Bill Cosby, You’re a Schmuck

The Palace Theater — in its heyday.

The Palace Theater — in its heyday.

Although it’s subject to debate, the literal meaning of the word “schmuck” is penis — the Yiddish version of “prick” as it is used in English slang. A fitting term for a once-revered comedian.

Not everyone loved Bill Cosby. Or liked him. I did.


I was no fan of “The Cosby Show,” but I enjoyed his albums and his standup act was a hoot. I had fond memories of the latter when I saw him open the revived Palace Theater in Cleveland in the late ’70s. But, in light of the growing litany of rape allegations against him, those memories have become tainted.

The night before the show, I had a dream — a dream that has proven to be prophetic.

I was a truck driver at the time and making good money, so I reserved a whole table for the event. My sister, who was among the people I invited, asked how many seats that included. I believe it was eight.

She jokingly (more or less jokingly) said, “I didn’t think you had eight friends in the world.”

The night before the show, thanks to her comment, I dreamed that I was milling around in front of the theater trying to give away tickets because no one had accepted my invitation to join me at my table.  I got no takers. Orphans begging in the street shunned me. A wino spit in my face when I offered him a ticket.

In retrospect, maybe they were on to something. And it had nothing to do with me.



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