The Cosby Show
Debut: September 20, 1984
Ended: April 30, 1992
Debut: September 20, 1984
Ended: April 30, 1992

The Cosby Show was an American television sitcom that ran from 1984 to 1992. Starring Bill Cosby, the sitcom was first broadcast on September 20, 1984 and ran for eight seasons on the NBC television network, until April 30, 1992. Bill Cosby had a great deal of creative control over the show, which was unusual for a star at that time but has become commonplace now. Cosby wanted the program to be educational as well as entertaining, reflecting Cosby's own background in education: he was credited as "William H. Cosby, Jr., Ed.D" at the beginning of each program, referencing his doctoral degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts. He also insisted that the program be taped in New York City, where he lived, rather than Los Angeles, where most television programs were taped. The show focused on the Huxtable family, an upper-middle class family living in Brooklyn, New York at 10 Stigwood Avenue.[1] Patriarch Heathcliff "Cliff" Huxtable (an obstetrician/gynecologist) and his attorney wife Clair Huxtable presided over a raucous yet loving household. In every way, they were an utterly typical traditional American sitcom family, with the notable exception that they were African-American. The topics of the show involved the usual difficulties of children growing up, an example being son Theo experiences of dealing with dyslexia, based on Cosby's real-life child Ennis who was dyslexic. The show was very much centered on Cosby's real life, and portrayed his children's lives as well. The show was extremely well-regarded, winning six Emmys, as well as three Golden Globes, five NAACP Image Awards, and a Peabody Award. It was also notable as being highly popular with white viewers and around the world, unlike many other television shows featuring mainly African-American characters. The show has been praised for its portrayal of positive child rearing methods. For instance, in the first episode, Heathcliff confronts his son about his poor grades and Theo responds that he should accept his son's weaknesses and love him unconditionally because they are father and son—a typical sentimental idiom in family sitcoms of that time, and one which generated the typical applause from the studio audience. Heathcliff, however, to the audience's surprise and amused approval, immediately and angrily calls this sentiment "the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my life," completely rejecting the notion that loving his son means he must quietly and willingly accept it when the boy does not give his best effort in school, and famously threatened him with the often quoted line, "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out." At the time of the show's original broadcast, some people criticized the series for presenting an unrealistic portrayal of an African-American family as wealthy, and for not addressing black-white relations and contemporary issues such as poverty and the AIDS-HIV epidemic. Others felt that the show was simply a portrayal of what African-Americans could potentially become. They also felt that portraying an African-American family as a normal family with normal, and largely wholesome, family issues was generally a positive contribution to issues of race in the United States. The sitcom had numerous guest star appearances, including Stevie Wonder, Willie Colon, Plácido Domingo, Tony Orlando, Dizzy Gillespie, B.B. King, Danny Kaye and Frank Robinson. Additionally, many actors had the show as their launching pad to success. Examples include Raven Symone, Angela Bassett, and Adam Sandler among others. John Ritter guest starred on an episode with Amy Yasbeck, whom he soon started a relationship with and married eight years later, and Sammy Davis Jr appeared in an episode in 1989 playing a soon to be great-grandfather who does not know how to read. It was one of the last television appearances of Davis (he would die the next year). The popularity of The Cosby Show was often seen as a symbol of hope and progress for African-Americans in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Ironically, as the final episode was airing on April 30, 1992, a series of race riots was raging throughout the city of Los Angeles, in the aftermath of the previous day's controversial verdict in the Rodney King trial. The exterior of the Huxtable home was actually the brownstone facade of a private residence at 10 St. Luke's Place near 7th Avenue in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. That home is not a single family home but rather was divided into an owner's duplex and four tiny one-bedroom apartments.

Rudy: "No, no, that's Buuuuud. -Rudy"
Cliff: "I brought you in the world and I can take you out of it. -Cliff"
Cliff: "How ugly is he? -Cliff"
Cliff: "Bacon Burger Dog! -Cliff"
Cliff: "Wait a minuate! -Cliff"
Cliff: "[Vanessa barges in the door to the bedroom with Rudy] Go back and knock on the door and say "Who it is.". [Vanessa is now knocking on door] Who is it?"
Vanessa: "Who it is!"
Theo: "I'm buggin'!"
Guy at The Exchange Club: "Excuuuuse me! Do you know CPR?"
Girls: "Why?"
Guy: "Because your beauty has stopped my heart!"
Charmaine: "Oh Laaaance you so sensitive!"
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