Last week, a freelance entertainment blogger contacted me with an offer to write a guest post about Bill Cosby (in honor of his 76th birthday). So, here it is:
Bill Cosby's Impact on Pop Culture by Spencer Blohm
Bill Cosby is one of the most important comedians of all time, especially when it comes to his impact on how African-American families were looked at in America. With a career that spans over 50 years, it is amazing how this man from humble beginnings was able to completely transform how African-American families were viewed both on television and in pop culture.
Two of Cosby’s most important works were the The Cosby Show and Fat Albert. Let's take a closer look at how these two shows were able to impact pop culture in America and also lead to the rise of a star who came from nothing.
The Impact of The Cosby Show
Before The Cosby Show existed, there was not really any kind of image of a strong African-American family on television. Many young African-Americans did not have a strong family to look up to at home, and the show had a huge impact on how the black family was understood by much of the public in the real world. With no strong black families on television, most people would just assume that almost all African-American families were broken up without a strong bond between everyone in the family. This idea of how the black family operates was completely shattered for many viewers of The Cosby Show.
Although many people think that Cosby portraying a successful doctor was actually the main aspect of the show that had the biggest impact on the perception of African-American families in society, the fact of the matter is that the strength of the unity between family members was actually the most important part of the show. The fact that the mother and father were not separated and the children were able to grow up in a stable, wealthy home was really the game-changing aspect of the show. This show was basically used to show that not all young black children were forced to grow up in broken homes, even if that was the case in Cosby's real life.
Cosby's Clean Humor
When you take a look at the kinds of jokes that were used on the Cosby Show and compare them to someone like Richard Pryor, it is amazing that Cosby was able to attain so much success and recognition. Richard Pryor is considered by many to be the best African-American comedian of all time, but Bill Cosby was able to carve out his own success with his much cleaner stand up comedy and television shows. Although Pryor was able to gain success with his comedic performances that contained vulgar language and content that was definitely not suitable for children, Cosby was able to show that you can also become a successful comedian by sticking to family-friendly themes.
Fat Albert's Impact on Children
There were many television shows for children in the 1960s, but Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids was the only show that targeted the inner-city demographic. The fact of the matter was that many of the inner-city children could not relate to the kinds of programming that was created mainly for white, suburban kids. Cosby was able to teach life lessons to the children of the ghettos in the United States in ways that they could actually understand and relate to. The important aspect of the show was that Cosby actually grew up in the inner-city, so he knew everything about the kinds of things that could happen to children in those kinds of areas.
What Celebrities Have to Say About Bill Cosby
Dave Chappelle is one of the most critically acclaimed comedians today, and he grew up watching the shows created by Bill Cosby and his stand-up specials. Chappelle actually backed up Cosby in his stand-up special, "For What It's Worth", for not being politically correct with a lot of his statements.
Author Bio: Spencer Blohm is a freelance entertainment blogger for DirectTV. In his freetime he enjoys sunsets, reading by the fire, knitting, and writing petition letters to Kraft Foods to get them to bring Jello Pudding Pops back.