Fat Albert and The Cosby Kids was a long-standing Saturday morning cartoon that featured a group of Black adolescents growing up in a Philadelphia neighborhood. It had various “show-within-a-show” elements throughout its production run, and one of those elements was a segment called The Brown Hornet, which first appeared on September 1, 1979 when the series itself was re-titled The New Fat Albert Show.

The Brown Hornet – a parody of old radio hero The Green Hornet – was the fifth Black male superhero to appear in a Saturday morning cartoon series. The Brown Hornet character was originally presented by Bill Cosby in a syndicated radio series in the 1970‘s that directly parodied the old program. The character was re-written as a space superhero.

The Brown Hornet was a favorite TV program of Fat Albert and the gang, and the kids would race to the television in their junkyard clubhouse whenever the latest installment aired. The self-titled show was about a confident and daring, space-age Black superhero who patrolled intergalactic space with his trusty assistant Stinger and robotic sidekick Tweeterbell, to search out and fight evildoers. Episodes were presented in the same manner as old movie serials, which ended with Brown Hornet facing some perilous cliffhanger he would be forced to overcome at the beginning of the next episode. Apart from being entertaining, the Brown Hornet’s exploits served as a moral underpinning to whatever dilemma was confronting the Cosby kids during that week’s episode.

The following Original Production cels and drawings from the Brown Hornet cartoon are a part of The Museum Of UnCut Funk Black Animation Collection.

© © Comcast-NBCUniversal: The Brown Hornet, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids

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