Happy 75th Birthday to the One and Only Bill Cosby!

Bill Cosby July 12 Birthday Boy

Today, Bill Cosby turns 75. And while he is perhaps best known for his well-loved and incredibly successful sitcom, The Cosby Show, many people believe that he should be more widely recognized for his original work as a stand-up comedian.

Despite the fact that Cosby completed neither high school nor college the first time around, the extremely talented comedian eventually received a Master’s in physical education from University if Massachusetts, Amherst, where he was also on the track team and the football team. It was at Temple University — where he went for his undergraduate studies — that Cosby discovered his unique talent for making people laugh. So, he left Temple to pursue a career in stand-up and planned gigs all around the States, including in major cities like Washington, D.C. and New York City.

Cosby’s first comedy album, “Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow…Right!”, was released in 1963, and is recorded live at one of his shows in New York City. What’s great about Cosby’s debut into comedy is that his routines tended to focus on his own life, especially his time growing up. He drew from already-hilarious childhood experiences and, through his expert delivery and uncanny ability to make believable sound effects with his voice, created routines put America in stitches. His routines are great to share with kids due to their tendency to be PG-rated, so if your kids are interested in stand-up, look no further.

Cosby then found success in the world of television as the co-star of the drama series I Spy. He had a few iffy attempts at his own shows — The Bill Cosby Show and The New Bill Cosby show both didn’t last very long — but finally gained popularity through The Cosby Show in the 80s. For decades, Cosby has managed to infuse all of his projects, from his stand-up comedy to his television shows, with an exceptional level of humor. Honestly, there’s not much that we can say about Cosby that he can’t show for himself, so check out the videos below of some of his best comedy routines. There are clips from his early days — the early 1960s — and from his post-television days.

Don’t forget to share these hilarious videos with your kids!