University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

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Bill Cosby Tickets Go On Sale
May 5 at UW-Eau Claire

 MAILED:  April 25, 2003

EAU CLAIRE - Tickets go on sale at 7:30 a.m. Monday, May 5, for two comedy performances by Bill Cosby at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire on Oct. 11.

Cosby's shows will begin at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. in Zorn Arena as part of the university's Parents Weekend celebration.

Often described as one of the most influential stars in America today, Cosby has found success through concerts, recordings, television, films, commercials and education. His humor centers on everyday life, providing insight into people's roles as parents, children, family members, and men and women.

His humor helped make "The Cosby Show" television's biggest hit of the modern era. Cosby's observations about everyday life helped make his books "Fatherhood" and "Time Flies" best sellers. "Fatherhood," the fastest-selling hardcover book of all time, is being developed as an animated series. His lifelong contributions to American culture were recognized with a Kennedy Center Honor in 1998 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002.

Cosby has reached a new generation of young children with his "Little Bill" animated series, based on his children's books. His interest in young people led him to write the best-selling book, "Congratulations! Now What?" - his take on college life and what lies ahead for new graduates. In 2001, Cosby released "Cosbyology," a book based on his life experiences and observations about childhood, marriage and aging.

Cosby's initial success began with the album, "Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow, Right?" He has released numerous jazz recordings, including "Hello, Friend: To Ennis With Love." Cosby has earned five Grammy Awards for Best Comedy Album.

In 1986, his appearance broke Radio City Music Hall's 53-year-old attendance record. In 1987, his wife Camille Cosby produced a home video cassette called "Bill Cosby: 49," which sold in the hundreds of thousands. A comedy album, "Those of You With or Without Children, You'll Understand," sold close to a million copies.

Concerned with projecting positive images of African Americans, Cosby together with Tom Werner and Marcy Carsey, produced "A Different World" for seven seasons. They also developed "Here and Now" and revived the classic Groucho Marx show, "You Bet Your Life." They re-teamed with the sitcom "Cosby." In the 1999-2000 TV season, Cosby had three series running simultaneously - "Cosby," "Kids Say the Darndest Things" and Nickelodeon's "Little Bill." His other television credits during the past decade include "The Cosby Mysteries" and the movie "I Spy Returns."

Cosby made his motion-picture debut in a dramatic role in "Man and Boy," set in the post-Civil War era. He teamed with his "I Spy" partner Robert Culp for "Hickey and Boggs." Cosby co-starred with Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte in "Uptown Saturday Night" and in the sequel "Let's Do It Again." Cosby joined Raquel Welch in "Mother, Jugs and Speed," and starred in the animated film "Aesop's Fables." Cosby and Poitier co-starred in "A Piece of the Action." He teamed with Richard Pryor in "California Suite."

Early in Cosby's career, Carl Reiner caught his act in a Pittsburgh nightclub and introduced him to producer Sheldon Leonard, who signed him to star in the "I Spy" series. Cosby's "I Spy" co-star role broke the racial barrier on television. Before the series ended, he had won three Emmy Awards. "The Bill Cosby Show" followed in 1971. In 1976, Cosby hosted a variety show called "Cos."

Cosby has filmed numerous television specials, starred in "Children's Theater" and in "The Electric Company," created by the Sesame Street Children's Television Workshop. He has written, directed and produced two educational TV shows - "Concern," dealing with his concern for school children, and "Prejudice," a spoof of prejudiced hang-ups.

In the early 1980s, Cosby hosted "Picture Pages" on Captain Kangaroo's "Wake Up" program. The series was awarded the Gold Award at the 1981 International Film & TV Festival as Outstanding Children's Program.

Cosby, born in Philadelphia in 1937, attended Wister Elementary School with his pals Fat Albert, Old Weird Harold, Dumb Donald, Rudy, Nolan and Weasel - all later immortalized in Cosby's comedy routines. They often could be found romping through the "projects" - four massive suburban tenement buildings with a cement playground in the center - or under the Ninth Street Bridge. It was there Cosby acquired his athletic skills and his lifetime love of sports.

He neglected his studies for athletics, and after repeating the 10th grade, joined the Navy. He finished high school via a correspondence course while in the service. When he was discharged, he enrolled at Temple University. To support himself, he tended bar, where he found an audience for his humor. His customers convinced him he might have a chance as a comedian.

Cosby earned a master's degree in education in 1972 and a doctorate in education in 1977 from the University of Massachusetts.

Gallery tickets for Cosby's shows cost $29.50 for UW-Eau Claire students and $30.50 for the general public; bleacher seats cost $33.50 for UW-Eau Claire students and $34.50 for the general public; and reserved seats cost $37.50 for UW-Eau Claire students and $38.50 for the general public. Tickets are available at the University Service Center in Davies Center.

Tickets may be charged to MasterCard or Visa when ordered by phone. Call (715) 836-3727 - or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free (800) 949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to all telephone charge orders.

Event Resources Presents Inc., UW-Eau Claire Housing and Residence Life, and the University Activities Commission of the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate will sponsor Cosby's performances.

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JS/JB

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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741
newsbur@uwec.edu

Updated: May 1, 2003