Just like most everyone else, I too was quite disappointed when I heard about the allegations against Bill Cosby. I couldnt believe it and refused to accept that one of my life long heroes could be caught up in such a scandal. But the more his accusers stepped forward with their own accusations of misconduct, I had to succumb with what he would eventually be guilty of. To be honest, theres still a small part of me that feels he was set up, but I wont get into the conspiracy theories.
I recall watching Fat Albert every single Saturday morning. It was like a weekly tradition. I even learned how to talk like Mush Mouth! “Hay-be Ma-bin, wha-bits go-bing o-bin”? I would go around asking! I read his book and listened to his albums and you can imagine the new tradition as he became Mr Huxtable every Thursday night! He was like a long lost Uncle!
When he came to the casino, I was secretly delighted, ok, secretly elated, that he had summoned my presence. As the Entertainment Manager, my boss was asked who would be in charge of the night’s production. I can still remember the call I got on the two-way radio from my boss. “ROOOB, whats your 20”?
“Im at Front of House” came my response.
“Come to the Green Room, Mr Cosby is asking your presence”!
One of my favorite routines of Cool Cos was his bit about children and how honest and trustworthy they are. He spoke of how they were just the opposite, citing how devious and masters of trickery they can be. As the story goes, his grandchild builds a sophisticated ladder to be able to reach the top shelf of the cupboard so that he can grab the bag of cookies. Once he gets them in hand, the child gets busted. “What are you doing”? Bill asked scoldingly.
“I was getting a cookie for youuuu” is the child’s reply
“But I dont want a cookie”, came the retort.
“Well, can I have itttt”?
Bill’s facial expressions are what make his punchlines, which is what makes that story even more laughable.
As I entered the Green Room, my boss introduced me to Mr Cosby at which time he excused everyone else from the room with the exception of another Native woman who was supervising the ushers for the show. I shook his hand as I sat to the right of him on an L-shaped sofa while Gladys sat on his left. He asked about our heritage and culture and expressed similarities with other Native Culture with which he was exposed to. He listened intently and asked apologetically a few “culturally sensitive” questions but he was truly interested in our culture.
As we delved deeper into our conversation and although the door was shut, the General Manager, Public Relations Manager and a couple other individuals decided to barge in on our conversation. Bill quite abruptly made the GM aware of his very rude intrusion. The GM’s face quickly turned beet red but kept a dumb ass smile on his face which was begging the question “am I on candid camera”? Bill asked if there was a sign on the door that instructed to “dont knock, come in” which there wasnt. He then asked when the door to his office is shut, if his subordinates just barge in, interrupting his conversations or meetings. They didnt. Mr Cosby then instructed that the intruding party walk back out the door and properly announce themselves. Im sure I was taking quite a delight in how Cool Cos was handling the situation but I was also concerned that if the GM had seen a disrespectful grin on my face directed at him, I might be put on his shit list. Once they left, closed the door and properly knocked, Bill kindly opened the door and explained that he was in the middle of a pleasant conversation with “these most gracious hosts” and will be with them shortly. He then sat back down and carried on with our conversation for a few minutes more.
As he was closing our conversation, I stood up and walked over to the catering table, pointed at the spread, to which he replied, “please, help yourself”, I put a couple cookies on a napkin, walked over to him and handed them to him. He kindly said “Thank you, but no thank you”.
I looked at him and said “Well, can I have itttt”?
His facial expression was the punchline!