February 28 – A Very Cosby Breakfast

Cultural Comedies

While Black History Month has come and gone, we should celebrate our African American friends all-year round. With that in mind, there have been a number of great black families in the history of TV, many of which, I could see myself moving in with. Here are the Top 5 families, leaving a space on the couch open for the Sip Advisor!

#5: The Winslow’s – Family Matters

To be in such a loving household, is something many can only dream of (or TGIF writers could compose!). My family life was awesome, so I can kind of understand a sitcom family’s charms. The Winslow clan was incredibly tight knit and affectionate, led by father Carl. Sure you would have to deal with the constant visits by neighbour Steve Urkel, but even that’s not so bad. He only caused millions of dollars in damages during the tenure of the series. Luckily, Carl had a decent paying job as a cop and he must have invested wisely in household insurance!

FAMILY MATTERS

#4: The Brown’s – Cleveland Show

The animated adventures of Cleveland Brown and family showed that true love will eventually be worked out by the universe (both Cleveland and wife Donna were divorcees, reuniting later in life to give their relationship a second chance) and that blended families can work. I love almost every character in this series, but the Brown/Tubbs family is the focal point, making to town of Stoolbend seem like a nice place to settle. Sadly, the Cleveland Show only lasted four seasons before the Brown family were merged back into the Family Guy universe.

#3: The Evans’ – Good Times

In good times and bad, families need to stick together and no show proved that more than Good Times. The series centered on the Evans family, who lived in a Chicago projects development. Viewers everywhere learned of the struggle of a hardworking black family, trying to overcome the odds. The character of J.J. (aka Kid Dy-no-mite!) made the show a smash success, while stories about gang violence and “keeping your head above water” in tough economic times made Good Times an everyman show, not just one meant for a particular race.

goodtimes

#2: The Huxtable’s – Cosby Show

In the 1980’s, the sweater-clad Bill Cosby did his best to change the perception of black families. Of course, it helped that he was playing a doctor, married to a lawyer, but the point was that the comedian was trying to show the rest of North America that black family shows didn’t need to always be set in the ghetto – although it worked for Good Times. Sadly, Cosby’s legacy has taken a pounding (that might not be the best word) recently, with numerous rape allegations coming to light. It’s too bad, because the show was pretty awesome and still held up decades later.

#1: The Banks’ – Fresh Prince of Belair

The Sip Advisor still watches episodes of Fresh Prince of Belair to this day. It provides such a good combo of humour and touching stories that you can’t help but want to live in the Banks’ family mansion… yes, money always helps when choosing a family to crash with. Philip Banks was an awesome father figure, taking young Willy from Philly into his family, when all he did was get into one little fight (and his mom got scared!), providing him with every opportunity to succeed. Even uptight Carlton grew on you, especially when dancing to his favourite crooner, Tom Jones!

Super Saturday Shot Day: A Very Cosby Breakfast

A Very Cosby Breakfast Shot

Of course, this list solely looks at TV families. If you ventured into the movie realm, at the top would have to be the Klumps, where every dinner is an adventure! In an interesting note, three of the five shows listed in this article were spinoffs of another series, while the Cosby Show inspired its own offshoot with A Different World.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
While this shooter isn’t an original one, I made the decision to rim the shot glass with Pudding, in honour of Bill Cosby’s product endorsement contributions. The recipe called for Grapefruit Schnapps/Vodka, but I substituted Grapefruit Soda, instead. The blend of chocolate and grapefruit was unique and pretty good. The Pudding was the icing (or pudding) on the cake and it had been years since I enjoyed a snack pack!

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