House of Cosbys was an animated cartoon about a Bill Cosby fan who creates a cloning machine to clone a series of Cosbys, each with a different personality.
There were four episodes made by Justin Roiland, each about five minutes. An unofficial fifth episode was also made.
It was first aired on the internet television channel Channel 101, and was the first of Channel 101's programs to spend three consecutive months at number 1.
The theme song is done in a mostly shouting tone, the words are "He was a Cosby fan at heart it's clear. He searched and found a Cosby hair. He spent 10 long years and built a cloning machine! And now he's accomplished his wonderful dream -- to make a house of Cosbys. It's a House of Cosbys...."
You see, Theo, each Cosby is getting worse than the last, you see.
The cartoon features main character Mitchell Reynolds (voiced by Jeff Davis) who invents a cloning machine in order to create his own personal Bill Cosby to entertain him. He then begins cloning several more Cosbys to help him around the house, much like in the plot of the 1996 film Multiplicity. However, the quality of the clones seems to deteriorate as the process is repeated, and he decides to stop using the machine, but when one of the clones subversively activates it, he discovers that every tenth Cosby he clones has super powers. At the suggestion of Data Analysis Cosby (the first super-powered Cosby) they decide to continue cloning Cosbys so that their super powers can be used to help the world.
At the end of every episode scenes from the next episode are shown. However, these scenes are never actually shown in the next episode.
The following is a list of the Cosby clones. It is uncertain whether more than 100 clones were created.
|Number||Name||Voiced by||Powers/Notable Traits|
|1||Original Cosby||Rob Schrab||Was the first Cosby clone. Closest to the real Bill Cosby in personality and physical attributes.|
|2||House Keeping Cosby||Steve Agee||An excellent duster.|
|3||Moral Support Cosby||Rob Schrab||Treats Mitchell as his son.|
|4||Tattle Tale Cosby||Scott Chernoff||Tattle Tales on others.|
|5||Dancing Cosby||Bennet Webber||Dances all the time.|
|6||Bath Tub Cosby||Scott Chernoff||Always is seen taking a bath.|
|7||Useless Cosby||Chester Tam||Does nothing but stand around.|
|8||Curiosity Cosby||Justin Roiland||His curiosity often gets the Cosbys into trouble, such as when he finds and reveals the cloner plans to Evil Cosby, who then murders him as seen at the end of episode 3.|
|9||Buck Naked Cosby||Abed Gheith||He plays with fire, you see.|
|10||Data Analysis Cosby||Justin Roiland||Super-intelligence and data analysis. Voice is off sync with his mouth movements.|
|11||Watermelon Cosby||(not shown)||Eats watermelon. It tastes good, you see|
|20||Carpentry Cosby||none||The ability to create amazing feats of carpentry, as he built the additional barracks and probably most of the buildings in the training facillity.|
|30||Weapons Cosby||none||His super power would appear to be the production and use of weapons, particularly guns.|
|40||Country Music Cosby||none||His super power is being a good Country music player.|
|47||Mood Swing Cosby||Tim Heidecker||Taking out the Garbage. This Cosby is believed to be deceased. He attempts suicide in episode 2 because he feels useless. He ties a noose around his neck while standing on a chair. After being talked out of it by Preacher Cosby, he accidentally falls off the chair and hangs himself. He is never seen again.|
|50||BC-D2||Abed Gheith||A parody of R2-D2, he is a small, apparently cyborg Cosby who follows Data Analysis Cosby around and communicates by a series of "blips" and "bloo"s.|
|60||Cosbyette||Stephanie Bilberry||Her most obvious super power is the fact that she is female (with a well proportioned body) but she has also exhibited psychic powers (sensing trouble in the compound)|
|61||Preacher Cosby||Justin Roiland||Provides spiritual comfort, for example talking one out of suicide.|
|70||Toothpaste Cosby||Andy Samberg||One of the members of Cosby Team Triosby, he has the power to turn into Toothpaste and seep through small gaps, or make things trip.|
|80||Frequency Cosby||Jorma Taccone||One of the members of Cosby Team Triosby, he can absorb TV and Radio waves and turn them into harmful electric blasts.|
|85||April Fool's Cosby||Bennett Webber||The power to play excellent April Fools jokes, Dwayne Wayne.|
|90||Humming Bird Cosby||Akiva Schaffer||One of the members of Cosby Team Triosby, he can fly and hover like a humming bird, and also create small explosives in his stomach which he can then defecate on land-based targets.|
|100||Evil Cosby||Abed Gheith||His super powers are unknown, although being "evil" would appear to be one of them.|
|Number||Name||Voiced by||Super Powers|
Cease and desist Edit
Dear sirs, we are counsel for Mr. William H Cosby, Jr. We have just learned that you offer a deeply offensive animated film that you created, entitled "House of Cosbys". [...] As you are certainly aware, none of you are licensed or in any way authorized to use Mr. Cosby's voice, name, or likeness. [...] Therefore, we demand that you immediately cease and desist from any use of our client's name, voice, and likeness, including the development and distribution of the "House of Cosbys" series.
Very truly yours,
John P. Schmitt 
One of the issues under contention is whether House of Cosbys is covered under the fair use, as parody. Supporters point out that many TV shows like Family Guy and The Simpsons have used Cosby's likeness, and have not been sued. However, there also is the factor that HoC also used risque subject matter not in accordance with Cosby's character and comedy.
The legal questions ground HOC's intensive animation process to a halt and House of Cosbys became Channel 101's first show to be killed not by the audience or by its own creator, but by lawyers. An unofficial fifth episode was created for the live screening by Chris Romano and Eric Falconer. However, due to genunine legal concerns the unofficial Fifth episode is not available to view or download at the Channel 101 website.
- ↑ Episode 5
- The Episodes and Statement on Cease and Desist order at Channel 101.
- Waxy.org's refusal to take down House of Cosbys, claiming fair use, despite a cease and Desist Letter.
- New York Times article about the cease and desist letter (note: requires login)
- The kings of dot-comedy, The Guardian.
- House of Cosbys at Wikipedia.