The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

March 8, 2013

Cosby reflects on comedy, life and family

JOHNSTOWN — Legendary performer Bill Cosby is many things – a comedian, author, grandfather, Navy veteran and doctor (on TV and in real life). But beneath all these aspects of the man lies his true vocation: A captivating storyteller.

Generations have grown up with his name floating across the airwaves – either on primetime television, in the Saturday morning cartoon block or on their parents’ old vinyls. His material resonates with audiences everywhere for their “slice-of-life” quality.

And, for the first time in years, he’ll be making a Johnstown appearance – on Wednesday night at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena.

And he will bring something everyone wants to hear – a good story.

“Viewing something and feeling that it is funny became a part of writing, styling it and delivering it,” Cosby said of the process behind developing his early material. “So we would have something in the form of Superman changing clothes in a phone booth and a cop coming up and asking him why he’s taking his clothes off in a phone booth.

“Writing would take me to Junior Barnes and the ‘slush’ snowball – real life,” he said.

In real life, the 75-year-old Philadelphia native has raised five children with his wife of almost 50 years, the former Camille Hanks.

When they met, Hanks was studying child psychology at the University of Maryland.

Cosby was majoring in physical education at Temple University and had just taken his first steps toward the stage, drawing some laughs – and notoriety – at a bar in Washington, D.C.

“The identification (that I could do comedy) came before I even wanted to address show business and that came at Temple University,” he said.

Cosby did quit college in the early ’60s, however, to chase those laughs on stage as well as the small screen before returning to complete his degree. He had come to realize the value of higher education, and now he holds more than a dozen honorary doctorates from several of the country’s most prestigious universities.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • District Deaths April 20, 2014

    April 19, 2014

  • Denne, Williams & Stanton Records hearing scheduled

    A Cambria County judge will consider complaints filed by two Johnstown residents seeking documents related to the city’s municipal waste water operation at hearing at the end of this month.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sen. Bob Casey Casey targets heroin

    The heroin trade has brought addiction, death, violence and theft to Johnstown and other Pennsylvania communities.
    Figuring out how to deal with those issues is difficult for local, state and federal officials.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drive-in to open with high-tech projector

    Drive-in movie theaters and the term “state of the art” seldom share the same sentence.
    But that will soon be the case for the Silver Drive-In, it’s owner said. The Scalp Avenue site, often marketed as a nostalgic summer night escape, soon will boast a high-end projector capable of displaying the latest and greatest blockbusters in razor sharp high-definition, theater owner Rick Rosco said.

    April 18, 2014

  • Sheetz work underway

    Earthmoving is underway at Richland Town Centre for a nearly 6,500-square-foot Sheetz store.
    And the real estate broker marketing the land says a 3,000-square-foot retail building will be built next door.

    April 18, 2014

  • Smith, Shakir Mosi Police seize heroin, money in Prospect

    Johnstown police reported that several bricks of heroin, along with $4,000 in cash and a handgun, were discovered in the city's Prospect neighborhood around 4 a.m. Friday. An arrest warrant has been issued for the man be­lieved to be the owner or renter of the two homes raided.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Comedy night targets serious problem

    Animal advocates are using comedy to take aim at a serious problem.
    The third annual Funny Fundraiser to benefit the Nardecchia Spay and Neuter Fund will be held at 8 p.m. May 16 at Ace’s, 316 Chestnut St. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

    April 18, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/19/2014

    April 18, 2014

  • Early morning police raid in Prospect area leads to arrest warrant

    Johnstown police reported that several bricks of heroin, along with $4,000 in cash and a handgun, were discovered in the city's Prospect neighborhood around 4 a.m. this morning.

    April 18, 2014

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 18, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads