The Cosby Show
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“You take the puddin' pop and put it in your mouth like a pop-a-doodle-doo-bop-de-zow-pop-pop”
“I like the black kid”
“Which one is Urkel?”
The Cosby Show is an American Television sitcom that lasted almost a decade. The series hit rock bottom in the 90's where it was unceremoniously cancelled after Cosby and NBC executive Bob Wright got into a drunken bar brawl and the decision was later made to cancel the series. Several years later, however the show was resurrected from the dead and featured state of the art computer-generated graphics and retrograde voice acting. During its run on prime-time network TV the show tackled a plethora of issues ranging from excess of homework to senility, to domestic violence to why white men can't jump.
The pilot episode for The Cosby Show is remarkably different from future episodes in several ways. Fist the entire family consisted of three girls (one possibly male-to-female) and one boy (who was kidnapped from pygamies in the Amazon). Cliff Huxtable worked as a door-to-door abortionist, while his lovely wife Clair was a sex-line operator, usually using the phone out of the girls' room. The Huxtable residence was also entirely different as well as it was set in a 13x5 cardboard mansion (that was beautifully painted and decorated by set decorator Mary Hogwash.
edit Pilot Plot
The plot of the pilot started out as any ordinary Cosby show would; with the family members all exiting a red 1970's van and staring awkwardly at the camera in a glazed over, euphoric-like stupor as if they had been
drugged eaten too many puddin' pops, stare and smile at the camera before being ushered away into a closet by Bill Cliff Huxtable.
The episode opens with Cliff coming home earlier than usual from one of his abortions when Clair catches him eating a sandwich without permission. To get revenge she flushes all of his playboys down the toilet, which consequentially clogs the toilet up. After an hour of screaming, denial and crying Clair asks Cliff why he is home so early and he says that he left one his tools on the counter and came back home to pick it up. Clair says that she cleaned the kitchen earlier and did not see any tools laying about. Cliff wonders if one of the kids had taken it and calls them down for immediate questioning when Clair reminds him that they are in school, so he sets about going to Denise, Theo, Vanessa, and Rudy's schools to interrogate them personally on the whereabouts of his special abortion tool.
Cliff finally gets the answers he needs when he arrives at Rudy's school and finds her during lunch in the cafeteria. He questions her about the abortion tool and she says that it's in her bag, and that she is going to show it off to the class during show-and-tell. Mortified Cliff tries reasoning with his daughter and asks her if she can instead show a magic dildo that will grant any wish, but she refuses believing that the abortion device to be a much better showpiece. Rudy insists that Cliff sit in on her show-and-tell segment and tell the class about his job as a blue-collar abortionist, daunted Cliff slouches on the cafeteria table and agrees to go to his daughter's class.
Later Mrs. Fabtree introduces the class to Cliff and he begins talking about his job, and his education when several rude, snot-nosed kids interrupt and ask him how much money he makes. "You see it's like a cross between a chimney-sweep and a delicatessen," Cliff responds. He starts describing some minor details about his day-to-day affairs when his daughter, wielding the abortion tool urges Cliff to bring out the more gory details. Unsure whether it was such a good idea to speak at Rudy's class after all, Cliff resigns to speak more intimately about his job but using Politically Correct terms such as "cooter" for vagina and "dumpster angel" for fetus. Mrs. Fabtree interrupts and demands that Rudy and her father leave for plugging "free abortions" in a Kindergarten classroom. Cliff argues that she needs to eat a goddamn puddin' pop and shut the hell up while waving the magic dildo at her, which zaps Mrs. Fabtree somehow transforming her into Anzû the Mesopotamian Demon Bird-God of death.
