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For Robert Townsend, working with Bill Cosby was a chance to get paid and learn at the same time. Townsend directed Far From Finished, Cosby’s first concert show airing again on Comedy Central on Thanksgiving night at 4 p.m. Townsend said despite the years in between specials, Cosby remains a comedic genius.
“He’s 76 years young and he’s still doing it,” Townsend said.. “We did two comedy shows in Cerritos, CA and it aired on Comedy Central this Saturday. It airs again on Thanksgiving. He’s a brilliant comedian. It was like I was in class, sitting at the feet of a master. It’s inspiring.”
Townsend says shooting a concert film with Cosby isn’t quite as simple as turning on the camera at the beginning and turning it off at the end, but that it wasn’t his most difficult gig, either.
“It was a lot of work and it was a good time. He did two shows and it was totally different material both shows. As comedians, we talk through it Even though he’s not running around the stage he’s very physical with his face and his gestures. It’s just about trying to catch everything that he’s doing. A lot of comedians came to the show and asked where does Bill Cosby work his material? Well, he doesn’t. He just writes out a chuck of material and he lets his instincts go for it.”
Townsend also dropped some much-awaited news; he says there will be a follow-up to his popular 1991 movie The Five Heartbeats which starred Leon and Michael Wright as members of a Temptations-style singing group. Given the recent success of The Best Man Holiday it might be the right time to get it made.
“I am working on a sequel,” Townsend confirms. “Next year I’ll be making an announcement.”