February 14, 2015




(CBS, Syndicated, September 9, 1972-August 10, 1985*)
*Not continuous

Filmation Associates

Bill Cosby – “Fat” Albert Jackson, Mushmouth, William “Bill” Cosby, Mudfoot Brown, The Brown Hornet (season 5-8)
Michael Gray – “Fat” Albert Jackson (singing)
Lou Scheimer – “Dumb” Donald, Stinger (season 5-8), Legal Eagle, Gabby (both season 8), various
Jan Crawford – Russell Cosby, Bucky
Gerald Edwards – Old “Weird” Harold
Eric Suter – Rudolph “Rudy” Davis
Erika Scheimer –Margene, Pee Wee, Tweeterbell (season 5-8), Moe (season 8), various
Jay Scheimer – Miss Berry, Mrs. Breyfogle, Miss Wucher, various

            Despite how tarnished his reputation may have become in recent years, there’s no denying that Bill Cosby spent a good portion of his career trying to educate children. From his tenure on The Electric Company to the wholesomely bad sweaters of Dr. Huxtable, Cosby always had something to teach.

Hey, Hey, Hey, It's Fat Albert coverage in TV Guide.

In the 1970s, Cosby decided to use his stories about growing up in the Philadelphia projects as his latest tool for teaching. Centered around these stories was Fat Albert; a very large and heavy boy who could always be heard saying “Hey, hey, hey!” Fat Albert was first introduced to the world in 1967 on Cosby’s comedy album Revenge during the track “Buck, Buck.” In it, Cosby regaled the audience with the story of a childhood game he and his friends would play, and how the enormous Fat Albert would use his impressive girth to always make them the champions of the game.

Ad for the special Hey, Hey, Hey, It's Fat Albert!

Cosby decided to try and bring his Fat Albert character and friends to animation. Although Cosby was not as directly involved himself as he would come to be later on, his partners Bruce Campbell and Roy Silver created a team led by director Ken Mundie to handle the production of an animated special. The result was Hey, Hey, Hey, It’s Fat Albert! which aired on NBC in the summer of 1969 with characters designed by Amby Paliwoda. The special was a combination of animation combined with live action footage; actual shots of Philadelphia used for backgrounds in order to save time along with animating directly onto cels rather than transferring images from paper drawings. Herbie Hancock composed the music for the special, later released on the album Fat Albert Rotunda. Cosby provided the voices of Albert and the character based on himself, while enlisting children to fill out the other roles and aiding them in achieving a believable performance. NBC aired it three times before it left the airwaves, rarely seen again and yet to be released on DVD. NBC deemed the concept too educational and passed on the producers’ desires to bring it to a series, as did ABC. Cosby was also unhappy with Mundie’s vision of his characters, deeming them too rough-looking and wanted them to be a more fun bunch of kids.

From top: Mushmouth, Old Weird Harold, Russell, Bill, Rudy, Dumb Donald, Bucky and Fat Albert.

Cosby, joining forces with the then-new Filmation Associates, shopped the project around until Fred Silverman at CBS greenlit the series as an enticement to get Cosby to do a nighttime variety program on the network; the short-lived The New Bill Cosby Show. Cosby was more heavily involved with the production of the show. He would often supply the story ideas, allowing the talented writing staff to find a way to flesh it out from his descriptions. The stories often dealt with issues kids were facing during the time, and Cosby wanted to ensure they were addressing them properly and in a way befitting of their audience. A panel of educators from UCLA was used as consultants on the topics, while Gordon Berry, Ed.D, served as an editor; going through each script and helping the writers through problems and suggesting alternative ways to do or say something. As a result, the show dealt with a variety of heavy subjects such as drugs, gang violence, racism and death (of course tailored for Saturday morning). On the lighter side, they also covered topics like stage fright, first loves and personal hygiene. Berry always ensured to keep out generalities to eliminate the perception of good and bad amongst the characters and instead focus on well-meaning children who just happen to cause mischief by not knowing any better at the time.

