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Bill Cosby created this Filmation series, based on his boyhood in Philadelphia (and, more directly, on his Stand Up Comedy routines of the 1960s). Cosby also appeared on camera as a Narrator and performed some of the character voices, including Fat Albert himself. The show ran Saturday mornings on CBS from 1972 to 1984, followed by one additional season in first-run Syndication. In addition to a good income, Cosby also used this series to earn a Doctorate in Education, and become Dr. Cosby.
In every episode, Fat Albert and his inner-city gang became involved in some comic misadventure, either learning a moral lesson or demonstrating a lesson for someone else. As on The Archie Show, every Fat Albert episode included at least one song. In later seasons, Fat Albert and his friends followed the exploits of their favorite TV superhero, the Brown Hornet.
At Christmas 2004, Twentieth Century Fox released a live action Fat Albert Movie feature film starring Kenan Thompson  in which the cast of the Fat Albert cartoon step out of the TV to make a little girl's life better. It wasn't received well by critics or the box office.
- Acrofatic: Fat Albert is surprisingly agile for a person of his size, being able to run extremely quickly and jump very high.
- An Aesop
- Animated Series
- Author Avatar: Bill. Curiously, he was one of the most minor characters — you'd have never guessed he was based off of Cosby himself if not for the name.
- As well as the appearance, inflection, and voice actor.
- Board Game: The show had one, with cardboard tokens of the characters stuck in giant plastic sneaker feet.
- Butt Monkey: Rudy
- Catch Phrase: "Hey hey hey!"
- Christmas Special: Which somehow managed to combine the Yet Another Christmas Carol and Away in a Manger plots.
- There was also a Halloween Special, and an Easter Special to boot.
- Deadpan Snarker: All characters to an extent, but Weird Harold in particular.
- Everybody Do the Endless Loop
- Intergenerational Friendship: Mudfoot Brown, an elderly homeless man who often imparted sage advice to the gang.
- Limited Animation
- Limited Wardrobe
- Live Action Adaptation
- Living Crashpad: Fat Albert himself serves as one
- Long Runners: A 12 season run on Saturday morning network TV and syndication, albeit not always with new episodes each season, a great run for an educational series.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: In the Brown Hornet segments.
- Present Day Past: Kind of. Since the characters are supposed to represent figures from Bill Cosby's childhood (including his own youthful self), the show ought to be set in the late 1940s or early '50s. It sure looks, sounds and feels like The Seventies, though.
- Scare'Em Straight: One 1980s syndication episode dealt with a terrifying "Scared Straight"-style tour of a prison.
- Share Phrase: Members of the group will frequently say "No Class" in response to other members doing dumb things.
- Show Within a Show: The Brown Hornet (a parody of The Green Hornet) and Legal Eagle.
- Stock Footage
- Stout Strength: The title character
- Team Pet: The gang originally had a pet duck as seen in the Opening but he was dropped for some reason.
- Thematic Theme Tune: "Naa naa naa, gonna have a good tiiiime!"
- Token White: Margene, a friend and classmate of Fat Albert. In the 1980s version, there are many more characters.
- Trash Can Band
- The Unintelligible: Mushmouth is understandable, but just barely. Specifically, he speaks Ubbi Dubbi.
- The Dentist understood him perfectly.
- Wham! Episode: In one episode, Fat Albert befriends a Latino kid whose older brother is involved in a gang. The kid is later killed when he sees someone pull on gun on his brother and he pushes him out of the way, taking the bullet himself. The Scare'Em Straight episode also qualifies.