The Cosby Show was a groundbreaking show. It's hard to imagine now but back in the 80s (yes, I know I sound about 85 years old) there weren't many black characters on TV and there certainly weren't many shows (any shows?) where the entire cast was black. Not only black but wealthy, educated and well, like white people.
The Cosby Show aired on Channel 4 and one of the things I loved about Channel 4 in the 80s was it showed so much US comedy. It also showed my much adored Cheers and the wonderful Golden Girls but we will save them for another day.
The Cosby Show was a simple set up. College educated, working couple and their home life with their five children. It was all very cosy and Bill Cosby, I now realise, is very annoying and smug but back then I felt I could just walk into that family and be right at home. They argued like normal people and I always felt a little sorry for Vanessa who wasn't the eldest, wasn't the cute young Rudy (although she did not keep her cuteness once adolescence kicked in), wasn't the beautiful Denise and was slightly awkward. But the scriptwriters knew this and wrote her very well. Theo was a bit dull but as the only boy had to be given tedious storylines. My favourite was Denise as played by Lisa Bonet, one of the most beautiful women in the world. It amused me that none of this so-called family looked vaguely like each other and were varying shades of black but hey, it was the 80s and progress of a sort.
Lisa Bonet went on to marry Lenny Kravitz, a coupling I always felt was perfect in terms of total coolness. She also starred in the spin off show, A Different World. This show was good when Lisa was in it and turned into a very different beast when she left. Early shows also had Marisa Tomei in it who I thought was great at the time and I was most gratified when she won a best supporting actress Oscar. I still think she's a good actress now. Here she is:
I adored The Cosby Show and back then (when it was all trees round here) shows were shown once and if you missed them, you missed them. We didn't have a VCR and so it was a proper event every Sunday night when this was on.
Finally the mum in The Cosby Show is the sister of Debbie Allen (Lydia from Fame and if you don't know that, go watch it immediately!) I always thought she was a lovely mum. Not as nice as mine but still, a great TV mom.