Cover image for Congratulations! now what?
Congratulations! now what?
Cosby, Bill, 1937-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion, 1999.
Physical Description:
130 pages ; 20 cm
Format :


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PN6231.J59 C67 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PN6231.J59 C67 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PN6231.J59 C67 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PN6231.J59 C67 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Just as a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, so a spoonful of humor helps the wisdom go down. In Congratulations! Now What?, America's funnyman Bill Cosby gently ribs college graduates about their time spent--or lost--in the hallowed halls of the university and postulates what four years of higher education have suited them for: "[If no job offer] ever turns up with a four-day week, a three-hour lunch, and a holiday for Count Basie's birthday, you still might be able to make a few dollars on Jeopardy." But he also assures graduates that their studies were not in vain and bestows advice to job seekers. Those who acquired several piercings while in school are cautioned to make sure the studs and hoops are shined before going to an interview. Those who are buffing their first professional résumé are advised to strike a tone somewhere between "lyrical lying and fanciful fraud."

Cosby, whose successful career as a humorist has always turned on his affection for kids, is a regular speaker at college commencements--in the chapter "As I Look Out at Your Foggy Faces," he says it's a hobby of his--and this 130-page book collects bons mots and sage advice from speeches given because he has "a feeling for anesthesiology."Graduates--and their now-broke parents--will find a reason to smile on every page. --Brenda Pittsley

Author Notes

Bill Cosby is one of America's most beloved and well-known comedians. He entered show business as a stand-up comedian in 1962 and has appeared in such television hits as "I Spy," the animated "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids," "The Cosby Show," and "Cosby." He's also starred in dozens of movies and penned the bestselling books Childhood, Fatherhood, Time Flies, and the Little Bill children's series.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

As the old '60s comedy troupe Firesign Theater declared, "We're all bozos on this bus." Perhaps we never feel more like bozos than when graduating college without the faintest blip of a permanent job on the radar screen. Cosby knows this, and he knows the analogous bozodom of parents who find that it is always somebody else's graduate who went directly into an annual salary twice as big as Pop's whole retirement package. Much of his little book of, uh . . . consolation, maybe, is set in little dialogues between a bozo graduate and a bozo parent. The recurring topics of conversation are epitomized by two questions, the graduate's "How about a loan?" and the parent's "How about you get a job?" Undercurrents of complaint about the high cost of college education, the low quality of same, and the slovenly habits of college students ebb and flow throughout, and now and then, there comes some halfhearted, mordant advice (so called) from parent to graduate about resumewriting, job interviewing, and moving out (please! please!). It is all as drolly charming as anything Cosby has ever done. No comedian knows better how to speak the worst fatalisms and reduce an audience to tears of both laughter and sentiment. Fine, fine humor. --Ray Olson

Publisher's Weekly Review

Cosby (Time Flies, etc.) is a frequent college commencement speaker. This slim yet padded book aims to reach those graduates and their families who haven't gotten an in-person visit. For someone who has a doctorate degree, however, Cosby exhibits a relentlessly dismissive view of higher education, offering a series of riffs, asides and dialogues about the futility of college and about graduates' incapacity to face the real world. Many of the jokes are plain dumb: "For these four years, you've been asking the Big Questions: Why doesn't this campus have HBO?" Then there are the comedian's projection of worthless future college courses: "An Introduction to Crazy Eights" or "Communications 101: Use of the Telephone." Sometimes Cosby's advice is helpful, as when he describes how urban studies classes don't teach about how much a landlord requires from a new renter ("security deposit, a credit check, a Sam's Club card, a urine sample... "). And there are a few inspired lines, as in how a student can work his way through college, "but only if he has the Viagra concession in the faculty lounge." Cosby has done better, in more personal books like Fatherhood. Still, the inevitable audio version of this book may be charming. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selection. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 As I Look Out at Your Foggy Facesp. 1
Chapter 2 Your Future May Be Behind Youp. 23
Chapter 3 Is Real Life, Like, a Required Course?p. 45
Chapter 4 And F. Scott Fitzgerald Is the Father of Ellap. 57
Chapter 5 Can Your Resume Be About Moby Dick?p. 69
Chapter 6 Should You Have Taken the Conservative Arts?p. 85
Chapter 7 No More Pre-Caressing Agreementsp. 105
Chapter 8 Is a Semiconductor Half of Andre Previn?p. 115
Epilogue To Duck the Bright Tomorrowp. 127