I’ve always been a huge fan of stand up comedians. For a short time, at the end of high school, I even entertained the idea of becoming a comedian. I dabbled in comedy ventures ranging from short stories to political cartoons and satire. I even spent a short while as M.C. in a karaoke bar (that’s funny just to say).

But as I transitioned into early adulthood, I realized that, although I thought I was funny, most others really didn’t “get me.” (virtually every artist feels this) So, short lived, that dream faded away along with flowing capes, top hats, fire trucks, and tap shoes (yes, tap shoes).

I’m not sure if it’s my impending 40th birthday or simply retrospective wanderlust, but lately I’ve been looking up old routines by some of my favorite comedians. Now, my taste in comedy ranges from the silly (Steve Martin, Jerry Lewis) to the risqué (Eddie Murphy, George Carlin); but, hands down, my favorite and most dear idol has to be Bill Cosby.

Bill Cosby, for all of his commercial success, to this day is a brilliant man. His insight on human nature and the ability to spin a story brought the art of comedy to new heights and awareness of diversity to the forefront at a time in American history that was struggling with race and cultural stress (Time Magazine Article). Cosby stepped up and showed us, through comedy, that we’re all not that different. We’re all human. We’re all prone to make mistakes. And we’re all God’s children, so it’s really okay.

I’ve never seen Bill Cosby use a prop. I’ve never seen him resort to “blue humor.” He’s a brilliant, comedic educator. And that’s what has appealed to me since I first saw him on PBS’s “Electric Company” – I was just a wee-one, then. Cosby just made me think funny thoughts. Hell, Cosby just made me think… And that’s what has become part of me… My Personal Brand.

Thank you Steve Woodruff for asking if Personal Brands really mattered. Without that kick start, this post would have never happened. And thank you Bill Cosby (not to mention Steve, Jerry, Eddie, and George) for forming part of my Personal Brand.

Here are some of my favorite Cosby Quotes:

I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”

Human beings are the only creatures on earth that allow their children to come back home.”

I am proud to be an American. Because an American can eat anything on the face of this earth as long as he has two pieces of bread.”

Advertising is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.”

“Every closed eye is not sleeping, and every open eye is not seeing.

“Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.”

Gray hair is God’s graffiti.”

There is hope for the future because God has a sense of humor and we are funny to God.”

Our Personal Brands are formed by our culture and those around us. Take a hard look inside and tell us what Personal Brand traits you have that can be traced back to a specific person or event? We’d love to hear who you are…

Keep Cooking!

Photo Credit: Erinn Cosby