Bill Cosby, best known for his work on "The Cosby Show," is bringing his insightful humor to audiences in Las Vegas. Cosby, a comedian, actor, author, television producer, musician and activist, started his career as an entertainer performing stand-up comedy at different nightclubs. In 1965 he landed a role in "I Spy" with Robert Culp. He was the first African American to star in a dramatic television series. After its first season, the show finished as one of the top 20 most-watched shows that year, earning Cosby an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
During the series' three-year run, Cosby continued to perform stand-up comedy. He also recorded an album "Silver Throat: Bill Cosby Sings" released in 1967. The album featured the hit single "Li'l Ole Man." After "I Spy" ended, Cosby returned to television in 1969 in a new series called "The Bill Cosby Show." The series ended after two years and Cosby returned to school to work on a graduate degree at the University of Massachusetts. Cosby's continuing education prompted his involvement with the PBS series "The Electric Company," where he recorded segments teaching reading skills to young children.
Cosby graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1972 with an M.A. degree. That same year, he also returned to television with "The New Bill Cosby Show." The show was a variety series and did not do well in the ratings. Although this series was not a hit, Cosby found success with his Saturday morning show "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids," which he hosted. The series ran from 1972 to 1979. It was re-named "The New Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids" in 1979 and ran for five more years. Cosby used the show as the basis for a dissertation that earned him a doctorate degree in education in 1976, also from the University of Massachusetts.
Cosby's biggest hit, "The Cosby Show," debuted in 1984 on NBC. It went on to become the highest-ranking sitcom of all time. Much of the show was based on Cosby's own life. It's one of two American programs to have been No. 1 in the Nielsen Ratings for five consecutive seasons. "All in the Family" also achieved this success. The show ended in 1992 and Cosby pursed various projects in both film and television including an appearance in "Ghost Dad," hosting "Kids Say the Damndest Things" and starring in "Cosby."
Along with his career as an actor and comedian, Cosby continues to pursue his work as a musician. He has hosted the Los Angeles Playboy Jazz Festival since 1979.