Cliff shakes off the demon bird-god monster and grabs his abortion tool from his daughter and explains to the class how an abortion works firsthand. He takes the tool (which is a stretched-out coathanger), opens up the demon-bird God's beak and jams it all the way down its throat until it vomits and chokes to death on its own puke. After the demon-bird-God slumps to the floor dead Cliff gets a resounding applause and a boom of clapping from the entire class (some because they thought it was informative, but mostly because they hated their teacher and are glad she is dead.) With the deed done and the demon-bird-god/teacher dead, Cliff announces to the class that school is over and treats everyone to puddin' pops and laser tag.
Later at home Cliff reunites with Clair and talks about "what a day" he's had so far, yet how it wasn't unlike the other 364 days of the year. Clair laughs and warns him not to sneak sandwiches behind her back again and he scoffs saying, "dammit woman I just killed a Mesopotamian Demon-Bird-God, cut me some fuckin' slack bitch!" The two share a laugh before departing upstairs to their bedroom where they film a pornographic puddin' pop commercial, with Michael Winslow (the sound effects guy from Police Academy) providing the soundtrack for a nominal fee of a three-cheese hot-pocket.
edit Season 1 and on
As stated above the proper first season (and entirety) of the Cosby Show was formatted much differently than the pilot. Many budget cuts were made including famous French makeup artist and Hair stylist Jene-Benet Toulouse. According to Cosby, the cost for filming the entire pilot amounted to two death stars and a midget. Many cuts were made that Cosby and the rest of the cast believed was inevitable due to the high cost of filming.
Other changes were later made as part of the normal series such as the inclusion of Sondra, an older daughter character who was absent from the pilot and many episodes from the first season. Her inclusion to the series was on the basis that Bill wanted a
white college-age daughter who could at times stand in as a bossy parental figure when Cliff and Clair where unavailable.
The overall plot of the series dealt with physician Cliff and attorney Clair dealing with everyday issues such as: School, bullying, drugs, HIV/AIDS, alcohol, childhood obesity, anorexia & bulimia, cultism, George Michael, shoplifting, and Jimmy Hoffa.
Cosby stated in many interviews at the time that he wanted to create a more "family friendly" environment, which would hopefully bring more people together in the community. Cosby made changes to the cast, crew and series as he saw fit in order to uphold his staunch belief in a "close-knit" family-friendly television program.
edit Cancellation & Resurrection
In the fall of 1992, the decision was unanimously made to cancel the Cosby Show due to a combination of low ratings, lack of interest and
dead bodies missing persons. The 1990's Los Angeles TV & film board reviewed the series and called it a "staple of American culture", however they were grievously displeased with the lack of frontal nudity, drug deals, drive-by shootings, and twerking.
In early 2005 rumors began circulating around various internet forums that the Cosby Show would be making a return much to the doubt of many belligerent posters. However, in the spring issue of Jet magazine, actor Bill Cosby indeed confirmed that a reprise of sorts would be happening sometime in 2006. By May 2006, several episodes of the new Cosby Series had been filmed with all of the original actors either rehired or exhumed in order to replicate complete authenticity. The premiere episode "O-Dooba-Dooba-Opp-Opp-B'wop, Doo-yaa" debuted on the fall schedule of NBC on September 2006 and was immediately cancelled after seven minutes into the pilot, being replaced by How I Met Your Mother.
Dr. Heathcliff "Cliff" Huxtable portrayed by Bill Cosby the patriarch of the Huxtable family and a well-known physician working and living in an upscale suburb of Brooklyn.
Between frequent muggings, devil worship, and threats of suicide, Dr. Huxtable enjoys plugging his puddin' pops and
vulnerable women dolphins at sea world. He won his degree from an online raffle back in 1971, beating out several Mexican con-artists who were lined up to be the next Cesar Chavez. Cliff used to own an Irish Terrier named Brutus, but he supposedly ran away one summer when he had Filipinos watch the dog while the Huxtables went on vacation to Miami. The following year they invested in a magic goldfish that could supposedly poop and pee gold, however it was killed thanks to Rudy's destructive tendencies. Despite being a doctor, Cliff does not eat very healthily, and in fact more often than not he gorges himself on beer, cocaine, cigarettes, tacos, pizza, chicken pot-pies, klondike bars, red bull, and most dangerously sandwiches. In the pilot episode Cliff worked as a door-to-door abortionist, however this was dropped when the fee for hiring intergalactic demon-lords grew to be too costly.
