1 9 9 6 – 2 0 0 0 (USA)
95 x 30 minute episodes
Hilton Lucas (Bill Cosby) is married to Ruth (Phylicia Rashad) and the father of Erica (T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh). The Lucas family live at 1559 Blake Street in Queens, New York.
Episodes followed the events in Hilton’s life after he is laid off (due to downsizing) after 30 years on the job as a baggage handler for National West Airlines.
Hilton is not a man who can sit around and do nothing. He has been active all his life and he still needs to be active, so he does whatever he can to keep busy. Meddling in his wife’s affairs is one of those things . . .
Ruth and her best friend, Pauline Fox (Madeline Kahn), operate the Flower Café across the street from her home (it is later a coffee shop/book store) and Hilton helps when he can. He also enjoys a drink at the Steinway Pub.
Madeline Kahn died in 1999 and a special episode was devoted to her, where the entire cast talked about her and her character. Selected clips of Madeline’s character on the show were also played, including a famous scene where she talks to Hilton about death.
Erica was a law student and then a lawyer with the firm of Muldrew and Renwick. She quit to become a flight attendant for National West, eventually giving this up also to become a teacher.
Erica’s friend, Griffin Vesey (Doug E. Doug), is a sound engineer turned teacher at the Ralph Bunche Middle School. He is also a man without a home since Erica burnt his home to the ground while practising her cooking. He now resides with Bill and Ruth.
While Hilton struggles to adjust to life without work he finds himself sharing small talk with Jurnee (Jurnee Smollett), the neighbourhood girl who befriends Ruth and Hilton.
Doug E. Doug
T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh