Exclusive - Bill Cosby Extended Interview

September 24, 2014 09/24/2014 Views: 48,624

Bill Cosby recounts his early days as a young performer in New York City and describes a painfully confusing phone conversation he had with a friend. (9:33)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,EVERYBODY.

WE'RE HONORED TO BE HERETONIGHT WITH DR. WILLIAM

COSBY.

DR. COSBY, THANK YOU SO MUCHFOR BEING HERE TONIGHT.

WHAT A PLEASURE.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Stephen: NOW I AM GOINGTO SAY SOMETHING

CONTROVERSIAL.

I THINK YOU'RE GREAT.

YOU'RE A COMEDY LEGEND,YOU'VE GOT EMMIES, YOU'VE

GOT GRAMMYS, YOU'VE GOTBOOKS.

EVERYBODY LOVES BILL COSBY.

YOU ARE-- THERE'S SOMETHINGCALLED THE COLBERT BUMP.

THE COLBERT BUMP IS ONCEYOU'VE BEEN ON MY SHOW

THINGS GET BIG FOR YOU, YOUWILL WALK DOWN THE STREET

TOMORROW AND PEOPLE AREGOING TO GO, THAT IS BILL

COSBY, I SAW HIM ON COLBERT.

BUT THERE'S ALSO SOMETHINGCALLED-- THERE'S SOMETHING

CALLED THE COSBY EFFECT.

YOU BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER OFDISPARATE BACKGROUNDS TO

ENJOY YOUR WORK.

FOR INSTANCE, LIKE NELSONMANDELA WHEN HE WAS IN JAIL,

HE AND HIS JAILERS BOTHWATCHED THE COSBY SHOW.

IN THE '80s, IT HELPED WITHTHE RECONCILIATION THERE.

WHY ISN'T MORGAN FREEMANPLAYING YOU IN A MOVIE?

(LAUGHTER)>> WELL, OUT OF RESPECT.

>> Stephen: UH-HUH.

>> MORGAN AND I WORKED TOGETHERON THE ELECTRIC COMPANY

>> Stephen: I REMEMBER THAT.

>> SO I THINK, I THINK OUTOF RESPECT MORGAN IS WAITING

FOR ME TO DIE.

>> Stephen: AND THENMORGAN-- .

>> Stephen: DOES HE EVERCALL YOU UP AND SAY HOW ARE

YOU FEELING?

>>.

>> NOT ONLY THAT, BUT HE HASASKED HOW SYDNEY IS DOING.

POITIER.

>> Stephen: HARRY BELLEFONTE

>> EVERYBODY WANTS TO KNOWHOW THEY ARE ALL DOING

AND HE'S NOT A HAPPY MAN.

NOT A HAPPY MAN.

>> Stephen: ARE YOU ALLHEALTHY.

>> WELL, SOMETIMES ON THEINTERNET SOMEBODY WILL POST

THAT I DIED.

>> Stephen: HOW DOES THATFEEL TO HEAR.

>> WELL, NO, NO, MORGANCALLS.

AND I HAVE A MACHINE UPON MYDESK, IF YOU CALL IT SOUNDS

LIKE I'M ANSWERING.

SO IT WILL GO TO THE FOURTHRING AND I GO HEY, WHAT'S

HAPPENING?

AND THEN YOU'LL SAY HELLO?

AND I'LL SAY, STOP SAYING HELLO,WHAT'S GOING ON, MAN.

SO THEN THAT FOOLS A LOT OFPEOPLE.

AND I THINK THAT MORGAN ISGOING TO BE ALL RIGHT.

HE MAY HAVE TO PLAY SOMEPEOPLE THAT NOBODY KNOWS.

>> Stephen: WHAT WAS IT LIKEGROWING UP WHAT WAS IT LIKE

GROWING UP IN THE PROJECTSIN PHILADELPHIA AND ENDING

UP WITH THE NUMBER ONE SHOWIN THE WORLD, 82 MILLION

PEOPLE WERE WATCHING THATTHING AT ITS PEAK.

>> I CAN'T CONNECT THE TWO.

HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED.

I WAS WORKING IN GREENWICHVILLAGE.

AND MY BOYS, THE GUYS I HUNGOUT WITH, DROVE FROM

PHILADELPHIA TO GREENWICHVILLAGE TO SEE ME BECAUSE

THEY HAD READ ABOUT ME IN"THE NEW YORK TIMES".

THEY SAID YOU KNOW, COS ISGOING TO BE FAMOUS.

>> Stephen: HOW OLD WERE YOUAT THIS POINT?

>> FIVE, NO, I WAS 20-- 24AND A HALF YEARS OLD.

AND THEY DROVE UP.

AND SO I'M PLAYING THE GASLIGHT COFFEE HOUSE.

116 McDOUGAL STREET.

AND THEY COME IN, IT'S ABOUTNINE OF THEM.

NOW WE'VE ALL PLAYEDNEIGHBORHOOD BALL, REC BALL,

GOING TO DIFFERENT HIGHSCHOOLS.

AND THE WORD AFTER THEY SAWME, I STARTED WORK AT 8:00

AND WENT TO 4:00 IN THEMORNING.

