Monday, October 20, 2014

Hannibal Buress v. Bill Cosby

Your Blog is feeling #conflicted, right now.

First, some back story...

Your PC has been a stand up comedy junkie for as long as he can remember.

In my earliest days, I remember watching people like Bob Newhart, Rodney Dangerfield, Joan Rivers, and SeƱor Wences do their comedy thing on Ed Sullivan.

In my teens, there was George Carlin, Cheech and Chong, Flip Wilson and David Steinberg.

In my youth, I aspired, for a while to be a stand up comedian. I also aspired to be a circus clown, a mime, a magician, a cartoonist and/or an actor. In the cold light of adulthood, I realized that, if you were not one of the very lucky and exceptionally talented few, every one of these professions were a ticket to sadness, loneliness, public derision and, in far too many cases, eventual suicide.

Instead, I chose a much more stable career as a Hollywood make-up artist. (Place irony font, here.) So, okay, I have been very lucky, in my risky career choice. Maybe even exceptionally talented. But, that is open for argument. Discuss among yourselves.

In the '80s, I worked on "A&E's Evening at the Improv" with such future comedy icons as Bill Hicks, Ellen DeGeneres, Jim Carry, Rita Rudner and John Fugelsang.

In the last years of the 20th century, I worked with the likes of Sarah Silverman, Margaret Smith, Pauley Shore, Gilbert Gottfried and Louis Anderson.

In recent years, I have had the pleasure of working with Ron White, Bill Engvall, Katherine Madigan, Kate Rigg and the late John Pinette.

Anyhoo... Somewhere between the Sullivan stable and the 1970's comics, there was Bill Cosby.

At some point during the early '70s, the Blog Dad brought a couple of Cosby records home. We all listened together as a family, and I listened over and over again to this funny, funny man.

I idolized Bill Cosby.

To an extent, I still do.

Which brings us to my conflict.

If you are paying attention to what is trending on the Book of Faces, you may have seen this.

The brilliantly funny Hannibal Buress has publicly called "The Cos" out as as a hypocrite and a rapist.
Here is one of the many versions of this story that you can find online, if you Google it, there are more. Feel free to Google "Buress Cosby" for more.

Strong and ugly words from Buress. But...

He is not wrong.

Hollywood, and by "Hollywood" I mean Hollywood, New York, and entertainment industry hubs in between, is a small town.

We have all heard the stories and accusations.

Stories of womanizing and racism about "America's favorite Dad," are common among the people, mostly women, that I work with.

And, as Hannibal points out, there are accusations of drugs and date rape.

Your PC got to scratch, "Working with Bill Cosby" off his professional bucket list.

Bill... excuse me... Dr. Cosby, as he prefers to be addressed...

...Was arrogant and empirical. He treated make-up (me) hair and wardrobe as annoying worker bees. Beneath his respect.

So, what?

"Rapist? Racist? Womanizer? Passive aggressive, asshole?"

Yes, yes, yes and yes.

And yet...

I still admire him as one of the funniest humans on earth.


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