I grew up watching The Cosby Show (and I may or may not have had a crush on Rudy Huxtable).
That show was a favorite for me during childhood. In fact, I can still remember how eager I was to press RECORD and videotape a new episode on the VCR each week. What I’ve realized in the years since is that The Cosby Show actually tops the list of the all-time best shows I’ve seen.
Great comedic writing made Cosby a great show. But many sitcoms have great writing. To me, the thing that sets The Cosby Show apart is a striking list of lessons to be learned from watching re-runs, seeing cast interviews, or just remembering episodes. So, as a tribute, I will summarize six of those lessons.
Lesson 1. Even if you are married with five kids, remember that your marriage still needs a little bit of romance. Cliff and Clair were invested in their relationship as evidenced by the fact that they never stopped flirting, serving, and generally having the hots for each other.
Lesson 2. When preparing a sandwich, take the dining experience to a new level by placing potato chips inside the sandwich. This was a signature move in Cliff’s style as a sandwich maker, and it was a stroke of genius.
Lesson 3. Avoid viewing or referring to members of the opposite sex as mere objects. Theo and Cockroach were shunned by Denise for adopting the term “burgers” as a name for good looking girls.
Lesson 4. Experience a live performance by Stevie Wonder at least once before you die/he dies. He’s one of Motown’s living legends, and his gift for writing songs is otherworldly. Just don’t be too disappointed if he doesn’t invite you to hang out in the recording studio like he did The Huxtables.
Lesson 5. If you must part with a colleague due to irreconcilable differences, bless him or her on your way out. When Bill Cosby removed Lisa Bonet (Denise Huxtable) from The Cosby Show, he made her the star of an all new show.
Lesson 6. Embrace different cultures and different art forms: they enrich life.
Dr. and Mrs. Huxtable definitely understood this, and it shows in the friendships and cultural experiences they explored. After all, Clair spoke fluent Spanish with her Latin friends, and Cliff collected jazz records and loved cooking.
The Cosby Show will always be remembered and cherished as classic television of the 1980s. But you and I know it’s actually the greatest of all.