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March 27, 2009 11:58 AM   Subscribe

Creator of the Cosby sweater acknowledges they're possibly the most horrible things you've ever seen.

Please note: if you are a woman who bought a jacket from him a while ago, his cat may have died on the fabric. Just FYI.
posted by miss lynnster (38 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is it wrong that I immediately clicked on the Sasha Grey link?
posted by leotrotsky at 12:09 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm Dancing Cosby.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 12:12 PM on March 27, 2009


That was great. What a wonderful old-young soul.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:14 PM on March 27, 2009


And plus, the women in Holland are cows. I wonder if he looked any different at the point when he formed that opinion.
posted by XMLicious at 12:15 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


But the tight ones look so good on Cosbyette.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:18 PM on March 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


In case you're wondering, the first google link for "Cosby sweaters" is for the Urban Dictionary entry. I'm guessing that's probably NOT what's in these videos ...
posted by joe vrrr at 12:21 PM on March 27, 2009


I hate videos.
posted by small_ruminant at 12:27 PM on March 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


In case you're wondering, the first google link for "Cosby sweaters" is for the Urban Dictionary entry.

I had a feeling the link was to something sexual, but I was thinking that Coby Sweater might be a euphemism for a badly scarred foreskin. or something.
posted by jonmc at 12:34 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Amazing how they could be simultaneously iconic and hideous.
posted by tommasz at 12:40 PM on March 27, 2009


I hate videos.

You must have a horrible time reading metafilter then, what with its occasional video content.
posted by miss lynnster at 12:44 PM on March 27, 2009


No, wait; what's that about Clay Aiken, again?
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 12:55 PM on March 27, 2009


But, when you cut them up and make pillows, they can be quite nifty. I'm sure orange swan has a post about how to make pillows out of old sweaters somewhere....
posted by mightshould at 12:57 PM on March 27, 2009


I watched all three parts. Wonderful stuff. If I can just add, I'm not blind, but I never saw a single episode of the Cosby show. I clicked because of the cat.

In part 2 Koos talks about his current designs with ribbon that look like lines of Arabic script. "It looks like, again, those countries where we have trouble...where everything is beautiful really."

Fantastic! Thanks miss lynster!
posted by subatomiczoo at 1:04 PM on March 27, 2009


I hate videos.

<><
posted by kolophon at 1:05 PM on March 27, 2009


There are few things in this world I love as much as a good Cosby impression. Except maybe a bad Cosby impression.

Fortunately for me, my 20-month-old son and his 10-word vocabulary spends most of the day going BLIZZUM FLIZZUM FLAZZUM D'AWWW FLIZZUM FLARN FLARN FILTH RUSSELL WE'LL SEE YOU NEXT WEEK WITH THE PUDDING.

I am only exaggerating somewhat.
posted by middleclasstool at 1:14 PM on March 27, 2009 [7 favorites]


What the fuck is this?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:17 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]




When Bill Cosby went to NBC in the early 80's with his idea to do an all-black sitcom starring an all-black family, the network was concerned about how the show would be received. Crack had been making the headlines, rap was growing in popularity, and there was a concern that fear of black males might turn away too many white viewers. So NBC and Bill Cosby batted around some ideas to make the black male characters appear less threatening. One idea was to have them speak with British or French accents. Another idea was to have them all be gay. Finally, the "Cosby sweater" was chosen as the item to make black males appear non-threatening because it would have less of an effect on the humor content than things like accents or gender preference.
posted by flarbuse at 1:29 PM on March 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


@flarbuse: I'm to gather from this that there is quite possibly an alternate parallel universe that contains an all-French-accent Cosby Show?

This is the happiest Friday of my life. Everyone, if you'll humour me for just a moment... put down what you're doing and picture this in your head. Just let a few scenes play out. It's vastly happy-making.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 1:39 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


One idea was to have them speak with British or French accents. Another idea was to have them all be gay.

There's a difference?
posted by dersins at 1:51 PM on March 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


"I'm looking to gracefully make the transition from the bad boy of cooking to sort of the next Bill Cosby," Anthony Bourdain says, "I've been shopping for those funny sweaters. I just need the sweater, I think that's all that's missing."
posted by netbros at 2:12 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


So a true Cosby sweater is basically a jersey shirt with potholders and scraps and shit sewn onto it by a Dutch guy with bad eyesight in a tiny windowless room?

