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Bill Cosby, Himself [VHS]
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Product Description

After I Spy and before The Cosby Show, Bill Cosby left his own inimitable mark on the arena of stand-up comedy in this live concert showcasing his down-to-earth observations on the rigors and joys of family life. Cosby, using only a microphone and a chair, discusses his take on raising kids and the illogical nature of children and the futility of trying to argue with a child that in the end may be smarter than you. Notable highlights include Cosby's ruminations on the meaning of the all-purpose phrase "I don't know" to kids, and Cosby describing the effect raising children has on his wife Camille's mental state and the pitch of her voice. Containing the basis for the humor of his long-running situation comedy, Bill Cosby: Himself is a polished, occasionally insightful, and frequently hilarious night of comedy from one of the longtime masters of the form. --Robert Lane

One of America's most popular comedians, Bill Cosby treats his fans to a funny, satirical and heart-warming concert at Toronto's Hamilton Place Performing Arts Center. His material ranges from marriage and the unending trials of parenthood, to the side-splitting antics of the very young, and a hilarious encounter with a dentist's drill and needle. Insightful and witty, this highly entertaining film is a rare cinematic treat, filled with all the spontaneity and electricity that only a live performance can provide.

Customer Reviews:

  • Cosby's greatest stand-up routines immortalized.
    Himself (Bill Cosby, 1983)

    Back when it originally came out, I saw Himself so many times it's one of the few movies where I've actually lost count of the number of times I've seen it. I also own the album, and wore out two or three copies of it on cassette in the eighties. (Thank heaven for the CD!) I DVRed it from one of the commercial-free channels a few months ago and saved it to watch with my daughter recently; she's about the same age now I was when I first saw it, so it seemed a natural. My daughter's one of those kids who laughs at comedies, but is horrified of being seen to like things that won't be seen as cool (for example, she goes into fits of giggling when I sit her down in front of an episode of Are You Being Served? or The Golden Girls, but still professes to hate them), so I figured I'd get the same reaction here. It seems, though, that Bill Cosby is still cool. We've been going around the house intermittently singing the Chocolate Cake for Breakfast song ever since.

    Cosby, of course, went mainstream (and kind of boring) in the mid-eighties with The Cosby Show and Bill Cosby Mysteries, but as a standup comedian, the man has been a king among kings since the sixties. I've always thought Himself has actually been his best set; pieces of it (including the Chocolate Cake for Breakfast song and the immortal first line of the album: "Dentists tell you not to pick your teeth with any sharp metal object. Then you sit in their chair...") have become cultural icons, quoted even by those who have no idea where they came from. Unlike the album, though, the film of Himself is not the entirely-wholesome image that Cosby kind of grew into after The Cosby Show started airing; his first monologue here, about drugs, is not off-color, but it's definitely a mature theme, and Cosby proves himself as hysterical when walking the same ground as folks like Richard Pryor and George Carlin as he is when doing the family-oriented stuff. (During my drunk years, I always used to do the "oh, toilet bowl, you're my only friend" routine when I found myself in, erm, that position.)

    This is straight-out four-on-the-floor funny stuff, and it remains the finest standup video I've ever seen. Great stuff. And I now have evidence, though it's the smallest of sample sizes, that new generations are also finding Cosby as funny as us old folks. This is a must-see. **** ?
    ...more info
  • Still Funny!
    I have seen this so many times in the 20+ years, but it still makes me laugh out loud! Bill Cosby at his best....more info
  • A classic
    Should be seen by all parents to be. It also pays back for empty nesters. Fun without 4 letter words, what a joy....more info
  • Helped Raise My Kids
    I'm so glad to have this classic in DVD format. My kids watched this when they were young and loved it. The good thing is that they appreciated the frustrations that parents go through and are now grownups with a clue. Thanks, Bill!!...more info
    My Mom watched this with me and she wasn't familiar with Bill Cosby at all. I think she laughed through the whole thing, proving that he can relate to all audiences. ...more info

