The Cosby Show

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot

0
Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Sep 20, 1984 on NBC
9.3
out of 10
User Rating
77 votes
4

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Clair is furious when Theo brings home a report card with 4 D's. He tells Cliff that he has no intention of going to college, as he feels that he is destined to be a "regular person." Cliff uses Monopoly money to teach him about the economic realities that many blue-collar workers must face. He assures Theo that he only wants him to try his best. Cliff is alarmed to meet Denise's latest beau, a former merchant marine who once spent time in a Turkish prison.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Loved the entire show....but there was room to be better

    9.3
    The house looks like the house from Gimme A Break....only thing that was confusing after watching again was why Claire asked why they had 4 children....LOVED IT!!!! I loved the talk that Cliff and Theo had. My room used to look like Theo's. I love how Theo throughout continued on with statements about Cliff & Claire's occupations and how it's sometimes hard for the kids to live up to their expectations. Did not like when they called Theo 'Teddy.' Denise's makeup was ridiculous....just like her outfit. I think that the Huxtable parents should have thought of a having a larger bed before inviting Rudy & Vanessa into bed with them.....Glad they kept the show on!moreless
  • I have never laughed so hard

    10
    I love how in the begganing how Vanasa gives her older brother a hard time over his grads and the best part is on the way she dose it. She is giving away her brothers grades but at the same time hinting to her mom that she wants a dog. A little of topic but I have to ask why is it that little kids want a dog but any way the mom ashors her that Theo well end up with a better grade then the last time how ever he still ends up with Ds and he out smarts his dad by pointing out that he can make it on minum wage basiclymoreless
  • The answer to why The Cosby Show was so successful is in this episode.

    9.5
    This is probably the best pilot I've seen. Even though not all the details of the show weren't polished yet, the pilot was inviting enough to keep viewers motivated to keep watching.



    The scene were Theo talks to Cliff about him being a "regular person" is one of the best I've seen on a TV show. And after you hear what Cliff had to say to his son, you know what this show was going to be all about: a fun yet deep lesson on parenting.



    I've seen episodes from the eight seasons of The Cosby Show, and this one is still very close to the top of the list of the best ones.moreless
  • Classic starter to a great show

    10
    The Cosby Show started with a bang – and it was classic episodes such as this the pilot that put it to the top of its game.



    The pilot episode was a strong start to a successful show, and despite later obvious tweaks to the show (i.e. a different living room, 5 kids instead of four, and Theo no longer being called Teddy) the show never lost steam.



    The kids were cute, and the chaos in the initial episode is probably what kept the fans watching. I loved this episode, and still watch it repeatedly whenever it comes on in syndication.

    moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (11)

    • Another thing Cliff forgot to deduct from Theo's "Monopoly" salary: utilities (power, water, etc.) for his apartment in Manhattan or New Jersey.

    • One thing Cliff left out of Theo's "Expenses": gas and insurance for his car/motorbike. It is highly unlikely that $200 or $100 would cover a car/bike payment plus gas and insurance, even in 1984.

    • When this show was originally pitched, the Huxtables were intended to be a blue collar family. Cliff was supposed to be a chauffeur and Clair was supposed to be a housewife.

    • Goof:After Theo gives up an extra $100 for clothes, he is clearly holding $300 left in his hand. However when the camera switches back to Cliff, who asks how much is left, it switches back to Theo, who is only holding $200 left.

    • The nameplate outside Cliff's office says: "Clifford Huxtable, M.D." This continues for a few episodes until it is revealed that Cliff is short for "Heathcliff," not "Clifford." After this, the nameplate is seen from a distance--too far to be read by viewers.

    • In this episode, Vanessa refers to Theo as "Teddy" during the dining room scene and while on the stairs. Both Cliff and Claire call him "Theodore." There is no mention of the name used for the rest of the show, Theo.

    • Cliff deducts $50 from Theo's hypothetical monthly earnings for a motorcycle helmet. He'd need to buy a new one every month?

    • If you look closely when Cliff walks into the kitchen at the beginning, you can see the living room set used through the whole rest of the series in the background, when in this episode they used a cheesy pilot living room. I guess it wasn't finished yet? Maybe they filmed the living room scenes first and then did the kitchen scenes later.

