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Bill Cosby on TV Fathers: They Needed To 'Take the House Back'

Image: Bill Cosby on TV Fathers: They Needed To 'Take the House Back'

Monday, 17 Jun 2013 08:15 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Bill Cosby recently weighed in on parenting and how the father figure is often portrayed in many popular sitcoms during a recent interview with ABC News.

Cosby, a father of five, who is best known for his hit sitcom "The Cosby Show" that aired from 1984 to 1992, told ABC News that through his show he hoped to correct what he perceived as poor parenting practice's in today's popular culture.

"I based the series on two important things: Number one . . . I hated those series where the children were brighter than the parents, and those parents had to play dumb," Cosby said. "Number two was that I wanted to 'take the house back.'"

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Though he doesn't give examples, Cosby could be referring to the blundering idiot dads in many of today and yesteryear's popular comedy series, such as Phil Dunphy in "Modern Family," Peter Griffin in "Family Guy," Homer Simpson in "The Simpsons," and Al Bundy in "Married with Children," Yahoo News notes.

If you want to entertain children "at the expense of parenting, at the expense of keeping children out of harm’s way to get these laughs, to make these parents look stupid, to make kids look like they are ultra-bright but still lost, then we have a problem," Cosby added.

"[We] parents make it difficult," he said, "because we want to be well-liked. And I’m not saying that parenting, you shouldn’t want to be well-liked, but you also have to have some kind of judgment."

On "The Cosby Show," Cosby's character, in addition to being a physician and role model, was a strong, loving, yet at times stern father figure who could both could both play and joke with the youngest of his children and at the same time lay down the law when necessary.

In the interview, Cosby suggested the parenting style of his grandfather as a model to emulate, describing him as a teacher who "had a sense of humor and a sense of warmth."
Cosby shared one story to describe the kind of man his grandfather was, recalling at the age of 14 having gone out for his school's football team against his grandfather's wishes.

At the time, his grandfather warned him that his bones were not developed and strong enough to sustain hits from some of the older players on the opposing team.

Cosby wound up breaking his shoulder in the first game of the season.

Rather than say, 'I told you so,' Cosby recalled his Grandfather visiting him after he was recovering at home, saying: "He bent over and he kissed me on the forehead and said, 'How you feeling?' And I said, 'Fine, granddad. I’m just really sad.' And he put a quarter in my hand and he said, 'Go get yourself some ice cream. It’s got calcium in it,' and he left."

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Cosby added the simple act was "a smooth way of putting me down."

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