Character model sheet.

Cosby redesigned the characters, basing their wardrobe on what kids wore in the projects during the 40s and 50s. They were first seen on his album When I Was a Kid in 1971. Ken Brown, Randy Hollar and Michelle McKinney took Cosby’s drawings, refined them, and fine-tuned them to make them work better in animated form. As a result, while the overall models looked the same for some of the characters, they all received different appearances for the series. NBC was owed another Fat Albert special, which Filmation hurriedly rushed out and delivered in 1971 with their revised character models. NBC, however, waited until 1973 to air what was called The Weird Harold Special; after the CBS program had already started.

Fat Albert's profile from the series bible.

Returning from the specials, naturally, was Fat Albert (Bill Cosby), so named because it was easy to say. Albert was essential to fighting the stereotypes of hefty people being dumb and clumsy. He was active, fairly intelligent, and his friends liked him for his size. Cosby used a deep voice in order to help emphasize his girth, and often remarked that his catchphrase came from possibly a secret desire to be one of The Temptations. Joining Albert was “Dumb” Donald (Lou Scheimer, who did the role in the special since it was one line and writers kept giving him dialogue to continue the character), whose face-covering wool cap was inspired by one of Cosby’s friends that would do that during the winter; “Rudy” Davis (Eric Suter), whose brash and cocky behavior often left him the target for an episode’s lesson while also causing trouble for the gang; Russell (Jan Crawford), Cosby’s little brother who was the albatross stuck on the gang by his mother and always used the phrase “No class”; “Old Weird” Harold (Gerald Edwards), who also debuted with Albert on the 1967 album, lived up to the “weird” part of his name; and Bill Cosby himself, played by Cosby using a slightly higher voice than his regular, served as the second voice of reason for the gang along with Albert.

Sneakin' around.

The rest of Coby’s gang from the show, Nolan (who wore a hat similar to the revised Donald’s) and Weasel, were replaced by Mushmouth and Bucky. Mushmouth (Cosby) was a character with a strange speech impediment, adding a “B” sound to the end of words whenever he talked. The acceptance by his friends despite the impediment was a rare thing and sent a positive message to viewers. His speech pattern was inspired by another friend of Coby’s, and in recognition of that Cosby had all of his paychecks from Filmation sent to that friend for a year. Unfortunately, Mushmouth proved hard to understand and harder to write for, eliminating his participation as a central part of a given episode and used primarily as comic relief. To help interpret what he said for the audience, the animators made sure his actions somewhat conveyed what he was talking about. Bucky (Crawford) was designed to best showcase the age of the kids. Named for his pronounced large teeth, he was waiting for his head to catch up with their growth. A prominent adult figure was the homeless Mudfoot Brown (Cosby), who would dispense wisdom upon the kids in various episodes; sometimes using reverse psychology on them to get his point across. 

The Junkyard band.

With education and comedy firmly in place, the final element to the series was the music. The kids had formed their own band in the junkyard they frequented by making instruments out of the various pieced of trash they found. Albert played a bagpipe-accordion made out of a radiator, funnel and airbag; Mushmouth had a homemade bass guitar; Donald used a trombone made out of pipe and a Victrola’s morning glory horn; Bill played drums made of a trash can with spoons as sticks; Russell had a xylophone made out of empty cans and a coat rack; Harold played either a harp made of bedsprings or percussion on a dressmaker’s dummy; Rudy played a banjo comprised of a broomstick handle, sewing thread spool and strings (however he also played an electric guitar when not with the gang); and Bucky played a stovepipe organ. The music produced by Richard Delvy was used to help drive home the message of the episode in a fun and catchy way so as not to be overbearing or imposing and potentially lose the viewer.  Only the episodes dealing with particularly serious themes would forego the gang’s musical performance. The series’ theme song was composed by Ricky Sheldon and Ed Fournier and sung by Fat Albert’s singing voice Michael Gray, Fournier and Kim Carnes. Fournier was the primary song writer for the series, quickly working off the concepts of the scripts in order to tie the music into the lessons. Six songs were recorded within a day after a brief practice session for each one, and Gray would dub his vocals separately.