Clair portrayed by Phylicia Rashad is the "no-nonsense" matriarch of the Huxtable house. She runs a tight ship and takes slack from no one, including her own pimp/husband, Cliff.
In the pilot episode she worked as a sex-line operator, however as of episode 2 of Season 1 she is a fully qualified attorney often taking prostitutes and other lowlifes to court to earn the big bucks. She is supposedly college-educated and passed on her wisdom to Sondra, her oldest who often acts way too much like her mother to the point of people confusing the two. Despite being a "loving mother" and not playing favorites, Clair's obvious favorite child is Rudy whom she views as perfect although she would have thought her first was perfect but she married an idiot and started a camping business instead of pursuing a real career so for that her mother hates her.
Denise portrayed by Lisa Bonet, Denise was originally the oldest of the Huxtable siblings until Cosby decided that he wanted a mature
Caucasian, college-educated daughter as the oldest. As the second-oldest Denise was privileged to stay out late, listen to horrible music, date Lenny Kravitz and smoke pot. She is most known for her free-spirited attitude and her eclectic fashion sense and her tendency to give little boys boners (hence her surname 'Bonet'). Despite her young age at the time, Denise was a very creative person and would often design and sew outfits for her family and in one episode even transformed Claire's enema funnel into a fashionable hat.
She was in 85 of the 300 seasons of the show before being fired and replaced by a midget/gypsy/hooker/serial killer named Olivia. Her most memorable performance was as a street-smart vegetarian/hindu/prostitute in the hardcore adult film "Pin me, Now pay me" in which she won 85 pornie awards for.
Theo portrayed by Malcolm-Jamal Warner-Brother-Roger Rabbit-Scooby Doo is the third oldest of the Huxtable children and the only boy, which means his chances for being a closeted-homosexual are 2000/0. He is not very good at sports, or books, or math, or learning in general and wound up going to a shitty community college after high school that wasn't even accredited and had to repeat grades 10-12 with his sister Rudy. In most times he is very relaxed and easy-going however he is very devious and sly and can turn into the world's biggest pimp the second blackmail is involved. He is most known for bribing school bullies into not beating him up through various sexual favors, "accidentally" getting a girl pregnant, soliciting drugs on campus, and engaging Will Smith in a rap battle.
Vanessa portrayed by Tempestt Bledsoe is the middle-child of the Huxtables, the Meg Griffin of the family. She is not as pretty as her older sisters Sondra and Denise nor is she as cute and precocious as her little sister Rudy. Despite trying desperately to be a tattletale in the earlier seasons, her efforts are generally met with a "shut up Vanessa" from various members of the family. When Denise
gets kicked moves out later in the series, Vanessa officially becomes the whipping boy of the family famously getting blamed for sneaking off to rap rock concerts, panhandling on the Manhattan subway, plagiarizing the works of JK Rowling, Global Warming, extinction of the dinosaurs, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Despite always carefully planning ahead and prearranging things with her friends, Vanessa never gets away with any of her schemes and she always cries that "it wasn't my fault", to which she is responded each time with an indifferent "shut up Vanessa!"
Rudy "Rudolph" Hitler Huxtable portrayed by Keshia M. Night-Shamalan Pulliam is the youngest member of the Huxtable family and the apple of everyone's eyes. In the earlier seasons she was in kindergarten and mad scientist, often devising maniacal schemes in order to rid herself of annoying family members (mainly Vanessa for being annoying and Sondra for being a know-it-all bitch). She starred in the third grade production of Springtime for Hitler as the titular character, the episode won 144 Emmys for breaking color and gender boundaries while still hating Jews at the same time.
