As part of Penn’s Homecoming weekend festivities, crowds gathered to hear Bill Cosby’s stand-up performance at the Palestra Saturday night.
Cosby, a Temple graduate, opened by acknowledging the “friendly rivalry between this school and my school for many years.”
Temple had beat Penn in its season opener in a close and heated game. Quakers of all ages and many Temple fans stayed behind in the Palestra for the legendary comedian.
On this occasion, Cosby focused on family values and the importance of recognizing the role of one’s parents. Furthermore, Cosby stressed the importance of an education, admitting that he’s used his status as a means to get a low SAT-scoring family member into school.
A father of five, the Philadelphia native held nothing back in drawing from his personal experiences while exhorting students to work hard in school. “Parents have peer pressure too! Parents go to parties, and parents of smart kids are obnoxious people.”
However, even with his academic call to action, Cosby reminded students of a parent’s unconditional love. “Parents won’t care what your GPA is, they’ll go to your [college] graduation anyways.”
As appreciative as Cosby was of a mother’s role in a student’s life — he even asked for a round of applause for women who have gone through child labor three times — he wasn’t shy about turning a more humorous eye on motherhood.
“Mother gets so excited [about kids] because they think they have someone they can grow old with,” he said.
Engineering freshman Casey Zuccarello appreciated Cosby’s charisma. “It was a funny take on family relationships, and I think he really connected with the families in the audience.”
Cosby even reminded audiences of the importance of giving back to one’s alma mater.
“This school needs you … don’t think that because you paid a lot of money, they do not need more from you,” he said. “And be happy to give because 20 years after your graduation the price of your education will go up enormously.”
College freshman Sandra Loza-Avalos was at once starstruck and reflective throughout Cosby’s performance.
“When he came out, I couldn’t believe he was actually there because he was such a huge figure in my childhood,” Loza-Avalos said. “He talked about how we are still young and do not appreciate our relationship with our parents, but he did so in a manner that was still funny but also made you think.”
“It was great to see families from Penn and Temple laugh together,” she added.