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Bill Cosby backstage at the 2014 American Comedy Awards

Bill Cosby at the 2014 American Comedy Awards in New York City
Carla Hay

The 2014 American Comedy Awards (which NBC televised on May 8, 2014) returned after a 13-year hiatus. The annual awards show was originally on Comedy Central from 1987 to 2001. The 2014 ceremony was previously filmed at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, where some of the best entertainers from TV, movies and stand-up comedy gathered to honor their favorites. Nominations for the awards were voted on by members of the American Comedy Awards Voting Committee, a panel consisting of 860 working professionals from the comedy community including writers, performers, producers, directors and stand-up comedians.

Winners at the 2014 American Comedy Awards included Bill Cosby, Amy Poehler, Seth Rogen, Melissa McCarthy, Bill Hader, Will Ferrell, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele and Jim Gaffigan. (Ferrell, McCarthy, Colbert and Stewart did not attend the ceremony, but most had prerecorded acceptance speeches.) A complete list of winners can be found at the official American Comedy Awards website. Here is what this celebrity had to say backstage during a brief press conference in the American Comedy Awards press room.

BILL COSBY

Winner:
Johnny Carson Award

What was it was like to prepare your speech at this awards show, compared to preparing a stand-up comedy routine?

No problem at all because I wanted to say when you’re auditioning or whatever it is you do, you can’t allow yourself to talk yourself into an inferiority complex. Your excuse will be, “I was nervous.” And you don’t want to do that to yourself.

Do you have any upcoming projects that you want to talk about? You’re still doing stand-up comedy shows

I love doing that! Here’s the way I’ve always looked at it. If you see I’m always working Friday, Saturday and Sunday, what does that mean I’m doing the other four days? And generally, that means I am happily at home. It also means that sometimes people will see an open date, and they will ask me to do something. And I may say “yes” or “no.”

A part of my life is traveling, but since we sold our play, we’re now in the airport with people who like to take pictures, who like to talk about their life with me from TV and the albums and clubs. And this part, I feel very, very good. I also know how to rest and when to rest.

What’s the best advice you ever got?

“I’m not your mother.” The reason why I say that? It was my second day in the Navy. And they taught us how to make up the bed. And I made up the bed the same way that I would, knowing that my mother would come behind me and make it up the proper way.

And that was the first thing the [Navy officer] said. And for the rest of my nine weeks in boot camp, “I’m not your mother” was the theme, and it really turned my life around in a positive way.

For more info: American Comedy Awards website

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American Comedy Award interviews