By the last season of the show all of her older siblings had moved out, save for Vanessa who was on house-arrest/probation for global warming. When Olivia moved in she immediately felt threatened and a rivalry was born, throughout the remainder of the series Rudy repeatedly tried having Olivia killed in gruesome and horrific ways, her plans often backfiring causing the deaths of others such as Grandma Huxtable, the postman and one of her rarely seen Chinese friends (Ling Toh, Ching-Tao, Ping-Wong...something Chinese).
Sondra portrayed by Sabrina Le Beauf is the wizened elder sibling of the Huxtables, she is mature and college-educated and lives on her own with her stupid boyfriend Edwin, Edmund, Elvis, something. She was originally to be played by Karyn Parsons who portrayed Hilary Banks on The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air, however Cosby's wife disliked the idea of him working so closely with a much younger, more attractive female and Sabrina was cast instead. Sondra did not appear in the pilot, however she was alluded to when Cliff drunkenly recalls helping a misguided camp counselor with sex-reassignment surgery and chose the name "Sondra". She later marries Edward, Elgar, whatever and has triplets however she pawns one off to the mafia because she could not afford rent and food with three babies and a retarded husband. She names her children Nelson and Winnie after Willie Nelson and Winnie the Pooh, she named her third child Zarmogg the Destroyer before giving him up to the mafia dons.
Elvin portrayed by Geoffrey Owens is Sondra's mentally-deficient husband having the confirmed IQ of a walnut. Having earned his Phd in sexology, Elvin instead decides to throw it away and open up a camping store... in the middle of the Bronx. He is also a rabid misogynist, often replying to demands from his wife with "shut up whore" and "what's the number for 9-1-1?" Early in the series he attempts at forging a friendship with Dr. Huxtable only to be implored by the latter to use a condom, to which Elvin replied asking what a condom was.
Olivia Kendall portrayed by Raven Symoné/Verne Troyer (stunt-double) is an attempt by Cosby to corner the kiddie market ala Michelle Tanner of Full House. She was most notoriously known to be the leftover child from Denise's husband's last marriage, and a rival to Rudy Huxtable. She acts as a precocious four-year old to the untrained eye however secretly she is a midget/assassin/hooker/serial killer escaped from the same psychiatric penitentiary that Mrs. Kendall was being held at. She concocted a story about how she was born prematurely and was allowed to live with her mother (in jail) until her fourth birthday, when she would be given ward of the state. To correct this, Olivia arranged for Mrs. Kendall to have a little accident and contacted Martin Kendall her "father" and arranged to live with him as his daughter. By the time she had moved in with the Huxtables she was already an accomplished serial killer, having murdered several bailiffs, inmates, and colleagues of her "father".
Her identity and ulterior motive is finally revealed in episode 3006: "Honey I killed the Cat", wherein she is discovered by Rudy to be shaving her goatee in Cliff's bathroom. She gives chase and threatens Rudy not to tell anyone. However Rudy has a bombshell to drop; she had Olivia's "father" murdered during his stay at the Singapore base. Olivia reveals her own bombshell stating that she planned from the start to systematically assassinate each one of Rudy's family members until she got to her, the last one. An epic lightsaber battle takes place with Olivia losing a hand and Clair (dressed as the Emperor) egging on Rudy to finish her by chanting "do it, do it!" Rudy refuses and Olivia calls Clair a bitch and tells her to get lost and Rudy impales her with a lightsaber while she is distracted. It is later revealed that Rudy never actually killed Denise and Martin, much to Clair's disappointment and the two mutually agree to mail Olivia's remains to Singapore as it was the "right thing to do."
Cthulhu also known as "Doctor Cuddly-cakes", is an interdimensional galactic horror and an abomination beyond the scope of human imagination. He is first seen in episode 706: "Dear, Where Did I Leave my Necronomicon?" In which Cliff invokes his presence using the age-old satanic ritual of Cthonic-verses. He has his Phd in chemistry and human biology and is often seen giving advice to Cliff on how to deal with difficult patients and can sometimes be seen assisting Rudy with her science homework. He appeared as a recurring character during season 1, but from season 38 and onward became a series regular (until that one time he went on strike and was temporarily replaced by Bob Dole).
