Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A Little Of The Old In And Out

(image via knoxnews)

In: Bill Cosby. We kid Bill Cosby. He is just so darn easy to kid: the "busy" sweaters, the paternal gut, the pudding pops, the infamous "pound cake" speech, the obsession with collecting honorary degrees, that whole sunglasses-indoors thing(you are not Miles Davis, Mr. Cosby)...

But it is impossible to imagine any living comedian more deserving of the Twain Prize for American Humor than he (The Corsair hoists a glass of the fizzy). Bill Cosby -- let's face it -- is a sine qua non of the Obama Presidency. Without "The Cosby Show," Barack Obama would probably not have been elected -- not in 2008. We would probably have had to wait a bit longer for the first African-American President, cling to the illusion of Bill Clinton (Averted Gaze). Bill Cosby presented -- at the time -- the most successful depiction of an upwardly-ascending and, most importantly, intact African-American family. Cosby created the atmospherics, the mood lighting in America for an upper-middle class black family to thrive and attain all those same possibilities that white families have enjoyed. By being the most important show for most of the eighties he forever changed the perceptions of the African-American family. We can almost forgive him for creating roughly 3/4 of the cast of "The Cosby Kids (Averted Gaze)." From Variety:

"Comedian Bill Cosby has been selected by the Kennedy Center to receive this year’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. The award and accompanying festivities will be staged Oct. 26 at the center’s Concert Hall, an event slated for later broadcast on PBS.

"The award in its 12th year will honor an individual whose 'groundbreaking brand of humor' and other accomplishments have made him one of America’s most beloved comedians, said Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman.

"Cosby noted in response that his first exposure to humorist Twain came at a tender age, when Annie Pearl Cosby read to him and his brother about Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. 'I would like to apologize to Mr. Twain for falling asleep hundreds of times, but he should understand that I was only four,' he said."

We kid, Mr. Cosby, because we love. Take a bow.

(image via cbssoapswatch)

Out: The Guiding Light. That significant cultural genre -- the soap opera -- is dying. That arena of overcosmeticized beauty, that torrid swamp of camp sensibility, that fucking festival of scenery-chewing and hammy acting and "soap opera face" is dying. In soft focus. See? And knowing soap operas, it is doing so with maximum fabulosity on an immaculate hospital bed and in close-up in left three-quarter profile (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment). From the NYPost:

"CBS has cancelled 'Guiding Light'--which has aired, in one medium or another, for 72 years.

"The veteran soap's last episode will air Friday, Sept. 18.

"The cancellation of 'Guiding Light' is yet another nail in the coffin of daytime soaps--many of which have fallen by the wayside due to declining ratings.

"It's not known what will replace 'Guiding Light' on CBS' daytime schedule. The show airs from 10 to 11 a.m. on Ch. 2."

Farewell, Guiding Light.

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