    YOU WILL LAUGH TILL YOU CRY!...more info
  • Bill Cosby at his best
    My class was reading "Was Tarzan a Three Bandage Man" by Bill Cosby and i wanted them to experience his stage humor. Although you may not want to show it all (he is anti-drug, drinking and smoking, but you still might not want to show those parts), there are many parts that the kids can relate to and find absolutely hilarious. I'm glad i could find this. I only wish i could get a copy of Noah...i loved that one when i was a kid....more info
  • laughter never ages
    Bill Cosby may be Himself in this performance, but it is easy to identify with him and see one's self. This performance could make anyone laugh. It has the ability to take the viewer back to childhood and remember the family environment and all those growing pains. It has the unique ability to place the viewer in the present and just how things are in their own family after growing up. His stories are heartwarming and filled with the human element of life in general with everyday struggles to just make it. The concepts will never grow old and the lessons continue as life teaches us that it is a fun place to be regardless what stage we are going through at the present. Every family should have this. If you are single, you need it too. Somewhere in the past you probably had a family happening too. Bill Cosby is so human and so humorous. He is a gift to each and all of us....more info
  • Thank god for Bill Cosby and his stand-up!
    Bill Cosby is truly a gifted and talented comedian, This stand-up pretty much vindicates all that has been ever said in description about his capabilities and showcases his inredible talent for storytelling. It comes in an era, when so much of life's negative are told by stand-ups with a seething vehemence to their act interms of cussing, their choice of topics. The arguements normally put forth by these people, is that, "They keep it real and don't sugar coat it"... i would say, Bill is the one who keeps it real. This is an amazing and clean stand-up, not only that, he also is respected by the audience and brings them in well.

    I had purchased this as a gift for my Brother, and it is a stand-up show which everyone must come to possess. Very Very funny stuff here.

    Its a keeper in my collection as well. Recommend to buy....more info
  • Funniest Live Comedy Concert Ever Taped
    I know there are those who won't agree with me about the "funniest ever" label because of the Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy concerts caught live, but go back and watch this and you'll find yourself laughing to tears every time. Cosby is able to make us laugh and make us think at the same time, which is a rarity these days. For those with children you will definitely see yourself here. He takes everyday things like going to the dentist (normally not very funny) and makes them hilarious. Puking your guts up when drunk isn't something I would put on my list of all time funny things to do, but Bill puts you there and makes it real, and it becomes funny. The best thing about Cosby is he doesn't have to use needless profanity just to fill time like others who aren't talented enough to do so. If you don't believe me, buy this and see for yourself. You won't be sorry you chose this, destined to be a classic....more info
  • Bill Cosby Himself
    Loved this video - could watch it over and over...I had seen it before but wanted to have it in my collection of comedians of the 50's...more info
  • will hit home with almost any audience
    This has got to be one of the funniest dvds I own. It's a bit dated, and I do get sad when he speaks of his son, Ennis, who ended up being murdered in real life (but not by his sisters, so there), but as a whole it packs a lot of laughter into one stand-up routine.

    Dr. Cosby pokes gentle but perfectly-timed fun at drunks, dentists, parents, children ... the list goes on. If you've ever been drunk (I haven't), seen a drunk, given birth (I haven't), heard stories of friends who gave birth, been to the dentist, tried to raise children, manipulated your siblings against parents and each other, wondered about newborns and grandparents, heard how haaaaaard it was for your parents when they were your age, felt frustration around somebody else's manic preschooler ... or experienced any of a myriad of common siutations upon which he comments and illustrates, then The Cos will certainly tickle your funny-bone with his descriptions.

    The copy I have is close-captioned, and while many of his guffaws come from sound effects, a Deaf or hard of hearing person could still enjoy this routine. Blind or visually impaired folks will also find a lot to laugh at despite occasional reliance on funny walks, facial expressions, etc.

    Buy this dvd and grab the whole family to watch it. Invite your friends, Democrat-Rebuplican-Libertarian-Green-Whomever -- this brilliant entertainer will give everybody at least a couple of smiles. Myself, I have to pause it from time to time to catch my breath from laughing so hard....more info
  • Cosby at his best
    Bill Cosby did this standup comedy event years ago, yet it is still as fresh and funny today. He makes reality funny - and we all need that....more info
  • "I Brought You Into This World... And I Can Take You Out..."
    I had forgotten just how much talent Bill Cosby had until over the past holiday week I saw "Bill Cosby - Himself" which was running several times on HBO. I laughed so hard I cried -- really. This stand up comedy skit is old (1983) and yet is still pertinent to family life today. He did this skit a year before The Cosby Show and you can tell where he gets his humor from: his own family.

