I still think I’d watch.

The Cosby Show, I mean.

I heard that over on the Q web site they’re going to eliminate Jian’s interviews. My first reaction was to enter into a mild panic: “Man, what’s next? Cosby Show DVDs?” I don’t say that to insult the scores of women who have come forward. Rather, to speak the truth about a childhood memory. For you see, for me, watching that show was not all about him.

The other day I saw this article with a link to a page that explained how people could watch episodes of The Cosby ShowSans Cosby, I suppose? I know that a lot of fans are facing an odd predicament. They want to enjoy their beloved sitcom without the spectre of the alleged horrors that the program’s namesake has perpetrated. I haven’t followed the link, but I gather that some people have taken the time to scrub Mr. Cosby’s image from the show’s visuals. The reason I never followed through with learning how I could watch The Cosby Show without looking at one of its stars is simple: I’m simply not interested.

Now when I say that, I don’t mean to insult his victims. I abhor the idea of rape. I know that these days when some people hear Mr. Cosby’s name, they cringe–or worse. But when I think of The Cosby Show, Bill Cosby isn’t the first person that pops into my head.

I can’t escape the idea that Mr. Cosby was a part of an ensemble cast. In my mind, to disregard the show solely because of him is to insult the talented souls who worked both in front of and behind the camera.

I get a smile on my face when I read the words “Gordon Gatrell“. And who can forget about the elder Huxtables’ anniversary?

Among the characters in that scene were Rudy, Denise, Vanessa, Theo, Sondra, and Clair Huxtable. Clair Huxtable–a woman who has inspired at least one t-shirt. The only woman who could possibly have replaced my mother if I needed a spare. These are characters that I loved. Just look at this clip from “Off to See The Wretched”.

Phylicia Rashad and Tempestt Bledsoe were amazing.

And yes. I know that Bill Cosby was in that scene. I know that Cliff Huxtable was there. Yet again, I assert that The Cosby Show was not a one-man gig.

Back to those DVDs. NBC has already decided to scrap a pending pilot. Mr. Cosby has cancelled various tour dates. I understand that some venues have offered refunds for folks who no longer want to see his shows. But I’m still not comfortable with the idea of doing away entirely with The Cosby Show. It was one of my favorite programs and a critical part of my childhood. If a decision is ever made to abolish it, I’d be truly heartbroken.


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