Buy It, Borrow It, or Bag It: Cosby by Mark Whittaker

Cosby        If you want to read a book that showcases the career and contribution that Bill Cosby has made to the entertainment world, the academic world and to the art world, this is an excellent biography. If you are looking for a tell-all that covers all of the trending allegations regarding “America’s father,” well…that one hasn’t been written yet. Give it time though. I’m sure someone’s working on that one right now.

Given current events surrounding Bill Cosby, it is very difficult to be “objective” with how I feel about this book. As a fan of his, I thought it was great. I learned things I didn’t know. I felt that it depicted him as human. I felt as if I got an inside look at a man of incredible talent who wasn’t perfect in his private life and I applaud the author for not feeling compelled to capitalize on rumors and heresy.

This is not to say that I do not believe the rumors. Actually I do and have for a long time. Several years ago, I read a book by Shannon Tweed (who is married to Gene Simmons of KISS) and in this biography, she talks about her life in the Playboy Mansion where any number of famous people could be seen hanging around on a given day during the 1980s. She mentioned (not by name) a famous basketball player who used to knock on the door of a playmate in an unusual way (use your imagination and you’ll figure it out) and then made an off the cuff comment about a man who would become known as America’s favorite father offering her teenage sister hash during one visit. My guess is that she wasn’t talking about Andy Griffith.

So…yeah, I’ve always had the impression that Cosby got a little too big for his britches at the height of his fame and made some big mistakes. While I do not excuse the behavior of a married man cheating on his wife, I also question the behavior of the ladies involved. I mean, who takes pills from a guy who only plays a doctor on TV? This in no way suggests that they got what they deserved but come on, I think everyone needs to own up to the bad choices here…Cosby included.

However, this does not discount this man’s incredible career or what he was able to do and I enjoyed this book because it caused me to run to YouTube and revisit the Dentist, Noah, Fat Albert and the Cosby show. It was amazing to see how Cos found the humor in the everyday and related to everyone. I don’t like to talk about the race thing because I never saw him that way. He is/was a funny man. I don’t distinguish this criteria by color. If you are not turned off Cosby right now, give this book a chance…Borrow it at least. You will remember why we liked him in the first place and how even though heroes can disappoint every now and again, everyone’s human and that doesn’t diminish their strengths.


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