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Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids
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TV Series
    (September 9, 1972-August 10, 1985)
    CBS (1972–1981)
    First-run syndication (1984–1985)
    Hosted by Bill Cosby (including live-action bookend scenes)
    Featured segments include ‘The Brown Hornet’ and ‘Legal Eagle’
    The trials and tribulations of eight black youths, led by an overweight dude in a red pullover, in inner-city Philadelphia
    It began as a primetime special that had very little to do with the style familiar to its fan base — or the region from which the Cos hails (this Albert is a toothpick next to the previous draft).
    NBC and ABC were not interested in its education-based format — to their ultimate detriment.
    It generated more buzz among middle-income whites than low-income blacks.
    You have a guy who dresses like it’s winter even when it’s not (Russell)?
    The kids always kept pace while running — even with Albert’s girth.
    Don’t even ask about the 2004 live-action movie with Kenan Thompson.
    Weird that the outfits were contemporary, since the show was ostensibly based on the formative years of the Cos (about 30 years earlier).
    Hey Hey Hey!
    The Cos himself voiced several ‘Cosby Kid’ characters, including the titular character and short skinny white-shirted dude based on himself.
    Stories got progressively more and more complex, running the gamut from simple internal conflict to family death, diseases, and even weapons.
    The kids were a resourceful lot, even using pieces of junk as musical instruments.
    Though meant to reflect the dearth of blacks in Saturday morning fare, it appealed to multiple races and even generations.
    It spawned several prime-time specials — Hallowe’en, Christmas, Easter, and even Saturday morning sneak previews.
    Though not continuous in its run (there were no new episodes in 1974, 1977, or 1978), it is the longest-running series under the Filmation banner.

Credit: Cool It All Right?


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