16 December 2010 | raysond
A Fat Albert Christmas Special
From the previous comment: "There hasn't been a Fat Albert series shown on television since 1989."
And whoever said it was right on. I heard that rumor too about Bill Cosby yanking off television anything to do with Fat Albert,which to this day hasn't been seen on television since the early 1990's. In 2004,a live-action version based on the hit Saturday Morning cartoon show "Fat Albert" starring Kenan Thompson was not the colossal hit that it was suppose to be at the box office,instead it was a disaster. And speaking of "Fat Albert",it hasn't been seen on Saturday Mornings since the mid-1980's. At the time of its airing "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids"(the animated series)was one of the biggest hits to ever come out of the 1970's. Bill Cosby not only provided the voiceovers for some of the animated characters,but also was the creative force behind the scenes while serving as writer,producer,and executive in charge of production. The original animated series was a Saturday Morning tour-de-force in the 13 years that was part of CBS' Saturday Morning schedule from 1972 until 1985.
In 1977,creator and producer Bill Cosby and the animators at Filmation Productions,produced a half-hour holiday special for CBS-TV titled "A Fat Albert Christmas Special",that made its debuted in prime-time on December 18, 1977. This half-hour special,produced by Bill Cosby under the executive producers Norman Prescott and Lou Scheimer,with a storyline by Bill Danch and Jim Ryan and direction for Filmation veteran Hal Sutherland,this animated special was a cross-reference to but Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol and to an extent "A Charlie Brown Christmas",with hints of the "Grinch" in certain segments. In this new installment,which was the second of the animated "Fat Albert" specials that aired in prime-time. In this one,Tyrone,the owner of the junkyard where Fat Albert's clubhouse sits,threatens to demolish the shack as an act of nastiness while the Cosby Kids,busily working up a Christmas pageant,helps a little boy(voiced by Marshall Franklin),whose father and mother and stranded in their car on Christmas Eve,in the middle of a snowstorm,with the little boy's father desperately looking for anyone who could help them. The boy's mother is expecting a child and once the boy's father finds the nearest hospital to get help,the Cosby Kids take the boy's mother and the little boy into their clubhouse for safety,while trying to keep mean and nasty owner Tyrone at bay from demolishing the clubhouse and the junkyard. And its up to Fat Albert to save the clubhouse and the day,and in the process inside the clubhouse the kids learn the true meaning of the holidays. The ending of this is very special,and out of all the "Fat Albert" specials that were produced by Filmation for CBS during the mid-1970's and early-1980's,"A Fat Albert Christmas" was one of the best of the bunch.
Bit of trivia: The voices of Fat Albert/Mushmouth/Bill and Mudfoot were done by Bill Cosby himself. Did you know the voice of Russell was done by a woman? Voice-over actress Jan Crawford,who's voice was heard in several Filmation cartoons. Other voices,including the voice of Weird Harold was done by Gerald Edwards while the cool dude "Rudy" was voiced by Eric Suter.