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Comedy review

Bill Cosby

Friday night in the Conference Center Niagara in Seneca Niagara Casino.

Wearing only University of Massachusetts sweats and sitting in an armchair, Bill Cosby simply entertained a nearly sold-out show Friday night in the Seneca Niagara Casino's Conference Center Niagara with his storytelling brand of comedy.

In the documentary "Comedian," such popular stars as Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock marveled at Cosby's ability to hold the attention of the audience for long periods of time.

Cosby did exactly that Friday night, appearing without any opening acts and enthralling the crowd for two hours.

Cosby's material often reflects on his family life and his relationship with his wife, parents and children. Much of his performance focused on that, but as Cosby notes, "Some of it is autobiographical, and some of it is auto-lying."

On the husband's role in marriage: "We've all learned to look the other way, keep your mouth shut and hope you don't get picked off."

On getting older: "There is a time in your life when your wife says, 'Let me drive.' And it gets to the point where all I have to do is remember where we parked."

On maintaining his childhood friendships: "They didn't put up with me thinking, 'This guy's going to be rich, and then we can freeload.' They never asked me to co-sign anything. My children did. You talk about freeloading."

Cosby spent the better part of an hour telling the audience about growing up in Philadelphia in an occasionally rambling yarn that was lean on laughs but long on story.

The main point involved seeing a woman, the subject of a crush when he was 18 years old. But the story diverted to the group of teenage boys he hung around with. Many remain friends. Cosby also talked about his experiences as a drummer in a band and about purchasing and refurbishing the house his mother had worked in years earlier as her new home.

The final 20 minutes had the audience in hysterics, as Cosby returned to his child-raising material, now as a grandfather.

"I am one grandparent that does not want grandchildren over the house," he said. "If grandpoppy wants to see you, he will seek you out."

He recounted the absurdity of one infant's first birthday party, with other 1-year-olds attending and nobody having any idea what's going on. Cosby would sit in one room with other grandfathers, as the men would attempt to top each other about who had the best medication.

"See, this is my insulin," Cosby said of one gentleman. "I can take this syringe through my pant leg, and I can eat anything I want. I can eat four Hershey bars, stick this (needle) in my leg and go to sleep for four hours. His wife comes over and says, 'You idiot, that's because you're in a coma.' "

Cosby left the crowd on a high note by repeating his classic routine about going to the dentist that was made famous in his stand-up film, "Bill Cosby Himself."

"Dentists tell you not to pick your teeth with any sharp metal object. The first thing they grab is an iron hook."

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