Bill Cosby has been around for so long and has done so many things, that it’s easy to forget just how many TV shows and films he has been involved with over the course of his career.
Case in point, his 1994-1995 NBC mystery series The Cosby Mysteries . The show was created by the creators and producers of Columbo and it was clear that’s the sort of vibe they were going for.
The premise sounded promising enough. On the show, Cosby played former NYC investigator Guy Hanks (Cosby’s real life father’s in-law name) who wins a fortune in the lottery and retires. However, he’s brought back every week by his ex-partner to help solve some murder that he and the police are baffled about.
The show had the usual assortment of eccentric kooks and slimy, smug well-to-do murder suspects; and in some episodes, Cosby was paired with a young eager brother amateur sleuth played by an actor who went by the name of Dante Beze, who later changed it to the better known Mos Def. And Cosby had a love interest in the show played by Lynn Whitfield.
So what went wrong? Simple, it was BORRRRRRING! The show limped along amiably with occasional stops every ten minutes or so along the way, so Cosby could do his patented shtick. But there was no sense of urgency, suspense or even mystery, on the show. It’s as if someone off camera said: “Action!” Then Cosby went to his mark and did his thing and then they yelled “Cut!”. That’s it.
However, considering what’s on TV today, and especially when it comes to black images, perhaps the show would play better today since we’re so desperate for anything that won’t make us cringe. Here’s a clip for the pilot episode and you tell us what you think