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Where We Live: The demise of a television icon

Published October 06. 2018 09:02AM

From America’s Dad to the cell block.

Perhaps none of the demises in recent memory are as startling as that of Bill Cosby.

The iconic, trailblazing 81-year-old actor and comedian once had the world at his feet.

Then came last week’s conviction in which Cosby was sentenced to 3 to 10 years in prison for sexual assault in 2004.

Cosby’s case marks the first high-profile conviction of the #MeToo movement.

Turns out Cosby was far from the pure, wholesome person his character portrayed on “The Cosby Show.”

Back in the day during the mid-1980s, “The Cosby Show” was a fixture on NBC.

In fact, it could be argued that no television dad was ever as popular as Cosby was in his role as Dr. Cliff Huxtable.

Especially in its heyday, when “The Cosby Show” enjoyed a run of five consecutive seasons as the number-one rated show on television.

The show aired on NBC for eight seasons starting in 1984, and spent all eight of those in the top 20.

I can very fondly recall watching “The Cosby Show” as a child when it was part of the then-popular NBC Primetime Thursday night lineup.

That star-studded lineup also featured “Family Ties,” “Cheers,” “Night Court” and “Hill Street Blues.”

In my opinion, there’s never been a better string of shows put together on one network from front to end.

Though I enjoyed watching all of those sitcoms back in the day, “The Cosby Show” was my favorite.

So much so that I rarely missed an episode during its first few years.

While the entire cast of characters all played a crucial role in its success, it was Cosby who was truly magical in his role as the family patriarch.

Even to this 7-year-old back then, episodes of “The Cosby Show” were almost always something special to behold.

Fact is, “The Cosby Show” was groundbreaking for its time and broke racial stereotypes.

Can’t really say the same for “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids,” an animated series created by Cosby that used to air on CBS on Saturday mornings.

Like most cartoons of the era, that show was centered on one character, “Fat Albert,” and was known for its catchphrase “Hey hey hey!”

On a serious note, it’s unfortunate that Cosby’s indiscretions have forever tainted the legacy of “The Cosby Show.”

Whether or not I ever choose to watch another episode, one thing is for certain.

I’ll never be able to view Cosby again in the same revered light as I once did.

And that’s no joke.

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