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November 22, 1985

Hats Off to Dr Huxtable

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC

JAMA. 1985;254(20):2957. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360200111043

Last season, those who happened to be home by 8 PM Eastern Standard Time on Thursday evenings, and remembered to turn on their television sets, tuned in to a special treat, Heathcliff Huxtable, MD, a.k.a. Bill Cosby, EdD. For those who haven't heard of our new colleague who has hung out his shingle, he's the OB/GYN specialist who, along with his attorney wife and their five children (ages preschool through adolescence), millions of Americans visit each week. In fact, so many tune him in that the show has topped the ratings for months.

Top ratings weren't earned just because the Cosby show is amusing and entertaining—Cosby is almost always both. Rather, the audience is tuning in because the show portrays a wholesome family, living in today's world, facing today's problems and pleasures, with love, warmth, and lots of common sense.

That segment of the public, whose image has been fashioned