Friday, September 05, 2014

SitcomsOnline Book Club - Cosby: His Life and Times; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 8, 2014)

Cosby: His Life and Times

SitcomsOnline Book Club Review - Cosby: His Life and Times

by Skees

Bill Cosby is, by all means, one of the greatest and most well-known comedians of the past fifty years. In fact, he is considered by many to be an American icon. Many of his fans know of his work on television and stand-up comedy (or as he prefers, sit-down comedy), and perhaps they know a little bit about his background. Through it all, though, Cosby has never quite had a major biography written about him. That is, until now, as former CNN managing editor Mark Whitaker has finally taken on the task of writing a through and detailed (and authorized) biography of the legendary actor and comedian, complete with actual stories and accounts of the life of Cosby directly from Cosby and many of his closest friends and associates.

The average Bill Cosby fan remembers that he got his start on television series I Spy, and look at the great things that happened in his life from that point forward. But Cosby's life took on so much more before he went into this role, and much of it was far from perfect. His ancestors spent their lives in slavery, and freedom from the slavery was not complete freedom in life. Eventually, his family made their way to Philadelphia. In 1936, Anna Hite and William Cosby were married, and gave birth to their son, William Henry Cosby Jr., almost a year later. Everything appeared to be going well for the family on the surface, but at home, he was dealing with an abusive father who also happened to be an alcoholic, which lead to a childhood of living in the Philadelphia housing projects.

Naturally, his childhood was not the perfect way to grow up, but he repeatedly showed potential throughout school. Unfortunately, there were a lot of distractions along the way, which ultimately caused him to leave high school… but he was determined to go on, and he does in the Navy and eventually to Temple University, where he becomes a bartender at a bar called the Cellar, and it was here where he discovered his talents, and was on to become comedian and eventually a much beloved actor. In fact, his comedic success ended up leading to an appearance on The Tonight Show in 1963 that a sixteen-year-old Rob Reiner happened to be watching. The appearance impressed the young Reiner so much that his father, Carl, had to meet Cosby, which ended up leading Cosby to a meeting with Sheldon Leonard, and of course, most Cosby fans know what happened from that point.

And that is just a (very) small part of what Whitaker captures in the first 1/3 of his book. From this point, readers get to experience the person Cosby is best known for today, including his experiences and anecdotes from I Spy, The Bill Cosby Show, Fat Albert, The Cosby Show, Cosby, and even The Cosby Mysteries… and beyond. Every detail that a fan could possibly want to know is in this book. It tells of his successes in standup, as well as some of his less memorable events of life, such as a revival of the Groucho Marx series You Bet Your Life. And of course, there is a significant amount of material in the book dedicated to his son Ennis Cosby, and the tragedy of his death in 1996 and other family struggles. The only thing missing from the book is what will come in the future.

Personally, I've never been a huge fan of biographies, but this is one that is well worth reading. At 468 pages, along with a complete "Cosbyography" of everything he has done and a gallery of 38 photos, virtually every detail that any fan would want to know about Cosby's life can be found here. This is a book that will take a while to read and has moments of triumph as well as tragedy, but every last detail is worth reading. So far, Cosby has lead a fascinating life and the details are great, and even though this book is most likely incomplete given that he seems to have quite a future ahead (as seen in the recent resurgence in interest in his stand-up comedy appearances and a potential new sitcom that could be in the works). But for now, fans of Cosby can read this book, which would be more aptly titled Bill Cosby: His Life and Times (So Far).

(5/5 stars)

To purchase this book, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Mark Whitaker Discusses Bill Cosby:
The History of the Cosby Sweater
Bill Cosby's Take on Race Relations in America
A Personal Connection to Cosby



It's Friday, so it is time for "Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows" for the coming week. This is where we list what sitcom stars are appearing on talk shows for the coming week, the stars are both current and past sitcom stars, so this is for all sitcom fans of all eras!
For the week of Sept. 8-12, 2014, we have many current sitcom stars and past sitcom stars on TV talk shows! All times listed are Eastern. So get your DVRs (or whatever you use) ready! Ready? Here is all what you need to know for the coming week!


