The first appearance of Fat Albert- itself the first animated TV program with an all-black cast.
Characters developed from the early standup routines of Bill Cosby, based on his childhood in North Philadelphia.
This TV special looked entirely different from the ensuing CBS series "Fat Albert and The Cosby Kids."
"The first bunch that I designed were a little rough-looking, because I went back to my background. I'm from Detroit. The neighborhood kids were a little bit rougher," animator Ken Mundie recalled.
However, Cosby disliked the design. Said Mundie: "He didn't want that. He wanted them to be more a fun bunch of kids."
As designed by Mundie, the original Fat Albert was really fat, shaped like a giant pear.
Mundie and six 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."
Hey, Hey, Hey, It's Fat Albert Production Information
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