At 4:30am on Sunday morning, a college friend of mine calls me up. He’s been having a lengthy, non-sober discussion with another friend over the status of Fat Albert’s Buck-Buck number. They couldn’t remember it, and neither could I. Feeling utterly useless, I turn to you.
For those who don’t know, Bill Cosby introduced the character of Fat Albert on one of his comedy albums, Revenge (I believe). The track “Buck Buck” introduced a sport that Cosby purported to play as a child, which involved jumping on a increasingly large pile of other people until the people on the bottom of the pile collapsed. Pictures can be seen here. A person’s “Buck Buck Number” corresponded to the number of people you could pile on you without collapsing, IIRC.
However, I have a sneaking suspicion that Fat Albert was never on the bottom of the Buck-Buck pile, he was the ringer they brought in to break the other team’s pile. Can anyone help out? Please?
That’s what I’m thinking. I think Fat Albert was only used as a last resort to crush the other team, but not as the base. He’d be a great base, but I don’t think it was mentioned. However, it has been about 20 years since I’ve listened to the album, so I’m most likely wrong.
Coming Soon: the correct usage of the word “gunkie”.
Bill Cosby was from “Philadelphia,” so he and his friends called the game “Buck Buck.” But in New York City, it was “Johnny Ride a Pony.” Same game, same rules.
I remember the routine, but I don’t recall if Albert had a number. If he had one, he’d never have gotten a chance to use it, because as soon as the team on the bottom knew Albert was coming, the game was OVER!
I just popped in here to say I’m relieved to discover that Buck-Buck wasn’t a figment of my imagination. I’ve never heard this particular Cosby routine, but we played Buck-Buck when I was in grade school in Chicago, and whenever I mention this to my suburbanite friends, they look at me like I am insane.
Oh wow, this thread is bringing back some memories. My mom had a bunch of Bill Cosby’s records and I used to listen to them over and over when I was a kid.
Yep, Fat Albert was the deal-breaker in the Buck-Buck championships. He was only brought out at the very end and smushed all the other kids.
I also remember my other favorite routines: The Chicken Heart that ate up Chicago (“THE CHICKEN HEART IS OUTSIDE YOUR FRONT DOOR!”), the long monlogue about him and his brother Russell sleeping in the same bed, Noah’s conversation with God (ding God: NOAH! Noah: What? ding God: I want you to build an ark 40 cubits by 60 cubits. Noah: Riiight. What’s cubit?), the bit about the Playground ("…you go round and round and round and then you throw up.")
Pure comedy genius.
Noah(to God) You’re supposed to know all and see all like I said before and you never even looked in the bottom of that ark! No! Not me I’m tellin’ ya. I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m letting all these animals out, I’m gonna burn down this ark, and THEN I’m goin’ to Florida or somethin’ ‘cause you ain’t done nothin’ and …it’s raining…It’s not just a shower is it? All right Lord, just me and you, 'cause I knew all along…