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I vividly remember this as a one time special that aired when I was about 7. I do call some distinct differences about it as compared to the Saturday Afternoon cartoon we grew up with in the early 70's. I recall in this special that fat albert was so huge you could not see him from the neck up on the TV screen so it was like his facial appearance was a mystery (intended). I recall the screen shaking and a funky type R &B riff that was always played whenever he came on the screen. Regarding a plot, I recall they wanted to recruit him for the neighborhood football team. They figured because of his size he would be unstoppable as a ball carrier a la Bill Perry of the Chicago Bears. I recall a scene where he had the ball and was running toward the end zone and like the whole opposing team was hanging on him trying to bring him down but they could not do it. I remember the opposing team has "Al's Meat Market" on their jersey as the team sponsor. I don't recall a laugh track. I remember as a kid being in awe of this because I thought it was so cool (and very funny).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was 13 when this TV special hit the air waves. I've been wanting to
see it again ever since. Bill and his rag tag gang of friends (The
Eagles) are scheduled to play a football game against a well equipped,
well trained rival team. Bill is very cocky though that his team will
win, he doesn't even feel the need to practice. He tells the other
players "We can't lose man, we got Fat Albert, he's the baddest
football player in the world" Instead of practicing, the team goes to
see a Wolfman movie, all except Fat Albert who doesn't like to get
scared. So the team sees the flick and of course it scares them all
half to death. On the way home someone steps on a cat's tail and the
animal's shriek leaves the team beating feet all the way home. They
relax after they make it to own neighborhood all boasting to each other
they weren't really scared and comment "it's a good thing Fat Albert
wasn't with us, he'd be as scared as he is fat". The other boys throw
in like jibes but they happen to be standing outside of Albert's
bedroom window who hears the whole thing.
The next day both teams square off for the big game but Albert is no where to be found. The other team (The Terrors?) pummel the Eagles in the first half. Albert finally shows up and Bill has to do some fast talking to get Albert to play.
I recall a lot of the dialog that is thick with Cosby's brand of humor but I've given enough spoilers already
I really loved this cartoon special. I was becoming a big Cosby fan at
the time. This was my early introduction to pieces from a few of his
routines (Buck-Buck w/ Fat Albert, 9th St Bridge(?), Little Brother
It had some very positive messages for kids, before they became obligatory in cartoons. The music, animation (not sophisticated but very stylized), & dialog were all funky & really cool.
I've Been hoping it will come out on DVD some day, or at least the soundtrack (I think it might have been Herbie Hancock).
I think I can remember a few choice lines: "OK, Momma didn't buy you from the Salvation Army....For now." "Do you have anything in the way of a mint?" "Yay Wolfman!...Snort snort snort...Yay Wolfman!" (had to be there)
Highly recommended, even if you're not a kid.
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