Billy Cosby stopping by the set.

Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids debuted on CBS on September 9, 1972, becoming the first cartoon focused on urban youths and with realistic (read: crumbling) backgrounds. Of course, the show was designed to be accessible to anyone, not just those from a similar environment. Bringing it all together were live-action segments of Cosby on a simple set designed like the gang’s junkyard hangout, designed to be easily broken down and moved to wherever they needed to film. In these segments, Cosby would introduce the “memory” of his to the viewers before the story began, as well as close out the show reiterating the lesson learned that day. Occasionally, he’d pop up during the story to add a little something to it. Cosby came by Filmation once a year to film an entire season’s worth of segments. And because of his busy schedule, Cosby would record dialogue for the episodes wherever he could and Filmation always made sure to have a supply of scripts ready for him so he could do multiple episodes at a time. The series was written by Bill Danch, Jim Ryan, Martha Humphreys, Sam Simon, Paul Dini, Larry DiTillio, Bill Cox, Len Janson, Chuck Menville, Earl Kress, Misty Stewart-Taggart, Evelyn Gabai, Rowby Goren, Don W. Harmon, Phil Harnage, William Hasley, Robby London, Don Manuel and Charles H. Sullivan

Hangin' in the junkyard.

Despite the critical acclaim the series achieved upon its airing, the show’s producers had a hard time keeping new episodes on the air. With the show doing so well in reruns, CBS felt no need to go through the expense of ordering new episodes. Cosby and Scheimer, worried the show would lose its freshness with the constant rebroadcasts (as well as the studio losing out on income), fought CBS every season to get new episodes on the air. CBS would eventually relent; however, additional seasons would be reduced to 6 or 8 new episodes with the rest of the season fleshed out with reruns, and not even consecutively produced. No new episodes were made in 1974, 1977 or 1978; however, a Halloween and Christmas special were made and aired in 1977, both receiving high ratings. Because the specials were aired in prime time, Filmation had higher budgets and were able to use less stock footage, making them visually better than the regular episodes.

The Brown Hornet with Tweeterbell and Stinger.

For the 1979 season, the show was re-branded The New Fat Albert Show. The musical numbers were dropped in favor of a new segment featuring The Brown Hornet, the kids’ favorite television show, which Filmation hoped would lead to a spin-off series that never materialized. The Brown Hornet (Cosby) was a larger-than-life crime fighter in outer space who protected the galaxy with his overweight sidekick, Stinger (Scheimer), and robot assistant, Tweeterbell (Erika Scheimer). The Brown Hornet was a parody of the pulp hero The Green Hornet and was featured in a number of Cosby’s comedy routines; however, Cosby did it as more of a detective story. The Brown Hornet adventures were meant to parallel the Fat Albert stories and look visually different from the rest of the show. Also, Fat Albert and his friends were moved over to a new school in another part of town where they could encounter new characters and make new friends.

Legal Eagle taking a powder.

For the final season in 1984, the show entered syndication as The Adventures of Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, producing a whopping 50 episodes in one season as compared to the 54 made for CBS over seven. Free of network restrictions, the producers tackled even heavier issues than they had previously. One episode, “Busted”, inspired by the Scared Straight! documentaries by Scheimer’s friend Arnold Shapiro, even featured the words “damn” and “bastard” to enhance the realism of the prison scenario featured (viewers were warned of their use by Cosby before the episode began). Joining The Brown Hornet as the gang’s favorite show (and another potential spin-off) was Legal Eagle. Legal Eagle (Scheimer) was an anthropomorphic eagle that had two bumbling sidekick squirrel deputies, Moe (Lou) and Gabby (Erika), which would often be the cause of most of the trouble and the catalyst for the segment’s lesson. Though more slapstick than the rest of the show, the stories continued to tie into the main story like The Brown Hornet. 

