Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Cosby Show & Martin Luther King Jr.



I grew up on a steady diet of The Cosby Show and The Golden Girls and have been slowly trying to accumulate all-seasons-on-DVD of both, and have accomplished more so far (thanks to Christmas gifts over the years) of The Cosby Show. Kathy and I have likewise enjoyed some classic episodes over the last few years as we go through the DVD's, such as Vanessa's Bad Grade from Season 2. I love The Cosby Show more than life itself and Vanessa's Bad Grade is why. This is what happens in the episode: Vanessa gets a bad grade and hides it from her parents. Vanessa steals a sweater from Denise, Denise gets mad, Claire and Cliff come in to work it out. And then, COMPLETELY randomly, at the end of the episode everyone walks into the living room to find little Rudy on the couch watching MLK's "I Have A Dream" on TV. Everyone stops what they're doing to watch it, Vanessa and Denise share a meaningful look, and MLK preaches all the way until "FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST, THANK GOD ALMIGHTY, WE ARE FREE AT LAST!," I cry a lot, and then the episode just ends. IT IS SO GOOD. Theo's look of intense concentration is SO GOOD. SO GOOD. MAN I LOVE THE COSBY SHOW. This is the only clip I could find of it on YouTube and it's eight minutes long, so you can skip to about 5:20 to witness the walk into the living room. Unless you haven't watched the Cosby Show in awhile and have forgotten how amazing it is, I would say then watch the full eight minutes in order to remember. Also, in order to get a good glimpse of Denise's really awesome dykey haircut.

Similarly - although not as classic as Vanessa's Bad Grade - I was watching through a bit of Season 3 the other day and watched The March, another AMAZING touching-civil-rights-themed episode. I couldn't find it on YouTube but found the entire episode on some random site which apparently hosts a lot of porn, and touching-civil-rights Cosby Show episodes. Ah, the internet. I also couldn't embed it for some reason, but, if you go to the site and fast forward to 16 minutes or so in, you will find this scene: Both Claire and Cliff's parents are over for dinner and are chillaxing in the living room when Theo comes down to get advice on his history paper about the March on Washington. And OF COURSE, they were all AT the March on Washington, so they all reminisce about it in amazing ways, including lines like, "I still carry a little of that day with me," and then Cliff's dad of course reenacts some lines from MLK's speech, and THEN, Claire's dad says "Remember when we walked back to the bus and someone started singing - " and then he goes on to sing The Battle Hymn of the Freaking Republic - and although for some reason this clip cuts it off at the end, on my DVD he continues singing and all the other adults join in on the GLORY, GLORY HALLELUJAH chorus, while you hear Theo's typewriter as a voiceover as he rewrites his paper and he says, "The March on Washington was a day that changed my family." YOU CANNOT FIND TV LIKE THAT ANYMORE, PEOPLE, NO SIREE.

This post is of course in honor of Martin Luther King, but my Cosby Show love isn't done, so look forward in the future to posts involving dance-and-lipsynch-routines-on-the-stairs, jazz, Stevie Wonder, Bud, and when Theo enters the "real world."

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