Cover image for I am what I ate-- and I'm frightened!!! : and other digressions from the doctor of comedy
I am what I ate-- and I'm frightened!!! : and other digressions from the doctor of comedy
Cosby, Bill, 1937-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperEntertainment, [2003]

Physical Description:
xxiii, 184 pages : illustrations ; 19 cm
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PN2287.C632 A3 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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The legendary Bill Cosby, America's most well-known comic, wants food lovers and over indulgers everywhere to know that they are not alone. Yes, just like the rest of us -- he is frightened -- especially if we've paid any attention lately to the front-page headlines and daily reports on the nightly news:

Cholesterol Kills!" Cookies Clog Arteries!" Meatball Sandwiches Cause God Knows What" Repent and Exercise -- or Else!"

In this original collection of humorous musings and digressions about our obsessions, the incomparable Doctor of Comedy is right on target as he reflects back on his own sixty-five years of dining at the banquet of life -- from the hoagies to the stogies to every death-defying delicacy in between. Who better than the man who made an international hero out of a boy named Fat Albert, to aim his great wit, wisdom, and observational talent at our national obsession with food and our never-ending quest for a healthy lifestyle.

Bill Cosby is stepping up to the plate -- literally -- in this hilarious new book about his own lifelong cravings and snack attacks ... as well as his hopes that one day, sooner rather than later, pizza will be found to be a cure for heart disease and high cholesterol.

Author Notes

Bill Cosby is one of America's most beloved comedic performers. He entered show business as a stand-up comedian in 1963 and has appeared in such historic television hits as I Spy, The Cosby Show, Cosby, and Kids Say the Darndest Things. He is also the author of numerous books

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Bill Cosby's television series aren't much good anymore, but every now and then, there's one of those priceless Cosby moments that makes us remember a monologue from the early days. So, too, with his books, which routinely climb best-seller lists mainly as a testament to the entertainer's status as a much-loved celebrity. The pattern holds with his latest, in which Cosby muses on a lifetime of eating the wrong foods (Chocolate cake! Cheese! Ham! Seven slices of leftover pizza! ). At age 68--and boasting a cholesterol number in the stratosphere--it's time for the pizza man to change his ways. Fans will love the accounts of Cosby struggling with his baser instincts, culinarily speaking, as he tries to follow the strictures of his wife and doctor. Unfortunately, though, much of this material is ordinary at best, nowhere near as funny as similarly themed jeremiads from Calvin Trillin. Still, you can't help hearing Cosby utter the lines as if he were performing a monologue, and that makes them funnier somehow. And his wild digressions, always a key part of his comedy, are on the mark here: rants on bureaucracy in the home, on the name Myrtle, and on positioning yourself in a recliner are among the funniest bits in the book. Hit and miss, then, but from a cultural icon, that's more than enough to draw a crowd. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In his latest book, the 65-year-old Cosby targets newly minted seniors (like himself) who find their bodies are heavier, slower and creakier than they ever expected. The title refers to Cosby?s own experience with a 30-percent blockage in his carotid artery that qualified him for cardiac rehab and greatly increased his risk of having a stroke or a heart attack. ?Now I know I?m a walking time bomb,? Cosby writes?and tries to play the situation for laughs. In meandering and exasperatingly redundant prose, Cosby describes how he now must sneak chocolate chip cookies when his wife isn?t looking, and how he daydreams about the bacon, butter, ice cream, croissants, pies and ?cheese, cheese, cheese? that he used to enjoy before his doctor put him on a diet. While Cosby?s previous book, Fatherhood, elicited plenty of belly laughs, they are few and far between here. The biggest chuckles can be found when he segues into a critique of smokers, especially his anecdote about a houseguest who braves the weather to smoke outside, though it?s 12 degrees below zero. Cosby also deftly critiques typically American paradoxes such as his mother?s inability to stop eating fried lamb chops even after she has a series of strokes, and the whiskey-drinking done by a group of grieving friends after one of their alcoholic buddies dies of cirrhosis. But it?s hard to appreciate Cosby?s jokes when it?s obvious that that the health of the people he makes fun of?including himself?appears doomed. Gallows humor has never been Cosby?s forte, and readers who enjoyed his lighter works may be disappointed by this volume. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Review

Cosby's new title, although ostensibly serious, is really slapstick-silly and fundamentally lighthearted. Although intended as a collection of Cosby's musings on the difficulty of eating healthfully (i.e., no cookies, cakes, or double-cheese pepperoni pizza), the book is really about the Cosby family and in particular the bureaucracy of the Cosby household. Funnily enough, it is the asides, the "digressions" of the subtitle, that are most memorable. A great example is Cosby's hilarious attempt to impress a girl by wearing his high school cotton letter jacket in the middle of winter. This reviewer only wishes that she had Cosby there to perform in person as some of the material would certainly benefit from his comedic timing and facial expressions (think passages like: "All those hoagies. All those steak sandwiches. Ice cream All that butter Pies and Cakes. Lard"). For now, we'll just have to make do with this brief little book. Recommended for all humor collections.-Tania Barnes, "Library Journal" (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