The gang in costume for the Halloween Special.

Although not consecutive, the show ran for 13 years, making it one of the longest-running Saturday morning shows across 8 seasons and 3 prime-time specials (4 if you count the original 1969 version). As Cosby had begun work on his sitcom, The Cosby Show, production on Fat Albert ceased. Over its run, it had been nominated for and eventually won an Emmythe Ohio State Award and a commendation from Action for Children’s Television. While race was never intended to be a central theme of the show, Cosby received his Ph.D. in 1976 with his thesis on Fat Albert discussing how black children finally had something to identify with on television. Race also played a part in what was comparatively sparse merchandising in relation to other shows due to companies refusing to license the black characters to put on products.

Fat Albert board game.

Nonetheless, Milton Bradley produced a board game in 1973 while Gold Key Comics ran a comic series based on the show for 29 issues between 1974 and 1979, as well as a specially licensed comic produced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Several episodes were turned into books while Fat Albert made his final appearance on a Cosby album with 1972’s Fat Albert. Thermos produced two tin and one plastic lunchbox based on the show. Cosby published two books of homilies in 1973 and 1975 called The Wit and Wisdom of Fat Albert and Fat Albert’s Survival Kitand View-Master released a three-reel set. Kid Stuff Records also produced several records adapting episodes to vinyl. In 1982, Chemtoy produced a line of immobile figurines of all the main characters. In 1990, White Castle restaurants offered four Fat Albert toys in the form of Albert, Bill on a snowboard, Donald on a blade sled, and Russell on a toboggan. The show’s theme, re-recorded by Dig, was included on the 1995 tribute album Saturday Morning: Cartoons’ Greatest Hits from MCA Records. In 2005, Sababa Toys produced four Fat Albert figures, including Albert, Harold, Donald and Mushmouth. 

In the 1990s, the trend of adapting cartoons into motion pictures had begun to take shape in Hollywood. First amongst them was Fat Albert in 1993, but the project shortly died out. In 2004, 20th Century Fox and Davis Entertainment finally released Fat Albert, a live-action movie based on the show. The movie starred Kenan Thompson in the title role as he and his friends emerged from the cartoon world in order to help a teenage girl, Doris (Kyla Pratt), deal with the challenges of being unpopular and to come out of the shell she went into following the death of her grandfather. However, they had to accomplish that and return home before the gang faded into celluloid dust. Cosby appeared as himself in the film. The film received generally negative reviews and only amassed $48 million on a $43.5 million budget.

Ad for Urban Works' DVD releases.

To coincide with the movie, Urban Works acquired the rights to the series and released several DVDs of both the show and the specials. Each volume featured 2 DVDs containing 12 episodes and a CD of the opening and closing theme and the songs featured in those episodes. They also produced a four-disc box set and a five-best-episodes set via Ventura Distribution. In 2008, Classic Media gained the rights and intended to release the complete series but only released the Halloween and Easter specials through Genius Products. In 2012, Shout! Factory licensed the rights from Classic Media and released the complete series on DVD in 2013 after a year delay, with Classic Media re-releasing the three specials on The Hey Hey Hey Holiday Collection.


Season 1:
“Lying” (9/9/72) – The gang’s friend Edward gets caught in a series of lies when he tells them he can swim, but really can’t.

“The Runt” (9/16/72) – Peewee feels left out of the gang’s activities until they learn he’s a good kicker and put him in their football game.

“The Stranger” (9/23/72) – The gang takes a while to warm up to Donald’s cousin Betty.

“Creativity” (9/30/72) – Rudy’s new electric guitar prompts the gang to want their own instruments, but unable to earn the money for them create their own out of trash.

