The Cosby Show

Season 1 Episode 9

How Ugly Is He?

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Nov 15, 1984 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Vanessa tells Cliff that Denise has been purposely keeping her boyfriends away from him because she feels that he is rude to them. He is the only member of the family who has yet to meet her latest boyfriend David, an intelligent young man who writes poetry. Cliff promises to behave himself, and convinces Denise to invite David over for dinner. David initially impresses Cliff by bringing him a jazz record, but soon begins to get on his nerves. He infuriates Cliff with his comments about the medical profession. Although Clair claims that she enjoys the discussion, she changes her mind after David not only puts down lawyers, but opines that Clair should stay home with the kids. Denise whisks David away for his own protection. She seems poised to dump him after he makes additional sexist comments during their date.moreless

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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (1)

      • In this episode, at the start, they zoom in on a professional building and specifically, Cliff's office. When they zoom in on the office it has a sign with Cliff's name on it and the address of the building. On the sign it says "Clifford Huxtable" but as stated in the show several times, Cliff's full name isn't "Clifford," it's "Heathcliff."

    • QUOTES (2)

      • Cliff: What shall we discuss now, politics, music, art...?
        David: I understand you're a lawyer, Mrs. Huxtable.
        Cliff: The law!
        David: How can you defend people you know are guilty, just so you can collect your paycheck?
        Clair: Well, David, according to the 14th Amendment, everyone is entitled to due process.
        David: I'd expect that answer from a lawyer. My point is, your husband makes a tremendous amount of money. Shouldn't you just stay home with the kids?
        Clair: That is a sexist statement, young man! Why don't you ask Dr. Huxtable that same question?

      • Cliff: How ugly is he?

    • NOTES (2)

      • When Denise tries to change subjects and mentions David likes going to the theater, Clair says the family enjoyed going to see Dreamgirls. Phylicia Ayers-Allen (Clair) was in the musical's original cast.

      • Kristoff St. John is now best known as Neil on the daytime drama Young and the Restless.

    • ALLUSIONS (2)

      • How Ugly Is He?

        The name of this episode is the name of one of Bill Cosby's comedy sketches. In addition, the pilot episode of "The Cosby Show" is referenced. In the pilot, Cliff asks Clair, "How ugly is he?", referring to Denise's boyfriend who is lurking out of Cliff's eyesight when Cliff asks the question.

      • Clair: David, Denise tells us you're really into theater. We enjoyed Dreamgirls very much.
        Dreamgirls was a Broadway musical originally produced in the early 1980s, profiling the rising career of a girls' singing group modeled after The Supremes. Phylicia Ayers-Allen-Rashad (Clair) was in the show as a member of the chorus and understudy for the lead role performed by Sheryl Lee Ralph.