October 16, 2003
As Hamilton College President Joan Hinde Stewart declared during her introduction, there is no way to introduce Bill Cosby. Cosby, who visited Hamilton and performed a stand-up act at this year's Sacerdote Great Names Lecture Series on Oct. 15, dazzled an audience of students, faculty and community members. Donning a Hamilton College sweatshirt and cap, sweatpants, socks and Birkenstocks, Cosby seemed right at ease in the Margaret Bundy Scott Field House.
On stage for two hours, Cosby first began by discussing Hamilton College in general, poking fun at President Stewart's excitement and enthusiasm to be part of the Hamilton community. Cosby admitted to being impressed with the monogrammed bath towels at Bristol Center, which he thought were made especially for him. (However, the "B.C." stands, not for Bill Cosby, but for Bristol Center.)
Lisa Magnarelli, director of student activities, also could not escape Cosby's routine. Cosby asked Magnarelli earlier in the day if Hamilton had a fight song. She answered that Hamilton did not. Cosby admitted to being disappointed that Hamilton, a school with a Continental soldier as a mascot, did not have a fight song. Unsatisfied with Magnarelli's answer, he turned to the students in the crowd, asking if what Magnarelli said was in fact true. Sam Bowlby '04, captain of Hamilton's football team, quickly ran up on stage, singing the fight song typically sung by the Buffers in concert and by the Hamilton football team before games. Both Bowlby and Cosby received thunderous applause for the vocal performance.
Then in his typical style, Cosby transformed common, awkward rites of passage into hilarious comedy. With topics ranging from stomping up stairs to getting married, from first kisses to the value of friendship, everyone in the audience identified with Cosby on one level or another. Ending his routine with an act about the dentist chair and the effects of Novocain on one's speech, Cosby had the entire audience in stitches. The 4,600 people in the field house seemed to enjoy themselves during the entertaining presentation.
-- by Emily Lemanczyk '05