In the world of stand-up comedy almost everyone who followed Bill Cosby owes a debt to Bill Cosby.

He’ll receive a special honor, the Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence, tonight during the American Comedy Awards on NBC.

“What I love about what I do is that it does show up, the response from the audience to me,” Cosby says.

It’s a response earned through Cosby’s iconic TV series, numerous hit movies and a legendary career ignited when he first appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in the 1960s.

“I said, ‘I want to talk to you about karate!’ And they laughed! And I was home free after that,” Cosby recalls.

Now 76-years-old, Cosby has nearly three dozen concerts in the months ahead.

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