Cliff Notes

Today, the Web teaches us that the garments we once thought of as “Cosby sweaters” are at once more and less than that. That’s not to say that Bill Cosby didn’t wear colorful sweaters every week on The Cosby Show—he did, oh mais oui, he did. And it’s not to say that those sweaters aren’t worthy of their own taxonomic rank, probably between genus and species. No, my arguments are these: They should be called “Cliff sweaters,” because it was Cosby’s Cliff Huxtable character who wore them and not the comic himself; and Cliff wasn’t the only character on the show who wore those iconic garments. The Cosby Sweater Project, a visual encyclopedia of Cliff sweaters that includes pencil sketches of the sweater patterns next to photos from the series, proves that nearly everyone on the show wore those sweaters—yes, even Lisa Bonet. This site also demon- strates the need for a museum devoted to Cliff sweaters—not only for their historical value, but also for their artistic qualities. When you consider the sweaters solely as wearable paintings, some of them actually look quite nice.

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Stanback gets back on track as Rebels roll

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