It’s taken Malcolm-Jamal Warner two decades to catch the gist of some of the funny lines he delivered on “The Cosby Show,” but now he can sit back and laugh.
“It’s taken me 20 years to be able to watch the show and be far removed enough from it to enjoy it as a viewer. Now, I can watch it and I can laugh and say, ‘Oh, now I see why people liked Theo.’ Back then, I wanted Theo to be a little cooler … but I watch now and see what people liked about him,” Malcolm told the Huffington Post.
As an adult watching now, Theo said he cracks up laughing at the show, which shouldn’t surprise the generations of fans who’ve come to love the TV classic. It’s definitely no surprise to creator Bill Cosby.
“So, I saw the scene on the bed with the earring, and I’m on the couch, laughing by myself, and I picked up the phone and I called Mr. Cosby. I said, ‘Hey man … we were funny!’ He said, ‘You’re damn right we were funny,’” Malcolm recounts.
There’s no denying that “The Cosby Show” is a significant piece of American pop culture, and Malcolm says he gets reminded of that almost daily.
“Even if I’m somewhere and I have a nice shirt on, people say, ‘Hey, is that Gordon Gartrelle?’ said Malcolm. He has even received photos of people dressed up in knock-offs of that infamous yellow and black shirt for Halloween.
While it may be hard for some to believe that there are TV viewers out there that wouldn’t quite get the Gordon Gartrelle reference, Malcolm said he has run into some youngsters who have no knowledge of the cultural impact of the show.
“There was a kid on [‘Reed Between the Lines’] … and the first day on the show he was goofy and a little nervous, so we’re thinking it’s because of me and Tracee [Ellis Ross],” Malcolm said. “The next day he said to me, ‘My mother told me she grew up on you. She loves you!’ Dude had no idea—he was clueless!”
See photos from Malcolm’s birthday party!
—Tracy L. Scott
Do you have a favorite "Cosby Show" moment or episode? What is it?