Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids
Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids is an American animated series created, produced, and hosted (in live action segments) by comedian Bill Cosby, who also lent his voice to a number of characters, including Fat Albert himself. Filmation was the production company for the series. The show premiered in 1972 and ran until 1985 (with new episodes being produced sporadically during that time frame). The show, based on Cosby's remembrances of his childhood gang, centered on Fat Albert (known for his catchphrase "Hey hey hey!"), and his friends.
A group of urban adolescents learns a series of valuable life lessons while hanging out in their Philadephia neighborhood. Members of the group include Fat Albert, Bill, Mushmouth, Dumb Donald, Rudy, Bucky, Russell and Weird Harold. In addition to providing the voice of Fat Albert and other characters, Bill Cosby appears as himself (in live-action form) as a host of sorts at the beginning and end of episodes.
Why It Rocks
- The show manages to teach valuable lessons without being overly preachy.
- The animation gets better as the show goes on.
- Likable and relatable characters.
- Well-done voice acting.
- Clever humor.
- Catchy theme song.
- Sometimes tackles serious issues like racism, and there was also another episode where Fat Albert comes across a Neo-Nazi.
- Some episodes could get pretty dark at times, especially "Double Cross", "Busted" and "Gang Wars", the latter of which saw a child get shot dead by a gang member on-screen, sacrificing himself for his big brother.
- The animation can look mediocre at times, as per the standard for Filmation.
- Ren & Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi worked on this show as a storyboard artist back in 1979.