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->''"This is Bill Cosby coming at you with music and fun, and if you're not careful, you may learn something before it's done."''

Creator/BillCosby created this Creator/{{Filmation}} series, based on his boyhood in UsefulNotes/{{Philadelphia}} (and, more directly, on his StandUpComedy routines of the 1960s). Cosby also appeared on camera as a {{Narrator}} and performed some of the character voices, including Fat Albert himself. The show ran [[SaturdayMorningCartoon Saturday mornings]] on Creator/{{CBS}} from 1972 to 1984, followed by one additional season in first-run {{syndication}}. In addition to a good income and setting up a ready audience for ''TheCosbyShow'' to rule the airwaves in the 1980s, Cosby also used this series to earn a Doctorate in Education, and become Dr. Cosby.

In every episode, Fat Albert and his inner-city gang became involved in some comic misadventure, either learning [[AnAesop a moral lesson]] or demonstrating a lesson for someone else. As on ''TheArchieShow'', every ''Fat Albert'' episode included at least one song. In later seasons, Fat Albert and his friends followed the exploits of their favorite TV superhero, [[Franchise/TheGreenHornet the Brown Hornet]], who had adventures with morals that typically paralleled the main story. The first-run syndicated episodes had "Legal Eagle," a FunnyAnimal parable told by Mudfoot to serve the same story purpose.

At Christmas 2004, Creator/TwentiethCenturyFox released a live-action ''Film/FatAlbert'' feature film starring Kenan Thompson [[note]]The same Kenan Thompson who was on ''Series/AllThat'', ''KenanAndKel'', and currently ''Series/SaturdayNightLive''[[/note]] in which the cast of the ''Fat Albert'' cartoon step out of the TV to make a little girl's life better. It wasn't well received by critics and the box office.

In January 2013, Cosby announced on his Facebook page that a new version of ''Fat Albert'' is being developed.
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!!Tropes:
* {{Acrofatic}}: Fat Albert is surprisingly agile for a person of his size, being able to run extremely quickly and jump very high.
* AnAesop
* AnimatedSeries
* AuthorAvatar: Bill. Curiously, he was one of the most minor characters -- you'd have never guessed he was based on Cosby himself if not for the name.
** As well as the appearance, inflection, and voice actor.
* BoardGame: The show had one, with cardboard tokens of the characters stuck in giant plastic sneaker feet.
* ButtMonkey: Rudy. Russell was often the one to put him in his place.
-->'''Russell''': "Rudy, you're just like school in the summertime; no class."
* CatchPhrase: "Hey, hey, hey!"
* ChristmasSpecial: Which somehow managed to combine the YetAnotherChristmasCarol ''and'' AwayInAManger plots.
** There was also a HalloweenSpecial, and an Easter Special to boot.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The first-run syndicated episodes were able to get into darker material than the networks would never allow, such as "Busted" with its hard edged prison tour, and another with a murder. One episode included the gang encountering a racist Neo-Nazi group. In earlier episodes, the antagonists often realized the error of their ways and reconciled with Fat Albert and the gang. However, this was not always the case in later episodes where they often had to pay dearly for their actions.
* DeadpanSnarker: All characters to an extent, but Weird Harold in particular.
* DependingOnTheWriter: Mudfoot Brown is either a homeless person or the proprietor of the junkyard that the gang hangs out in. Whether or not this means he actually owns the junkyard or is just employed as a caretaker is another story. He seems to have his own little shack in the junkyard but it's anyone's guess whether or not it's his only abode.
* DeusExMachina: PlayedForLaughs in ''The Brown Hornet'' ShowWithinAShow. Every episode would begin with last week's CliffHanger, with the heroes caught in a DeathTrap... which the Hornet would instantly escape by simply snapping his fingers.
* EdutainmentShow
* EverybodyDoTheEndlessLoop
* EyeObscuringHat: Dumb Donald subverts this trope. His knitted hat falls below his eyes, but he has made two eyeholes in the fabric to see through.
* FatComicRelief: Guess who?
* GoodParents: All the parents, especially Fat Albert's, are fine upstanding examples whom the kids can always turn to when needed.
* IntergenerationalFriendship: Mudfoot Brown, an elderly homeless man who often imparted sage advice to the gang.
* JacobMarleyWarning[=/=]JerkassHasAPoint: The aforementioned prison episode has a pair of unnamed inmates speaking to Fat Albert and company during their "scared straight" visit. They are very direct and not at all friendly; they tell the kids how horrifying prison is and how torturous their experience has been. One even explains that he's serving a twenty year sentence and he'll never be same again once he gets out since all he has ever known is prison life.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Rudy, the emphasis of many episodes.
* LimitedAnimation
* LimitedWardrobe
* LiveActionAdaptation
* LivingCrashpad: Fat Albert himself serves as one.
* LongRunners: A 12-season run on Saturday morning network TV and syndication, albeit not always with new episodes each season, a great run for an ''educational'' series.
* NewPowersAsThePlotDemands: In the Brown Hornet segments.
* NoSwastikas: Notably averted in one of the 1980s ''New Fat Albert'' episodes. The gang encounters a White Supremacist group called the Double Cross (their insignia being two X's). However, the rest of the episode includes explicit verbal and visual references to Adolf Hitler, The Nazis, Swastikas, and The Holocaust.
* OncePerEpisode: Russell will tell someone (usually Rudy) that they have "no class."
* PresentDayPast: Kind of. Since the characters are supposed to represent figures from Bill Cosby's childhood (including his own youthful self), the show ought to be set in the late 1940s or early '50s. It sure looks, sounds and feels like TheSeventies, though.
* ScareEmStraight: One 1980s syndication episode dealt with a terrifying "Scared Straight"-style tour of a prison.
* SharePhrase: Members of the group, especially Russell, will frequently say "No Class" in response to other members doing dumb things.
* ShowWithinAShow: ''The Brown Hornet'' (an InNameOnly parody of ''Franchise/TheGreenHornet'') and ''Legal Eagle''.
** "Captain Cougar", a cartoon with an AnimalThemedSuperbeing, featured prominently in one episode.
* StockFootage
* StoutStrength: The title character
* TalkingToHimself: Bill Cosby plays several characters, including but not limited to: Fat Albert, himself, an animated younger version of himself, Mudfoot, and the Brown Hornet. At one point, the animated Bill Cosby is on screen at the same time as live-action Bill Cosby in a very literal example of the trope.
* TeamPet: The gang originally had a pet duck as seen in the opening, but [[ChuckCunninghamSyndrome the duck was dropped for some reason.]]
* ThematicThemeTune: ''"Naa naa naa, gonna have a good tiiiime!"'' (EarWorm worthy!)
* TokenWhite: Margene, a friend and classmate of Fat Albert. In the 1980s version, there are many more such characters.
* TrashCanBand
* TheUnintelligible: Mushmouth ''is'' understandable, but just barely. Specifically, he speaks Ubbi Dubbi.
** [[ShoutOut The Dentist]] understood him perfectly.
* VerySpecialEpisode: Practically every episode, particularly because it did not fit the typical convention of most Saturday morning cartoons of the 1970s.
* WhamEpisode: In one episode, Fat Albert befriends a Latino kid whose older brother is involved in a gang. [[spoiler:The kid is later killed when he sees someone pull a gun on his brother and he [[HeroicSacrifice pushes the brother out of the way, taking the bullet himself]].]] The ScareEmStraight episode also qualifies. The 1984 series had the gang confront a White supremacist group.
* WhoIsThisGuyAgain: The title credits show the name Cosby at least 6 times.
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