    • Rudy has shampoo on the top of her head, but her hair was
      still in braids. Washing hair while it is still braided is characteristic of people whose hair is in extentions (weave), not necessarily in the case of Rudy, whose natural hair was only braided in two cornrows.

    • Cliff asked Clair how they ended up having 4 kids. But they actually have 5 kids. Sondra, their oldest child, appears a few weeks later. But this is probably because it's the pilot.

    • On NBC's The Cosby Show: A Look Back telecast, it's revealed that Phylicia Rashad is a fluent speaker of Spanish; and to incorporate this skill into the show, Clair was supposed to give a tirade in Spanish every time she was really upset with something the kids had done. In the pilot, a harried Clair comes down the stairs after
      handling a fussing Theo, Rudy and Vanessa, going off in Spanish!! Unfortunately, this character quirk was never developed--although in a few early episodes, Clair can be seen going off in Spanish.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Clair: New rule in this house starting now! Nobody's to touch anybody anywhere with anything for the rest of their lives!

    • Cliff: I love you son.
      Theo: Yeah Dad, I know.
      Cliff: Yeah, and maybe your mother loves you too.

    • Vanessa: Dad, Denise pushed us out of the bathroom, so the soap's in Rudy's eyes and she wouldn't let me rinse out the shampoo like Mom said and now Rudy might be blinded for life! If she is, can we get a dog?

    • Cliff (eyeing Theo's messy room): Hard to get good help around here these days.

    • Cliff: Theo, your mother asked me to come up here and kill you.

    • Cliff: Come here... Come HEEERE. Here, here, here. You see, there is there, and this is here. Come HERE!

    • Cliff: Clair, did you tell Denise she could go out tonight?
      Clair: Yes, I did.
      Cliff: Have you seen the boy?
      Clair: Yes, I have.
      Cliff: How ugly is he?

    • Cliff (answering knock on bedroom door): Who is it?
      (Vanessa and Rudy enter.)
      Cliff: No, no, no. Who is it does not mean you come in. I say 'Who is it?' and you say who it is.
      (Vanessa and Rudy go back out and knock.)
      Cliff: Who is it?
      Vanessa: Who it is!

    • Theo: (to Cliff) You're a doctor and Mom's a lawyer, and you're both successful in everything and that's great! But maybe I was born to be a regular person and have a regular life. If you weren't a doctor, I wouldn't love you less, because you're my dad. So rather than feeling disappointed because I'm not like you, maybe you should accept who I am and love me anyway, because I'm your son.
      (Audience applauds)
      Cliff: (in response to Theo's comment) Theo...THAT'S THE DUMBEST THING I'VE EVER HEARD IN MY LIFE!!! No wonder you're getting D's in everything! Now you're afraid to try because you're afraid that your brain is going to explode and it's going to ooze out of your ears! Now, you're going to try because I SAID SO!! I AM YOUR FATHER!! I BROUGHT YOU IN THIS WORLD AND I'LL TAKE YOU OUT!!!
      (Audience applauds even louder)

    • Clair: Cliff, why do we have four children?
      Cliff: Because we did not want five.

    • (Life according to Monopoly Money)
      Cliff: So how much does you expect to make a week for 'regular people'?
      Theo: $250
      Cliff: (pointing to the bed) Sit down. I will give you $300 a week. $1200 a month. (Cliff hands the money to Theo)
      Theo: I'll take it!
      Cliff: And I will take $350 for taxes.
      Theo: Whoa!
      Cliff: Oh, yeah. See, the government goes for the regular people first. So, how much does that leave you with?
      Theo: $850.
      Cliff: Okay, now you'll need an apartment because you are NOT living here. Now an apartment in Manhattan will run you at least $400 a month.
      Theo: I'll live in New Jersey. (Theo takes back $200)
      Cliff: Now you'll need a car. (Cliff takes $300)
      Theo: I'll drive a motorbike. (Theo takes back $100)
      Cliff: You're gonna need a helmet. (Cliff takes $50) Now figure $100 a month for clothes and shoes.
      Theo: Figure $200. I wanna look GOOD.
      Cliff: So, how much does that leave you with?
      Theo: $200. So, no problem.
      Cliff: Cliff: There IS a problem! You haven't EATEN yet! (Cliff takes $100)
      Theo: I can get by on bologna and cereal. (Theo takes back his $100) So I've got everything under control PLUS $200 left for the month.
      Cliff: You plan to have a girlfriend?
      Theo: For sure.
      (Cliff takes the remaining $200)
      Cliff: (pointing at Theo's empty hand): Regular people.

