Bill Cobbs’ Talks About His ‘Go On’ Blind Inspiration

            Will Matthew Perry’s new “Go On” be a hit show for the former “Friends” star at long last?  Bill Cobbs tells us that NBC is “giving us the feeling that, hey, we love you and we want to see you do well and make this a good show.”

Cobbs plays George, the blind member of Perry’s “life transitions” therapy group in the tragi-comedy, premiering in its regular timeslot tonight (9/11), in which Perry’s a hotshot sports radio show host whose wife recently died.  The beloved 78-year-old actor of “Night at the Museum” and “The Muppets” fame has a string of movies on the way, including “Oz, the Great and Powerful.”  But he’s happy to be focusing on “Go On” and his recurring role, “given the great cast and the way they’re writing this.  It’s quite different, quite a different thing, which is great.”

The series also happens to mark the third time Cobbs has played a blind character.  He drew inspiration from writer James Stovall, who penned the best-selling The Ultimate Gift, which was made into a film with Abigail Breslin, Drew Fuller, James Garner and Cobbs among the cast.  Stovall “is blind, but when you meet him, you have no idea that he is blind.  He looks right at you.  And you can sit and talk to him for awhile before your realize he is blind,” Cobbs relates.  “He has a marvelous spirit and great take on humanity.  I thought about that in terms of George, and I was very touched that the writers paid attention to what I had to say about that.  They have been really great about incorporating ideas that you bring and talking about things.  We have this great cast, and I think it’s the same way with all of us.”

Viewers will find out a lot more about George and the other group characters as the show, created by former “Friends” executive producer Scott Silveri, continues on, says Cobbs.  “In the beginning, it seems like just a single joke, but now the characters are really developing along the lines of what the writers envisioned.”