Enrico Banducci's Legendary hungry i Lives Again!
While having already become well-known as a stand-up comic, Bill Cosby's full-fledged rise to super stardom began while he was working at the hungry i, and Carl Reiner got I Spy producer Sheldon Leonard to catch Bill's show there.
In living rooms on a regular basis for nearly four decades, Bill Cosby doesn't seem to need a biography. He is as familiar as a favorite chair.
Grace, charm & natural wit. Maybe you could add gentle determination. That's the magic formula which has netted him so many Mosts, Biggests and Firsts. He holds records in a plethora of areas - concert performances, book sales, comedy disks sold, television ratings - that it is no wonder he has been acknowledged as one of the most influential performers of the last century.
All on a grand scale? Maybe like an individual buying CBS? No. All on an intimate scale. That is the real measure of his success - that people relate to him so personally. And every bit of it graced with quality .
Storytelling is one of the world's most ancient arts, and Bill Cosby is proof that when done to perfection, it can move mountains. Take, for instance, his breakthrough into series television. His storytelling was so enchanting that producers just assumed him
to be a natural actor.
Actually, he was. He felt hampered by technical details in the beginning, but not long before he first wet his toe, he was swimming for gold medals. The difference between his first I Spy performance and the next performances is a testimony to, and example of, the excellence which has marked Bill Cosby's entire life.
His ability to be a quick study came in as a definite asset when, in the midst of a performing career veering in all directions, he decided to return to college. A doctorate in education is the result. But this field has not just been a focus of personal endeavor. It has been a centerpiece of his enormous philanthropy and a major pursuit for him as an entertainer.
However, it is that capacity for intimacy and friendship which most endears him to fans. The jokes have raised spirits, while the man has touched hearts.