There Is No Bill Cosby Santa Claus

The latest to revisit those infamous Jet covers: Family Guy.

Headshot of Richard Horgan

On the Dec. 11 episode of Family Guy (“How the Griffin Stole Christmas”), Santa Claus agrees that Peter is not the worst Santa. That honor, St. Nick reminds as he holds up an old issue of Jet magazine, belongs to Bill Cosby.

The cover on the left came out in December 1983. The one on the right, in December of 1985. Even as recently as December 2011, on NPR, the commingling of Cosby and the Yuletide season (on Christmas Day, no less!) was a joyous occasion. No more.

Once the accusations against Cosby resurfaced in 2014, the 1985 Jet cover became a meme. On Reddit, there are several joke threads with the set-up, ‘ What do Bill Cosby and Santa Claus have in common?’

When Cosby repeated as Jet’s favorite Santa Claus in 1985, as chosen by the magazine’s editors, he had won that year the NAACP’s prestigious Spingarn Medal. An award that was claimed in 2014 by Quincy Jones, in 2015 by Sidney Poitier and this year by retired judge Nathaniel R. Jones. Insert your own Reddit joke about the fact that in 2016, Cosby is no longer keeping up with the Jones.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Bill Cosby: Far From Thanksgiving

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.