What can we possibly say about Bill Cosby that hasn’t been said by everyone else at this point? Full disclosure: I never liked the guy. OK, I will give him props for his work on The Electric Company and Fat Albert, but that’s as far as it goes. I always thought The Cosby Show wasn’t a true representation of an everyday African American family. Good Times — now that was a show that told it like it was: a family struggling to pay the bills, trying to move up in society, never really getting there. Not that there’s anything wrong with showing an upscale, affluent African American family on TV, but the Huxtables were never believable to me. Cliff was always right and everyone fawned all over him. Even on Father Knows Best, Jim Anderson made mistakes and that’s why we loved him — it made him human. At the TV Land Awards a few years ago, where The Cosby Show was being honored, Cosby did all the talking, refusing to let any of his co-stars talk. I was in the audience, and at the commercial break a production assistant came to our table and said, “Everyone needs to talk, that’s the point of this show.” Later, members of the cast told us that Cosby wanted only himself to talk, since it was his show. That’s who he is.
Meantime, now that allegations against Cosby are snowballing faster than anyone’s ability to keep up with them, Cosby, during an interview on NPR, refused to talk, preferring to leave dead airspace when questioned. Then there’s his recent AP interview, in which he again refused to talk, demanded footage not be shown, and asked a staff member to talk to the interviewer’s boss — a power play he obviously didn’t win:
Personally, I have always felt that Cosby was overly judgemental, looking down upon others, especially those in the black community who didn’t measure up to his standards, whatever those are — or were. Case in point, his “We spoke English” comment to Wanda Sykes at the Emmys in 2003 and his “pull up your pants” comments to your young Black men. Now he’s under attack and he brought it on all by himself. Netflix has dumped him, NBC has canceled plans for his new show, and TV Land has pulled reruns of The Cosby Show. Several appearances have been canceled, including one in Las Vegas. A former NBC employee came forward to say that he finally quit his job — as the lookout at Cosby’s dressing room when he had women in there — because he couldn’t do it anymore — couldn’t continue handling money to be given to women in exchange for silence.
So what is this — 30 years, 40 years worth of accusations? And now women coming out of the woodwork to accuse him by the dozen? This is not, folks, a coincidence. And it will not go away just because Cosby wants it to. Now, do I think Cosby is guilty as charged? I don’t know and it’s not for me to say, but all these women can’t be lying, can they? Can Cosby be the only person telling the truth? This looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and maybe does other things like a sick duck. Quack, quack.
This Just in…
Well, it looks like The Millers has been euthanized, much to my delight. Now comes word that Queen Latifah’s show is done as of March — too bad. I’ve been a huge fan of hers for a long time. Some other shows have also bit the dust. I can live without Sullivan & Son, though I will miss my weekly dose of Christine Ebersole, and I will also miss the fun that has been Franklin & Bash (Breckin Meyer is so adorable!). But Hot in Cleveland? How can TV Land cancel that nice old lady and her cohorts? Well, Netflix is poised to tick up Longmire, so maybe someone, somewhere will save Hot in Cleveland.
While Mike Nichols was known more as a Tony-winning Broadway director and an Oscar-winning film director, he was also an Emmy-winning director, for both Wit and Angels in America. My first recollection of Nichols was, of course, as part of Nichols and May. They performed on Broadway in 1961, in An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May, but it was their early TV appearances that I remember so well. They became one of the best (and only) satirical improvisational comedy duos, winning a Grammy for Best Comedy Album in 1962 and, along with Bob Newhart and Stiller & Meara, remain among my favorite comic heroes. My heart goes out to his wife of 26 years, ABC News’ Diane Sawyer.
Glen A. Larson, the creative genius behind Battlestar Galactica, Magnum PI, Quincy, Knight Rider and a host of other great shows, died from esophageal cancer at age 77. Larson, who began as a singer with the Four Preps in the 1950s, had a prolific four-decade career as a writer-producer. He was responsible for launching the careers of Lee Majors (The Six Million Dollar Man), Tom Selleck (Magnum PI) and, for better or for worse, David Hasselhoff (Night Rider).
You might not know the name and you have never seen her face, but an integral part of The Big Bang Theory also passed away. Carol Ann Susi — a.k.a. Mrs. Wolowitz, Howard’s annoyingly screeching mother — was a Brooklyn-born, theatre-trained actress widely respected in the business. From those of us who love Big Bang, we will miss you and your dulcet tones: “HOWARD!!!”