Friday, March 24, 2006

The History of Comedy.

In 1983, a young Bill Cosby, discouraged with his work as a metallurgist, walked home late one evening down La Brea Blvd. in Los Angeles, California, after a long and lonely day's work. Ever the optimist, Bill whistled a happy, yet wistful tune as his sprightly steps echoed through the lonely, broken avenue that once held, besides a trail to the ever famous tar pits, golden opportunities for silver-haired memories of days long since past.

Just ahead of him, about half a block, Bill noticed a tired man- tired of life, tired of living- in a broken heap, nestled against the wall of a storefront. As he approached this man, Bill discerned what appeared to be the soft sobs of a once happy man. Never one to enjoy the suffering of his fellow man, Bill fished in his greasy pockets to see if he could provide some financial relief for this man, which at the time was the only means of consolation for humans. Realizing he was completely broke, Bill began to panic- he had never before been unable to provide relief for his fellow man! Beads of sweat popped like corn onto his forehead as he approached the poor unfortunate- he had nothing to offer!

As he came nearer and nearer to the man, he grew quite nervous, and just as he passed in front of the man, intent on ignoring his very existence, Bill stepped directly onto the peel of a banana that the broken man had eaten earlier and tossed carelessly onto the sidewalk, as men who have lost their way often do. Bill's balance was completely lost, and his legs flew out from under him, and directly he found himself awash in pain on his backside directly in front of the man. The sobbing fellow, surprised and frightened by this surprising occurence, frightfully looked up from his lap, soaked from sobbing, and gazed at Bill in wonderment. Bill, at a complete loss, save immense embarassment, said, "HeyHeyHey!," in a voice quite uncharacteristic of the type of man Bill was physically. In point of fact, his voice made him sound as if he were an overweight teenager, possibly named Albert, when in reality he was a slim and slender twentysomething, and his name was Bill!

And then, something quite strange happened. The fellow, quite confused by this freak accident, stared at Bill, and, rather than crying harder or becoming enraged at this occurrence, which was, at the time, the typical reaction to any situation whatsoever, grew mysteriously quiet. Miraculously, his tears dried instantly, and his face, rather than mutating into one of rage and anger, drew upwards, ever so slowly, into what we now know as a smile! Moments later, sounds emanated from the deepest parts of his belly- sounds the world had never before heard! This infectious sound, this spasmodic shaking of the diaphragm, found its way into Bill himself, and before you knew it, the two rolled on the ground in tandem, right in the middle of the city!

A few doors down, a local club owner, Hambone Laffin, fumed outside his nightclub, furiously smoking cigarette after cigarette, at a loss. His club, a local haven for music lovers, was in dire straits that evening. It seems as though the band booked to play there that night, The Dire Straits, had called to cancel their gig, as they were stuck in Colorado Springs, angrily finishing their much anticipated debut album, "Sadness is the best medicine," which, after this fateful evening, would go on to be an utter failure in the charts. Laffin, known as an extremely ribald risktaker amongst his fellow club owners, heard the commotion down the street, and furiously thought, "What the FUCK is that?" Storming down the street, he noticed Bill Cosby and the unfortunate man rolling like loons on the ground and instantly became quite intrigued, and, hard a man as he was, felt a jostling inside that he never felt before. A few yards away, he stopped and watched the two men for upwards of a minute, while Bill, catching on, sent the poor man into utter hysterics by repeatedly saying "HeyHeyHey!"

A man quick on his feet and even quicker to action, Hambone stormed up to the men, and, fatefully casting a downward glance at Bill, said forcefully, "You! Can you do THAT," pointing to the rolling degenerate,"in THERE?", pointing now to his club down the street. "You want a job?," he said. Bill's eyes lit up, and instantly he said, "Yes, sir!" The two men stood up from the dirty pavement, and just to see what might happen, Bill relayed to the men an hilarious anecdote, now lost to the sands of time, about a fellow who apparently hailed from the mythical land of Nantucket, followed, of course, by his now trademarked catch phrase, "HeyHeyHey!". The three men practically fell down the street, arm in arm, tears streaking down their faces, only this time not in a sorrowful way.

And so it was, on August 13, 1983, at Hambone Laffin's now famous nightclub called The Laugh Inn, stand up comedy was born. Incidentally, the act we now know of as laughter, was named after Hambone Laffin, as he was the first person in history to pay money to produce such a reaction, which was, and coincidentally, still is, the only way to lay claim to things, be they physical or intellectual property.

Bill Cosby went on to perform in literally hundreds of clubs across the country, and later went on to act in thousands of movies. He also found the time to appear in literally millions of American's homes to promote the frozen taste sensation of Jello's Pudding Pops. When he had his first child, the young buck, at the tender age of three, could not pronounce the family name, and, instead of "Cosby," said, "Comdy." Bill soon began to be known amongst his peers, which included such comedic pioneers as Margaret Cho and Yahoo Serious, as Bill Comedy, giving us the name of what is now one of the most financially lucrative and simple jobs to do in America.


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Bob Saget said...

unfortunately, this story is total bullshit. everyone knows i invented comedy.