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Bill Cosby: 'I'm Ready for Virginia'

Stacy M. Brown | 6/12/2013, 4:29 p.m.
Vienna is a town in the state of Virginia. Period. End of story. So says iconic comedian Bill Cosby, who ...
Bill Cosby

Vienna is a town in the state of Virginia. Period. End of story.

So says iconic comedian Bill Cosby, who will be at Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in Vienna for a performance on Saturday, June 15.

“The people in Virginia can vote,” Cosby said, lowering his voice as if he were divulging something that could compromise national security. “They can’t do that in Washington, D.C. That place is strange, you don’t have a vote.”

Cosby’s thoughts on Virginians: “They’re smart people. Serious people.” And, those in the nation’s capital: “They just don’t do a good job picking mayors there, it’s true.” Those are just a few of the humorous jabs audiences can expect when he arrives for the 8 p.m. show.

The 75-year-old legend has achieved what few entertainers have.

A Philadelphia native, Cosby’s successes span five decades. He has had several best-selling comedy albums, eight gold records, five platinum records and five Grammy awards.

His role on television’s “I Spy” in 1965 made him the first African American to co-star in a dramatic series, breaking TV’s racial barrier and winning three Emmy awards.

“When you talk about Cosby, you’re talking legend, legend, legend, and then legendary, legendary, legendary,” said David McDaniel, 67, a Bowie, Md.-based television producer. “People may have forgotten that he was a black television star in the 1960s. That’s saying something."

Cosby has appeared in such movies as, “Uptown Saturday Night,” “Let’s Do It Again” and “A Piece of the Action.”

His co-star in each of those films was Academy Award winner Sidney Poitier.

In 1972, Cosby created “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids,” an animated series in which Cosby lent his voice to a number of the characters.

The popular show, which ran through 1985, was based on the comedian’s remembrances of his childhood gang and centered on Albert, who was known for his catchphrase, “Hey, hey, hey!”

But his biggest success came in 1984 with the debut of “The Cosby Show.”

The long-running hit comedy series about the Huxtable family raised eyebrows as it was the first television show to portray blacks as upper-middle class, educated and scandal-free people.

The Huxtable children didn’t get pregnant before marriage, do drugs or use foul language, and they focused on education.

Known as “America’s Favorite Dad,” Cosby continues to be a father figure to many, speaking often about the importance of personal responsibility. He has a new book, “I Didn’t Ask to be Born (But I’m Glad I Was),” and his concert tour is drawing rave reviews from fans and critics.

“Young comedians and wanna-be comics should take note,” said journalist John Berger, who saw Cosby’s concert in Hawaii last month. “Cosby did a show that clocked in at twice the length of many comics’ sets, and had the crowd roaring with laughter throughout the evening,” Berger said.

Cosby said he is looking forward to his show at Wolf Trap. “Man, you tell the people that I’m up early and I’m ready for them,” he said.

For further information, visit www.wolftrap.org, or call 703-255-1900.