#1980s

Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air interviewing David Letterman in 1981 about the comedy scene:

The best person in a nightclub situation now is Bill Cosby. It’s just unbelievable what this man is capable of doing. [He] doesn’t really tell jokes per se, but he comes on stage and sits down in a chair — and this is interesting because the purpose of your appearance there is that you’re supposed to dominate this group and to dominate and control from a seated position is interesting. And he does it. He’s unbelievable. I would guess he would be the best in a nightclub situation.

I saw Bill Cosby last week perform in San Francisco. It’s the same basic act: just a guy sitting down, telling stories. And it’s still fantastic 32 years later.

Letterman went on to note:

Then there are the newer guys. Steve Martin is just a phenomenon. Then I have my own peers who I think are great. There’s Jay Leno, who I think is probably the … best at observational material.

Pagan Kennedy:

It was a “classic situation” for an inventor, says Lonnie Johnson of the moment in 1989 when he waited nervously for a meeting with toy executives at Larami, a pink Samsonite suitcase on his lap. Inside the suitcase was a new kind of water gun. Instead of a pistol that piddled out a thin stream, this toy was engineered to spray water dozens of feet. “I had bought a milling machine and made all of the parts myself out of PVC pipe and Plexiglas,” Johnson says. “Even the valves — I made those too.”

As a child of the 80s, I have a deep affection for the Super Soaker. I also have a deep affection for pink Samsonite suitcases. 

[via Gizmodo]