I Am What I Ate...and I'm frightened!!! And Other Digressions from the Doctor of Comedy Chapter One I Am What I Ate All those years. The youthful heart. The carefree, reckless taste buds. You see, to saturate or unsaturate depends on one's taste. And my taste buds have gotten me into more trouble. And you don't want to think about what all those things are doing to your body. How many pieces of scrapple? How many hot dogs? How many pieces of bacon? All those hoagies. All those steak sandwiches. Ice cream. Man! I'm terrified. I'm in trouble. Because I suddenly realize that I am what I ate, and I'm frightened. All that butter. And some of it was just casual. Casual . Just sitting there. The butter was there. And the bread was there. So why not? Bread. With butter. It was casual. No harm. But there is no such thing as casual because it's on the side of my neck now. Those mornings in the south of France at the Hôtel du Cap. After walking six miles. And I would buzz the room service waiter and he would come to the room and say: "Round up the usual suspects, sir?" Meaning four croissants. (Made in France, I'm telling you, which is like having a biscuit in Atlanta.) And a large cup of espresso with steamed milk. Along with the usual suspects comes butter. We all know that in each croissant there's at least a quarter pound of butter. Nonetheless, I would take a patty and spread it on the croissant and then empty out two little things of blueberry jam and one thing of marmalade and mix them together and put it on top of the croissant. I would bite into it, sip on that coffee, and that mixture was fantastic. But now the doctor is telling me I could have blockage in my carotid artery. The plaque. And it keeps on plaquing. And I thought to myself: Time is going by and this stuff is just plaquing up. So the doctor sent me to a place where they put these things on my chest and I got on the treadmill and I started walking. And the treadmill increased every three minutes and after I reached 150 rpm of my heart per second, they yanked me off and they walked with me and I felt like somebody who'd been thrown out of a bar or something. Then they put me horizontal and they started to put instruments on the side of my neck, checking my carotid artery. And I heard these squishing sounds. When all the testing was over, I went back to the doctor and he looked at me and he said: "You have a thirty percent blockage in your carotid artery." That was not good news. And I was mad at myself. And so I said to myself: You started out with a clean carotid. Fantastic! Now look what you've done! Believe it or not, even though my body was shaking and my brain was reeling, my mouth was watering. Which proves how stupid my taste buds really are. So I told my mouth: You will never have these things you like again. Water all you want, but you've had your day. Blockage! Thirty percent blockage and more to come. Scrapple. One of the great tastes of all time. But if you want to squeeze it after you cook it, or just put it on a piece of paper, you'll be able to see your own carotid artery. I've seen a simple slice of scrapple cooked to a dark brown -- then placed on a piece of paper towel -- and the scrapple killed the paper towel. The grease clotted the paper towel. Turned it into a sheet of saturated carotid artery blocking glop. I am what I ate, and it frightens me. It's not a matter of one's left arm going numb, it's a matter of knowing deep down inside while we're running a machine on bad fuel that things eventually are going to happen to that machine. It's going to break down. Thirty percent blockage! I can't afford to go with my taste buds anymore. I know it sounds pitiful. But when does one realize that the last dance was in fact the last dance and you don't have to dance anymore. That you have to tell the taste buds that was it. That the taste buds have to know, along with the memory, that if you want to live longer, just stop it. It's not as easy as one thinks. Because along with it comes the smell. So you begin to smell things, see them, your mouth waters. But you have to move on. By the way, leave the people alone who are eating. There's no need for you to go from table to table and say: You know, you're blocking your carotid artery. There's no sense in getting angry when you see somebody older than you still eating it and they're okay. Their body is not the same as yours. And who knows? Maybe that person eating all those things might have the same percent blockage or worse. And they just said: "I don't care." Please don't try to push them and hope they fall out of the chair so you can say: "That's the carotid." Blockage! Oh, my goodness. Popcorn. With butter. Oh my goodness. Pancakes. With butter. And then the same meal would slide gracefully to eggs over easy between the pancakes. Bacon. And sausage. Forget the turkey bacon. Just get some good old-fashioned pork sausage. Espresso with steamed milk. Blueberry jam on the side to cover up the holes left by the syrup, places that the syrup missed. Never been big on milk shakes, but I have had my share. Pies and cakes. Lard ... I Am What I Ate...and I'm frightened!!! And Other Digressions from the Doctor of Comedy . Copyright © by Bill Cosby. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from I Am What I Ate... and I'm Frightened!!!: And Other Digressions from the Doctor of Comedy by Bill Cosby All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
1. I Am What I Atep. 1
2. If I Don't Go to the Doctor, I Don't Have Itp. 9
3. Once in a Whilep. 19
4. Pillsp. 27
5. Sorry Excusesp. 35
6. Lamb Chops Were Her Weaknessp. 43
7. Bad at Bouleyp. 51
8. Promises, Promisesp. 59
9. Old Partsp. 75
10. Gambling with Yourselfp. 85
11. Why Is There Hair?p. 93
12. Bill Clonesbyp. 103
13. Smokingp. 111
14. Drinkingp. 131
15. Moderationp. 143
16. If the Shoe Fitsp. 145
17. Holidaysp. 161
18. The Bitter Endp. 165
19. The Unkindest Cutp. 171
20. The Last Chapter (Which I Never Got Around to Writing)p. 175