Traumafessions :: The Warfreak of Olympic Artichoke on The Cosby Show ep. “Cliff’s Nightmare”

I must confess something to you. I was scared of an episode of THE COSBY SHOW. That’s right. THE COSBY SHOW.

In 1990 I was a mere six years old, and I had a very active imagination. I had a fondness in my heart for THE MUPPETS and THE MUPPET BABIES because they were shows that actively sought to tap in to the creativity of the children watching the show. I also liked to watch my share of prime time programming including, but not limited to, THE COSBY SHOW.

Where is the connection between the two, you ask? Well in 1990 an episode of THE COSBY SHOW entitled “Cliff’s Nightmare” aired. In the episode Cliff returns home from a long night at the hospital and eats a sandwich that has gone bad – in spite of Claire’s warnings. After he falls asleep, Cliff is the victim of a truly bizarre nightmare that absolutely freaked me out. In the dream, Cliff winds up serving under Theo in the Navy, sees his daughter form a time-traveling jazz combo with Olivia, Clair gets caught in a tornado, he’s dragged around by THE MUPPETSSweetums and Doglion, and then his sandwich comes to life and literally disagrees with him. Gonzo, Waldorf, and a few other MUPPETS were featured as well.

I’m not sure exactly what it was that got to me. Maybe it was the fact that THE COSBY SHOW was so utterly not fantastical in any way and to see the disruption that came from my beloved MUPPETS storming a world of normalcy was too much for me to handle. It was freaky for me to see a figure of stability like Cliff Huxtable be brought to his figurative knees by a fantastic and imaginary world – and especially one that I loved dearly. Whatever it was it has stayed with me to this day. I’ve not seen the episode since, but I vividly remember it and start to fret a little bit when I think of it.

The Warfreak

UNK SEZ:: Thanks warfreak and thanks for filling me in on something else I somehow missed, “Halloween Chicken McNugget Buddies” via your super cool website THE OLYMPIC ARTICHOKE!

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12 years ago

As much of a fan of the Cosby Show as I am, I totally forgot about that scary surgeon!  Great pic to use from this episode.

12 years ago

That’s Digit from “The Jim Henson Hour”, who was a cross between Rev. Jim from Taxi and David Byrne according to his muppeteer Dave Golez.
And yes, the show did freak me out too…but I couldn’t get past the halfway point of it. I love the Muppets, but this was just something that a lot of us didn’t see coming.

12 years ago

The surgeon was just plain creepy! And I remember having a little plastic nugget with a ghost costume could put over it when I was a kid. Wow, what a time warp! I wish I knew where that went, I lost it years ago.