What I learned from watching the Cosby Show again. (Mostly that we’re all old.)

Cosby Show | Mom-101Last night, I thought I’d look for some classic TV sitcoms to watch with the kids, since, to be honest, I’d rather watch Game of Thrones with my kids than subject us all to Wizards of Waverly Place.

(Just kidding. Mostly. Don’t hurt me, sanctimommies, I would like, totally skip over the naked prostitute stuff.)

After a brief misstep with Gumby, which they begged me to turn off about 15 seconds in, we settled on The Cosby Show.

Good lord, do you know what it’s like trying to explain all those 80’s references to your kids a full 30 (gulp) years later? Here were just a few of the questions I found myself struggling to answer over the course of two short episodes:

-Why Theo cut the sleeves off his sweatshirts

-What developing a photo means

-What “take a message” means

-What “boy crazy” means

-What a beeper is

-Why you couldn’t see who was calling when the phone rang.

-Why the phone was attached to the wall

-Why the whole family had to share one phone because that seems really inconvenient

-Why a six-year-old boy in New York City was allowed to leave a playdate and run home by himself

-Why a teenager would ask for “five bucks” from her dad when you can’t even get a Beanie Boo for that.

-Why they danced so funny.

Thank goodness for Rudy who remains timelessly awesome and required no explanation whatsoever. Sage wants to be best friends with her. I don’t have the heart to tell her that Keisha Knight Pulliam is 35 and now looks like this.


17 thoughts on “What I learned from watching the Cosby Show again. (Mostly that we’re all old.)”

  1. I hear you ten-fold. I did the same thing once. Now my kids love Full-House. So much so we own the entire collection, every season on DVD. It could be worse I suppose, I could own every season of Wizards.

  2. You forgot that you have to explain why the girls (even the “wild” one) are so thoroughly dressed – long sleeves, high collars, etc. I MISS the 80’s!

    The best part about watching the Cosby Show as a parent is seeing the looks on Cliff’s and Claire’s faces when their kids try to get a away with something or do something stupid. Priceless.

    1. Oh my gosh so true! Lisa Bonet was a rebel because her hair was short–as opposed to down to her ass with pink crimped extensions like today, ha.

      I realized I could appreciate it on a whole different level than I did when I was a kid. The First Day of School episode (#1, Season 2) is so great: They are celebrating because summer is over. That was another one to explain to my kids, but for a different reason.

  3. I’m currently watching my way back through this series. It’s timeless and amazing and I want to own the whole thing on discs so I can refer back as my boys age.

  4. That’s fantastic! I loved the Cosby show growing up. My only issue with the show was that the house was too perfect. Even as a teen I realized that it was unrealistic to have a house consistently be that clean, neat and organized when two parents have busy careers. There was never a housekeeper. Also, kids doing chores could never keep it that clean.

    After you’re done with Cosby, i would recommend Full House. In rewatching it with my son a few years ago I was blown away how nicely the family members treat each other. I can’t stand the Nickelodeon shows where the kids are always insulting each other.

    Lastly, if you watch Brady Bunch with the girls, you’ll have some major splaining to do. 😉

    1. Thanks for the second Full House reco. I missed that by just a bit as a kid, so it would be fun to watch with my kids–kind of new to me too. And if they think that Rudy grew up, I think seeing the Olsen twins now would blow their minds. Then we can have the plastic surgery talk too. (Ha.)

  5. We do a lot of what we term “source material” for Movie Night. Watching the original Star Trek has explained many a Futurama joke for my kids at this point. We have not gotten to the Cosby Show yet, but they loved Gilligan’s Island and were intrigued by the original Twilight Zone. I don’t think I’ve seen the Huxtables in action since the show first aired! Looking forward to it. (Although I remember clearly thinking while living through the 80s that there would be nothing to spoof about it in the future because how could anything we were doing look dated? Ha.)

  6. We have been watching Leave it to Beaver over here. That show was a lot funnier than I thought. What is great is how the girls identify the unrealistic nature of Mrs. Cleaver’s role, but think that it’s for comedic purposes. “What Mom where heals on a school day?” Was one question. The answer came from her sister, “Only a mom who works.” Which brought on a whole discussion about my job that doesn’t require heals and their doctor doesn’t wear heals, etc.
    Even better, now they know what I mean when I ID one of their classmates as an Eddie Haskell.

  7. Last weekend we watched Bill Cosby Himself (it happened to be on TV) and my girls were on the floor hysterically laughing at Bill. We’ve watched a bit of the show in the past but that may be one to do again. I can’t handle much more of Lab Rats.

    Fresh Prince of Bel Air went over well a year or two ago. Your girls would probably enjoy it.

  8. I try to watch Cosby when it’s on. I do like that the parents never let their kids get away with any crap, but they also encouraged them in their dreams. I think Keshia looks great as a 35 year old woman, though it’s a bit shocking to realize she’s so grown up. Wasn’t she just 5 yesterday? I guess anyone who’s watched an episode of “That’s So Raven” would expect her to be an adult, as Raven was the Cousin Oliver of the Cosby Show.

    Just be glad you’re not stuck watching ‘The Suite Life of Zach and Cody’. My daughter liked that show very briefly, and it was a terrible time in our household.

  9. Love this post. I also recently blogged about getting back into the Cosby Show with my 7yo son and how timeless it is. I mean, except for the fashion and 80s references, of course! I do think everyone was a little mean to Vanessa, though, even if she WAS a whiny middle child. 🙂

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