The Late Movies: Bill Cosby, Himself

If I think long and hard about the first thing that I found truly funny, it's stand-up comedy. (Which is especially odd because I don't even like stand-up comedy.) The first stand-up I saw was a VHS tape of Bill Cosby, Himself. Cosby taped the show in 1983 in Ontario and he cracks jokes about everything from drinking to parenthood to marriage. Here's six of my favorite moments.

On Dentists

"This will suck up your face. The dentist goes outside to laugh at you. And you sit, grown-up, intelligent being, arguing with this thing."

On Having Cake for Breakfast

"I seem to be having trouble intellectualizing where the cooking apparel is."

On Getting Drunk

"You put your head on the side of bowl. And you thank the toilet bowl."

On Being Named Jesus Christ

"Jesus Christ, sit down!"

On Understanding Children

"The only time they tell the truth is if they're having pain. I have a 15-month-old child who knows when to lie."

On Brain Damage

"All children have brain damage."

A Very Brief History of Chamber Pots

Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room

The Rare Book Room at the New York Academy of Medicine documents the evolution of our medical knowledge. Its books and artifacts are as bizarre as they are fascinating. Read more here.


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