Monday, September 8, 2014
  • Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother) - Watch Jason on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Steve Harvey (The Steve Harvey Show) - Steve appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He will also be on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am. Finally, he is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Lena Dunham (Girls) - Lena stops by Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation/House of Lies) - Ben talks about his new film This Is Where I Leave You on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Katey Sagal (8 Simple Rules/Married with Children) - Katey visits The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Max Greenfield (New Girl/Modern Men) - Max is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He will also be on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years) - John drops by The Colbert Report at 11:30pm on Comedy Central.
  • Michael J. Fox (The Michael J. Fox Show/Spin City/Family Ties) - Michael chats with the ladies of The View on a repeat on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Zosia Mamet (Girls) - Zosia is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. She will also be on Morning Joe sometime between 6-9am on MSNBC. Finally, she is a guest on HuffPost Live at 4pm.
  • Jennie Garth (Mystery Girls/What I Like About You) - Jennie talks about single parenting and her BFF Tori Spelling on the Better Show, so check your local listings.
  • The Cast of The Carol Burnett Show - Carol Burnett, Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner and costume designer Bob Mackie reunite on a repeat of of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
  • Danielle Fishel (Girl Meets World/Boy Meets World) - Danielle talks about her new book (Normally, This Would Be Cause for Concern: Tales of Calamity and Unrelenting Awkwardness) on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Donal Logue (Grounded for Life/The Knights of Prosperity) - Donal talks about Gotham on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Judith Light (Who's the Boss?/Phenom) - Judith will be on HuffPost Live at 3:30pm.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
  • Debra Messing (Will & Grace) - Catch Debra on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael visits The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Louie Anderson (Life with Louie/The Louie Show) - Louie drops by The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother) - Jason is a guest on The Colbert Report at 11:30pm on Comedy Central. He also talks about his book (Nightmares!) on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Anna Faris (Mom) - Anna appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Jason Bateman (Arrested Development/The Hogan Family/It's Your Move) - Jason visits ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. He also talks about his new film This Is Where I Leave You, on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Keke Palmer (True Jackson, VP) - Keke discusses her role in Broadway's Cinderella on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Chris Rock (Everybody Hates Chris) - Chris appears on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Steve Harvey (The Steve Harvey Show) - Steve joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • George Lopez (Saint George/George Lopez) - George is a guest on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
  • Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch) - Tune in to see Florence on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
  • Zosia Mamet (Girls) - Zosia will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Connie Britton (Spin City/The Fighting Fitzgeralds) - Connie is a guest on HuffPost Live at 12pm.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
  • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Watch Nick on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah visits Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Connie Britton (Spin City/The Fighting Fitzgeralds) - Connie is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Cheryl Hines (Suburgatory/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Tune in to see Cheryl on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair (Playing House/Best Friends Forever) - Lennon and Jessica are guests on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Seth Green (Dads/Family Guy/Greg the Bunny) - Seth appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Steve Harvey (The Steve Harvey Show) - Steve stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Nick Jonas (JONAS L.A.) - Nick is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class and Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) - Jesse and Eric chat with the ladies of The View on a repeat on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Justin Long (Mom/Ed) - Justin drops by LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City/Square Pegs) - Sarah appears on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Kim Wayans (In the House/A Different World) - Kim shares the inside scoop of her new movie role on a repeat of Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Josh Charles (Sports Night) - Josh talks about Bird People on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Danielle Fishel (Girl Meets World/Boy Meets World) - Danielle talks about her new book (Normally, This Would Be Cause for Concern: Tales of Calamity and Unrelenting Awkwardness) on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Judith Light (Who's the Boss?/Phenom) - Judith will be on Morning Joe on MSNC sometime between 6-9am.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
  • Jason Bateman (Arrested Development/The Hogan Family/It's Your Move) - Catch Jason on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development/The Larry Sanders Show/The Ropers) - Watch Jeffrey on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He can also be heard on EW Live on EW Radio on SiriusXM at 10:30am.
  • Josh Charles (Sports Night) - Josh visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Nick Jonas (JONAS L.A.) - Nick is the musical guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory) - Kunal stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation/House of Lies) - Ben visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • George Lopez (Saint George/George Lopez) - Catch George on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • David Spade (Rules of Engagement/8 Simple Rules/Just Shoot Me!) - David appears on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Sara Gilbert (Roseanne/The Big Bang Theory/Bad Teacher) - Sara is a guest on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
  • Danielle Fishel (Girl Meets World/Boy Meets World) - Danielle chats about her new book (Normally, This Would Be Cause for Concern: Tales of Calamity and Unrelenting Awkwardness) on Wake Up with Taylor on SiriusXM Stars Channel 109 sometime between 7-10am.
  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael will be on SI Now at 1pm.
Friday, September 12, 2014
  • Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project/The Office) - Watch Mindy on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS. She talks about The Mindy Project on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am. She will also be on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings. Finally, she is a guest on HuffPost Live at 11:45am.
  • Justin Long (Mom/Ed) - Justin appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Program) - Sarah is a guest on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Connie Britton (Spin City/The Fighting Fitzgeralds) - Connie talks about her new film This Is Where I Leave You on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Jennie Garth (Mystery Girls/What I Like About You) - Jennie discusses her new book (Deep Thoughts from a Hollywood Blonde) on a repeat of Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Nick Jonas (JONAS L.A.) - Nick performs live on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am. He will also be on in the 9am hour.
  • Danielle Fishel (Girl Meets World/Boy Meets World) - Danielle discusses her new book (Normally, This Would Be Cause for Concern: Tales of Calamity and Unrelenting Awkwardness) on Windy City Live in Chicago on WLS-ABC7 at 11am CT.
All listings are subject to change. Visit our blog and main site for daily updated listings. Leave us comments on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us to let us know what you think of this Friday feature! We do listen!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, June 21

