It’s hard to imagine a comedic world without Bill Cosby. For the longest time it seems that Cosby has been part of the comedic fabric of our existence. Decades and decades of material and generations upon generations, Cosby has been a constant. Comedy of course, has been changing and evolving, and the slate of current contemporary comedians are mostly cut from a different mould than the one Cosby was cut from. He’s been at for 50 years, and yet while his humour is somewhat outmoded to what we get from successful stand up of today- Aziz Ansari, Sarah Silverman, Jimmy Carr, Russell Peters et al.- there’s just something about Cosby that still resonates in the digital age.
Far From Finished is a brand new stand-up special Cosby filmed for Comedy Central; a left field home for someone whose humour is acquainted more with the PG crowd than the crass, overly sexualised brand of current humour. It’s evident from the beginning too, where Cosby, who spends much of the special sitting down rather than standing, opens the show with a disclaimer about doing a special for Comedy Central. Yet as the routine unfolds, you forget the need to hear humour that is more akin to some of the aforementioned comedians. In fact, it’s refreshing. Cosby spends much of the routine talking about the ins and outs of marriage, the fraternal bond between friends, and the hilarious differences between the two. One bit that stands in particular being his routing about forgetting his home security code and dealing with the consequences of a fed up wife and an equally fed up security operator.
There are of course, the hallmark qualities of a good Cosby show; his blips and bloops, his Cosby facial mannerisms and his deft timing. Through it all however, you do immediately get the sense of his longevity and his age; much of his physical comedy is left to his face and hands. Yet while he’s discernibly older and a little slower, there is still a vibrancy to him.
The DVD version of this special is much longer than the version that aired on Comedy Central this past week. Both versions are recommended for those who enjoy Cosby humour, but the DVD edition is broken down into parts so that the viewer can ease from and back into the routine. His legacy is more telling than a singular special, but this one is more about adding to one. It may not be as memorable as his 1983 masterpiece Himself (how could it be?), it is a simple reminder than Cosby is indeed, far from finished.
Bill Cosby: Far From Finished is available now on DVD/Blu-Ray and as a digital download. You can check out some clips and highlights here.