Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids—Season 1

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8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Solid, positive kids' cartoon which is educating but still fun

Dated

 
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Bill Cosby is bringing you the show!

Fat Albert, Dumb Donald, Bill Cosby, Russell Cosby, Weird Harold, Rudy, Bucky, and Mushmouth spend their days hanging out in their junkyard clubhouse and playing music.  While growing up in the city is sometimes hard, Fat Albert and the Junkyard Gang make the best of it and learn to help each other despite their differences.

Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids—Season 1 aired from September 9, 1972 to December 9, 1972 on CBS as part of their Saturday morning cartoon block.  The series was based on Bill Cosby’s stand-up about friends from his childhood and both the William “Bill” Cosby character and the Russell Cosby characters were based on Bill and his younger brother.  The series was praised for being educational and is often cited as one of the best cartoons of the decade.

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Fat Albert brings the world together!

I grew up with Fat Albert and even distinctly remember episodes in this run (the moving episode in particular was memorable to me).  The reason episodes were memorable is that Fat Albert and the gang often had experiences like all kids.  The gang dealt with jerks, glasses, tomboys, and bullies.  It is still relevant today though some kids might not get the style of the series or animation.

Despite its teaching ability, Fat Albert has been saddled with a bit of controversy due to the whole Bill Cosby scandal.  Bill Cosby was once seen as an educator and a champion of equality due to shows like Fat Albert which stressed that despite differences everyone is the same.  The negative personal aspects of Cosby’s life which really developed in 2014 threatens to hurt the series.  Regardless what you feel is true or false, it raises an interesting question about is a person’s work and art separate from their personal lives…can you watch Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids and accept its lessons if Bill Cosby is guilty of the alleged crimes?  It is a question that has been asked before and will be asked again…I just hope that it does hurt the chances of children seeing a great show like Fat Albert.

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Oh Hell…It’s the Beating Chicken Heart!

Fat Albert also has some fun music.  Each episode has a musical song at the end which examines the episode’s theme.  I always found it funny (even as a kid) that none of the characters matched the voices when they sang.  Plus, you have to love the opening theme song which sticks in your head…for life.

Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids is a great series and had a lot of fun episodes.  The first season is available for streaming on Amazon and a collection of the entire series is also available for purchase.  If you are an adult and watched Fat Albert as a kid you might watch to check it out again to see how smartly it was written or if you have kids, you might want to pass on the series to your children (though now Fat Albert’s weight issues aren’t as funny).

Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids—Season 1 Episode Guide:

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“Lying”

1.1       Lying Airdate:  09/09/72

The gang’s friend Edward comes back from Florida without shoes and tells them about wrestling alligators.  When Edward is revealed to be liar, Bill wonders if he’s lying about wrestling alligators…and Edward’s lies could get him in trouble.

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“The Runt”

1.2       The Runt Airdate:  09/16/72

Pee Wee finds he’s too small for most of the stuff that the gang wants to do.  When the gang finds that Pee Wee can kick a football, a rival gang tries to sabotage Pee Wee’s chances.

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“The Stranger”

1.3       The Stranger Airdate:  09/23/72

Dumb Donald’s cousin Betty is coming to visit from the South.  Betty finds that none of the gang will accept her and blames her for everything.

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“Creativity”

1.4       Creativity Airdate:  09/30/72

The gang decides they want to form a band and set out to earn money…the Junkyard Band finds getting musical instruments could be too expensive to swing.

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“Fish Out of Water”

1.5       Fish Out of Water Airdate:  10/07/72

It is summer and the gang is being sent to summer camp by their parents.  At Camp Greenlane, the gang finds they don’t trust the other campers and the other campers don’t trust them.

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“Moving”

1.6       Moving Airdate:  10/14/72

When the gang finds Fat Albert bails on a contest, they vote to kick him out of the Junkyard Gang.  Fat Albert reveals he’s moving and the gang realizes they might not get to say goodbye.

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“Playing Hooky”

1.7       Playing Hooky Airdate:  10/21/72

The gang decides to play hooky and criticizes Dumb Donald when he refuses to go along with them.

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“The Hospital”

1.8       The Hospital Airdate:  10/28/72

Bill and Russell need their tonsils out, and the whole gang is motivated when they learns that the surgery comes with free ice cream.

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“Begging Benny”

1.9       Begging Benny Airdate:  11/04/72

Fat Albert’s cousin Benny comes to visit and the Junkyard Gang finds Benny is a mooch.  When Benny continues to beg and borrow, the gang sets out to teach him a lesson.

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“The Hero”

1.10     The Hero Airdate:  11/11/72

The Junkyard Gang tries to impress Scrap Iron Yates and find being friends with Scrap Iron could get them in trouble.

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“The Prankster”

1.11     The Prankster Airdate:  11/18/72

A new kid named Otis is in town and loves practical jokes.  When Fat Albert decides he doesn’t like Otis’ jokes, he decides he can’t hang out with the gang.

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“Four Eyes”

1.12     Four Eyes Airdate:  11/25/72

Class clown Hayward is revealed to really need glasses…and the Junkyard Gang decides to make fun of him for it.

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“The Tomboy”

1.13     The Tomboy Airdate:  12/02/72

When the gang finds out Fat Albert can cook they accept it, but they can’t accept a tom boy named Penny who is better at sports than them.

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“Stagefright”

1.14     Stagefright Airdate: 12/09/72

The gang is entering a play contest to win a big surprise prize.  While Fat Albert and the kids decide to perform Moby Dick, Rudy has a plan of his own for a solo act.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by

Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn’t afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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