May 1, 2014 at 9:43 AM ET
It's hard to argue with the choice of Bill Cosby as the recipient of the Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence at the 2014 American Comedy Awards," which will air May 8 on NBC. Television, movies, stand-up comedy, books — Cosby's made us laugh in all mediums, even his Picture Pages segments on "Captain Kangaroo," and his classic 1980s Jello Pudding Pop commercials.
Here are six of our favorite Cosby comic interludes.
'Dad is great! Give us chocolate cake!'
It's quoted in American homes whenever a nutritionally vapid meal is cheerfully consumed. One of Cosby's famed comedy monologues tells of how, when left in charge of his kids' breakfast, he instantly gave in to their request for cake. (Hey, it has eggs, and milk, and wheat — that's nutrition!) Of course, their hymns of praise ("Dad is great! Give us chocolate cake!") turned to denial and betrayal once mom woke up.
If you've been lucky enough to see Cosby perform stand-up, you have a million memories of his classic jokes. But it's hard to beat his recollection of listening to horror radio show "Lights Out!" as a kid, and his sheer terror at the hilarious "Chicken Heart That Ate New York."
Cliff shows Theo what it's like to pay his own way
Cosby's portrayal of wise dad and obstetrician Healthcliff Huxtable on 1980s mega-hit "The Cosby Show" has a great moment about every time he's onscreen. But one of the best is when the whole family teams up to teach Theo how tough it'd be to live on his own, with Cliff as his landlord and little Rudy as the hilarious bank-loan officer.
Hey hey hey!
This is Bill Cosby comin' atcha with music and fun, and if you're not careful, you may learn somethin' before it's done. "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids" was not your average cartoon. The kids were inner-city boys of all shapes and sizes who hung out in a junkyard and played music on trash. Each episode taught a lesson, but never did the educational aspect overwhelm the sheer entertainment value. That would've been like school in summer: No class.
"I Spy" was a classic 1960s drama known more for pairing Cosby with a white actor (Robert Culp) than for humor. But in this clip, the two men build an elaborate and beautiful tower of oranges to try and climb their way out of a cell. Orange you glad we have so many TV memories of Cosby?
Hey you guys!
Cosby was a first-season regular on 1970s children's TV favorite "The Electric Company," playing dozens of different characters who helped Gen X kids learn to read. But whatever the scene, Cosby's likable humor shone through, including in this one where he's exploring a haunted house to learn about the power of silent E.
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