Everyone’s Doing the Bedrock Twitch!
Fred Flintstone turns rock-n-roller, George Jefferson gets disco fever, and we meet Theo Huxtable’s friend Cockroach.
Classic TV on Today: Sunday, March 19
All Times Eastern.
The Flintstones: “The Twitch”
This famous episode from the classic animated sitcom’s third season, which first aired Oct. 12, 1962, pokes a little fun at “The Twist” and other song-and-dance crazes of the late 1950s and early ’60s. Fred (voice of Alan Reed) manages to land pop star Rock Roll (Hal Smith) to perform at Wilma’s (Jean Vander Pyl) fundraiser. But when Rock comes down with laryngitis and can’t perform, Fred must don the singer’s wig, get on stage and lip-sync to his favorite song, the pretty catchy “Bedrock Twitch” — even if pal Barney (Mel Blanc) has to force him onto the stage.
The episode was written by Joanna Lee, who also wrote several other Flintstones episodes, including the Season 6 installment that introduced the Great Gazoo. “The Twitch” has remained so beloved that it was re-created in the 1994 live-action Flintstones film (performed at “Cavern on the Green” by The B-52’s as “The BC-52’s”).
The Jeffersons: “Every Night Fever”
Antenna TV, 1:30pm
Most TV series in the late 1970s seemed obligated to feature at least one disco-themed episode, and long-running sitcom The Jeffersons was no exception. In this hilarious Season 5 episode — which first aired on CBS March 28, 1979, but lives on in reruns, and in memes and GIFs — Louise’s (Isabel Sanford) plan to spend more time with George (Sherman Hemsley) backfires when he catches disco fever and goes out dancing every night.
The Cosby Show: “Theo and Cockroach”
TV One, 6:30pm
Carl Anthony Payne II (billed as Carl Payne) made his first appearance as Theo’s (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) friend Walter “Cockroach” Bradley in this Season 2 episode of the sitcom that first aired on NBC Jan. 30, 1986. Theo and Cockroach come up with a plan to pass their upcoming test on Shakespeare’s Macbeth by renting a recording of the play instead of reading it, which backfires. They are then helped with the use of the CliffsNotes-like “Cleveland Notes.” (Voicing Macbeth on the recording is Earle Hyman, the noted Shakespearean actor who also played Cliff’s father, Russell Huxtable, on the series.) This episode was the first in which costar Phylicia Ayers-Allen was billed with her new professional name of Phylicia Rashad, to which she changed following her marriage to Ahmad Rashad.