Makes sense. I'm glad I finally understand.
posted by longsleeves at 3:09 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I guess this is just another sign of my supreme uncoolness, but I loved Cosby sweaters then, and love them just as much now.
posted by marsha56 at 3:14 PM on March 27, 2009


And plus, the women in Holland are cows.

Cows or not, given the sartorial preferences of the Dutch male, it comes as no surprise whatsoever to me that it was a Dutchman who invented the Cosby Sweater.

I mean, what other nation besides the Netherlands could possibly sustain a chain of menswear stores calling itself Sissy Boy?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:54 PM on March 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


I mean, what other nation besides the Netherlands could possibly sustain a chain of menswear stores calling itself Sissy Boy?

It'd probably fly as a name here in Japan, actually.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:19 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


~ I guess this is just another sign of my supreme uncoolness, but I loved Cosby sweaters then, and love them just as much now.

No offense, but if you could just get me cash for Christmas, that would be great…
posted by paisley henosis at 4:34 PM on March 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


I always thought the Cosby sweater was in large part a conspicuous-consumption thing--I mean, a lot of those were Coogi and other couture brands, and so it's hard to ignore the aspirational element--the materialistic equivalent of the college sweatshirts that made up the rest of Dr. Cosby's teevee wardrobe.
posted by box at 5:36 PM on March 27, 2009


Before there was The Cosby SweaterTM, Cosby was already wearing sweaters that looked, well, goofy. But on the subject of early Cosby, I'm going to reprint portions of some MeMail I got just recently from my buddy lelillo...

Hard to remember sometimes that Bill Cosby wasn't always like he is today. (I saw him do a college gig in February 1967, and he really made me laugh.)

This clip from 36 years ago, which I just wandered across, also cracked me up:

check it out.

I thought you might appreciate it too.


And indeed I did, even though it was a little hard seeing Cosby dressed in that white pullover. He should've dressed cooler than that.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:43 PM on March 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


This guy's work must've been crucial in the episode where Theo wants a Gordon Gartrelle shirt but doesn't have the cash so he hires Denise to make him one on the cheap.

God, I watched the hell out of that show.
posted by zardoz at 6:08 PM on March 27, 2009


This is a joy: not the sweaters, which I never really liked, but the happy futziness of the whole ethos. He's a contended man, puttering about with a bunch of rather frowsy people in a cluttered room, making Cool Stuff. He's also an icon, although he's not as big a name now as he was in the 80's -- but still, Koos was and is one of those labels to reckon with .

Behind all the piss-elegant nonsense of fashion branding, that's really what design is. And he's quite an enjoyable fellow to listen to.
posted by jrochest at 6:15 PM on March 27, 2009


Koos would probably hate that I find him, and his tattoo, absolutely adorable.
posted by squasha at 6:26 PM on March 27, 2009


Well, my Cosby sweater is the fucking hype junx y'all.

(Note: did not buy it, recovered it from an abandoned room. Coogi brand. Unknown value.)
posted by fuq at 7:56 PM on March 27, 2009


Oh oh oh god you guys. I just came up with the perfect name should I ever have to create a false identity.

May I introduce you to...Dr. Cosby Sweaters, M.D.
posted by 235w103 at 8:18 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow. I want to be next to Koos at a dinner party. I'm actually a little surprised how much better the real Cosby sweaters are than all the nasty fake Cosby sweaters that were spawned as a result. I mean I still hate the real ones but they're much better than I remember them. But yeah, a foul-mouthed tattooed Dutch teddy bear was not what I was expecting either.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 9:32 PM on March 27, 2009


Dr. Cosby's sweaters always looked to me like this song sounded.
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:34 PM on March 27, 2009




My dad owned and wore several Cosby sweaters. He probably still has them. I still tease him about it occasionally.

The sweaters were nothing, though, compared to another Cosby Show-related event in his life: our neighbors when I was a kid were a black family with four daughters. The oldest was my babysitter when I was in 1st-2nd grade. My dad once accidentally called her mother "Claire" (as in "Claire Huxtable"), as he often did jokingly when not actually speaking to her face-to-face. Luckily for him, she thought it was funny.
posted by DecemberBoy at 2:10 AM on March 28, 2009


The sweaters are pretty excusable compared to Vanessa Huxtable's asymmetrical 'fro. God. That was TV's dumbest haircut ever.
posted by orange swan at 2:25 PM on March 28, 2009


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