Bill Cosby is one of the last comedians who might be expected to have a new stand-up special on Comedy Central – and he quickly makes light of that on … his new Comedy Central special, “Far From Finished.”
At the beginning of his show, and on the first track of his corresponding new two-disc recording also called “Far From Finished,” the 76-year-old comedian - famous for his homespun, G-rated humor - tells of speaking to fans about his upcoming special on the often-racy network. He says one fan was distraught and wailed, “Mr. Cosby’s gonna curse!”
Well, he doesn’t curse. Bill Cosby does what Bill Cosby usually does: He tells stories about family.
Some might semi-reasonably claim his act is as offensive as that of some of the edgier comics on the network. Cosby consistently characterizes men as inept oafs emasculated by their wives and left with no say-so about even the most trivial aspects of their own lives. In turn, women are domineering, irrational shrews.
That would be the politically-correct argument against Cosby, though most PC types would be too bored by his slow, gentle delivery to hear him out, especially his two-disc audio collection that stretches past two hours with bonus material beyond the TV special.
The main problem with “Far From Finished” isn’t Cosby’s quaint notions of gender roles (which clearly still ring true for his supportive live audience). It’s the long and predictable nature of his tales
Cosby compares women and men to chess pieces: The queen can move anywhere she wants, but the king can only move one square at a time. And fittingly, that’s how Cosby’s show moves, one deliberate square at a time.
Obviously there’s comfort to be taken from his quaint stories and observations, and it’s easy to laugh at the truth in his hokum, delivered by the affable comedian with abundant charm. He talks of how his wife has relegated all of his possessions to one room, so of course that becomes his hangout. “Sometimes she’ll come by and peek in – ‘Oh, there you are!” he says, even though she knows there’s nowhere else he could be. He also tells of his car breaking down in the middle of the night and the contrasting response he got from calling his friend, Ed, and his wife. Ed immediately dropped everything to come get him; his unsympathetic wife immediately launched into a lecture about how the breakdown was his own fault for not taking the car to a mechanic when he should have.
Oh, and the reason Ed could come right away? He’s single, so he didn’t have a wife to make him stay home.
So it goes in Cosby’s world.
Rating: 3 stars (out of five)
© 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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