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Barack Obama's election holds special significance for Bill Cosby

November 7, 2008 |  2:16 pm

Ecrqqagw_2 The election of Barack Obama as president of the United States had a special significance for comedian and entertainer Bill Cosby. It was the realization of a dream that he felt was first visualized on the groundbreaking "The Cosby Show," which concentrated on the importance of education, hard work and parenting for black families.

"I can't negate the theory that the Huxtables on 'The Cosby Show' may have helped pave the way for the Obama family," Cosby said today. "People enjoyed watching that black family," he said, noting that the Huxtables were a two-parent unit with an educated father and mother constantly loving their children while correcting them. He said the dynamics of the families who brought up Barack and Michelle Obama closely mirrored the Huxtables' commitment to success and excellence.

On the show, Cosby played Cliff Huxtable, an obstetrician who lived with his attorney wife Claire (Phylicia Rashad) and four of their five kids in a New York brownstone.

"The Cosby Show," which aired on NBC from 1984 to 1992, was the top-rated series during the mid-1980s and turned NBC at that time into the No. 1 network. Though it sparked an avalanche of family sitcoms, it was also criticized at the time for what many felt was an unrealistic portrayal of African Americans.

A 25th anniversary DVD box set of the series is scheduled to be released shortly.

Quipped Cosby with a laugh: "For all those people who said they didn't know any black folks like the Huxtables, I wonder if they will watch the show now."

-- Greg Braxton

(Photo courtesy AP)

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