The Adventures of Fat Albert and The Cosby Kids
The Adventures of Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids was the syndicated version of the animated cartoon originally known as Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. While the original debuted in 1972, the syndicated version began in 1984 and ended in 1985. The show, created by Bill Cosby, used the childhood experiences of Cosby himself as source material for much of the show. The show used a unique presentation of animation and live action to present young viewers an underlying lesson emphasized by Cosby himself at the beginning and end of each episode. Known collectively as the Junkyard Gang, characters included Fat Albert, Mushmouth, Dumb Donald, Bill Cosby, Russel Cosby, Weird Harold, Rudy Davis and Bucky. Each episode presented a common problem or issue and demonstrated ways for young children to deal with them. Subjects ranged from stage fright, being in the hospital and playing hooky from school to more serious topics like smoking, vandalism, stealing, immigration, racism, child abuse, kidnapping, drugs and gun violence. The syndicated version of the show had all original episodes in addition to episodes that were developed from 1984-1985. The lack of network limitations gave producers more freedom to work with more risqu'' topics in the new episodes, including encounters with law enforcement and the prison system.