80s Icon: The Cosby Show

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Can you believe there was a time when America’s model family was black?

Nowadays, these are our televised role models:

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But the ’80s were a simpler time, where any suggested butt-whippings were handled off-camera.

Today’s ’80s Icon is nominated by Ashley and I’m sure you’ll all agree – “The Cosby Show” is an ’80s Icon.

Clair and Heathcliff Huxtable (did you know his original name was Clifford?) lived the American dream. An affluent lawyer and doctor living in a fancy New York brownstone with a ton of well-behaved, grounded kids – it was a far cry from the impoverished Evans family from Good Times.

I think “The Cosby Show” worked because they were a black family that didn’t constantly beat viewers in the face with their blackness. Although the African-American culture permeated through each episode, race issues were rarely mentioned. That helped make the show more accessible for people of all colors.

My favorite episode easily was the most bizarre of the entire series. Rudy wrote a story and all the family members played weird fairy-tale characters.

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The show ended with Rudy telling Clair and Cliff that she one day planned to be president of the world and her plan for world peace was to order everyone to throw their guns in the ocean. Clair and Cliff seemed pretty happy with their little dictator in the making.

The Huxtables were always painted as “the perfect family.” But that’s far from true. Theo was a slacker, Denise was a scatter-brain, Sandra’s husband was a moron and Rudy was basically Stewie Griffin from “Family Guy.” Still, the characters were so endearing that they still hold a special place in our hearts.

There’s only one thing that always bothered me about the show. Why are the majority of the kids so light-skinned when their parents aren’t? What could have been the cause of that?

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Ah, Sinbad. Stick to “A Different World.” That’s an 80s Icon for another time.

But today, Cosby Show, we salute you.

What are some of your favorite Cosby memories?

Would you like to nominate an 80s Icon? If you have a person, place or thing worthy of the honor, email edward@soulinstereo.com, hit me up on Twitter @etbowser, or stop by the comments section. Win me over and your Icon could be featured in a future column.



  1. Edd-money, Sinbad and Mrs. Huxtable!? hehe. Love this one, boss. My life wouldn’t be the same without the Cosbys. To answer your question:

    Jamming on the One is number one for sure! 🙂

    #2 And then the episode when Theo’s nasty math teacher comes to dinner (she’s sort of attractive until she rolls that hair up).

    #3 is the time Theo wants to get out intothe real world, so his parents teach him a lesson by making him pay for his furniture (and everything else).

    #4 is the Huxtable’s anniversary when Rudy sings one of my favorite Ray songs: “(Night Time is) the Right Time.” http://youtu.be/BTruv-lVoLk. (Of course, everybody loves that one, but it’s ok, I’m everyday people, like Sly once said: http://youtu.be/EgVOR28iG_o)

    Hope you’re doing great these days at al.com and all. Don’t get down about what I like to call trolls-who-leave-hateful-comments-on-Internet-articles. You know what they say, though…http://bdadv.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/haters_gonna_hate_10.jpg.

    You’re doing brave work and good work. Keep it up, man!

  2. Aww look, you found a picture of an actual al.com commenter! Don’t worry, true playas have no time for haters.

    Thanks for the love!

  3. I’m not sure I can choose a favorite episode because I loved so many. But the one Hunter mentioned about Theo getting a taste of the real world is one that I always remember.

  4. Ha! Edd amd Writeous Jai, look at you! I hope you’re both hanging in there these days and getting juiced for the T’giving holidays. At my house, we’re redoing the kitchen and taking care of our senior citizen.

    Growing up, my family watched the Cosbys together every single week. I missed it terribly after it finished. I always did feel a kinship with Theo. What a great character.

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