Cosby's Wife Won't Let Him Grow Old

10/01/2002 at 01:35 PM EDT

Bill Cosby wore a bright red University of Maryland sweatshirt over his tuxedo this weekend when he performed at a black-tie gala for the school's new David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the African Diaspora, PEOPLE reports.

The event was actually the Cosbys' idea, given that the TV star and his wife, Camille, have old school ties. Camille was a UM student when she met her future husband -- though she dropped out to marry him.

Onstage, the Cos talked about why he still likes to perform. "A guy says to me, 'Look, Bill, why are you still working? I mean, you have money.' I said, 'When I get up here, this belongs to me. And nobody is going to come in and say, "Now, you didn't do this and you didn't do that."' And I will stay here and you all will be gone. This is it, man. This is my yacht. I don't need to go sailing."

Besides, he said, Camille won't let him get old. "Have you seen old people? Can't hear, can't talk, things slipping. It's not funny being with someone like that. And my wife has threatened me ... 'Don't you ever look like that.'"

Even so, his age is starting to catch up with him, he admitted. Once during the performance, he asked that the volume of his mic be turned down. "I'm 65," he explained to the audience, "and when I hear it like that I think I'm passing out."

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