An important thing to remember is that Bill Cosby wanted to use the Cosby Show for positive portrayals of black American family life. He staffed the behind the scenes employees with blacks and also changed the set up to switch the Huxtable parents from working-middle class jobs to doctor and lawyer. Mrs. Huxtable maybe was in the court room for one or two episodes, so this was a self-esteem thing, but Cliff Huxtable was always delivering babies. This allowed for plenty of new parent and pregnant women jokes, which were universal and hilarious. It also was important for the first season episode, "Physician of the Year".
The premise is that Cliff Huxtable has been awarded physician of the year, and the family must go to the award ceremony. The transcript reveals the weird to the episode. There would be comedy and the anxiety of getting the family ready. The weird reference point to the award ceremony is that Cliff is the first obstetrician. Big deal. It's a first. There is a conversation between Cliff and his son Theo about how many people are coming in for this big deal, and how proud Theo is. This is an annual award by holy schnikeys, this is a big deal. What "first" would be such a big deal to Cliff? What "first" would pull in guests from near and far? It isn't the first obstetrician to be awarded Physician of the Year, but first black physician makes more sense. There is fish out of water comedy for the kids at the award ceremony. There becomes an issue where Dr. Huxtable has to deliver a baby (baby of a married NY Knicks power forward, I'm not lying) and he cannot give the acceptance speech. Cliff tells Theo to give it in his place.
Here is the weird moment. It is 1985. The Crack Wars are ramping up in big cities. Your nightly news in big city regions has Theo Huxtable looking victims and criminals non-stop. The cities have crime issues perpetuated by gangs filled with teenagers who resemble Theo Huxtable. Here is the ending to the speech Theo Huxtable gives in this Must See TV comedy show.
And I am proud to say I work alongside these great americans. He wants all of us to stand up and join hands. I am an american, and this is my american family. Thank you.
If you watch the episode, everyone clasps hands and lifts them up. The beginning of the speech is thanking Mrs. Huxtable for support and telling his kids to overcome obstacles to reach their dreams. The ending is so weird. But for the folks at home, it served as some counter programming. Forget Cliff, Theo, the teenage black male, is telling you he is an America and you all out there are his American family that he is thanking. He is not rejecting your culture and civilization; he's assimilating to it and proclaiming it as his own. Woohoo, the '60s worked!
Folks back home, do not notice patterns on those night news casts. Do not worry about those gangs you have heard of with weird names and "z" in place of "s" at the end of words. This smiling, tuxedo wearing young black boy just wants to be accepted, and he accepts you. Hell, let's all join hands and praise being one big American family. Maybe I am reading too much into this, but I do not think so. After a brief period where gay characters were always a dying AIDS patient who was in love and had a devoted lover by their bedside, gays become the go to for funny, witty, pulled together best friend. That turn in portrayal occurred in 1997/1998 (My Best Friend's Wedding, Object of My Affection, Will and Grace). If that could be the case in 1998, then 1985 could use the new hit comedy to program some calm in the minds of the white American public that might see crime reports every night, or even better, live far away from those areas, so have no clue about reality.