×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Review: ‘Bill Cosby: Far From Finished’

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

With:

Bill Cosby

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

More TV

  • Martin Short

    Martin Short Joins Whitney Cummings, Lee Daniels Amazon Comedy Pilot 'Good People'

    The cast of the Amazon comedy pilot “Good People” continues to grow, with Martin Short becoming the latest big name star to sign on to the project. Short joins previously announced cast members Lisa Kudrow, Greg Kinnear, and Whitney Cummings. Cummings is also writing and executive producing the pilot with Lee Daniels. “Good People” centers [...]

  • 100 Most-Watched TV Shows of 2018-19:

    100 Most-Watched TV Shows of 2018-19: Winners and Losers

    As traditional ratings continue to decline, so do the networks’ reliance on those numbers as a benchmark. Nowhere was it more noticeable than at this month’s upfronts presentations in New York, where the “r” word on everyone’s tongues wasn’t “ratings” — it was “reach.” Sure, everyone still touted their No. 1 status when they could [...]

  • Sam Champion

    Sam Champion Returns to Disney's WABC

    Sam Champion, one of the nation’s best-known weather anchors, will return to the station where he rose to greater fame. Walt Disney’s WABC said Champion would join its staff as a weather anchor on its weekday morning and noon newscasts. He will start Monday, June 3. He is expected to also contribute to ABC News. [...]

  • THE INBETWEEN -- "Pilot" Episode 101

    TV Review: NBC's 'The InBetween'

    There’s something to be said for a TV show that knows exactly what its lane is and fulfills its duties enough to hold together. NBC’s “The InBetween,” Moira Kirland’s new procedural billed as a “paranormal drama,” is a fan of just about every procedural cliche in the book, right down to the cheesy music following [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Talent Agents Blast Verve Agreement With Writers Guild

    The lead negotiator for Hollywood’s talent agencies has again blasted the Writers Guild and its recent agreement with the Verve agency — and cautioned other agencies against following suit. Verve defected from the major agencies on May 16 when it became the first sizable Hollywood talent agency to sign the WGA’s Code of Conduct. That [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content