“Fish out of Water” (10/7/72) – The gang and some scouts don’t get along at summer camp until they’re forced to team-up to find and rescue a homesick Russell who ran away.

“Moving” (10/14/72) – A game of Buck Buck goes awry when in making Albert heavier to compete the gang makes themselves too light to win.

“Playing Hooky” (10/21/72) – The gang decides to play hooky from school until a series of mishaps and meeting a group of bums changes their minds about the concept.

“The Hospital” (10/28/72) – Bill and Russell have to get a tonsillectomy, prompting them to fear the worst and give away their most prized possessions to the gang.

“Begging Benny” (11/4/72) – Albert’s cousin Benny visits and wars out his welcome by constantly taking advantage of the gang.

“The Hero” (11/11/72) – The gang looks up to Scrap Iron Yates but come to learn their hero is really a big zero.

“The Prankster” (11/18/72) – Otis’ pranks gain him entry to the gang, but ends up causing them trouble with a rival gang.

“Four Eyes” (11/25/72) – Heywood needs glasses but fears being ridiculed.

“The Tomboy” (12/2/72) – New girl Penny can outplay the gang in sporting events, but the gang has a hard time accepting her.

“Stagefright” (12/9/72) – The gang wants to perform in a play to win a prize, but poor acting skills and extreme stage fright muddle their chances.

Season 2:

“The Bully” (9/8/73) – Slappy bullies the rest of the gang when Albert is not around, until Bill can prove to Albert Slappy’s true character.

“Smart Kid” (9/15/73) – The gang makes a deal with Thurman: he helps them improve their grades and they help him become athletic.

“Mr. Big Timer” (9/22/73) – After wrecking his motorcycle, Albert makes it up to Muggles by delivering a package which he soon learns contains drugs.

“The Newcomer” (9/29/73) – Donald doesn’t like the idea of gaining a new sibling, and the gang tries to help him work through his feelings.

“What Does Dad Do?” (10/6/73) – After an assignment full of embellishments, the gang’s teacher has them accompany their fathers to work to learn what they really do.

“Mom or Pop” (10/13/73) – Flora’s divorced parents’ constant bickering causes her to run away, and the gang helps her parents search for her.

“How the West Was Lost” (10/20/73) – A new American Indian student causes the gang to reconsider the stereotypes they’ve come up believing about his culture.

“Sign Off” (10/27/73) – Roy’s tampering of signs almost causes Peewee to be killed when he chased their ball into a building due to be demolished.

Season 3:

“The Fuzz” (9/6/75) – Parker’s lack of respect for authority ends up getting the gang trapped on a condemned roller coaster in an abandoned amusement park.

“An Ounce of Prevention” (9/13/75) – Albert discovers their friend Lucius is abusing alcohol.

“Fat Albert Meets Dan Cupid” (9/20/75) – Albert falls in love with classmate Laverne, but can’t get the gang to leave them alone together long enough.

“Take 2, They’re Small” (9/27/75) – At the encouragement of Harlow, Albert’s cousin Justin takes to shoplifting.

“Animal Lover” (10/4/75) – The gang searches for the dog that bit Dulcie to see if it had rabies.

“Little Tough Guy” (10/11/75) – The gang tries to include new kid Dwayne in their sports games despite his impaired foot, but it causes Dwayne to lose confidence in himself.

Season 4:

“Smoke Gets in your Hair” (9/11/76) – Wambly influences everyone but Albert to start smoking.

“What Say?” (9/18/76) – Rudy likes Shanna but can’t get her attention, leading the gang to think she’s stuck up until Albert figures out she has a hearing problem.

“Readin’, Ritin’ and Rudy” (9/25/76) – Rudy hassles their new teacher and considers dropping out of school until Mudfoot sets him straight.

“Suede Simpson” (10/2/76) – Suede Simpson looks good but practices poor hygiene, which the gang have a hard time telling him.