Pam portrayed by Erika Alexander is a street-smart prostitute who is cousins with Clair and moves into the house after Denise and Shamu leave in order to fill the void left behind. She is best known for being the dumbest character on the show or in the entire run of the series proper, beating out Elvin (a confirmed retard) and Olivia. Most every "Pam-centered" episode is a "very special" one detailing a variety of issues, her first appearance tackled the stress and trauma over the letter "A", and was prescribed by Clair to watch Sesame Street until she had a grasp of the alphabet.
edit Guest Appearances & Crossovers
Being a hit American sitcom in the eighties garnered much attention for Cosby, so much so that managers from millions of agencies and studios demanded to get parts on the show even if they were bit parts requiring the actors to eat shit or engage in anal sex with a cactus.
Many actors from prestigious television series at the time had crossed paths with Cosby, the cast of the A-Team appeared for a three part episode detailing the kidnapping, and subsequent sodomizing of Rudy's friend, Peter. Stoned actor Pauly Shore appeared in a seven episode arc as a deaf pothead on the run from Scientologists. High Priest Tom Cruise appeared in subsequent episodes proclaiming there was no plot to abduct anyone and to issue subpoenas to everyone involved with the episode (he also jumped up and down on a couch, denying his alleged homosexuality).
A young Chris Benoit appeared in the Christmas 1993 episode where Grandpa Huxtable taught and applied the crippler-crossface on him. Godzilla appeared for the 1987 Kwanzaa episode with the help of the Huxtable's to battle the Smog monster caused by impudent Liberals.
edit Regional Differences
Despite the fact that Cosby Show's popularity peaked in the 80's (an age many call the golden era for sitcoms) it had only reached Japanese shores in 1995 and had became a huge success, enjoying more fame overseas than it did in America.
Japanese audiences loved the show so much that the CEO of the Sony company hired the Cosby Show cast & crew for 5000+ episodes overseas. In addition to shooting of new footage, Cosby made use of the Time-Key from Chrono Trigger in order to go back and film certain episodes in Japanese rather than having to re-film and edit existing episodes.
Despite rolling in yen, the Cosby cast was exhausted with their overseas venture - having agreed to perform all of their own stuntwork and live in a shoebox. Later in the third year Cosby came to the decision to simply have pre-existing episodes dubbed over in Japanese, that way the Asians could tailor the show to their liking without the actors actually needing to be there.
In Mexico the Cosby Show was renamed; "Arriba Los Cosbys" and was completely recast with an all-Mexican cast. The show, while staying somewhat true to its template often ventured into darker territories such as Mexican Drug Cartels, Midget Luchadores, Taco Bell, and Enrique Iglesias. The show was a dark horse on the Mexican television front and producers were unsure of how Latino communities would respond to an all-Mexican version of an African-American sitcom.
Fortunately for the Mexican producers their fears were annulled as the show became in an instant success beating out "Dolor Mi Corazón" and "Cojo tu Madre" for best Latino sitcom of the nineties.
The Cosby Show was such a hit back in the 80's that it spawned a series of household and outdoor products such as: Cosby oven-mitts, Cosby toilet paper, Cosby Diapers, Cosby pantyhose, Cosby condoms, Cosby charcoal, Cosby Cookie dough, Cosby lunchboxes, Cosby suppositories, Cosby dildos, Cosby Hair Relaxer, Cosby enemas, Cosby barfbags, Cosby catheters, Cosby poop scoops, Cosby lube, Cosby mustard, Cosby soy sauce, Cosby Lightbulbs, Cosby edible panties, Cosby vitamins, and Cosby-Brand Roofies.
