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The funny jazz drummer

Jello and maybe Kodak film. That's it. You know his show and you might know his stand up but that might depend on your age. What you might not have known is that there is an instrumental music streak in Bill Cosby - he is a drummer! The video is a clip of Bill Cosby using his drumming experience in a comedic bit on the Dick Cavett show. Bill talks about saving up for his first set of drums and sitting in with Sonny Stitt.

The first few times I had watched or heard people talking about this clip I only assumed his story was for the sake of comedy. I didn't give it a second thought that he might have actually been a drummer. Comics say they were in a bar, they were on a plane, or that they were standing at the bus stop, none of it's true but it sets the scene for the setup and delivery of their story.

After killing more time on Youtube looking at other Cosby clips I found a video of him drumming at a rally in Philadelphia. While there wasn't a lot of skill and talent in his old hands there was more in his drumming than the average person on the street. Seeing this only lead me to believe that there had to be a tiny shred of truth in his comedy bit. In face, Bill Cosby sharing the story of mimicking great drummers such as Art Blakey, Philly Joe Jones, and Max Roach was entirely accurate! Though there may have been more theatrics involved in recounting the events than when they originally took place but he did in fact drum, very briefly, with Sonny Stitt. Cosby has also hosted the Zildjian drummer awards and performed with his "Cos of Good Music" band.

While it's narrow minded of me to consider that a person is talented in only one area, even though they are popular for only that one reason, it's not unreasonable considering that you very rarely hear of any other facet of a person's skills and talents in the popular media. This is further evidence that you shouldn't assume that anyone has only the depth of what you first perceive.

Bill Cosby recently received the Mark Twain for American Humor. For more on Bill Cosby visit his website: www.billcosby.com


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