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I Started Out As a Child

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On his second record, Bill Cosby digs into his memories of youth. The rapidly evolving stand-up possesses a remarkable ability to methodically analyze the surreal things that kids say, think, and do while also displaying sympathy for their innocence. “The Giant”—a portrayal of his drunk father, as told from a child’s perspective—is totally spot on. Cosby is even sharper on “The Lone Ranger,” a subtle takedown of the heroic white cowboy that American children in the ’50s watched religiously.


Born: July 12, 1937 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Comedy

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although African-American comedians had long been a staple of the standup circuit prior to the emergence of Bill Cosby, none had come even remotely close to reaching the same heights of commercial success or universal acceptance. Before Cosby, black comics were largely relegated to the so-called "chitlin circuit" of black nightclubs and theaters, their albums banned from white-owned record stores; after Cosby, comedians of all racial and cultural backgrounds found a home in the mainstream, and were...
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I Started Out As a Child, Bill Cosby
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