The Cosby Show premiered in 1984 to near-universal acclaim. Critics loved it, ratings were astronomical, and my mom wouldn't shut up about how cute that little Rudy Huxtable was. But that was FOREVER ago, right? NO! Earth has existed for billions and billions of years and this show hasn't even been around for 30 of those. So really, that's like virtually zero years.
Look, I get it. You're young. You're cool. You're a busy individual with a Netflix queue three miles long. Why should you bother to give The Cosby Show any of your precious TV time. Short answer? It's better than it ever was!
Ugh, you're gonna make me prove it to you, aren't you? What's that? You didn't ask for this at all. Well, sir or ma'am, you're not alone. Nevertheless, here's 13 Reasons The Cosby Show is Even Better Now Than It Was Back Then.
1. COSBY: HIMSELF
"No matter how great a joke is, time has a way of making it stale." - Me, just now.
Thus, it goes without saying, if you want a joke to stand the test of time, use your face, not your mouth. OK, so now sit back and audit this Bill Cosby masterclass. Not one of these jokes feels even one-second outdated. Bill Cosby is, as they say in England, "Fucking Brilliant."
2. JAMMIN' ON THE ONE
If each of these reasons were "ranked" and not just listed, the Huxtable family visiting Stevie Wonder in the studio would have been first, no question. Why? Easy. This is the single greatest moment in the history of television.
In fact, unlike most of this list, it is neither better, nor worse now than it was when it first aired back in the 1980s. Rather, it has merely always been the greatest thing. Many television moments have since tried to eclipse it, but they have all failed. I thought for a second there was a moment on this year's Breaking Bad that was better, but then I remembered NOPE.
Here it is. Enjoy, you lucky bastard.
3. THAT HUXTABLE SWAG
Everyone knows of the Cosby sweater, sure, but there was so much more going on fashion-wise. SO MUCH.
Don't be caught without that Gordon Gartrell.
What? You don't have a sweatshirt with your own face on it?
Hell, even Adam Sandler dresses up for Cosby.
4. MUSICAL MOMENTS
We've already mentioned Stevie Wonder, but let's try a few more names on for size:
- Dizzy Gillespie
- Lena Horne
- B.B. King
- Tito Puente
- I gotta mention Stevie Wonder again (IT'S SO GOOD)
Yeah, we're not talking *NSYNC guest starring on an episode of Sabrina, The Teenage Witch here guys. This stuff is all LEGIT COOL.
In this outstanding clip, guitar legend Riley Jackson (B.B. King) and Kenny, aka Bud, sing the blues. Is there another word for LEGIT COOL?
5. YOU LIKE YOUR TV IN GIF FORM NOW, RIGHT?
6. CLIFF & CLAIR GENUINELY LOVED EACH OTHER. GROSS I KNOW, BUT TV COULD PROBABLY USE MORE OF THAT.
Sometimes, The Cosby Show would devote the last five or six minutes of an episode to Cliff and Clair just hanging out together. They'd put the kids to bed and put on a jazz record and just dance. For like, AN ENTIRE SONG. They wouldn't talk. They'd just dance. Or rub each other's feet. Or talk, because, OK, sometimes they talked. Point is, it's really awesome that a family sitcom would be able to take a breather away from the cute, adorable kids for a second and let mom and dad enjoy themselves. SO COOL!
With the Step Up movie franchise on it's 5th or 7th or 42nd installment and So You Think You're a Star Who Can Join a Dance Crew dominating TV, it's obvious dance is bigger now then it's ever been. And while I'm not a dance scholar, I do know that the entire medium of dance was created for this classic episode of The Cosby Show. So thank you for that Dr. Cosby.
8. FOOD PORN
These days everyone's a foodie, but back in 1984, people had barely even heard of sliced bread. Well, probably. Nevertheless, food was practically a sixth child in the Huxtable house.
9. DENISE HUXTABLE IS YOUR TUMBLR CRUSH
Denise was the wild card, both onscreen and off. She was wild. Sexy. Artistic. A free spirit. But mostly, she was just fierce. Girls wanted to be her. Boys wanted to be with her. Boys also probably wanted to be her. And like a fine wine, whoops, sorry forgot what I was gonna say. I drank all the wine.
10. SONDRA & ELVIN'S KIDS
Sondra's adorable twins were named Nelson and Winnie, after, of course, Nelson and Winnie Mandela. Also, of course, I didn't know who they were back then, because either I couldn't read or hated politics or something, but now thanks to this new movie coming out this month, everything finally clicked. It's like a joke that made you wait 30 years for the punchline.
11. THE FAMILY BAND
In case you somehow had the misguided notion that the Huxtable family left the musical performances only to the professionals, now's the time for me to tell you just how wrong you have been. Here's four of the family's best musical moments, which have been scientifically* proven to be even greater than they were when they first aired.
Night Time is the Right Time
I Got the Feelin'
12. JAMMIN' ON THE ONE AGAIN!
You know, all of The Cosby Show is available on Hulu in case you wanted to get started right now or whatever. Just a suggestion.
13. THE THEME SONG
Every single thing about The Cosby Show has gotten better with time. That, of course, includes the theme song.
THAT'S IT FOR TODAY'S UNNECESSARY TRIBUTE.