TV Review: ‘Bill Cosby: Far From Finished’

Bill Cosby: Far From Finished review

Legendary comic classes up Comedy Central with his first stand-up special in 30 years

Bill Cosby’s debut on Comedy Central is something of an occasion, and clearly one the legendary comic himself feels obligated to address right up front, reassuring audiences that just because of the venue, he will not curse. What he will do, as he has for 50 years, is gently and to all appearances effortlessly tickle an audience with seemingly universal truths, at one point asking, “You thought it was only happening to you, didn’t you?” There’s admittedly nostalgia in seeing Cosby perform again after a 30-year TV standup special hiatus, but he still delivers some of the old wonderfulness.

If there’s one nit to pick with the material – taped at the performing arts center in Cerritos, Calif. – it’s that despite the title, “Bill Cosby: Far From Finished,” Cosby, who has built comedy around every stage of his life, hasn’t quite pivoted to the seemingly ripe grandpa stage. Instead, he’s content to riff on the “Till death do us part” aspect of marriage, the ways wives control their husbands and, for good measure, a closing bit about his kids when they were still of school age.

In a sense, it’s a missed opportunity, inasmuch as a young Cosby created indelible portraits of a childhood filled with Chicken Hearts and impossibly obese or old weird pals, then breezily segued to marriage and fatherhood, which he eventually translated into one of the most popular sitcoms of all time. The indignities associated with being a septuagenarian frankly seem like a logical chapter, but maybe Cosby will save that for his next special.

As is, Cosby takes a seat and keeps his motions to a minimum while spinning stories about married life, including a particularly funny bit comparing wives to queens on a chessboard – moving in all directions to pick people off, while husbands (or kings) are limited to advancing one space at a time.

If these are all areas Cosby has covered twice-over in the past, there’s still a kick in seeing him do it again. Besides, how many occupations allow one’s childhood heroes to still play the game at a high level, as it were, at 76?

Comedy Central offers no shortage of standup specials, but adding Cosby to the lineup can’t help but class up the joint. Because even if his movements are a bit more limited these days, with all the would-be jesters out there, he’s still a true king of comedy.

TV Review: 'Bill Cosby: Far From Finished'

(Special; Comedy Central, Sat. Nov. 23, 8 p.m.)

Production

Taped at the Cerritos Performing Arts Center, Cerritos, Calif., and produced by Pan Out Prods. and Levity Entertainment Group.

Crew

Executive producers, Bill Cosby, Darryl M. Bell, Judi Brown-Marmel, Robert Hartmann, Stu Schreiberg; director, Robert Townsend; writer, Cosby; editor, Dave Harrison. 90 MIN.

Cast

Bill Cosby

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  1. Cosby is funny today as yesterday. We have aged with him and loved his marriage truths. Finally a comedian speaking about the real world instead of the trash and the drugs and the love of sex with anybody and everybody!. Glad he’s back… more to come I hope… His wife needs him out of the house for a day of peace!

  2. Lynsey says:

    The special was delightful, and at times just as funny as his standup from back in the day. I agree that he did tread familiar ground, though. This article is an accurate assessment of the special.

  3. Angelique Frith says:

    I have loved Bill Cosby for as long as I’ve been watching TV, and I always will! He’s magnificent in every way that a person can be! I’m honored at the opportunity to indulge in his hilarious wisdom on Comedy Centrals, Bill Cosby Far from Finished!

  4. Sheri Widner says:

    Truly enjoyed “Far from finished” Bill Cosby is a great entertainer. Loved “The Cosby Show”

  5. lukas herval says:

    He is great, his wife is a real interesting person too. Read about her here; http://wagcelebrity.com/bios/camille-cosby-bill-cosbys-wife/

  6. “I have not yet fully completed my transformation into Redd Foxx.”

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