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Read this: Lifetime achievement edition


Bill Cosby sits outside Ben's Chili Bowl during the restaurant's 45th anniversary celebration on Aug. 22, 2003. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook, File)

Good afternoon, everyone. This week's event calendar is off with a bang: Bill Cosby, recipient of this year's Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, will be feted at the Kennedy Center tonight.

Cosby, 72, is being honored for a long -- and varied -- career. There was his nightclub act, his first forays into television, his cartoons, his Jell-O pudding commercials, his best-selling books . . . and, of course, his Dr. Cliff Huxtable and "The Cosby Show." In a recent interview, Paul Farhi found Cosby's conversational style fittingly fluid:

He digresses plenty, hopscotching from topic to topic and strewing opinions like confetti. But it's a bit like jazz (one of Cosby's lifelong passions). Sooner or later, all the verbal improvisation yields something memorable.
"What kind of name is that?" he asks his interviewer at one point. Before he gets an answer, he's free-associating. Soon, he imagines how immigrant names were mangled and mauled in the passage through Ellis Island a century or more ago. " 'Listen up, people!' " he says, assuming the voice of a bossy immigration clerk. " 'These are the rules. If your name is more than eight letters long, you can forget it! We'll let some of you end on a vowel, or maybe a "k" or "t." All right, now, everybody line up over here. . . .'"

Elsewhere in today's Style section: Howard Kurtz profiles Garrett Graff, newly minted editor of Washingtonian magazine. Without its tenor, the Washington National Opera's "Ariadne" is lackluster. And, if you're still looking, here's one Halloween suggestion from the Going Out Guide: Alexandria's Day of the Dead parade.

By The Reliable Source  |  October 26, 2009; 12:17 PM ET
Categories:  Read This  
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