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Somehow, you have done it. You suffered multiple cease-and-desist letters and one particularly inane telephone call that consisted mainly of the beneficiary of the Fat Albert royalties yelling at you about...something. You don't exactly know what. But you do know that after hanging up on him, hiring OJ's lawyers, and giving him a roofie, you achieved the rights to Fat Albert. What next? You watch it, but somehow, you are even more confused than when you first started. This is what all the hoopla was all about? It doesn't even make any sense. That's where I come in. I'm here to help you understand the fat world of Fat Albert.
Humble BeginningsBill Cosby. People don't realize it, but he's not young (I know, I can hear your gasps back there). Yes, Bill Cosby was active (and most say in his prime, which is a relative term in every sense) all the way back in the 1960s. Now, the 1960s were a time of confusion, a time where psychadelia reigned supreme and hallucinogenic drugs were in the mainstream. With all of this confusion, it would be hard to instill good old-fashioned morals in the children of that generation. But, Bill Cosby, the gallant cavalier that he was, decided to change all of that. Using a potent combination of the very hallucinogens he was trying to keep out of the young peoples' hands, he went into a trance, and when he finally woke up to a life of sobriety and mounting fines, he found a script for a special entitled Hey Hey Hey, It's Fat Albert.
The Sad Sad Story of Saturday Morning and CBS
The special was aired on NBC in 1969, who, taking a cue from "Tommy" by The Who (an album released that very year), put in their earplugs and put on their eyeshades before they greenlighted its production. After realizing the error of their ways, they knew where to put the cork (another cue taken from Tommy), and that place was up Bill Cosby's ass. They refused to air the subsequent series, and so Bill, being the of the omniprescent intelligence that shames Albert Einstein, moved it to CBS, TV's "Most Watched Network." They aired the show for 12 seasons before they finally wised up and instead picked up JAG in an attempt to attract younger fans.
But that's not why you're here. If you gave a shit about the history of this ill-advised project, then you would ask the guy who was there (though the last time you tried that it didn't go too well). You want to know about what that damn program was about. I'm sorry to be the one to have to deliver the news, but that show you just watched was an educational program. I know, I know, I see your looks of shock, but bear with me. As it ran its course, it touched on topics such as playing hooky, child abuse, date rape, bunny sex, and chronic schizophrenia. "Ah," you say as you realize what those stupid words like "coitus" and "Easter pagan symbol" were all about in this episode you just watched. But, the bad news doesn't end there. The final blow is this: you know that song at the end? The one you didn't listen to because you were too busy concentrating on how the lips and the words didn't match up? Well, that was supposed to teach you something too. It summed up the episode into one 30-second interlude of emo-inducing pain while teaching the "right way to be" in terms more layman than even you deserve. I'm sorry you had to find out this way. Let it sink in.
Though you think it's over, it is not. Over twelve years, a show garners much attention and leave a large legacy, and this one is no exception. The most notable "gift" to society came with its ever-changing title. Over the years, it went from Fat Albert to Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids to The Cosby Kids and Fat Albert to
Cosby to Fat to Albert to Albert, Fat: Prisoner 14738XL before it was finally cancelled.
Additionally, the ultimate irony was commited against the Cosby Kids (and crew) when Canadian drug dealers nicknamed an indigenous species of cannabis after the title character of their beloved show. It is said that every Canadian person with the goods that was on Bill Cosby's speed dial (ie: all of them) received their first parcel of mail in quite a while on that day. Finally, some (including prominent scientist Dr. Phil) say that the trance Bill Cosby entered (the one to conceive Fat Albert) never truly ended, and that since it has been worsened and augmented by numerous illegal substances that have made him even crazier. Only a small percentage believe to the contrary.
So you've watched it. Thirty minutes of your life thrown away to a poorly made, educational cartoon. All of your excitement was for nothing (you were actually expecting to receive the pot), and you even learned something today! How dare Bill Cosby do this to you! Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about it directly, as attempting any sort of legal battle (for crimes against humanity) will cause the UN to have to do something, which they don't usually like. Therefore, the only thing you can do is prevent something like this from happening again. How, you ask? Well, friend, that is a topic for another day.