    • Theo: No problem!

    • Cliff: How do you expect to get into college with grades like these?
      Theo: I'm not going to college.
      Cliff: Damn right!

  • NOTES (19)

    • Phylicia Rashad was credited as Phylicia Ayres-Allen for the first two seasons of the series.

    • When they are all eating dinner Vanessa calls Theo Teddy which is the only time he is ever called that.

    • When Cliff is talking to Denise's date, Clair comes down the stairs, mad at the kids and their bickering and she goes off yelling to them in Spanish something that translates to: "Don't tell me you won't because you will have to do it anyway!"

      Clair going off in Spanish when she got mad was intended to be a trait of her character. However, as the show gained shape this idea was discarded. Clair can be seen in later episodes speaking some Spanish, but only when talking to Hispanic characters ("Mr. Quiet") or when posing as a hispanic character on a hypothetical situation ("Particles in Motion"), but not because she gets mad.

    • During the first scene of all episodes of The Cosby Show, the producers, director, and writer are credited in the begining, with a shot of the house in the backrgound.

      For this episode only, these credits are during the final scene, before going into the ending sequence.

    • On the original broadcasts of each episode, there was a brief clip of the logo as well as a shot of Bill Cosby (from the opening sequence) when going into the commercial break. This is not shown in syndication, but can be seen in the collector's edition DVD set.

    • The setup for most episodes of The Cosby Show is 1/2 hour episodes divided in half by a commercial break. Some stations put commercials between the last scene of dialogue and the end credits (while seen in syndication).

    • The kitchen's island counters are combined in this episode.

    • At the end of each episode, the blue Carsey-Werner Logo and copyright is shown. For this episode it is shown during the montage, rather than the blue background.

    • The debut of The Cosby Show, in part because of Cliff's heart-to-heart with Theo, was named #70 on TV Guide/TV Land's "100 Most Memorable TV Moments" in December 2004.

    • According to the E! True Hollywood Story, the character of Rudy was originally supposed to be a boy. However, when producers couldn't find the right child actor, they opened the auditions to girls and then found Keshia Knight Pulliam and hired her to play Rudy.

    • The Huxtable house was very different in this episode than in the rest of the show, but the same kitchen set is used.

    • The episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series. In addition, Jay Sandrich won a Directors Guild of America Award.

    • This is probably the only episode in which Cliff or Clair or any of the kids swear. Cliff says, "Damn right" when talking to Theo about his grades. This, "Looking Back (2)", and "And So We Commence (2)" when they flash back to Theo and his grades are about the only times the Huxtables were caught swearing.

    • The house the Huxtables lived in was very different.
      The kitchen has different counters, shelves and cabinets.
      Also, when Cliff and Clair are up in the bedroom, the bedding, headboard and furniture are different. The editors wanted to change it because Clair was a housewife instead of a lawyer. Also, the producers decided to use a cheap house because if the series didn't work out, they didn't want to spend money on a brownstone that would only be used for a pilot.

    • Bill Cosby once said that the show mirrored his own life, because he had a wife and five kids: four daughters and one son.

    • When a harried Clair asks Cliff why they have four children, he responds, "Because we did not want five." However, the character of eldest daughter Sondra was introduced a few episodes later.

    • Vanessa refers to Theo as "Teddy" several times in this episode.

    • The opening credits for the first season feature the family playing sports in the park. The first several episodes feature longer renditions of this opening. Also the famous Cosby Show logo is written in yellow.

    • Before the series started, Cliff was supposed to be a limousine driver and Clair a plumber.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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