Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Quest For Claire Huxtable

Does the title not say it all? Are there any black guys who don't immediately know what I'm talking about? Are there any people who are unfamiliar with this aspect of the post-80s human condition?

If you're of the Huxtable generation -- which I'd say is anyone who tuned in when The Cosby Show reigned over the earth -- then you know the power of Claire. A few years ago, she was voted best tv mom (not a great picture there, but we know that second chin is made of love.)

There are middle-aged white mothers having nightmares about her gold standard.

And every night millions of TANs go to bed dreaming they will someday run into their own.

Here's how I came upon the Claire Huxtable epiphany:

After dating a string of caucasian ladies through this very site, I started seeing a black girl. And quite frankly, it opened up a whole can of whoop-ass on my dome. After years of reprogramming in prep school and college, I didn't realize how out of touch I was with the delicious taboo of black-on-black crime love like. (Plus the girl was going to Harvard for grad school, so I could imagine her becoming a Doctor or Lawyer, and I could be a, um, Prolific Blogger. And she'd buy me a laptop for Xmas. And I'd buy her Monopoly and teach her a valuable lesson about economics and savings. On my blog. It would be perfect!)

Soon everywhere I looked I was seeing little Rudys and Theos walking around being bratty and dealing with very solvable life issues. I purchased a three-cushion sofa and conducted all my affairs on it, or in the kitchen. And I even made her some of TAN's Special Homemade Chili. But alas, the theme song never played.

I've since acquired some perspective, and reverted back to my ritual of weekly sacrifice to the gods of white women for date prospecting (every Sunday I prick my finger and feed the blood to a Coach bag that lives in my closet). And while I still cling to Claire, being of a different race isn't a dealbreaker for me (little Lisa Bonets running around can work also). I might equate intra-racial dating with a Tivo level of importance. It can play a big role in my life, but it's not what I would call an "apocalyptic-necessity." It's a nice luxury item. It can make things easier. It brings a certain sense of smoothness and efficiency. There's less to think about. But you certainly don't NEED it.

(although many folks swear by their tivo, soooo, I guess that works also...)

This is all to say that the links above, and my own story make a case that Claire Huxtable, the perfect professional black woman, transcends race. And maybe white (or other non-black) guys quest for her as well? I know we don't want to give her up, but I honestly can't think of a more iconic wife/mother-figure for any race.

It may be that Mrs. Huxtable also transcends generations. There aren't any contemporary Claire Huxtables out there. What mother is hot right now? Carmela Soprano? In the "best tv-mom" contest that Claire won, Marge Simpson came in third. And as far as the strong-black-woman type, they either have too much focus on their career, or too much forehead ... or both!

So if she transcends everything, I wonder: Is Claire Huxtable a ghost? Should I give up the dream? Is she dead? Like God? And hip hop? Must all our heroes perish never to be born again?

(maybe she died and was reborn as Rudy?? That would be hot!)

Where are you Claire? I need you to shush me. And to snatch those fattening hoagies out of my mouth. And to raise our children with sound morals and integrity. And to raise your eyebrow in that PG13-sexy kind of way.

Where are you? Are you out on the town right now, dancing to Umbrella? I can't imagine it, but maybe ... be ... be?

Well if you're out there, Claire, please come quick. This chili is getting cold, and they don't take Monopoly money at the corner bodega.

Claire Huxtable T-Shirts? [I Want A Claire Huxtable]
Or Here? [Shad myspace]


  1. That shirt is so hilarious and clever. Mrs. Huxtable was so great, I don't know why someone didn't think of it sooner.

  2. Anonymous6/27/2007

    TAN, sweetie, if you were any more transparent we'd have to call you SARAN instead of TAN. "Dealbreaker"? Apparently for you it's the "dealmaker", not that there's anything wrong with that.

    Doll, it's not about race but you seem to be using that as a shortcut to some attributes you think either only exist in a fictional character, or are somehow connected to a woman's melanin level. You might want to look into the concept of reaction formation and find out what it is you're running away from versus running to.

    Likewise, I consider Batman to be the ideal man. All that black leather, the cape and the mask, and the cool car just turn me on. Plus the guy can take care of business without any silly superhuman powers. But, I'm hardly Vicky Vale. Back to reality.

    Thanks, this morning I learned something I did not know: Coach bags are a White woman's totem. Who knew? I thought it was Dooney & Burke.

