Modern Culture04 Nov 2010 01:15 pm
According to TV Guide, “The Cosby Show” was TV’s biggest hit in the 1980s, and is credited with almost single-handedly reviving the sitcom genre and NBC’s ratings fortunes. Comedian Bill Cosby played the lead, but he couldn’t have done it without his costars: Phylicia Rashad, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Lisa Bonet and…those sweaters. During the show’s 8-year run, Bill Cosby was never seen without one of his LOUDLY multicolored Australian Coogi sweaters, which fondly became known as the “Cosby Sweater.” I always assumed that he must have housed all of them in an unseen walk-in closet, seeing that he seemed to own a different epilepsy-inducing patterned sweater for each day of the year.
When “The Cosby Show” ended it’s run in 1992, it seemed like the “Cosby Sweater” had suffered extinction by proxy. The once powerful sweater style lost its leader, and the fashion tide had turned away from the hypercolor 1980s in favor of “grunge” and The Gap. Within a year, muted knits had vanquished the lovably boxy and color clashing “Cosby” to the back of the closet.
The “Cosby” remained dormant for over a decade, mildewing in boxes in basements and hanging like rotten fruit from the racks of America’s thrift stores. And then…… The “Ugly Sweater Party” happened.
The origin of the first ugly sweater party remains the subject of heated debate, but the most convincing explanation credits/blames nostalgia-loving hipsters with starting the trend in the mid-aughts. Suffice to say, this annual celebration of winter fashion gone terribly wrong spread to college campuses and eventually infected the already infirm office Christmas party. Since then, the sale of used “Cosby’s” at thrift stores has exploded in the months leading to December. In fact, many Goodwill and Salvation Army stores report that they have been completely unable to keep up with the demand for tan appropriately hideous sweater.
The resurrection of the “Cosby Sweater” is an inspiration for us all. It is proof positive that even the ugly and undeserving can get a second act in American life.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.