Sep. 20, 1984
30 min.
NBC TV Network

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The Cosby Show tv show photo

The Cosby Show

Doctor Heathcliff and Clair Huxtable, a happily married couple, are raising their children (Sondra, Denise, Theodore, Vanessa, and Rudy). The two oldest daughters eventually live adult lives and get married. As the children get older, the family gets larger and, to the chagrin of Cliff, keep on coming back home when he wants them to move out and live on their own for good.

Trivia Facts | Top Quotes | Goofs/Mistakes
  • Clair's maiden name, Hanks, is the maiden name of Bill Cosby's real-life wife, Camille O. Cosby.
  • In the Italian version, the family name has been changed from Huxtable to the more pronounceable Robinson. "I Robinson" ("The Robinsons") is the name of the show.
  • Joseph C. Phillips, who played Denise's husband, appeared in an earlier episode as one of Sondra's boyfriends.
  • Phylicia Rashad was pregnant throughout much of the third season. As a result, her scenes were greatly reduced and what little she was used in, she had to hide her condition, such as sitting behind a desk.
  • In real life, Earle Hyman, who plays Cliff's father, is only 11 years older than Bill Cosby, who plays Cliff. Ethel Ayler, who was cast as Clair's mother, is only 14 years older than Phylicia Rashad.
  • Phylicia Rashad is only ten years older than Sabrina Le Beauf.
  • Anna was the first name of both Heathcliff Huxtable and Bill Cosby's mother; Russell was the first name of Heathcliff Huxtable's father and Bill Cosby's younger brother.
  • The first episodes of the show's next-to-last season had an opening in front of a Mother Hale mural. However, when there was a disagreement over what compensation would be paid to the kids who painted the original mural, the show switched back to its previous season's Apollo Theater-themed opening with an added graphic for Erika Alexander, who became a regular on the show. Some episodes began with Bill Cosby and 'Raven (VII)' telling the viewers that it was not a repeat. The final season used a slightly modified version of the Mother Hale opening.
  • The character of Sondra, the Huxtables' eldest daughter, was added almost as an afterthought. In the pilot, 'Phyllicia Rashad's' Clair Huxtable mentions the couple's four children (Sondra makes it five). They decided there should be another child that represented the results of a good upbringing, hence a daughter in college. When casting the role, it came down to two actresses: 26-year-old Sabrina Le Beauf and 21-year-old Whitney Houston. LeBeauf's theater experience won her the role.
  • Before the opening credits in one episode, Olivia walks up to Cliff wearing a Bart Simpson mask, a reference to Fox's The Simpsons taking away so many of The Cosby Show's viewers.
  • The black button that Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby) wears in some of the later seasons says "SD Jr," a reference to Cosby's close friend Sammy Davis Jr., who died during the series' run.
  • In the first few episodes of season one, Theodore, the only son, is referred to as Teddy, a nickname that is never used again - Theo is what everyone called him thereafter.
  • In one of the earlier episodes, Theo buys a shirt by designer Gordon Gartrelle. Throughout the series, the real-life Gordon Gartrelle worked in various jobs for the series and is listed as a producer of the show during the last few seasons.
  • The show's theme was composed by Bill Cosby and Stu Gardner.
  • Rudy was originally going to be a son, but when a suitable boy could not be found, girls were allowed to audition.
  • Nobody gave this sitcom much chance for success partly because it was on Thursday night against Magnum, P.I., a very popular CBS drama series at the time. The sitcom eventually became the number-one show on the air and routinely beat Magnum in the ratings. In one episode of the show, Cosby wore a Magnum baseball cap.
  • The character Cliff Huxtable was ranked first in TV Guide's list of the 50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time (20 June 2004 issue).
  • During the second season, in the episode "The Juicer", the exterior of Dr. Cosby's office is shown in which the nameplate "Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable" is hanging. However, in the first episode of the last season, Clair calls him Heathclifford.
  • Carl Anthony Payne II, who played Theo's friend Walter "Cockroach" Bradley, was fired from the show in the fourth season for refusing to cut his hair.
  • Bill Cosby insisted that the show be filmed in New York due to his dislike of working in Hollywood.
  • The show was initially rejected by ABC but later picked up by NBC where it became a huge success.
  • Theo was found to be dyslexic, just like the late Ennis Cosby in real-life.
  • Much of the artwork that hangs on the walls in the Huxtable household is by renowned fine artist Synthia Saint James and by the painter Varnette Honeywood.
  • Winnie and Nelson Tibideaux are named for Winnie Mandela and Nelson Mandela, the first Black president of the Republic of South Africa and his then-wife.
  • Bill Cosby's real-life family was the basis of the Huxtables. Both families consisted of four daughters and one son, the son being the middle child.
  • Denise's favorite flower is the tulip.
  • The façade of the Huxtables' home is located at 10 St. Luke's Place in Manhattan, even though the family is supposed to live in Brooklyn.
  • The extension to Cliff Huxtable's office is 331.
  • In "Cliff Babysits", we learn Cliff had a younger brother. James Theodore Huxtable died at the age seven of rheumatic fever. Cliff was eight years old at the time.
  • After the 2008 election, Republican strategist 'Karl Rove' credited The Cosby Show with paving the way for America to elect an African American president, since, in Rove's words, "we've had an African-American first family for many years in different forms. When 'The Cosby Show' was on, that was America's family. It wasn't a black family. It was America's family."

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