After the revelation of Bill Cosby’s horrifying sexual assault history and details surfacing of the 2005 deposition wherein the 78-year-old comedian admitted to obtaining quaaludes to give to women that he wanted to have sex with, his well-loved family sitcom, The Cosby Show, is now looked back at in a different way. A 1990 episode about a barbecue sauce having a drug-like effect on the women of Cosby’s TV family can now be perceived as disturbing, when at the time of its airing, was probably not thought of as anything sinister.
The seventh season episode, titled “The Last Barbecue” has Cosby’s character, Cliff Huxtable, hosting a barbecue for his family. Elvin, the husband of Cliff’s daughter Sondra, tries to figure out the secret ingredients in his father-in-law’s famous barbecue sauce. Later, the Huxtable daughters and their husbands argue over whether a stripper should be present at an upcoming bachelor party for Denise’s husband. The bickering ends when they start eating the barbecue.
Huxtable suggests that they didn’t solve anything for themselves as “it’s [his] barbecue sauce.” Then, after remaining silent for the majority of the episode, Huxtable launches into a speech about the special powers of his sauce. “Haven’t you ever noticed after people have some of my barbecue sauce, after a while when it kicks in they get all huggy-buggy?” said Huxtable. “I’m dead serious, haven’t you noticed that after one of my barbecues, and they have the sauce, people want to get right home?”
“Let me tell you something else,” he continued. “I’ve got a cup of it up on the night table … “ It sounds as if Huxtable finishes the sentence by saying “that I’ll give you,” but with the loud laugh track over his voice, it’s unclear. In any case, Huxtable continues, “I’ve got a cup of it, I said. I left it up there breathing. Why don’t you give the chicken to these people? Let’s just go on up and have some sauce.”
The questionable scene starts at about 19:15. The Huffington Post also reached out to Janet Leahy, the episode’s co-writer for comment, but doesn’t appear to have yet received a response. Several networks, including TV Land, Bounce TV and BET’s Centric have pulled the series from their schedules since the allegations against Cosby have come out.