On Hey Hey Hey

Fat Albert popularized those three words

Created by Bill Cosby and animator Ken Mundie

NBC aired Hey, Hey, Hey, It’s Fat Albert on November 12, 1969 as an animated primetime special

Herbie Hancock composed the theme music for the special

Producers wanted to bring the show to Saturday mornings, but NBC refused based on being too educational, CBS premiered Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids on September 9, 1972

Based on Cosby’s stand-up routines, which were based on his childhood friends and experiences

Also known as The New Fat Albert Show, The Adventures of Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids

Cosby wrote this theme music to the series

The Cosby Kids and their band known as the The Junkyard Gang: “Fat” Albert Jackson, Mushmouth , “Dumb” Donald, William “Bill” Cosby, Russell Cosby, “Weird” Harold, Rudolph “Rudy” Davis, Bucky

Other characters include Miss Berry, Mudfoot Brown, Cluck, The Brown Hornet, Stinger, Tweeterbell, Legal Eagle, Moe and Gabby, Margene, Dennis, Pee Wee, 3 River Blockbusters (Junkyard Gang’s main rivals)

12 seasons, but not continuous, 110 episodes, and 3 specials (Halloween,Christmas, and Easter)

First: Truth (a.k.a Lying) (September 9. 1972)
Last: No Place Like Home (April 12, 1985)

Original run September 9, 1972 to October 27, 1973

Here’s a promo for the Halloween special

Number 12 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time

Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids received an Emmy nomination in 1974

In 1993, TV Guide named , Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids the best cartoon series of the 1970s

Insisting a strong emphasis on teaching positive social values to children, Cosby himself would hammer it home in live-action commentary

Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids appeared in 29 issues in Gold Key Comics from 1975-79

Enjoy the song with the clips …. meanwhile, Hey hey hey!


72 thoughts on “On Hey Hey Hey

  1. I was a big fan of Cosby due to his collection of comedy albums. So when this show was introduced, I was waiting for it. Most of these characters were mentioned on his albums. I can still recite those comedy albums word for word today. And this is a reminder to put them on my iPod.

    He reached a much wider audience and a new audience with his HBO special “Bill Cosby, himself,” Somewhere around 1979. Although I loved it, I wanted to tell people they had been missing out for a long time because he had already been a brilliant storyteller for at least 10 years.

    For the past 10 years however, he has gotten away from entertainment and spend more time on social cause, specifically problems with children in the black community. He does not hesitate to tell black parents,” if your kids are having problems and you want to find the cause, start by looking in the mirror.” That message it is not usually will received.


  2. the world needs more people like B. Crosby. doing good for our world. i just ran into this video while in my Reader:

    thought the innocence and cuteness kinda go with Fat Albert’s theme.


  3. Hey, hey, hey Frank, love the Fat Albert cartoons! Bill Cosby is so young and skinny in that video! I’ve always been a big fan of his comic stories.

    Herbie Hancock released an album of the music he wrote for the Fat Albert special; it’s called “Fat Albert Rotunda” and here’s a link to several of the pieces on YouTube:

    Here’s a link to more info about it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_Albert_Rotunda

    Enjoy and thanks for the memory lane trip – have a great weekend!


    • Collline,
      He was already a comic and this point, thus used bits from his act in this characters and stories. He was also an actor … I Spy … a drama (1965-1968). Glad you enjoyed it. Hey hey hey!


  4. I have a strong appreciation for those people who left the stage to devote themselves to human causes! And yes, Bill Cosby is a great example…
    Fat albert bring back to me my youth, when I had still a television…
    By choice, with my husband we decided not to submit to the will of the pseudo civilization. We don’t have television, what we need to know we are “refreshed” by acquaintances and colleagues: it’s more than enough, belive me!
    But we have no second thoughts or doubts and it’s what we recommend to other parents… thrown in the garbage TV and spend some more of your time with your children!
    Forgive my feedback a bit out of place… :-)claudine


    • Claudine,
      Great point about Bill Cosby … and he is still working on causes close to his heart.

      No problem on the commentary, and cheers to your decision to be without a TV. I can see many benefits in your choice!


  5. I loved Bill Cosby’s comedy act when I was a kid and I also watched him in “I Spy” but by the time the Fat Albert animated series hit the broadcast airwaves I had stopped watching Saturday morning cartoons. I am quite sure that I did see the special in 1969, but it’s not longer (cough) very fresh in my head almost 44 years later. You’re right, he sure was young — and thin in the second video. Cool trip down memory lane Frank.


    • Lame,
      I didn’t watch him either as I was phasing out cartoons at that time … well, at least the new ones. I did watch “I Spy” though, and the theme is in one of the comments above. Hope you had a good weekend.


  6. It’s so funny but I was at a family gathering today and we were talking about “Fat Albert.” There is a current animated program called Little Bill, with Phylicia Rashad as mother to a little boy, presumably Bill Cosby as a child. Those of us with little ones knew of it, and the others brought up “Fat Albert.” Of course everyone was going through the “Hey, Hey, Hey” mimicry. I didn’t watch the show, as I recall, but I was very aware of the characters and I know how popular it was. I do think Bill Cosby is a wonderful entertainer and a strong education advocate. I also watched “I Spy.” I wouldn’t mind watching some of those episodes again.


  7. You may already know that Lou Scheimer of Filmation Associates, the studio that animated Fat Albert, passed away on October 16, two days short of what would have been his 85th birthday.

    In addition to Fat Albert, Scheimer’s studio was probably best known for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and for Saturday morning adaptations of Star Trek, Tarzan, and the Archies. Filmation had a somewhat schlocky reputation with critics and fans, but Scheimer himself was a well-liked and highly regarded man in the animation business.

    I’m not sure if Fat Albert escaped this fate, but most of Filmation’s original negatives and soundtracks have been destroyed by Hallmark Cards; who took over the company but placed no value on its library. The versions now shown on cable TV and DVD are taken from video masters made for European TV, which uses a different system than US TV, and they run about 5% too fast on US TV. There is no chance to upgrade the existing transfers as the originals are now gone.

    Only a third-party intervention prevented Hallmark from also destroying all the original negatives of the Laurel and Hardy comedies; which they also owned. Those are now safely in the hands of the UCLA film archive and undergoing extensive restoration. (When you care enough…)

    Some Filmation series (including Star Trek, all the DC comics-based series, their versions of Tom & Jerry and Mighty Mouse, and probably Tarzan) were spared destruction by the fact that ownership of the films reverted back to the owners of the characters who starred in them.


  8. Pingback: Saturday Morning Cartoons #006 – Fat Albert And The Cosby Kids (1975 – 1982) « Durnmoose Movie Musings

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