Bill Cosby Wanted to "Take the House Back" From Kids With Cosby Show

Entertainment Jun. 17, 2013 AT 2:30PM
Bill Cosby says he wanted his 1980s classic sitcom, The Cosby Show, to teach good parenting and "take the house back" from children. Bill Cosby says he wanted his 1980s classic sitcom, The Cosby Show, to teach good parenting and "take the house back" from children. Credit: Ray Tamarra/FilmMagic

TV parenting at its best? Bill Cosby had big plans when he created the 1980s sitcom series, The Cosby Show: he wanted to change the way parenting was portrayed on TV.

Just in time for Father's Day, Cosby, 75, opened up to ABC News (via Yahoo) about his initial goals for the show about the Huxtables, an upper middle-class African-American family living in Brooklyn, NYC. "I based the series on two important things: Number one . . . I hated those series where the children were brighter than the parents, and those parents had to play dumb," Cosby said. "Number two was that I wanted to 'take the house back.'"

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Cosby, who starred as married father of five Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, had a problem with the idea of children ruling the household. "[We] parents make it difficult because we want to be well-liked," he explained. "And I'm not saying that parenting, you shouldn't want to be well-liked, but you also have to have some kind of judgment."

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"[If you want to entertain children] at the expense of parenting, at the expense of keeping children out of harm's way to get these laughs, to make these parents look stupid, to make kids look like they are ultra-bright but still lost, then we have a problem," he argued.

The Cosby Show aired for eight seasons on NBC until April 1992. When the cast reunited in May 2009 for the show's 25th anniversary, Cosby told the TODAY show that he believed the show was so popular because "our stuff is funny. There's love there. It's all genuine."

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Keshia Knight-Pulliam, who played the youngest child, Rudy, said she thinks the show is still a favorite in syndication today because the Huxtables are viewed as "an American family" rather than an "African-American family . . . that was what was so groundbreaking and still so relevant today. The family issues weren't about race."

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