It was 27 years ago that we were first treated to the incredible delights of a family that went by the name of Huxtable. On September 20, 1984 The Cosby Show made its debut on NBC.
The Cosby Show told the story of a happily married doctor and lawyer who lived in Brooklyn, New York raising their brood of five children. Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable was played by Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad played the incredible and feisty Claire Huxtable, and their five children were Sondra (Sabrina Le Beauf), Denise (Lisa Bonet), Theodore ‘Theo’ (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), Vanessa (Tempestt Bledsoe), and Rudy (Keshia Knight Pulliam).
Claire Huxtable is arguably one of the greatest TV moms to ever grace the small screen. She had a successful career, somehow managed to maintain an impeccable household with no outside help, raised five incredible children, and was the epitome of a strong woman while still being soft and feminine. She was firm, fair, and loving with her children. In short, Phylicia Rashad created a mom we could all aspire to be like.
Reflecting back on this half-hour gem that ran for eight seasons from the mid ‘80s to the early ‘90s, there are countless moments to love, but if pushed to choose, I’d say the following rank on my top 5.
~ The Anniversary episodes – When the elder Huxtables celebrated an anniversary, they could count on a fabulous performance from the family. Check out this clip as the family celebrated Anna and Russell’s 49th wedding anniversary with a lip-sync rendition of Ray Charles’ classic, Night Time is the Right Time.
~ Theo’s Holiday – The whole family (sans Sondra) got in on this life lesson for Theo. Even Theo’s best friend, Cockroach (Carl Anthony Payne, II) dove in as Theo’s “employer.” Theo was convinced that he’d be living life large after 18, so his family decided to pitch in and show him just how challenging the real world can be. (Watch the last 10 minutes of the episode).
~ Elvin and Mrs. Huxtable – It seems that Elvin (Geoffrey Owens) had chronic foot-in-mouth syndrome whenever he was around Mrs. Huxtable. However, the most memorable moment was the “serve your man” coffee incident from the episode, Cliff in Love. Claire gave Elvin a verbal lashing he wouldn’t soon forget. To fully appreciate that moment, you’ve got to watch it.
~ The Return of the Clairettes – It seemed that any episode that had friends of Claire and Cliff popping in were swimming in laughs, but it was the return of Claire’s old friend from high school, Kris, that really sticks out in my memory. As the ladies don their wigs from yesteryear and immediately launch into song and dance…It’s the husbands that really make this moment priceless. Skip forward to 4:45 in the video for this hysterical moment.
~ Rudy plays football – The episode, Rudy Suits Up aired in November of 1985 and in the span of this episode we got to see Claire as fierce protective/worried mama, then proud mama as little Rudy rocked pee wee football. Rudy did so well on the field that she earned the nickname “Sweet Feet” after scoring four touchdowns for her team.
There were so many more incredible moments over the course of the The Cosby Show’s eight seasons. What are your favorite episodes/memories?
You can still catch select members of the Huxtable family on television these days, as Keisha Knight Pulliam co-stars on Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and Raven Symoné is the star of the ABC Family show, State of Georgia.
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