The Cosby Show

Fey, Poehler, Maron, and Apatow Begin Stand-Up’s Overdue Reckoning With Bill Cosby’s Comedy Legacy

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Last week, I was reading (and enjoying) Patton Oswalt’s new book Silver Screen Fiend, a memoir of his four-year film addiction, which occurred as he was simultaneously finding his footing as a comedian. In describing the latter progression, he writes: “I’d spent the first nineteen years of life memorizing every comedy album I could play on my parents’ turntable. I knew the exact timing for the pause between the words ‘waited’ and ‘July’ in Bill Cosby’s ‘Revenge’ routine.” That line, the first of several examples of his comedy obsession, jumps out and jars — due, of course, to timing beyond Oswalt’s control. The book was presumably put to bed long before the accusations of Cosby’s decades as a serial rapist resurfaced last fall; the line serves as a reminder not just of his vaunted position in the comedy community, but of how slow that community has been to react to the accusations. This week, the tide began to turn, first with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s jaw-dropping Cosby jokes in their Golden Globes introduction, then with a candid conversation the next day between Judd Apatow and Marc Maron on Maron’s WTF podcast.
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Phylicia Rashad Wants Us to “Forget These Women” Accusing Bill Cosby. We Can’t.

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Cosby Show costar Phylicia Rashad has come to the defense of her TV husband, citing a “conspiracy” that amounts to dozens of separate rape and drugging and attempted assault accusations against the star.

“Forget these women,” she told Roger Friedman of Showbiz 411, in a conversation at an industry event. “What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it’s orchestrated. I don’t know why or who’s doing it, but it’s the legacy. And it’s a legacy that is so important to the culture.” She continued: “Someone is determined to keep Bill Cosby off TV… and it’s worked. All his contracts have been canceled.”
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‘The Cosby Show’ Is Too Important to Erase From TV History

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When I was a kid, I watched The Cosby Show. This is not surprising information: Basically every kid, every person, that I knew — black or white, but especially black — watched The Cosby Show. Older friends had the pleasure of watching the show during its original run; I was grateful for its existence in syndication, airing 24/7. It was on Netflix for a while, and now it’s on Hulu. There is always a way to watch it. But yesterday, in the wake of the seemingly endless and horrifying rape allegations against Bill Cosby, TV Land pulled reruns of The Cosby Show. Earlier that day, Netflix pulled his stand-up special, Bill Cosby 77, which was set to air over Thanksgiving, and NBC axed his upcoming sitcom. The latter two decisions are not only understandable but absolutely necessary. The former is a bit trickier to dissect.
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The 10 Greatest Lip-Sync Scenes in Pop Culture History

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This weekend, the Bill Hader-Kristen Wiig dramedy The Skeleton Twins rolls out in limited release, and it’s well worth a look. When I saw the film at Sundance earlier this year, I had one immediate thought: that lip-sync scene is gonna be huge on YouTube. It’s part of a long tradition in pop culture, wherein a mood of camaraderie, eccentricity, or affection is established by having our characters throw themselves into a live, mimed performance of a recorded classic. These are a few of our favorites.
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The 45 Best TV Shows You Can Only Stream on Hulu

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In the ongoing Great Streaming Wars of 2014, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Instant Video are constantly battling each other, making exclusive deals with networks, creating original programs, and just overall competing to host the best content. Hulu Plus has a clear advantage in that it has the most current-run shows available, yet it still often goes overlooked when it comes to older shows. But Hulu has plenty of those too — here are 45 TV shows on Hulu (some free, some with Hulu Plus) that aren’t available on Netflix or …Read More

25 Great Sitcoms You Can Watch Right Now on YouTube

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A few weeks back, we pointed you in the direction of some great movies streaming free on YouTube. Now, if you wanna watch free TV online without a Netflix or Hulu Plus membership, the proposition gets a little trickier — those copyrights are guarded a bit more zealously, and the viewing experience can be, to put it charitably, spotty. That’s why sitcoms are so good for YouTube viewing; as long as you have a passing familiarity with the characters, it’s easy to sample an episode here and there on a lunch break and not have to worry about serialized arcs and continuity issues. Here are some of the best sitcoms in television history that have at least a handful of episodes on …Read More