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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Bill Cosby... Far From Finished

November 23rd, 2013

Bill Cosby... Far From Finished - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack

It has been 26 years since Bill Cosby: 49 aired in 1987, which was the last time Bill Cosby had a TV special. Now he makes his Comedy Central debut with ... Far From Finished. Does he still have what it takes at age 76? Or has stand-up comedy changed too much in the past 26 years?

The Set

I grew up watching Bill Cosby on TV so I was looking forward to seeing this set, enough to overcome my usual hesitation with regards to reviewing stand-up comedy DVDs. I still have no clue how to review a stand-up concert DVD in any detail without spoiling the jokes. The jokes begin before Bill Cosby even takes the stage. He begins by discussing the shock people had when he said he was going to be on Comedy Central. Makes sense, as the last time Bill Cosby had a TV special, there was no Comedy Central yet. This fact and his age does play a part in his comedy as he talks about the different stages of life. He mostly talks about being married and how your wife is different from your girlfriend.

I think the biggest difference between Bill Cosby and the usual comic you will see on Comedy Central isn't what he implied with an early joke, which I'm not going to spoil. The biggest is Bill Cosby isn't really a comic. (He's not even standing!) He's a storyteller. And after being in the business for more than 50 years, he's a master of the artform. I think the only thing you could complain about is familiarity. If you are a fan of Bill Cosby, then there are a couple stories that you've probably heard before, if in a slightly different form. However, Bill Cosby has the ability to weave a story so well that even if you've heard it before, you want to hear it again.

The Extras

Stand-up concert DVDs usually have very little in the way of extras. That is not the case here. The main extra is Interview with Bill Cosby - Two Guys Not Lying to Each Other, which is a conversation between Bill Cosby and Robert Townsend. It clocks in at just under 50 minutes long, which is miles ahead of what most similar DVDs have in total. Gangbusters #1 is a two and a half minute long look at the music for the DVD being composed. Behind the Scenes - Serious Business is a 5-minute look at the behind-the-scenes of the concert, but also looks at the people who made the behind-the-scenes. Finally, there's Fans - Honest Opinions from People Who Paid to Gittin, three minutes of fan reaction to the set.

The technical presentation is exactly what you want from a stand-up concert DVD. Both the video and the audio are good, for this type of release. Obviously, there isn't a lot of visual flash here, nor are there dynamic effects. The dialogue is always clear and there are no compression issues or digital artifacts, which is more important than being fancy.

The Blu-ray costs 40% more than the DVD, which is a little more than I would like to see, but at $17 for a 90-minute set and nearly an hour of extras, it is still a bargain.

The Verdict

Bill Cosby... Far From Finished is an excellent stand-up concert set and Bill Cosby is consistently funny while telling stories almost everyone will relate too. There are more extras than expected on the DVD or the Blu-ray Combo Pack, so whatever format you choose, it is worth picking up.


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Filed under: Video Review, Bill Cosby, Robert Townsend