“Little Business” (10/9/76) – The gang want a new bike at a low price, but learn it’s a scam when they have to sell other items to get it.

“TV or Not TV” (10/16/76) – Monroe’s TV addiction costs the gang from winning the school play and ends up missing out on being on TV himself.

“Shuttered Window” (10/23/76) – Undeen’s uncle helps organize a talent show to raise money for the sports programs, but suddenly dies before the show.

“Junk Food” (10/30/76) – Slim Noodleton eats nothing but junk food, causing him to lose energy, gain cavities, and fail the gang in their football game.

Season 5:

“In My Merry Busmobile” (9/8/79) – The gang have a hard time making new friends at an integrated school.

“The Dancer” (9/15/79) – The gang doesn’t think ballet-dancing Dimitri can be of any use to them in the boxing competition.

“Spare the Rod” (9/22/79) – Albert convinces Patrice she needs to tell someone about her mother’s abuse of her.

“Sweet Sorrow” (9/29/79) – Roberta helps the gang improve their skating so they can play hockey, but takes out the frustration of her parents’ divorce out on them.

“Poll Time” (10/6/79) – Hugo and Baron use race politics while running for student council until Albert and Margene decide to run together.

“Mainstream” (10/13/79) – The new slow classmate Dennis is able to help the class win new basketball uniforms in an art show.

“Free Ride” (10/20/79) – Lawanda hitchhikes to get free rides despite the gang’s insistence against it.

“Soft Core” (10/27/79) – Dustin gives the gang magazines and movies to teach them about sex.

Season 6:

“Pain, Pain, Go Away” (9/6/80) – Albert convinces Darrell’s parents to send the sickly kid to the hospital where they discover he has Hodgkin’s disease.

“The Rainbow” (9/13/80) – Elisa can’t accept mixed-race children, avoiding the gang and their friend Kim to the point she winds up in danger until Kim and the gang can save her.

“The Secret” (9/20/80) – Beau lets it slip his sister Francie was adopted, which she doesn’t take well and runs away.

“Easy Pickin’s” (9/27/80) – Albert discovers that “rich” Steve and Claudia are actually shoplifters.

“Good ol’ Dudes” (10/4/80) – Richard enjoys taking other people’s cars for joyrides, until one ride winds up in the lake.

“Heads or Tails” (10/11/80) – Harold becomes addicted to gambling to the point of taking jobs for Sheldon, a hustler, to get money to bet.

“Pot of Gold” (10/18/80) – Straight-A student Patty’s grades fall when she gets hooked on marijuana and Rudy is tempted to try it himself.

“The Gunslinger” (10/25/80) – Shawn carries around his father’s gun and uses it for target practice when Rudy finds a bullet, causing it to backfire on his hand.

Season 7:

“Habla Espanol” (9/18/82) – Rudy ridicules Rosita for her broken English, but she is able to help a fellow Hispanic put out a kitchen fire.

“2 by 2” (9/25/82) – Arden and Baron are so in love they’re eager to drop out of school and get married.

“Parking Dog” (10/2/82) – Albert doubts Cosgrove and Doreen’s ability to care of a new puppy and is proven right when he is allowed to escape and winds up on a busy highway.

“Water You Waiting For?” (10/9/82) – While camping Albert brags to Janine about his water safety knowledge before learning she’s the camp’s lifeguard.

“The New Father” (10/17/82) – Buffy doesn’t take well to the idea of her mother getting a new husband and runs away.

“Double Cross” (10/23/82) – Melinda takes an interest in a group known as Double Cross, however they are extremely racist.

“Little Girl Found” (10/30/82) – Teenaged runaway Greta steals the gang’s TV to sell, prompting Albert to help her change her ways.

“Watch That First Step” (11/6/82) – The new neighborhood kids have an alcoholic father, and the gang tries to help them learn how to deal with him.

