"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."Bill Cosby
created this Filmation
series, based on his boyhood in Philadelphia
(and, more directly, on his Stand-Up Comedy
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 Saturday mornings
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 The Cosby Show
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 a moral lesson
or demonstrating a lesson for someone else. As on The Archie Show
, 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, the Brown Hornet
, who had adventures with morals that typically paralleled the main story. The first-run syndicated episodes had "Legal Eagle," a Funny Animal
parable told by Mudfoot to serve the same story purpose.
At Christmas 2004, 20th Century Fox
released a live-action Fat Albert
feature film starring Kenan Thompson 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.