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Gone Fishing

Life on and off the waters of the Wood River Valley

The Cosby Show Comes to Town

Jun 28, 2011 - 02:47 AM
The Cosby Show Comes to Town

Scholars have long argued as to why God, after making a perfectly good, exceptionally well-behaved and seemingly contented man —better known as Adam—decided to make a woman.

“I don’t know what he did,” Bill Cosby told a sold out Sun Valley Pavilion last week. “Maybe he was making beer.”

One of the first rules of bartending, the trade of serving beer, is to never talk about politics or religion. Of course, Bill Cosby isn’t a bartender by trade, he’s a joke teller—and one of the best to ever hone the craft. So politics and the editorial work done on the Holy Bible are, quite naturally, his forte.

“I have no problem with God…but the editors,” Bill began in his deep, slow-paced voice. Just then the skies suddenly closed and it began to pour hard enough to make Moses nervous. “On second thought, I will not talk about the Bible.”

Soon to turn 74, Bill Cosby still practices his craft with the precision of a master and he delighted the crowd with his razor sharp take on marriage, manhood and his explanation of the Genesis section of the Bible.

“There’s pages missing,” Cosby told a audience, which included a fairly large conference of bankers from the Beehive State. “I don’t know where they are but I think they’re in Utah.”

Upon entering, stage right, Cosby wore a long sleeve t-shirt, dark colored cargo pants and black Crocs as he bellowed his famous Fat Albert call, “Hey, hey hey!”

For more than two hours, Cosby put on his show with the ease and mellow energy that has earned him countless Emmys, Grammys and honorary PhDs. What was most impressive about his performance, however, was that despite tackling topics like sex, puberty and marital quarrels, Cosby never uttered even a single foul word.

“You give her a ring,” Bill advised the bachelors of the crowd about marriage, “she gives you an answer.”

One of the wonders of watching Cosby at his craft is how effortlessly he masters the use of silence. No one uses the quiet pause, served with a side of great facial expressions, better than Cosby. He somehow tickles the funny bone by not saying anything.

“God would never say, ‘you need a woman,’” Cosby declared when explaining Eve’s entrance into the world. “No, it was ‘you need a helpmate’—which describes nothing by the way,” Bill said, then scanned the crowd and gestured to his right. “God could have come out with a Shammy.”

There isn’t a better venue in America to catch the Cosby (or just about any) show than the Sun Valley Pavilion. Having fond memories of listening to bands belt it out of the big white tent scattered across the Sun Valley lawn—this was my first show at the still somewhat new Pavilion (opened in the summer of 2008) and I was duly impressed

The building itself is covered in stunning Mariotti travertine stone (the same Italian stone used to grace places like the Roman Colosseum, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. and St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican) the backdrop of Idaho mountains is sublime. Yet the Pavilion is still small and intimate enough that it felt like Cosby looked right at me, and just about every other member of the chuckling crowd, a few times.

Despite having been a professional comedian of stage, screen and the boob-tube for more than a half-century now, Cosby seems to have taken a page out of Methuselah’s section of the Bible and hasn’t aged a minute. That must explain why some of his jokes are timeless—as well as occasionally applicable to those of us of any age: “When you’re 15 you’ve got two things going for you: stupidity and hope.”

                                  The spectacular Sun Valley Pavilion.

Sun Valley Magazine encourages its readers to post thoughtful and respectful comments on all of our online stories. Your comments may be edited for length and language.

Old to new | New to old
Jun 28, 2011 08:25 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I'm hopeful and stupid still! Cute!

Jun 29, 2011 09:54 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Which explains the situation of those of any age who have lost hope.

Nice article. The Pavilion is a beautiful place.

Jul 5, 2011 10:36 am
 Posted by  Mac

Thanks for reading and the nice comments here and elsewhere. And a special thanks to all those folks who've been sharing their favorite Cosby jokes with me since this blog came out. There are plenty of funny reasons as to why Cosby has so many fans.

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About This Blog

Whether he’s being out-fished by his trash talking mother-in-law, guiding one of his young sons through the perils of manhood or finding inspiration from the people of the Wood River Valley, Mike McKenna’s award-winning writing is always sure to entertain. Order a copy of Mike's highly-acclaimed book, "Angling Around Sun Valley: A year-round fly fishing guide to South Central Idaho" from Silver Creek Outfitters.

Gone Fishing's awards include: "Best Blog" 2010 & 2011 by the Idaho Press Club, "Best Web-only Article" of 2011 by the Outdoor Writers Association of California and "Best Fishing" & "Best Humor" blogs of 2012 by the Outdoor Writers Association of America.


"Angling Around Sun Valley" was selected as the "Best Book" of 2013 by Northwest Outdoor Writers Association!

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