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November 26, 2006


listener colin in Toronto

oh Kliph, you are such a Canadian... wait a minute, so am I! damn! thought that was such a zinger. good to see your posts.


cosby filmed his show in my friends apartment building on 110th and broadway. he would NOT RESPOND when greeted. SILENCE AND A SNOTTY GLANCE made up his response to 'hello' . the rules were that he couldn't smoke his cigar inside. he kept lighting it anyway. ''what a dick'', everyone in the building ended up thinking . i think we're right. i often wonder who is a federal agent in the world of the media. plenty of them are, i'm sure. they make you laugh, and distract you. i remember cosby's routines about beating his kids and his dad beating him and russell. weird stuff to make light of. 'the trouble with dilbert' is a very good read regarding comedy as potential tyranny. very interesting. thanks wfmu! thanks kliph!


for more Cosby fun, be sure to check out "House of Cosbys":


You all may have seen this, but it appears Groucho Marx didn't really like Cosby either:


in 1980 I was working for Texas Instruments in Dallas. The Cos was spokesman for Speak and Spell learning toy. One morning, I was walking up the corridor and here comes The Cos and a TI press relations person.

As I got close, I noticed the press person was cringing. Then I noticed The Cos was shuffling and stumbling. Then I noticed The Cos had a glazed look in the eye. Then I heard him trying to say something. I say trying because I couldn't understand anything he said even being only a couple feet away.

The Cos was clearly totally fucked up; at 11am, at work, in dry county north Dallas TX.

But he did sell a bunch of Speak and Spells.

Dale Hazelton

I remember watching "Smothered" and some of the included clips. As a kid at the time most of the political stuff just went right over my head, especially since Tom and Dick looked like all-american Kingston Trio type lads, but I was blown away by the anti-Vietnam, anti-network censorship clips in the documentary. Somebody HAD to bite the hand that feeds them, and nobody did it better than Tommy. I think that's what killed the Johnny Cash show, too. His politics were probably just too in your face for ABC at the time. Pap like Sonny and Cher was more their speed -- innocuous, inoffensive (even with the Bob Mackie outfits) variety programming. As an aside, I saw Cosby perform at my college in the mid-70s. It WAS all about him getting smacked up as a kid...but you gotta give him credit for I SPY. He really was the first Black prime time lead (ok, co-lead) on televesion.

Dale Hazelton

Oops....Sony and Cher was on CBS, it was the crappy "Sonny" post-divorce that went to ABC...


Buzzy, I'm not here to take up Cos's cudgels at all (even though my first-ever LP was "Right"), but Groucho talked that way to *everybody* in the last years of his life.


Then there's always current news about Bill:



For some great senile moments with Groucho Marx I highly reccommend The Dick Cavett Show: The Comedians DVD set. It has Groucho, oblivious to the fact that Truman Capote is gay, telling him all he needs is a good woman in his life. Their cantankorous rapour is incredibly entertaining.

Joe Williamson

I googled Bill Cosby vs Tommy Smothers and got your web page. I actually was watching the Tonight Show, hosted by Bill Cosby, when they were trading barbs on the air. I've never seen anything like that before or since. I like both of the guys but have to say I probably sided with Tommy Smothers. I guess I thought at the time that Cosby was the agressor in the fued.
I do agree, however, with Bill Cosby's stance that it's time to take responsibilty for one's own fortune, or misfortune. There is always going to be various degrees of prejudice attitudes in all of us. People are either going to like me or dislike me based on my appearance, age, weight, color etc..

Woop Dog

Did you see the Letterman show where Bill Cosby was guest hosting but he had a total brain fart and the stagehand had to get on camera and wave to turn it off and guide the Cos off the show? He looked totally pathetic. He's lost it.

Michael Powers

The funniest thing about Cosby's haranguing about buckling down in school to get your education is that he used one of his TV series as college credit! Then, surreally, he put the academic letters at the end of his name on the end-credits of a later series!!

George Morris

Neither the Smothers nor Cosby were ever particularly funny. Tommy Smothers came out publicly against the war when it was safe to do so. Only radical mon-centrist elements on the right and left criticized this administration when it took balls to do so. The Smothers have gotten copious amounts of good press over the years for their supposed rebel iconoclasm, which is good enough reason to suspect propaganda at work. Real rebels never get good press.


CBS executives, keen allies of the warmongers in Washington, did not look fondly upon their network's highest rated show being mainstream America's number one source of anti-war commentary (the same thing happened to Phil Donahue, cancelled by MSNBC during the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, despite being number one in the ratings).

Wishing does not make it so. Donahue was getting killed in the ratings. That's why he was canned - nothing more. Get a clue (not that anyone is going to read this.)

Carl Weaver

I didn't know the Cos what that much of a dick.

Michael Powers - Cos got those academic letters the honest way, even if he did get some credit for his TV experience. If I were going back to school I might look into getting some life-based credit as well.

I used to hold him up as a great example for my students when I taught GED classes. Cosby got his GED and went on to get hi D.Ed. degree eventually, in addition to his other accomplishments. A great guy in many ways, but from what I read here, he sounds like a prick.

Tommy Smothers is by far one of the funniest people I have ever seen perform, even though it has all been on TV and (now) online. Great guy.

Michael Powers

Carl Weaver - No, I'm under the impression that Cosby, a notoriously poor student as a kid, somehow got his academic letters almost exclusively by working some deal getting credit for doing the TV show, and he discussed it with co-workers on the set, although I certainly couldn't swear to that (perhaps you were one of his former teachers). I always got a kick out of seeing the academic letters behind his name in the credits, usually the funniest part of any given episode.

Duane DeSwamp

Why doesn't Smothers speak up now about the corrupt administration now in the White House and on the Hill?

Kevin Kelly

Well I saw the Tonight Show with Cosby filling in for Carson. It was pretty awful. Cosby was rude to all the guests. On the other hand, Tom Smothers said the worst thing he could have. When confronted by Cosby on TV, Tom said, " Well I never liked black people "....The Smothers were doing some bit about Toms stamp collection. Elliot Gould ate one and Dick and Tom freaked out....It was the worst Tonight Show I ever saw, and showed the talent of Carson who wasn't there that night. ...I lost alot of respect for Smothers Brothers and Cosby this night.




Gee Kliph, five years later and you're still full of shit


I caught Cosby guest hosting the Tonight Show in about 1980 or so when Tom Smothers was on. It wasn't particularly entertaining and at one point Tom said something I felt was disparaging to or sarcastic about Black people. There was a stunned silence in the room and Cosby eventually said "You're losing, Tommy" and Tom said "I know that", as if it didn't bother him or, perhaps, to show that Cosby couldn't tell him anything he didn't already know. It was about a year later that Cosby slugged him and the news report of it at the time attributed it to hard feelings resulting from that appearance on the Tonight Show.

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