I was doing a phone interview with Bill Cosby when I told him my dad went to Central High of Philadelphia (like Cosby did), joined the military (like Cosby did), then moved to San Francisco (like Cosby did).
"Oh, man!" said Cosby, who performs tonight at Treasure Island. "Can you put him on conference?"
I called Dad on a conference call with Cosby, but he was at work and not answering. Cosby left Dad a message singing their school song:
"Let others sing of college days, their alma mater true. But when we raise our voices, ’tis only high for you. We’ll ne’er forget those days gone by, those glorious days of old. When oft we sang the praises of the Crimson and the Gold!
"Hey Bradley, this is Bill Cosby, Class of 204," he said on Dad’s voice mail, referring to the school’s 204th graduating class. "Your son is responsible for this call, so you can call him and beat him up."
(Later, Dad — a skateboarding physicist, calligraphist and computer programmer in Atlanta — told me he was stoked, then sang the same song.)
Cosby is promoting his book, "I Didn’t Ask to Be Born (But I’m Glad I Was)," a cute and entertaining pudding pop of remembrances and observations.
In one chapter, Cosby recalls going to a girl’s house when he was a kid in Philly, and her dad entered the living room, cleaning a gun.
"You live about a block and a half away, left-hand side of the street?" the father asked young Cosby.
Young Cosby ran off. Older Cosby ended up being a papa and came to understand that protective dad.
"When," he told, me, "you have a baby daughter born, you go out and buy a gun."
I told him, nowadays, a dad could just buy Mace.
Cosby said in the 1940s, kids got married at shotgun weddings, but they could have Mace weddings now.
DJ CLUB PLANNER
FRIDAY: Chuckie at Marquee at The Cosmopolitan. Diplo at Haze at Aria. Sidney Samson at Surrender at Encore. Samantha Ronson at Chateau at Paris. Pauly D at Rain at Palms. Jessica Who at Vanity at Hard Rock.
SATURDAY: Snoop Dogg appears at Gallery at Planet Hollywood. Nick Cannon at Chateau. EC Twins at Marquee. Zen Freeman at Rain.
SUNDAY: R3hab at XS at Encore.
MONDAY: Nervo at XS. Eric D-Lux at Marquee.
Doug Elfman’s column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Email him at email@example.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.