With rare exception, longevity isn’t a word often associated with Saturday morning cartoons. Most only last a couple of years at best. Put comedian/educator Bill Cosby at the helm, however, and you have a recipe for success. Such was the case with Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, a beloved series and a staple of Saturday mornings for over a decade.
Debuting in 1972, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids took us to the inner city of Philadelphia where we met a collection of colorful characters (based on some of Cosby’s childhood chums). Leading the junkyard gang was the wise and rotund Fat Albert, who served as the group’s conscience. His peers included such memorable figures as Mushmouth, Bucky, Dumb Donald, Weird Harold, and the egotistical, smooth talking Rudy, who often found himself in trouble.
In each episode, the gang dealt with a specific issue surrounding childhood and offering Cosby’s own brand of moral guidance. Topics included vandalism, first crushes, smoking, guns, racism, you name it. At the end, the gang would usually play a song about what they experienced, each performing on their own junkyard-inspired musical instrument, then Bill would give a few parting words of wisdom and send us on our way until next week.
Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids ran for 12 seasons, making it one of the most successful Saturday morning shows of all time. It concluded its run in 1982, just in time for Cosby to switch over to prime time, where The Cosby Show would reside for the next 8 years. And, for those that missed Fat Albert the first time around, the show was rerun on Saturday mornings in the late 80s, giving a whole new generation a chance to spend some time with the junkyard gang.
If you have fond memories of spending some of your Saturday morning time watching Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, we hope you’ll share your memories with us in our comments section, as we tip our hats to Bill Cosby for this endearing animated series.