draws a smile to everyone’s lips. One generation knows him from his late-1950s and early-1960s comedy recordings, while the next recalls his being the first black TV star on I Spy, alongside Robert Culp. There are those raised on the Fat Albert cartoons, and then the iconic and still-great-in-rerun Cosby Show of the 1980s. He has also been a regular on Captain Kangaroo, Sesame Street and The Electric Company.
People admire Cosby for having gone back to college to get a teaching degree that he used both to teach and to inform his comedy work, as well as for his many awards and the books that he has written along the way – including the current best-selling memoir, I Didn’t Ask to Be Born, But I’m Glad I Was. Moreover, he has been married to the same woman for 50 years now, and stays close with his five kids and growing numbers of grandchildren.
Cosby’s known for the way that he plays his smarts and quick ability to talk about many subjects with his deep sense of history and humanity, of humility and the gentle enabling elements in a bit of self-denigration. His takes on Noah, bullying, scary movies, softhearted Dads who give cake for breakfast and the logic of childhood provided an instant antithesis – and antidote – to all things political that he witnessed and played against over his long career.
In addition to its mission to provide “cultural, recreational and education opportunities to the Hudson Valley,” the Civic Center sponsors others’ performances, events and activities – which Cosby will be supporting with his performance. Talk about a treat for all levels of a family, and oneself.
Bill Cosby, Thursday, May 15, 8 p.m., $65/$55/$45, Mid-Hudson Civic Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie; (800) 745-3000, (845) 454-5800, www.ticketmaster.com, www.midhudsonciviccenter.org.