    This DVD is a wonderful gift for anyone who appreciates good, clean fun... there is some foul language but nothing overt or excessively vulgar. Great for teens, friends, family to have a good laugh and pass the time around the holidays! ;)...more info
  • Cosby - Clean Comedy
    It's too bad that good, clean comedy such as this is becoming harder to obtain. This is a wonderful look at everyday life from the humorous side in a way that only Bill Cosby can perform.

    Excellent in my opinion....more info
  • Absolutely Hilarious
    There was a time, long ago, when I could recite most of the album from memory. Yes, album, because I'm an old guy. But this was the first time I'd actually seen the man in concert, and it most certainly won't be the last. Absolutely one of the most hilarious concerts I've ever seen. Beside me, my Australian wife was also laughing so hard we had to pause the thing from time to time, so he crosses national boundaries as easily as he does racial ones. I had no idea he was so visual as well as verbal. And at a whopping 102 minutes, I really hope they pieced this together from several performances, because doing all that in a single session would probably kill somebody. Just remembering that much material would be too much for most. It's too easy to remember what his career turned into and dismiss him, but in his prime, meaning right here, wow. I've slipped this one onto that very special place in my shelves where DVDs live that I'll watch again and again and never part with. That's why it's got five stars. I don't give those out very often, especially not to DVDs, because I'm one of those dreadful snobs who reads books....more info
  • Bill Cosby, Himself
    I have seen this so many times and still today love to watch it. It is one that is clean enough for the whole family to watch. You know Dad is great, feeds us the cake, my children just laugh until they get tears about the baby poo....more info
  • A Comedic genius at his best!
    Bill Cosby is one of the greatest comedians of the present times, he is witty, hilarious and usually does it without being obscene and resorting to lowbrow humor. The set captured in this DVD is some of his funniest work around and includes many of the skits, such as the Dentist, which he is asked to reprise when he does shows to this day. I've listened to this set many times over the years, watching it on DVD adds another dimension and another level of hillarity. Buy it and get ready to laugh!...more info
  • Absolutely Hilarious
    Buy it! Watch it with your whole family. Not one swear word and absolutely hilarious....more info
  • On time
    We had this video before and misplace it. Amazon delivered right on time for her birthday, still as funny as it was in 1982. My daughter loved it...more info
  • A Bill Cosby Classic
    If you like Bill Cosby, you'll love this. Full of his antics, unique facial expressions and superb story-telling style you've come to know and love. It's really good....more info
  • Good clean Cosby laughs
    I have seen this video many times on TV. I finally wanted to own it for myself. It is an all time classic review of the humor of being a parent from the birth of the baby to adolescent behavior problems. I use quotes from this monolog all the time. It is a lasting tribute to the comic genius of Bill Cosby....more info
  • Hilarious
    This DVD is absolutely hilarious I laugh so hard it brings tears to my eyes every time. I don't buy a lot of movies but this one is a Must Have in any collection LOVE IT!!!!...more info
  • Excellent
    The video is so funny and Amazon was wonderful with the order. The first was lost in the mail and they promptly sent a new one. Very pleased. Penny...more info
  • Classic Cosby
    This is just classic Cosby stand-up. I think he has done better stuff, but this is a good DVD....more info
  • Hilarious Stand Up
    I knew Bill Cosby had done stand up, but I had never seen it until I watched this recording of one of his shows from 1983. The man is absolutely hilarious.

    As a warm up of sorts, he starts out by talking about people who use alcohol and drugs to have "fun" on the weekends. Then he discusses going to the dentist. Finally, he gets to the main event where family life is skewered. Everything from "natural childbirth" to trying to wrangle 5 kids to the change from parents to grandparents (watching his parents make the change that is) is fair game here.

    Those looking for something visually stimulating will be disappointed. This is just Bill, a microphone, and a chair (which he sits in more often than not) for the entire time. But please don't let that stop you. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. And his observations are absolutely true, too. At times he has a point to make, but he makes it with dead accurate humor.

    And this movie is mostly clean, too. There was one word early on and a bit at the end I didn't appreciate, but we're talking about a minute out of an hour and forty-five minutes of comedy. I'm not complaining. His wife comes across a bit harshly at times, but he also comes across as lazy. These bits probably wouldn't fly today, but they work when you remember one element of comedy is exaggeration.

    If you haven't yet experienced this comedic gem, get it today. You'll be laughing for years to come....more info