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troubleinharlem's avatar

What do you think about a Muslim version of the Cosby Show?

Asked by troubleinharlem (7968 points ) February 21st, 2011

Here’s the article from where I got these quotes.

“A few months ago, I read that Katie Couric suggested a Muslim Cosby Show would perhaps help eradicate Islamophobia in America. Couric said:

“I know that sounds crazy,” she said, “but ‘The Cosby Show’ did so much to change attitudes about African-Americans in this country, and I think sometimes people are afraid of things they don’t understand.”

Me being me, I decided to cast the show with my favorite Muslim actors. So when I was given the opportunity to interview Mr. Cosby (and don’t you dare call him Bill!) I was eager to ask him about his opinions on the topic.

“I like her idea,” The Cos told The Track. “I think you could very well teach and people could understand. I do feel that whenever I have gotten to meet people who are coming from different countries that may have been Muslim, I do know that they say they love ‘The Cosby Show.’ And then they ask me, ‘You know why? Because it’s about family.’ ”

What do you think?

Who would you cast as the characters?

Okay, and if you want to see a fake pilot from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, you can see it here. It’s called “The Qu’osby Show”!

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30 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

I think it is a great idea, though I sort of expect this to cause a massive outrage in the US.

Plucky's avatar

We have a small one here in Canada ..not an expensive production, nor hugely popular. But it’s good enough to have devoted fans. I’ve seen several episodes ..it’s cute funny.

It’s called, Little Mosque on the Prairie.

Disc2021's avatar

@ragingloli 100% agreed.

It’s a shame.

Joker94's avatar

I’d watch, it actually. @ragingloli Hit the nail on the head, though…

12Oaks's avatar

I really didn’t like the first Cosby Show, so I’d bet dollars to donuts my TV won’t be tuning in. However, if they were to produce and air this, I personally wouldn’t care one way or the other. Will just ignore it the same as I do Lost, Greys Anatomy, and all them CSI shows.

RareDenver's avatar

It’s a worthwhile idea.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Cast Naveen Andrews as one of the leads. He’s already recognizable from Lost.

Jude's avatar

Progressive Canada. :)

I like the idea.

wilma's avatar

I don’t think it would hurt anything at all. and I don’t agree that there would be any massive outrage in the US. There would probably be some protest and outrage, but not massive.
I don’t watch a lot of TV but I would probably check it out.
I have seen the Canadian Little Mosque on the Prairie and thought that it was a cute show.

Likeradar's avatar

The Daily Show did a great clip on this. It was Qu’osby Show. I can’t find the video, but maybe someone else will has better Google Fu.

reeselover23's avatar

i personally wouldnt watch it, but i’m sure some people would! so good luck with that:)

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

I wouldn’t watch it, but not because it would have Muslims, but because I don’t like The Cosby Show (and all family-oriented sitcoms of the 80s that over-simplify issues and have “very special episodes”.)

But I think if you modernized it (but not in an FX/Showtime/HBO/UPN way), it would be a great thing.

filmfann's avatar

There is a new movie out called four lions which appears to be a jihadist comedy. I am gonna see it when it’s local.

troubleinharlem's avatar

@Likeradar : It’s in the description. xD

Likeradar's avatar

@troubleinharlem Oh jeesh. Was it even in bold before?

kheredia's avatar

I think it’s worth a shot.. A lot of people don’t even really know what Islam is about.. maybe we can all learn something from it in a more comedic way.. I would watch it!

Nullo's avatar

I honestly don’t think that there are that many people out there who hate the not-killing-infidels Islam.

skfinkel's avatar

See the Daily Show Thursday, Feb. 18.

troubleinharlem's avatar

@skfinkel : Which is in the description… for the second time.
@Nullo : I’d say that the majority people who hate Muslims hate them all, even though not all Muslims are terrorists and whatnot, you know? Just look at FoxNews.com on an article about something vaguely Muslim-y and read the comments. You’ll see what I mean.

Buttonstc's avatar

As long as it has the same quality and humor in which The Cos presented things, I think it would be great.

But if it’s just a knockoff without those characteristics, it wouldn’t matter if they were Muslim, Chinese, Buddhist, Australian or whatever. A half-assed knockoff for it’s own sake, would still fall flat.

There is a tendency by many to overlook the fact that, in addition to being an experienced stand-up comedian, Cosby has an earned (not just honorary) Phd. in Education.

So he knew precisely how to combine education with entertainment.

That’s not as easy as it sounds. And doing it EXTREMELY well is rare.

