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!

June 7 – Theme Songs

Musical Interlude

On one episode of Big Bang Theory, Sheldon reveals his favourite TV theme songs to be Inspector Gadget, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Spider-Man. While these are all fine selections in their own right, it got me thinking about which TV title tracks are really the greatest. That list is as follows!

#5: Disney Afternoon

Like Sheldon, I have a great fondness for my childhood. When I discussed this article with Mrs. Sip, she was quick to point out some absolutely spectacular music I had neglected, particularly entries from the Disney block of afternoon cartoons, including DuckTales, Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin, Darkwing Duck, and Goof Troop. Songwriter Mark Mueller was responsible for both DuckTales and Rescue Rangers and the others hold their own as memorable bits of my youth.

#4: Good Times

This theme song really speaks to anyone out there who tries to keep a bright outlook and smile on their face despite any hardships they may be wading through. “Temporary layoffs… Good Times. Easy credit rip offs… Good Times. Scratchin’ and surviving… Good Times.” There’s an episode of Chappelle Show which sees Dave Chappelle quiz various participants about the lyrics of this song, showing its true meaning to pop culture. “Ain’t we lucky we got ’em… Good Times!”

#3: Golden Girls

Thank you for being a friend, indeed. Such an awesome show deserves an equally epic theme. You really have to admire the work of everyone who touched this project, as they made elderly women an entertaining subject. The one lyric I disagree with is the one about the biggest gift being from that friend because there’s nothing wrong with presents that come in small packages: rings, earrings, necklaces… aren’t these really the presents women want!?

#2: TGIF Shows

We’re talking about the ditties from Full House (Everywhere You Look), Family Matters (As Days Go By), and Step by Step (Second Time Around), all written and performed by Jesse Frederick. The songs can sometimes be interchangeable, as I will often be humming one and it will transition right into another family sitcom classic. If you play them for a TGIF rookie, they will often confuse them for being the start to another show and I only give that person crap for the rest of our existence knowing one another, as a result of their tragic blunder.

#1: Growing Pains

I love to get under Mrs. Sip’s skin by blasting this tune at the highest of volumes and belting out the lyrics as shrilly as my voice can get. I even tried to get it added to our wedding playlist, arguing that it was “my jam,” but apparently that doesn’t hold the weight I wish it did. The only difficulty with the song is trying to cover both the male and female portions of the duet. It’s tricky, but if done properly, you can bet your previously intimate night will be no more… trust me!

Super Saturday Shot Day: Theme Songs

Theme Songs Shot

  • 1 oz Tattoo Rum
  • Dash of Ice Cream
  • Garnish with Sprinkles

Some of my proudest geek moments have been playing TV theme song trivia quizzes on cruise ships. Nothing says nerd of the highest variety than scoring 39 out of 40 and walking away with a little trophy for your years of sitting in front of the tube effort! Honourable mentions to Night Court, the 1960’s Batman, Benny Hill, Odd Couple, Saved by the Bell, and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air… great songs I just couldn’t wedge into this post.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I used Drinkify.org to find this recipe. The site suggests which drink to pair with whatever music you’re listening to. I searched for “TV Themes” and this came up. It specified 8 oz of Rum and 8 oz of Ice Cream, which is a little insane, so I condensed the recipe down to shot form. In fact, all of the site’s measurements seem a little out of whack and in many cases, it’s suggested to just drink straight liquor, but it’s still a neat idea in principle. As for the shooter itself, it was good. I’d been saving some Captain Morgan Tattoo Rum for a while and this was the perfect recipe for it.