For another episode of ‘Here’s Why’, we take a look at Bill Cosby’s short lived sitcom ‘Cosby’ which ran from 1996 to 2000. The series would go through multiple obstacles before eventually being taken off air at CBS.
Based loosely on the British sitcom “One Foot in the Grave,” “Cosby” finds Hilton Lucas forced into early retirement by his employer at an airline. The show was a different entity entirely from the powerhouse “Cosby Show” that aired on NBC during the mid 80’s to early 90’s. The program was groundbreaking for its portrayal of a black family in the upper class parts of New York.
Children of the era remember the “Cosby Kids” that consisted of Sandra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa, and Rudy. Bill Cosby would portray Dr. Cliff Huxtable and Phylicia Rashad embodied the new era of working class black women who also took care of the home with the Claire Huxtable role. It was truly a great change seeing not only a woman lawyer role, but a strong black female.
You could only know the pressure it would be for these two iconic television stars to return a few years later as a couple in a totally different landscape. What the two would try to execute was daring as they would not have the concept of professionals as their previous roles. Cosby would play Hilton Lucas, a 60-year-old factory worker laid off in a recent massive cutback and living in Queens, who resided in the old Archie Bunker’ neighborhood.
Yes, that same Archie Bunker from the famed 1970’s groundbreaking sitcom “All In The Family” that would introduce television viewers to the first ever rich black family on the small screen in The Jeffersons. The set of “Cosby” gave that old school vibe evocative of the early days of live TV. Phylicia Rashad would play Ruth Lucas in “Cosby” in contrast to the stylish and bravado of Claire Huxtable. Find out why “Cosby” failed according to Comedy Hype in the video below.