He also had the smarts to hire and involve with the production team Dr Alvin Poussaint, a reknowned authority in Child Psychiatry, currently with Harvard School of Medicine. Nothing beats quality and excellence.

If a potential show meets that standard, I find it difficult to imagine the dire scenario proposed by Loli.

With all due respect, we ain’t all a bunch of ignorant redneck yahoos over here. Many of us appreciate humor and quality combined and see little relevance to the ethnicity or the skin color of the participants.

:)

Nullo's avatar

@troubleinharlem I just did, regarding the Libyan situation. Most were off-topic. A lot of them were anti-Fox News trolls. Not once (in an admittedly small sampling of some 650 comments) did I find anything disparaging Muslims in general.

skfinkel's avatar

Sorry: Daily show Feb. 17th.

RareDenver's avatar

@filmfann I’ve seen Four Lions and I highly recommend it. It’s funny and a little disturbing. One of the best things is it makes you laugh at the sheer stupidity of the ‘suicide strategy terrorist’. This is all slightly off topic though. Here in the UK we had very successful comedy sketch show called Goodness Gracious Me which I think went a long way towards better understanding and acceptance of our Indian communities. Laughter is universal.

joannamc's avatar

I live in Paris and “Little Mosque on the Prairie” is being shown here. It really is quite funny and fairly non-controversial. I think that it must be very difficult to script a show like that – quite a delicate process I would imagine. As far as I am concerned this one seems to work ok – not absolutely hilarious – but ok. Anything that encourages acceptance of others is always to be a good thing.

chocolatechip's avatar

I never bothered watching Little Mosque on the Prairie (because Canadian sitcoms usually aren’t funny) but this had me laughing out loud.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_I4YrgGHCXE

joannamc's avatar

I really watched it because there are not many sitcoms at all. Lots of political and social chat shows so I welcomed the change. It was not easy for me as my French is not brilliant but I do think that they have got the balance right when it comes to overcoming the social/political/religious angle. If they can do it as well as they have then I think that a Cosby sitcom would be brilliant.

Seelix's avatar

Y’all beat me to it – I was going to say something about Little Mosque. I don’t watch it often, but I’ve seen it a few times and it’s pretty cute.

I think that any show that’s produced in order to increase awareness or acceptance, though, is doomed to failure. If it’s presented as a show that’ll dispel myths and show people what “real” Muslims are like, it won’t succeed. I don’t remember much about when the Cosby Show first came on – whether there was talk about that stuff or not, but I don’t think there was. Bill Cosby had already made a name for himself as an actor and comedian by the point that the show was launched. Maybe if a recognizable Muslim actor or comedian anchored the show, that would help. Naveen Andrews is British, and of Indian descent, plus he’s Methodist, so no dice there.

Buttonstc's avatar

Aasif Mandvi could likely fill the bill nicely. He is both a skilled actor and comedian.

But he already has a steady job on The Daily Show (facetiously bearing rotating titles such as “Senior Middle East Correspondent, etc.)

Altho he is of Indian descent rather than Arab, he did grow up in a Muslim household and his trenchant wit stands him in good stead.

One would have to make a concerted effort to really dislike him. He is enormously intelligent and his impish grin and twinkle in the eye. gives him HUGE cross-cultural appeal.

But that’s only half of what’s needed. If the writing falls flat or the plots are too obviously preachy or pedantic, it can still fail in the ratings.

Cosby didn’t hesitate in interviews to state that he was doing this show not JUST to be entertaining, but educational as well.

I believe his show was the first to portray the black leads as well educated professionals. Dr. Huxtable and his wife were representative of a segment of black life which has been there all throughout history but sadly not portrayed in media up to that time.

Their family gave visual representation to the polar opposite of the stereotypical portrait of blacks as impoverished, disadvantaged, ebonic speaking, etc.

There were (and are currently) plenty of blacks folks who work hard, value education and maintain a nuclear family with two functional parents raising their kids with high expectations for their academic achievements. ( Asians aren’t the only group maintaining a franchise on accomplished, industrious children)

But he didn’t preach AT his audience or beat them over the head with it. Just quietly gave everyday representation of these characters as normal and unremarkable.

These were quite deliberate efforts on the part of him and the total team he assembled.

Everything from the writing to the set design and clothing were deliberately chosen to present “another normal” as alternative to the common stereotpical portrayals of blacks.

Yes, it was really skillfully funny and endearing. But that’s not all it was.

I would love to see something done equally well portraying Muslims.

iCalvin's avatar

Absolutely! I think this would be an excellent way to introduce people to the Muslim faith and help thwart all the negative connotations that have been spewed about the religion in the media.

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