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The goings-on in the life of a successful African American family.
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Won 3 Golden Globes. Another 51 wins & 56 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Dr. Heathcliff 'Cliff' Huxtable (197 episodes, 1984-1992)
...
 Clair Hanks Huxtable (193 episodes, 1984-1992)
...
 Rudy Huxtable (177 episodes, 1984-1992)
...
 Theo Huxtable (176 episodes, 1984-1992)
...
 Vanessa Huxtable (158 episodes, 1984-1992)
...
 Denise Huxtable / ... (120 episodes, 1984-1991)
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Storyline

Long-running popular comedy television series about the Huxtable family. Doctor Heathcliff Huxtable and Clair Huxtable, a happily married couple, are raising their children (Sondra, Denise, Theodore, Vanessa, and Rudy). The two oldest daughters eventually live successful adult lives and get married (Sondra to Elvin and Denise to Martin). As the children get older, the family gets larger and, to the chagrin of Cliff, keep on coming back home when he wants them to move out and live on their own for good. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In a house filled with love . . . there's always room for more.

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Romance

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

20 September 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Bill Cosby Show  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(201 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At one point during the series, on the back of Rudy and Vanessa's room door it was a poster of Whitney Houston. Whitney Houston was originally considered for the role of Sondra Huxtable but wanted to do her music See more »

Goofs

In the first episode, Clair says "Cliff, why do we have four children?" He replies, "Because we didn't want five." A few episodes later, Sondra was added to the cast as their fifth child who was away at college. See more »

Quotes

Theo: [trying to get Rudy to eat her Brussel sprouts] Okay, pretend you're King Kong and those are the Three Stooges.
Rudy: No!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The season after Lisa Bonet left the series, Bill Cosby can be seen holding a photo of Bonet during the opening credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Apprentice: May the Gods of Good Pies Be with Us (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Kiss Me
Composed by Stu Gardner and Bill Cosby
Performed by Lester Bowie
(seasons 7 and 8)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fantastic family sitcom, everyone's favourite obstetrician dad
28 April 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This fabulous series, deservedly still remaining popular in re runs, depicts family interactions in such an amusing light. Great viewing for youngsters since the offspring on this show, despite assorted rebellious phases, moods, and disagreements, invariably treat Mom & Dad with the respect they both expect and deserve. Of course the series is legendary, and quite deservedly so, for its landmark portrayal of a well educated, affluent Afro American family. True, maybe the Huxtables don't represent the typical American family (black or otherwise), but I consider it a positive and uplifting depiction of a FUNCTIONAL family.

The program chronicles the amusing interactions of the Huxtable family, who live in a lovely, well appointed Brooklyn brownstone. The father, Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, is an obstetrician and the mother, Claire, a lawyer. They have five children ranging from kindergarten to college age...Sondra (initially off at Princeton), Denise (a funky rebel), Theo (a charming underachiever eventually revealed as dyslexic), Vanessa (originally an insecure pre teen), and Rudy (the cute, precocious, and rather spoiled baby of the family). As the series progresses, four of the offspring go off to college, various romances come & go, Sondra marries med school student Elvin and has twins (Nelson & Winnie, after the Mandelas), and Denise weds the divorced sailor, Martin, who has an adorable little girl, Olivia. The Huxtable family is eventually also joined by Claire's teenage cousin, Pam.

The cast are all stellar in their roles...Phylicia Rashad (Claire), Sandra Le Beuf (Sondra), Lisa Bonet (Denise), Malcolm-Jamal Warner (Theo), Tempestt Bledsoe (Vanessa), Keshia Knight Pulliam (Rudy), and of course the incredible Bill Cosby himself as Heathcliff. Personally, my favourite character apart from Heathcliff himself, is the charismatic, cool ne'er do well, Theo. I also love his sidekick, Cockroach, as well as Rudy's hilarious little friend, Kenny!

In a sense, it's a bit of a modern Father Knows Best, albeit well laced with humour. The perpetually funny but wise Heathcliff has an amazing relationship with his children, a treasure trove of sound fatherly advice, and especially endless patience. He never loses his temper but always deals good naturedly with every challenge...whether an outrageous outfit, dead pet goldfish, poor report card, unsavoury boyfriend, dropping out of college or surprise marriage announcement. One of my favourite episodes depicts Cliff demonstrating to Theo just how rapidly his puny salary will disappear if he doesn't get a college education, especially if he has a girlfriend! Not only is Cliff a wonderful father, but also the obstetrician every female viewer wishes could deliver her babies! The chemistry and banter between him and wife, Claire, are both fabulous.

My sole complaint may not be popular, but I believe this series strengthens the myth that women can truly do it all. Claire has a successful law practice (bringing home a briefcase, presumably containing work), maintains a fairly large and spotless home, prepares lovely meals, always appears drop dead gorgeous & stylishly clad, enjoys outings with her children as well as social engagements with her husband, and invariably responds positively (never too weary) to her charming but rakish husband's bedroom advances. Above all, she's an exemplary mother to her FIVE children, always appropriately in the know regarding their homework assignments, school antics, relationships with friends, college or dating woes, and parties they shouldn't be attending. Really, she's quite a remarkable lady...and all with no sign of any maid, live in nanny, or significant involvement of her husband and youngsters with household chores.

However, though many aspects may not be realistic, it's a wonderful series overall. The Cosby Show presents uplifting programming for Afro Americans (and everyone else), frequently bringing into discussion Martin Luther King Jr. and other such inspiring personages. A tip of my hat to this series and all the entertainment contributions of Bill Cosby, who must surely be one of the funniest human beings alive. The show provides a humorous take on many everyday family challenges and generally speaking, bears a wealth of positive family messages, all conveyed in a way that induces a chuckle.


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