Bill Cosby has been “on” Family Guy multiple times. The disgraced comedian first showed up as Dr. Huxtable in a season two episode when Theo asks his dad for advice after he got a girl pregnant. All he gets is funny faces in response. That’s a typical Family Guy depiction of Cosby, who also tackles a little person, makes a sex tape with Lauren Conrad, and interviews Stewie about saying the darndest things. It’s all the same harmless ribbing that The Simpsons and SNL have also partaken in, until last night’s episode.
Before Thanksgiving dinner, the Griffins and company watch The Cosby Show, “knowing what we know now.” The theme music and Cosby’s goofy mugging and goofier sweater are still there, but all the female cast members, including Phylicia Rashad, Lisa Bonet, and Tempestt Bledsoe, aren’t dancing with Dr. Huxtable anymore; they’re passed out on chairs and couches, a reference to the sexual assault allegations waged against the Ghost Dad star. This is the “tarnished” legacy of The Cosby Show Malcolm-Jamal Warner referred to.
Also drugged are Bonnie Franklin, a dazed and pantless Bea Arthur, a puking Noid, and the NBC peacock. It’s a far cry from jokes about Jell-O ads.