Bill Cosby

Icons of the Century

NBC’s “The Cosby Show” not only saved the sitcom genre, it helped revolutionize how African-Americans were portrayed on TV.

Cosby was a popular and original comedian (he was the rival of Newhart, Winters and Carlin in his day) with a decent TV background, including a starring role in the hip espionage series “I Spy,” but “The Cosby Show” propelled him to the upper echelons of stardom.

“Cosby” came along at the right time, in 1984, reminding everyone that done right, viewers would still flock to a half-hour laffer. The series was also the first megahit in syndication, more or less creating the modern off-network marketplace as we know it. But most important, “Cosby” repped the first primetime portrayal of an upper-middle-class black family.

Carefully crafted by Cosby and producers Carsey-Werner, it didn’t dwell on gags or stereotypes, choosing to find its humor in everyday family life.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety

Loading