Aside from the above mentioned paraphernalia, the Cosby Show also received its very own Video Game released on the Atari 5200 and Commodore 64 platforms, as well as a 2006 re-release for the PlayStation 2 and XBOX game consoles. The game takes place during the bulk of the series and features live voice-acting from all of the cast members (excluding the fat kid who died mid-season). In it players are able to live everyday life as a Cosby kid, slay interdimensional demon-bird-gods and communicate with the ghost of a dead fat kid. The game received mostly positive scores from reviewers who praised the game calling it "zaftig" and "Dada-esque". The game is compatible with the Konami Justifier or the Duckhunt gun for everyday use around the Huxtable home or at work or school.
The Cosby Show has seen releases on VHS, DVD, and most recently on Betamax as part of the Complete Cosby Show collection, containing all 300 seasons in 3000 Beta tapes and well over 13,000 hours of watching.
The series has been awarded and honored throughout the years for its vivid and spot-on portrayal of a middle-class suburban
white family and for its handling of sensitive issues such as Diarrhea and Mexicans.
The series was nominated for 1400 Emmys and won 900, ironically while it was nominated for an NAACP Image award Cosby however failed to achieve it for what many believe was not "hood" or "ghetto" enough of a show to truly be considered a legitimate African-American sitcom.
In better news the Cosby Show was nominated for 30 Adult Video Network awards, winning at least 3 pornies in each category for Lisa Bonet's performance in Angel Heart.
Midway through the series however saw the disappearance of cast regular Denise Huxtable, who for a time was replaced by Shamu. The disappearance was connected to actress Lisa Bonet's involvement in a series of online fetish videos such as: "Bind me, Gag me, Bag me baby!" and "Dick-less Tracy". Controversy ran amok on the Cosby set as Bill immediately and unceremoniously had Bonet's character written out of the show and replaced with a 1300 pound killerwhale, hoping that no one would know the difference. Though most TV critics and males aged 15-35 would agree that any controversy surrounding Bonet's decision to get naked was solely on the Cosby set.
Throughout the first few seasons Rudy's friend Peter would make recurring appearances often as an deathly afraid, mute, fat boy. He appeared in 2000 episodes total, however Peter Costa the actor playing Peter died midway through filming during a botched liposuction surgery.
The death of Peter left Rudy friendless for the remainder of the series, as no other children would believably play with an evil troll-spawn of a monkey's butt. The producers and Cosby got together and formulated a plan to resurrect Peter on-camera. They used state of the art computer technology and the fat kid from The Goonies to digitally recreate Peter from scratch. This action however was met with a series of mixed results ranging from ramblings of "I can't believe they shelled out that much money for THAT!" to "Who's Peter? Ohhh right...the fat kid!"
This decision however did not sit well with the parents of Peter, who filed several lawsuits against Cosby citing multiple damages such as mental trauma, cereal rape and character defecation. It was later revealed in various magazine and tabloid papers that the two parties had resolved their differences and settled out of court for an disclosed amount of money and hair.
In the winter of 1993, former Cosby star and actress Raven Symoné filed charges against longtime Cosby actress Keshia Knight Pulliam for several attempted assassinations and an altercation with a hostile midget at a "Go-N-Lo" gas station. Though Pulliam vehemently denies any relation to the midget, sources close to her had revealed that she had in fact taken out a fatwa against co-actor Symoné two years ago in the spring of 1990. The two actresses battled it out in court over the course of six years, each losing thousands of dollars in legal and courtroom fees. The case was eventually dismissed when prosecutors could not procure enough evidence to indict Pulliam and the actresses eventually came to terms and settled on the grounds of 20,000 Cheetos.
The legacy of the Cosby Show has jump-started many African-American sitcoms such as; The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air, Family Matters, and Sister, Sister. Though all of these shows later failed miserably for one reason or another. The Cosby Show remains to be one of the highest-rated and enjoyed family comedies of the 80's and 90's, with some going as far as to refer to it as the
black Leave it to Beaver of its generation.