Season 8:

“Have a Heart” (9/1/84) – When Mudfoot has a heart attack, Rudy is unable to help due to his skipping a CPR class.

“Watch They Neighborhood” (9/8/84) – The gang learns about a neighborhood watch after Donald’s house is robbed.

“Cosby’s Classics” (9/15/84) – Bill entertains the gang when the TV is on the fritz.

“Justice Good As Ever” (9/22/84) – Rudy takes Bobby Hanson to small claims court after Bobby runs over his bike.

“Rebop for Bebop” (9/29/84) – In order to win the Battle of the Bands, the gang must convince a former 50s jazz musician to help them.

“Sinister Stranger” (10/6/84) – The gang gets a lesson on how to handle a kidnapping in time to help a kidnapped classmate get rescued.

“Handwriting on the Wall” (10/13/84) – The gang cleans up graffiti in order to save a school trip, but Marlon is intent on defacing the fence again.

“Busted” (10/20/84) – After being caught unknowingly riding in a stolen car, the gang is taken to prison to learn what life is like behind bars.

“It All Ads Up” (10/27/84) – Rudy lies in order to sell the junk the gang collected for the school’s fundraiser, causing Henry to almost drown when using a busted raft he bought.

“Never Say Never” (11/3/84) – The gang must locate Harold’s cousin Robin so that she can receive a kidney donation in time.

“Don’t Call Us” (11/10/84) – Red Riley has a hit record and decides to quit school to focus on her career, instead ending up singing in a dive bar.

“The Runner” (11/17/84) – The gang exposes Ross’ drug dealing, turning the whole school against them as Ross quits school to be a drug courier.

“Video Mania” (11/24/84) – Harold becomes obsessed with The Brown Hornet video game to the point he squanders the others’ money on it.

“You Gotta Have Art” (12/1/84) – Albert has artistic Leola decorate their clubhouse, but the gang disapproves and hurts her feelings.

“Long Live the Queen” (12/8/84) – Albert nominates Keiko Imora for queen of the America Day assembly, but everyone is opposed to it since she only became naturalized a short time ago.

“The Joker” (12/15/84) – Donald’s cousin Jason plays pranks on the gang, causing nothing but trouble and resulting in Bucky getting hurt.

“Second Chance” (12/22/84) – The local gym was robbed of its equipment and members of the gang suspect Fast Teddy who was once in jail.

“Kiss and Tell” (12/29/84) – Albert suspects Bob, captain of the hockey team, of having a sexually-transmitted disease as his health and performance continue to deteriorate.

“Teenage Mom” (1/5/85) – The gang’s friend Liz Walker returns with her new baby and is overwhelmed by her new responsibilities.

“Film Follies” (1/12/85) – Rudy directs the gang in a Brown Hornet film to enter a contest, but becomes frustrated with the constant mishaps on set.

“Harvest Moon” (1/19/85) – While helping at Roy’s farm, the gang discovers a dangerous chemical spill.

“Read Baby Read” (1/26/85) – Albert is asked to tutor Mickey Taylor in reading, but Mickey is more interested in sports.

“The Whiskey Kid” (2/2/85) – Albert discovers his friend Peter is abusing alcohol.

“Millionaire Madness” (2/9/85) – Harold finds a treasure map, setting the gang on a treasure hunt.

“Call of the Wild” (2/16/85) – Russell adopts a fox from the wild and ends up causing a riot with the other pets at the school’s pet show.

“Funny Business” (2/23/85) – Harold and Mindy get stuck in a cave-in, but Harold keeps her calm with his jokes.

“Three Strikes and You’re In” (3/2/85) – Despite how good a pitcher Maryann Parker is, she can’t be taken seriously enough by any team to play.

“What’s the ID?” (3/9/85) – Rudy and his friend Hector try to enter a nightclub with fake IDs.

“Rules Is Cool” (3/16/85) – Tommy throws a party at his parent’s house, getting the attention of the police.

