Historic funny man Bill Cosby brought his comedy tour, “Far From Finished,” to the CFSB Center Saturday night to provide a bit of comedic relief to round out the day’s Homecoming festivities.
Cosby took to the stage in a Murray State sweatshirt and baseball cap. Within minutes Cosby had students and community members doubled over in their seats laughing.
Cosby poked fun at everything from graduation and marijuana to women and religion.
“When even the school is tired of taking your money, you know your kids have been in school too long,” Cosby said of his daughter’s numerous major changes throughout her college years.
Cosby also made crowd engagement a large part of his performace. If he heard a wrong answer to a question he asked, he would politely ask the audience member to stay in their seat after the show ended to be explained the correct answer by “a volunteer.”
Before the show began, Cosby did a meet and greet with a few lucky community members and President Bob Davies and his family.
However, this was not the first time the two men had met.
During Davies’ adolescent years he played competitive tennis in Reno, Nev., and Cosby, who loves tennis, would come to the court and watch his team play and occasionally join in.
“One time, during a celebrity tennis match, he was doing a fundraiser type of deal,” Davies said. “His celebrity partner didn’t show up at the last minute – I think it was a plane issue – and he remembered playing with me and so he just looked at me and said, ‘Let’s go!’”
Davies was able to sit down with Cosby and remind him of the event and talk about their mutual friends and memories of playing tennis together backstage before the show.
For many people, Cosby may be most well-known for his time on his sitcom “The Cosby Show,” which was based on his own family.
During Cosby’s time on the popular sitcom, the fictional Huxtable family became a household name.
What some viewers of the television show may not know about is Cosby’s love of art. Throughout the show, the painting that was hung above the fireplace in the Huxtable home was different in every episode.
Three of the different pieces of art displayed during the show were photographs of paintings created by Ellis Wilson, an artist from Mayfield, Ky.
These paintings are now property of the Murray State art and design department’s permanent collection, after being donated to the Clara M. Eagle art gallery.
The paintings have not been shown on campus since 2000.
Zbynek Smetana, chair of the department of art and design, thought surprising Cosby before his show by pulling the paintings out of the permanent collection would be a nice gesture.
“At first, when I showed Mr. Cosby the paintings, he asked me if he could buy them,” Smetana said. “I told him he could not because they were property of the University, but we did shake hands and strike a deal.”
Smetana promised Cosby he would have the University’s photography department take high quality photographs of the paintings and have them sent to Cosby’s team for use in his upcoming NBC and Netflix specials.
“We will have the paintings photographed to look real,” Smetana said. “And Murray State will be credited during the specials.”
Story by Breanna Sill, Assistant Features Editor