Bringing parents, alumni and students together in a celebration of UR, Meliora Weekend was largely a success — except for the hiring of an aging comedian, whose once-funny jokes in the late ’70s and the mid-’80s now appear tired and stale.
WHile the performance of Bill Cosby was promoted as the highlight of Meliora Weekend, I had displeasure of watching his first performance on Friday night, when I could have just as easily entertained myself with mastering the subtle intricacies of shadow puppets.
Beginning the show with a mildly amusing line about students cleaning up their dorm rooms for parents, Cosby continued to draw half-hearted chuckles from the crowd, especially from the older audience.
Throughout the show, he talked about parenting, and frequently joked about how he wanted to beat his children. The bulk of the performance dealt with him commenting on the stupidity of his eldest daughter, even going so far as to say that he bought her way into college with a telephone call to the school’s president.
Perhaps realizing that he most likely will not be asked back for graduation, he mocked his daughter, commenting on there only being eight Cum Launde graduates — all of whom were foreigners, he noted – out of a 300 member class.
The best part of the show was when the onstage lights went out, Cosby stopped talking, and Frank Sinatra played over the speaker system as a failed attempt to expres how Cosby felt about the events of Sept. 11.
One might have originally thought that Cosby’s act would have been amusing for both students and elders alike, but after viewing this travesty of a comedy show, one had to wonder exactly who Cosby was trying to appeal to. Since the majority of students lacked a senior citizen pass, there were frequent moments when students looked around at each other while the over-50 crowd laughed.
Perhaps the next time the Office of College Advancement and Campus Activities Board schedules a speaker, they might pick a more modern, in-touch comedian that might actually have the ability to reach the college student. To sum up Cosby’s sentiments about students, he said “Character, it’s time for you to get some.”
Outside of the performance, Cosby was as unamusing as he is on stage. In a pointless attempt to show that the man has some redeeming attributes, I approached him backstage, to ask him a few fluff questions, such as, “What are you most proud of doing in your life?”
When I did get a chance to speak with him, I politely asked if I could ask him a few questions, to which he immediately, and loudly, replied with a harsh “No.”
Understanding that he did not want to be interviewed, I was about to walk away, when Cosby turned around, and choose to invade my personal space by putting his face literally two inches in front of my own, close enough for me to smell the stench on his breath.
Instead of pausing to answer a simple question, however, Cosby proceeded to chew me out of failing to mention my name.
Needless to say, one talent that he obviously has is acting — Cosby has the ability to make people believe that he is a nice guy.
Looking back on both his lackluster performance and his brackish attitude, I realize that I’ve lost a great deal of respect for Cosby after our encounter. If this show was geared towards anyone, it was most likely towards parents, as the show continually poked fun at students and anyone below 20.
While the show did last a hour and a half, I found myself yawning for the majority of it, and wondering why I spent $20 on a performance that consisted of an old man sitting in a chair, trying to remember his past.
If I knew that’s what I had in store for me when I bought the tickets, I would have readily changed my ming, opting, perhaps to enjoy the Memorial Poetry Series or a good game of women’s soccer.
I can only speculate when the nightmares about Jell-O will end, and I can go on living my life again.