Spoofs & Satire

A Different World

Season one of The Cosby Show if Cliff Huxtable habitually drugged and subsequently fondled select bit players.

Episode 1, “Pilot”
Sept. 20, 1984

Theo brings home a report card with four Ds. When Cliff and Clair are angry, he explains that he doesn’t plan on going to college anyway, so why should it matter? Cliff uses Monopoly money to teach his son about life’s economic hardships. Later, Denise brings her latest boyfriend over for dinner. During the meal, Cliff distracts the family by suddenly shouting and pointing toward the kitchen door. While their attention is diverted, he empties two small capsules into Denise’s beau’s beverage, stirring it with his finger. After dessert, Cliff asks the obviously woozy young man to help him clear the dishes, and the others retire to the living room. Moments later Denise enters the kitchen to find her disoriented boyfriend vomiting into the kitchen sink, his pants undone.


Episode 5, “A Shirt Story”
Oct. 18, 1984

Theo buys a very expensive Gordon Gartrelle shirt to wear on a date. His frivolous spending upsets Cliff, who insists on returning the shirt. When Denise finds out, she says she can make Theo an identical shirt for much less; Denise’s final product, however, is less than stellar. Cliff reveals that he’d held on to the original shirt just in case, but when Theo’s date loves Denise’s creation, Theo decides to wear Denise’s shirt anyway. He then heads to the bathroom to apply some cologne. Upon returning he finds his date unconscious on the couch with her midriff partially exposed, and his father running out through the kitchen, wearing the too-tight Gartrelle.


Episode 8, “Play It Again, Vanessa”
Nov. 8, 1984

A musically challenged Vanessa wants to abandon the clarinet and drop out of her role in a recital. Cliff urges her not to give up, then visits her music teacher, Mr. Hampton, whom he drugs, fondles, and convinces to give Vanessa additional tutoring. During the recital, Vanessa and the other students have improved just enough that the audience can almost tell what song they are playing, and Cliff awkwardly attempts to avoid the smiling gaze of Mr. Hampton.


Episode 16, “Jitterbug Break”
Jan. 31, 1985

Despite Clair’s embarrassment about Cliff’s dance style, the couple agree to go out for a night of dancing with friends. That same evening, Cliff refuses to let Denise camp out with friends to buy tickets for a concert. Denise’s friends show up and say their parents won’t let them camp out, either. The dejected teens decide to throw a dance party at Denise’s house instead, affording Theo the opportunity to breakdance for the crowd. When Cliff and Clair’s friends arrive, the adults join the party and compare dance moves with the kids. Cliff’s move involves drugging and subsequently fondling each of his daughter’s friends.


Episode 24, “Finale: Cliff’s Birthday”
May 9, 1985

Clair wants to surprise Cliff for his birthday with a performance by Lena Horne. Trying to keep the show a secret from a nosy Cliff, Clair and the kids pretend they’re preparing an elaborate birthday dinner for him; as they’d hoped, he catches them in the act. When a self-satisfied Cliff takes his place at the dinner table, he is stunned to find a pizza instead of the fancy dinner he expected. Clair then blindfolds her confused husband and takes him to a nightclub, where the family is honored to sit at Ms. Horne’s personal table. When she visits the table to wish Cliff a happy birthday, he quickly drugs and fondles her. She then returns to the stage for an encore and delivers a slurred rendition of “Stormy Weather,” with her slip slightly showing.

Rob Eccles spends endless hours looming over a keyboard in the murky depths of his basement office creating works of varying merit. A contributor to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, he is currently shopping his first novel, “a tale of Life, Death, and Identity Theft” tentatively titled The Poggendorf File. You can reach him . More by Rob Eccles