Thirty years ago this past Saturday September 20th, audiences were introduced to “The Cosby Show,” a sitcom about the Huxtable family in Brooklyn, New York, that would remain on the air for eight seasons.
The series was a huge hit, winning six Emmys, two Golden Globes and a slew of other awards — not to mention ranking number one in the Nielsen ratings for five years in a row.
The Cosby show has been defined by many as the show to change the public view and insight of the progress black family. This show was in a league of its own when it depicted an upper middle class family consisting of doctor and a Lawyer Although refined for some, the show for many other blacks just revealed another facet of the black family not often mimiced on television. For many reminded them of their own family dinamics as ther was a major focus on education instead of poverty.
While most people know a little bit about its creator, Bill Cosby, here are 30 things you may not know about the show:
1. “The Cosby Show” wasn’t the first show named after Bill Cosby. There were three others that came before, “The Bill Cosby Show,” “The New Bill Cosby Show” and “Cos.” After “The Cosby Show” ended, Cosby and Phylicia Rashad moved to CBS to star in “Cosby.”
2. Cosby’s real-life family was the basis of the Huxtables. Both families consisted of four daughters and one son in the middle.
3. The character Theo was patterned after Cosby’s own son, Ennis, who like the character had dyslexia. Ennis was murdered in 1997.
4. Bill Cosby never received an Emmy nod for his acting on the series — apparently at his own request, because he was opposed to such competition between performers. He did receive, however, two Golden Globe awards for playing Cliff Huxtable.
5. Whitney Houston was up for the role as the Huxtables’ oldest daughter, but the part instead went to 26-year-old Sabrina Le Beauf because she had more acting experience and Houston was intent on becoming a recording artist.
6. On the show, the Huxtable brownstone was supposedly in Brooklyn, but the facade was actually shot in the West Village at 10 St. Luke’s Place in Manhattan.
7. Much of the artwork that hung on the walls of the Huxtable home was by renowned African-American artists Synthia Saint James and by the painter Varnette Honeywood.
8. Phylicia Rashad won the part of Clair, in part, because she spoke fluent Spanish. The show originally planned to have Clair’s character be a Dominican who would go on tirades in Spanish — ala “I Love Lucy” — but dropped the idea before the pilot was taped.
9. The show, according to TV Guide, was the biggest hit in the 1980s and almost single-handedly revived the sitcom genre and NBC’s fortunes.
10. Cosby used material about family life from his stand-up routines for episodes of the show.