CLASSIC COMEDY: The Cosby Show creator, Bill Cosby, speaks at a function in New York City.Picture: GETTY IMAGES
Cas St Leger
After many weeks of being on-again, off-again on SABC3’s schedules, the comedy, The Cosby Show, finally was launched on SABC3 on June 11.
Bill Cosby and his classic sitcom The Cosby Show take us back to a gentler time when people where kinder to each other, there was no internet or text messaging and families sat down to watch TV together. The original The Bill Cosby Show was made in 1969; then The Cosby Show itself was first released in 1984.
It was a huge hit in the very early days of the SABC in an era when there was just one channel split into language segments. We all loved Bill Cosby - and perhaps the sitcom did something for race relations at the time.
He was welcome on TVs in homes across South Africa. There were eight seasons of The Cosby Show, which ran until 1992, and it told of life in a happy and healthy, well-to-do African American family, the Huxtables.
There have been many attempts to imitate it since - Sister, Sister, Growing Pains, Family Ties, and the rest - but no one has captured the formula quite like Bill Cosby did. It was replaced on air with The Simpsons, which goes to show how times had changed.
Cosby played Doctor Heathcliff Huxtable, happily married to Clair Huxtable (Phylicia Rashad) with five children (Sondra, Denise, Theodore, Vanessa, and Rudy).
The two oldest daughters grow up and eventually get married (Sondra to Elvin and Denise to Martin). Clair has no opportunity to suffer empty nest syndrome for the family keeps on growing and coming back to mom and dad. Dr Huxtable became the guiding light on child care at the time.
Bill Cosby was born on July 12, 1937, in Philadelphia and followed a career as a funny man for 30 years or more.
The Cosby Show launched the career of Malcolm-Jamal Warner who played Theodore. Born in 1970 in New Jersey, he was named after Malcolm X and jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal. He has gone on to star in shows like Malcolm & Eddie, Dexter, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Fame.
The Cosby Show, Mondays to Wednesdays at 6.30pm on SABC3 on Channel 133