Perhaps never has an entertainer fallen so far. But before he was suspected of being America’s most famous serial rapist, William Henry “Bill” Cosby, Jr. may well have been the most famous Black male entertainer of all time. His stand-up routines molded several generations of comedians, and his incredible success on the medium of television changed the game for Black actors and entertainers.
During the six years that he starred in his own show, “Martin,” Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence influenced the way African-Americans talked to each other, joked with each other, even danced with each other. His stand-up concerts, coming after the success of Pryor and Murphy, were big events in the Black community.