The Cosby Show (1984 – 1992)
It may be difficult to watch The Cosby Show these days without its family-friendly atmosphere being tainted by the recent sexual assault allegations that have been made against the head of the Huxtable household, but having said that, I’d be lying if I denied that it was one of my favourite sitcoms when I was growing up.
The Cosby Show was extremely popular. If you were my age, and you had a TV, it seems you were at least an occasional viewer. It fought against its generic title to became the most successful small screen comedy of the eighties, and the Huxtable’s – who were the first prominent sitcom family to be both black and affluent – helped to break down the colour barriers along the way. While it was never the funniest thing on the box (even at the time there were better sitcoms) it was one of the best examples of how to do clean-cut comedy well, and still appeal to the grown-ups.
For all of his alleged real life faults, Bill Cosby as Dr. Huxtable was as familiar and comfortable as the proverbial pair of slippers; always there for his wife and five children, with a story to tell or a lesson to be learned. And whatever you may think of the man or his fall from grace, you’ve gotta love those sweaters, right?