AND MY JOB WAS TO BREAK UPTHE MONOTONY OF THE FOLK

SINGERS.

AND SO-- .

>> Stephen: SO THIS GUY ISSTRUMMING ON A GUITAR AND

YOU GO UP AND DO -->> IT WASN'T MUCH STRUMMING.

A LOT OF THEM WERE JUSTTUNING.

(LAUGHTER)THERE WAS A TIME WHEN A GUY

WOULD GO ♪♪ AND THEN HE'D TRY TO SAY

SOMETHING VERY WITTY.

♪ .

>> I WAS IN POLITICALSCIENCE CLASS ♪

♪.

AND THEN IT'S TIME FOR HIMTO COME OFF.

>> Stephen: AND THEN YOU WOULDYOU HAVE TO GO ON.

>> THEN I WENT ON.

I HAD NOTHING TO TUNE UP.

AND I, THEY STAYED UNTIL THELAST CUSTOMERS LEFT.

THEY WENT HOME, AND THE NEXTDAY SOMEBODY CALLED THE CAFE

FIGARO BECAUSE I HAD NOPHONE.

AND SAID PLEASE CALL-- AND IDID.

IN THOSE DAYS YOU PUT THECOINS IN THE MACHINE.

AND I SAID WHAT'S HAPPENING?

>> HE SAYS WELL, I WILL JUSTTELL YOU, MAN, YOU NEED TO

COME HOME.

I SAID WHAT'S HAPPENING.

HE SAID YOU'RE FUNNIER INTHE CAR.

(LAUGHTER)BUT NOW THEY REALLY THINK

I'M FUNNY.

BUT THEY'RE TOO OLD NOW.

I HAVE A FRIEND OF MINE,JOHNNY VEIN, HE'S 70-- HE'S

76 AND A HALF.

AND JOHNNY AND I HAVE KNOWNEACH OTHER FOR ALL THAT

TIME.

BUT SEE, HE'S OLD NOW.

JOHNNY IS OLD.

HE CALLED ME AND I SAID HELLO.

AND HE SAID COS.

I SAID JOHNNY.

HE SAID IT'S JOHNNIE.

CAN I ASK YOU SOMETHING?

>> WAS THIS YOU OR WAS THISTHAT ANSWERING MACHINE

YOU'VE GOT?

>> I THINK THEY'VE TURNED ON ME,NOW

NO, THIS WAS-- I ANSWEREDTHE PHONE.

I ANSWERED THE PHONE AND HESAID COS.

I SAID JOHNNY.

THEN HE SAID, IT'S JOHNNY.

SO I SAID WHY DID YOU HAVETO SAY THAT?

HE SAID SAY WHAT?

I SAID, IT'S JOHNNIE.

HE SAID THAT'SBECAUSE-- THAT'S WHO I AM.

I SAID I KNOW THAT.

HE SAID BUT WHAT IS YOURPROBLEM.

I SAID LOOK, YOU CALLED, ISAID HELLO.

YOU SAID COS.

I-- I DIDN'T-- I DIDN'T SAYIT'S COS.

HE SAID WHY NOT?

I SAID BECAUSE YOU ALREADYSAID, COS.

SO I SAID WELL, THEN WHYDIDN'T YOU SAY THAT'S RIGHT.

I SAID THAT'S NOT THE POINT.

MY WIFE CAME IN.

SHE SAID STOP IT.

STOP IT.

I CAN'T STAND THIS ANY MORE.

AND SO SHE TOOK-- SHE TOOKHER FINGER AND SHE HUNG UP

THE PHONE.

(LAUGHTER)SO SHE SAID I DON'T WANT YOU

EVER TALKING TO HIM AGAIN.

SO THE PHONE RANG.

SHE SAID DON'T ANSWER THAT.

I SAID YOU HAVE GOT YOURFINGER ON THE PLUNGER.

IT'S IMPOSSIBLE.

SHE SAID GOOD.

NOW GO TO BED.

(LAUGHTER)>> Stephen: SHE SOUNDS LIKE

A GOOD WOMAN.

>> SHE IS THE BEST WIFE, BUTNOT FOR A FRIEND.

>> Stephen: SHE'S NOT YOURFRIEND, SHE'S YOUR WIFE.

>> SHE'S MY WIFE.

WIFE IS WAY ABOVE FRIEND.

>> Stephen: I AGREE.

I AGREE.

MR. COSBY, I CAN'T THANK YOUENOUGH --

>> YES, YOU CAN.

>> Stephen: I CAN?

I CAN?

>> YES, YOU CAN.

>> Stephen: TELL ME WHEN IGET THERE.

>> OKAY.

>> Stephen: TELL ME WHEN IGET THERE, LET ME TRY, LET

ME TRY TO THANK YOU.

LET ME TRY TO THANK YOU ANDSEE IF I GET THERE.

>> SEE, YOU'RE WEARING ITOUT.

>> Stephen: OH.

>> I WANT YOU TO REMEMBERWHEREVER YOU GO.

>> Stephen: YES.

>> WHATEVER JOB YOU HAVE.

>> Stephen: YES.

>> IF YOU HAVE A DESK, AND AMIC, AND TWO CHAIRS, CALL

ME.

(APPLAUSE)(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: BILL COSBY.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.