TPAC to host Bill Cosby this weekend

Jensen Moore,Washburn Review

This Saturday, the Topeka Performing Arts Center will host “An Evening with Bill Cosby.” The event commemorates Cosby’s 50 years in show business.

Bill Cosby started off his career in the early 1960s as a stand up comedian. Cosby was known for his clean and relatable comedy act that successfully launched his career not only as a comedian, but also as an actor, author and producer.

Cosby’s act featured family-friendly material that created a connection between his audience and himself.

“The great thing about what he does is he talks about almost everything,” said Barbara Wiggins,  TPAC executive director. “[The show] is very human. It’s very down to earth; just a day in the life sort of thing.”

Cosby is most widely recognized for the role of Cliff Huxtable, the main character of the television program, “The Cosby Show.” The program quickly became popular because of its family oriented humor. The story centered around the Huxtable family, parents Cliff and Clair and their five children: Sondra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa and Rudy. Although it had comedic overtone, the show often dealt with serious subjects, such as Theo dealing with dyslexia, a subject based on Cosby’s real life son Ennis, who also was dyslexic.

Life magazine described the program as “a gentle, whimsical, warmhearted” show whose “delicious ordinariness of its pleasures and tribulations has given millions a fresh, laughter-splashed perspective on their own domestic lives.” The show aired from 1984 to 1992 and won six Emmy awards. It also won three Golden Globes, two of which were earned by Cosby for Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series. “The Cosby Show” would go on to become the highest ranking sitcom of all time.

His reigning success in comedy has given him the title of a great entertainer and inspired many other comics to come, however Cosby never wavered from his clean cut approach.

“At one time in his career, maybe 25 years ago,” said Wiggins, “when the new up and coming comics, like the Eddie Murphys,’ were hitting the scene, he didn’t feel like people had to use that kind of language to be funny, because he never had to use that kind of language to be funny.”

Bill Cosby will perform at 8 p.m. one night only, Saturday, Feb. 16 at TPAC. Ticket prices are $74.50, $54.50, and $44.50. TPAC is located in downtown Topeka at 214 SE 8th Ave.

Other upcoming events at TPAC include The Temptations, performing Friday, March 1, Willie Nelson performing Thursday, March 7 and Bill Maher performing Saturday, April 13. For more information contact Barbara Wiggins at [email protected]