Follow TV Tropes


Audio Play / I Started Out as a Child

Go To
You know, that kinda thing...

I Started Out as a Child is the second album by Bill Cosby, released in 1964. It's a stand-up comedy album where he reflects on his childhood, while other tracks are more observational humor about varying topics. His routine about his childhood would later inspire the animated series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, where Cosby provided the narration, scripts and supervision.

"I Started Out As A Child" won the 1965 Grammy Award for "Best Comedy Album" and in 2009 the record was added to the National Recording Registry for being "historically, culturally and aesthetically important."

Track listing:

Side one

  1. "Sneakers" (1:56)
  2. "Street Football" (1:22)
  3. "The Water Bottle" (0:51)
  4. "Christmas Time" (1:44)
  5. "The Giant" (2:29)
  6. "Oops!" (0:58)
  7. "The Lone Ranger" (3:07)
  8. "Ralph Jameson" (1:53)

Side Two

  1. "Medic" (3:45)
  2. "My Pet Rhinoceros" (0:46)
  3. "Half Man" (0:47)
  4. "Rigor Mortis" (2:47)
  5. "The Neanderthal Man" (3:16)
  6. "T.V. Football" (1:13)
  7. "Seattle" (3:48)

I Troped Out as a Child:

  • Album Title Drop: The first line on the album is the title.
  • All Cavemen Were Neanderthals: "Neanderthal Man" is a story about a Neanderthal going hunting for sabertooth tigersnote .
  • Face on the Cover: Bill's face.
  • The Giant: "The Giant" is a routine about how Cosby and his brothers perceive their drunk father as a giant and call him that. At night they steal his money. When their dad awakes he says: "Fee Fei Fo Fum? Who stole my dough?"
  • Gotta Have It, Gonna Steal It: When Cosby's father is asleep, he and his brothers go out and steal all the loose change from their father's pants pockets.
  • Live Album: All tracks are recorded live, but compiled from several performances.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Cosby tells funny stories about street football, drinking from water bottles in refrigerators, Christmas time
  • Nostalgia Filter: Bill tells stories about his childhood during the first side of the album.
  • Product Placement: On the cover, the Warner Brothers logo can be seen on the wall behind Cosby.
  • Santa Claus: In "Christmas Time" Cosby tells how he and his childhood friends got to bed at three o' clock in the afternoon just to have Santa Claus appear and bring presents as quickly as possible.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: "Ralph Jameson" is about a man looking for the right apartment door at night. Cosby imitates the sound effects of descending up and down the stairs. In "Medic" he imitates explosions and military warfare.
  • Shoot the Medic First: The punchline to his "Medic!" routine.
  • Shout-Out:
    • On the cover the picture on the wall behind Cosby shows NapolĂ©on Bonaparte sitting on a chair, an image from a painting by Eugene Delaroche.
    • "The Lone Ranger" imagines what the Lone Ranger would do if there was no crime in the city. They would get drunk.
    • "Seattle" namedrops lion tamer Clyde Beatty.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: In "Medic" Cosby joins the military, and becomes a medic because enemy soldiers won't shoot at medics according to the Geneva Convention. Or so he believes; a film he and several others are shown after they enlist shows that the enemy does not follow the Geneva Convention, and goes for the doctors first. So, when the war starts he ducks into a foxhole and looks at the war from a distance. Then one of his friends is shot and a fellow soldier decides to revenge him. When he gets shot he calls for a medic, but Cosby refuses to come out of his foxhole.
    Soldier: "MEDIC!"
    Medic: "Whaddya want?"
    Soldier: "My leg! My leg!"
    Medic: "I don't make house calls! Take two aspirin and mail in the five dollars!"
  • Speech Balloon: Cosby says the album title on the cover with use of a speech balloon.
  • Super Breeding Program: "Seattle" is about zoo keepers trying to make a gorilla mate.
  • Super-Speed: Rudy whose sneakers make him run so fast nobody can keep track of him.
  • Talking Animal: The sabertooth tigers discuss how they are going to defend themselves against the Neanderthal sneaking up on them.
  • Verbal Tic: Cosby uses "you know, that kinda thing" and "this is the truth" a lot.
  • Zany Scheme: During his "Street Football" routine:
    Here's a guy with an ingenious mind. He'd call a football play like this...."Now, listen to this, now. Uh, Arnie, go down, uh, ten steps and cut left behind the black Chevy. Filbert, you run down to my house and wait in the living room. Cosby, you go down to 3rd Street, catch the "J" bus. Have him open the doors at 19th Street. I'll fake it to you." They always have one fat kid they never throw it to, says, "What about me?" He says, "You go long."