“The Birds, the Bees and Dumb Donald” (3/23/85) – Donald falls for cheerleader Elaine, but she’s already involved with the cheating quarterback Hammerhead Rex.

“Hot Wheels” (4/6/85) – Rudy and Harold learn the importance of bicycle safety when they send an old woman to the hospital.

“No Place Like Home” (4/13/85) – Harold’s new girlfriend Violet is keeping a secret from him about her destitute home life.

“Not So Loud” (4/20/85) – Rudy’s loud music habits blow the gang’s chance to win a game show, and almost cost him his life.

“The Jinx” (4/27/85) – Rudy’s cousin Rick believes he’s a jinx, and is hard to be convinced otherwise when a Friday the 13th ride ends in a storm that gets them all lost.

“You Don’t Say” (5/4/85) – Rudy convinces Harold to ditch stuttering Carly as his partner in the pep squad, but when Albert’s partner drops out he takes Carly as his new one.

“Amiss with Amish” (5/11/85) – New student Jacob Yoder takes the class to his family’s farm to learn about his culture, leading to Sharon Vincent being caught in the grain bin.

“Gang Wars” (5/18/85) – Fernando sacrifices himself to keep his brother Tito from being shot by a rival gang banger.

“Computer Caper” (5/25/85) – Russell learns that Greg, who helped him study via his computer, is a computer hacker.

“We All Scream for Ice Cream” (6/1/85) – Harold is in danger of losing is friends when he refuses to use his new job to give them free ice cream.

“Superdudes” (6/8/85) – Dexter becomes disillusioned when he learns his favorite superhero is an ordinary man.

“Painting the Town” (6/15/85) – The gang must choose between getting jobs to earn money for a trip or helping their friend Lenny paint a mural on a city block.

“Rudy and the Beast” (6/22/85) – Rudy befriends the daughter of a movie producer in order to secure a screen test.

“Wheeler” (6/29/85) – Wheeler, a fiercely independent boy in a wheelchair, refuses to join the gang in their activities.

“Faking the Grade” (7/6/85) – Donald runs the risk of being left back because of his grades and is tempted by Owen Thomas to buy the answers for his next test.

“Write On” (7/13/85) – Richard Scott is afraid of ridicule if he enters his poetry in a contest for a scholarship prize.

“Cable Caper” (7/20/85) – The gang uses a public access show to help an elderly couple keep their home.

“Say Uncle” (7/27/85) – Harold is upset that his uncle is moving in with his family and sharing his room for a few months.

“No News is Good News” (8/3/85) – The gang gets to put out the next issue of the school paper and Rudy is intent on running an article about the star quarterback taking drugs.

“Attitude of Gratitude” (8/10/85) – The gang chips in to help Albert run his household while his mother’s away while he deals with his job at the zoo.


“Fat Albert Halloween Special” (10/24/77) – Rudy and his friend spend Halloween pulling pranks, but when they disappear after their last one the gang has to find them.

“Fat Albert Christmas Special” (12/18/77) – The gang offers to help out a needy family that show up at their clubhouse, but the junkyard’s owner has other ideas.

“Fat Albert Easter Special” (4/4/82) – The gang surprises Mudfoot but cleaning his house on Easter, but Rudy plays a prank that lands Mudfoot in the hospital.

Originally posted in 2015. Updated in 2020.


John P said...

Bill Cosby "earned" his doctorate degree at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Fat Albert was his doctoral thesis. Now I ALWAYS liked the Fat Albert cartoons, but, according to an article in the Washington Post a few months ago, that PHD that ol Bill has, may be somewhat bogus. Here's the link http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/11/24/bill-cosbys-doctoral-thesis-was-about-using-fat-albert-as-a-teaching-tool/

Anonymous said...

Good old "Bogus Bill". If one looks into many details of his life, one finds a Dr Jekyl / Mr Hyde story.