The Big Bang Theory - "The Tesla Recoil" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Leonard and Wolowitz are furious after they learn Sheldon went to work with the military behind their backs. Also, while Bernadette is on bed rest, she asks Raj to do some digging when she suspects Ruchi is trying to steal her job.

Young Sheldon - "Killer Asteroids, Oklahoma, and a Frizzy Hair Machine" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
A disappointing loss at the science fair sends Sheldon’s life in a new direction. Jason Alexander guest stars as Sheldon’s drama teacher, Mr. Lundy.

Mom - "Esta Loca and a Little Klingon" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Christy and Bonnie help Jill get sober again, and Christy’s boyfriend, Patrick (Steven Weber), is less than understanding when it ruins his birthday weekend.

Life in Pieces - "Meal Potty Cart Middle" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Tim and Heather go to an expensive dinner to celebrate their anniversary, they are determined to finish every bite of their pricey 20-course meal. Also, Jen and Greg try to quickly potty-train Lark before her first day of preschool; Tyler gets jealous of the attention Clementine is getting at work; and Matt and Samantha team up for a “Middle Child Day” and go to a trapeze school. Emmy Award-winning food expert Padma Lakshmi guest stars as Stephanie, Heather and Tim’s server at an upscale restaurant.

Marlon - "Sisters" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Marlon’s (Marlon Wayans) sisters come to town, he convinces Ashley (Essence Atkins) to pretend they are still married to keep them from being disappointed. As the weekend goes on, the charade gets harder to keep up and Marlon finally confronts them in an epic confession. After receiving a psychic reading from Lenora (guest star Sherri Shepherd), Stevie (Diallo Riddle) tries to woo Yvette (Bresha Webb) as he thinks they are destined to be together.

Marlon - "Divorce Counseling" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Marlon (Marlon Wayans) and Ashley (Essence Atkins) go to see Kamala Shabazz (Kim Wayans), a strong-willed relationship therapist, to help stabilize their rocky divorce. When Marlon exposes Kamala as a fraud, he experiences a breakthrough and realizes he should change his ways. Stevie (Diallo Riddle) gives Yvette (Bresha Webb) an intense massage.

American Woman - "The Party" (Paramount Network, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Desperate to connect with her role model, Lori, Kathleen drags Bonnie and Diana to a party in the hills; when Diana tries to cut loose, things get out of hand; Bonnie finds herself in an exciting new position.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 18)

Thursday, June 21

  • Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet) - Catch Drew on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Cameron Esposito (Take My Wife) - Cameron visits The Opposition with Jordan Klepper at 11:30pm on Comedy Central.
  • Alison Brie (GLOW/Community) - Alison stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City) - Cynthia chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Craig T. Nelson (Coach) - Craig drops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jenny McCarthy (Two and a Half Men/Jenny) - Jenny is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Billy Bob Thornton (Hearts Afire) - Billy Bob appears on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is a guest on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Debra Messing (Will & Grace/Ned & Stacey) - Debra talks about the launch of The Maxx You Project on People Now at 12pm.
  • Fran Drescher (The Nanny/Happily Divorced/Living with Fran) - Fran talks about Hotel Transylvania 3 on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Chris talks about Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian will be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June)

Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season Step by Step - The Complete First Season Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season

06/05 - Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season
06/05 - New Girl - The Complete Sixth Season
06/05 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-First Season (Blu-ray)
06/12 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fourth Season
06/12 - Life in Pieces - The Complete Third Season
06/12 - The Office - The Complete Series
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete Second Season
06/12 - Step by Step - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One (Blu-ray)
06/19 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Fifth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete First Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete Second Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest