"Put your lights... OUT!"
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 05/10/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"William Henry 'Bill' Cosby, Jr. (7/12/37) has been a stand-up comic and a presence on the American scene since the early 1960s. This RHINO CD reissue of his fourth WARNER BROS. LP, WONDERFULNESS (1966, WS 1634) is Cosby in his prime. Tracks are from live performances at HARRAH's in Lake Tahoe, NV.
Also starring: Crying Charley / Old Weird Harold / Bill's Fainting Ma / Doris from Cooking Class / Johnson and Rudolph / Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon Leonard / Cream O' Wheat / About 3,000,000 Kids / 900 Cop Cars / And a Monster Chicken Heart (from LP's back cover)
Cosby has always been at his best when relating stories (real or imagined) of his boyhood; there's a wealth of such material on this album. In "Tonsils," Bill's been promised all the ice cream he can eat once the tonsillectomy is over. "Go Carts" is a brilliant recreation of an insane downhill race between rickety carts with baby carriage wheels and brakes made from short lengths of 2 × 4's.
"Lumps" explains why our narrator cannot stand a certain brand of mush. "Chicken Heart" may be this album's most famous track. Here, young Cos' spreads JELLO on the kitchen floor to keep monsters away, then tunes into his favorite scary radio show, "Lights OUT!!" And there's more: school vignettes, playground moments and the events that make childhood a trial while living it yet a fond memory in retrospect.
[3:21] The Playground
[5:40] Go Carts
[12:28] Chicken Heart
[1:24] Special Class
[4:52] Niagara Falls
TOTAL TIME: 46:56"
ellyjoe | Abington, PA | 09/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bill Cosby's humor is timeless,aside from his chicken heart story which today's young people wouldn't find as funny having not been around when we listened to programs on the radio alone. The rest of his stories could easily happen today. His ability to take the ordinary situations in life and extract the humor is a real gift and his story telling is unmatched by anyone's standards. Go carts are still used, though I don't think kids make their own any more. Cream of wheat still makes lumps and getting your tonsils out still hurts. Some things just don't change, thank goodness, and we join together to laugh and laugh."