Pop Culture

Bill Cosby urges others to let go of their fears, reveals his own

Comedy legend Bill Cosby just added another award to his already heavy shelf. Now sharing space with his Kennedy Center honor, his Presidential Medal of Freedom and Mark Twain Prize for American Humor (and many others) is his new Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence, which he accepted just last week. And as he took on that latest honor, he offered up some important advice.

"The speech — I hope they play it all (when it airs) — is a wonderful speech about being you and not letting yourself become so nervous," Cosby explained during a Thursday morning visit to TODAY.

Anchor Matt Lauer then quoted from the inspirational speech.

"Don't be afraid of anything, all of you," he said. "Don't let anything defeat you. Don't hold back. Don't be afraid."

But the former "Cosby Show" star admitted that there is something that scares him: "Today."

"Just today," he said. "I've been listening to things, and things are getting like ... hammering. There's a lot of yelling and taking things, and doing things to and with people."

And he thinks he might just have a cure for these modern times, in the form of a new show — or at least an idea for one — which he pitched to Lauer.

"I have one planned. I will play a man my age, and he will be the most wonderful, most funny guy to everybody," the self-described "76 and 9/12"-year-old said. "It will be generational, and that will be funny too. The main thing is there's love. ... The jokes come because they flow, like in your own home; not because you show up, and I start talking about the size of ... your face."

Lauer just had one question, "Can you start tomorrow?"

Why not? Cobsy has proven himself to be a sure thing on the small-screen — since way back to his days on "The Tonight Show" when Carson was hosting. That's one of the reasons his new award means so much to him.

"It's absolutely wonderful because Johnny, in my life, is the beginning of main TV," he told TODAY.

See the venerable funnyman deliver his speech and accept his latest honor when The American Comedy Awards air May 8 at 9 p.m. on NBC.

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