Hey, Hey, Hey, It's Fat Albert (rare Primetime animated special; 1969)


Hey, Hey, Hey, It's Fat Albert
A newspaper ad, showing The Cosby Kids in their original designs.
A newspaper ad, showing The Cosby Kids in their original designs.
Status Rare

Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids is an animated TV series which aired from September 9, 1972, to August 10, 1985. It has 114 episodes counting specials.

Before the series premiered, there was a primetime special called Hey, Hey, Hey, It's Fat Albert, which was shown on November 12, 1969, and aired on NBC. It was rebroadcasted twice, but presumably never saw a home release.

Plot

It follows The Cosby Kids performing stand-up sketches from Bill Cosby's routines, much like in the actual show.

The plot would have centered on Fat Albert being made fun of by his friends because of his weight, and so he distances himself from them. The other kids would then dispute an (American) football game against rivals, and Fat Albert would then arrive, using his weight to help his friends to win the game.

Production

Mundie and and a team of animators worked 18-hour days for six months to meet NBC's deadline. The animators drew directly onto cels with grease pencils, coloring each cel themselves. The cels were then photographed.

Live footage from Philadelphia was inserted as background. Said Filmation's Lou Scheimer: "It did not work. It was a strange-looking thing. And it did not have any of the values that we wanted to do ultimately in the show." While the series became popular, the special has not been released since.

Crew

Produced by: Harry J. Gittes

Executive Producers: Roy Silver, Bruce Campbell

Directed by: Ken Mundie

Animators: Bob Bachman, Dick Drew, Lil Evans, Bill Hajee, Amby Paliwoda, Len Rogers, Leo Sullivan, Stan Green

Writers: Ed. Wienberger, Jack Mendelson, Bill Cosby

Composed by: Herbie Hancock

Availability

The Paley Center for Media holds a copy of the special in their collection, and it is available for viewing at their locations in New York and Los Angeles.[1]

The only footage of the special that has publicly resurfaced is a blurry red-tinted clip from animator Leo Sullivan's collection. It seems it comes from near the end of the special, where Fat Albert arrives at a football game that his friends are playing against rivals, and so he is using his huge weight to dogpile the opponents.

UPDATE 03 May '17: YouTuber Pokemario99 uploaded a short clip of the special from the Paley Center for Media website.

UPDATE 15 Jun '17: LMW User CHICHI7 uploaded another short clip of the special from the 2016 documentary Floyd Norman: An Animated Life.

Gallery

Videos

15 seconds of footage. (Courtesy of CHICHI7).
Rare (bad quality) footage of the special. (Courtesy of Terrin Johnson).
More footage of the special from the Paley Center for Media website. (Courtesy of Pokemario99.)

External links

Comments


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Anonymous user #1

14 months ago
Score 1++

I've actually seen this one at the aforementioned Paley Center. It was showing in a theatre during an animation exhibit. Although I walked in halfway through, I can give some info on what I *did* see:

The Cosby Kids (minus Fat Albert) are watching a scary movie in a theatre and they're terrified and are comically trying to hide their eyes. As they leave, they all deny they were scared, and project their fears on Fat Albert, saying he would have been even more frightened. Albert, however, can hear them from his bedroom window and cries a bit at their harsh words.

The next morning, they are going to play football and need Fat Albert, who is obviously very good playing offense. Albert refuses them and claims to be moving (although this is most likely a bluff). The Cosby kids sadly leave and attempt to play the rival team themselves, without much luck. At the last minute, Fat Albert comes (drawn to look more obese than ever in a bizarre sight gag), and helps win the game.

I remember that even though I had hardly seen very much of the original show, the drawings were crude and surreal compared to the final product. It was actually a pretty cute cartoon, though.
avatar

Reynard

14 months ago
Score 0++
I saw a pencil test on a website, that actually showed even-fatter Albert rushing through rival football players.
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Anonymous user #2

14 months ago
Score 0++
Could someone please go to the Paley Center and record it.
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Dycaite

14 months ago
Score 0++
The last time I organised a viewing at the Paley Center (Attack of the Giant Vulture, for those curious) only two guys showed up (obviously I couldn't since I live on the other side of the world, heh). It's safe to say the folks from the Paley Center were none too impressed.
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Anonymous user #3

10 months ago
Score 0++
If the paley center has a copy should this really be considered lost? Rare seems more accurate to me.
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Anonymous user #4

8 months ago
Score 0++
There's actually a brief snippet on that special on Floyd Norman: An Animated Life documentary.
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Anonymous user #5

8 months ago
Score 0++
When was this article last edited. Is the clip from the Floyd documentary the one up above.
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Anonymous user #6

7 months ago
Score 0++
No, it has a brief snippet of the opening.
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Anonymous user #5

6 months ago
Score 0++
Should the article mention that the soundtrack is available online.
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Anonymous user #5

6 months ago
Score 0++
I'm sorry, I should've said some of the music is available online.
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Harvestman

4 months ago
Score 0++

On the topic of the soundtrack, much of the music from the special was performed by Herbie Hancock and released on his album "Fat Albert Rotunda". A single featuring the "Fat Albert Orchestra and Chorus" was released on Tetragrammaton Records and was reviewed in the April 13, 1968 issue of Billboard (available on Google Books). I'm not sure why they would mention the special - or release the record - seven months before it actually aired.

http://www.4...record/t1500
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Anonymous user #7

3 months ago
Score 0++
i remember watching this as a kid when it aired back in 69. i loved it. i have been searching for it all of my adult life , even trying to ask bill cosby via twitter, but to no avail. i'd do anything to see it again. I really hope some day mr cosby decides to release it on dvd.
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CHICHI7

1 months ago
Score 0++
UPDATE: Here is some footage of the special, which I found from a documentry about one of the animators who worked on the special: https://www....sBB9zug-k.
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AhHAivedoneit527

9 days ago
Score 0++
rare? huh
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