    Konichiwa bitches.

  3. latisha6/27/2007

    Why is it "white ladies" and "Black girls"?

    Black boys and White men/gentlemen?

  4. Ouch! Ouch! I won't bother to try to pull any unconscious material or symbolism from your blog. (I'm certain you do/have done/will do that yourself.) I will say that it was a well-written description of what you and a lot of folks feel for Mrs. Huxtable.

  5. Claire is out there some where but think about it, what would you do with her if you find her and certainly what would she do with you?

    Things that make you go hmmmmm....

    Good luck on your quest!

    Stay peace

  6. Good post. A friend of mine and I have been joking about the search for a Claire Huxtable for years. Alas, perhaps they just don't make 'em like they used to.

    Maybe there's a level of disappointment that should be expected when a fictional character is set as the gold standard. At that point, you're idealizing the ideal. Then again, the ideal of Claire isn't unattainable. It's not like we're looking for women who shoot lasers out of their eyes.

    I also agree with the sentiment that the ideal transcends race. Case in point, honorable mention: Annie Camden from 7th Heaven

  7. I remember the first episode of Blossom where Blossom gets her period and has no one to talk to because her mom is dead. And then she has a dream where Phylicia Rashad is her mother and, as a kid, I was so damn confused. But now I know: EVERYONE wants Phylicia Rashad to be their mom

  8. what I really want to know is where can I get one of those t-shirts? I'm tempted to make one of my own, but I want to support the designer... and I'm lazy.

  9. Anonymous6/27/2007

    Funny, most of the "Claire Huxtable's in training" that I know, including myself, are invovled with white men.

  10. I still watch this show on Nick at Night or that other one. Love it. My kids were teens during this show's first run, and the writers/actors nailed it. I don't know what it did for TANS, blacks or others, but for parents, it was universal truth and a life saver of laughs. And the clothes still look good. Superior actors all. Loved the son-in-law.

  11. Maybe in wife mode Claire would be a top pick, but as I've caught reruns of the show later in life and had the opportunity to see her as a sexual creature, it seems apparent that she has enough repressed female rage to break your dick off once you get her into bed.

  12. Anonymous6/27/2007

    Cliff Huxtable was not at all DILFy, so I cling to the hope of a Peter Lyman (Hugh Jackman in Scoop) except for that whole murderer part. He just looks so nice in a towel. There are no sexy black fathers on TV. Come to think of it, there are no sexy fathers. Just balding fat men with bad clothes married to hot chicks.

  13. Blah Blah Blah6/27/2007

    You know I rarely (if ever) take exception with you... 'cause...well, you're TAN.
    However, me being a black woman...well a watered down version...meaning half black, would like to point out...
    Ummm, said... "After dating a string of caucasian ladies through this very site, I started seeing a black girl. Why are "they" ladies and "we" are girls?

    Ok...enough of that.

    Umm, I did a search...and best tv dads starts off with Homer Simpson...and the list doesn't get any better for us. At least you have an ideal...whereas I have a cartoon...grrrrreat...
    I think Claire is out there. Hell, I could be a Claire...ummm, if I applied myself...but a...I'm lazy and I sure as hell haven't found a Cliff I'd like to be down with.
    I think like attracts like... so... would stand to reason...maybe that's why you haven't found your "ideal". LOL


  14. kcorner LOVES claire huxtable and i find her EXTREMELY attractive... she's better than bill though, she shoulda left him.

  15. for the record, nothing intended with the "ladies/girls" references. Think I just wanted to not use the same word twice. Maybe I'll edit and reverse the references to stick it to the wo-man. but again, inadvertent.

    of course I will have to send an email to my subconscious and see if she has anything further to say on the matter.

  16. I'd marry Claire in a heart beat. Please Please don't tell my wife I like everything right where it is.


  17. i need a shirt that says "i want a...." wow. there are NO hot tv dads. whew this world we live in. nice post. glad you cleared up that whole ladies/girls thing. almost caused my blood pressure to rise. lol.

  18. hahaha I gotta get one of those shirts. GREAT find TAN.

  19. I am a white girl in my early twenties who loves The Cosby Show more than just about any other family sitcom ever. And for years I've firmly believed that not only were the Huxtables the best parents on television, but that they were superb parenting role models for real parents everywhere, regardless of class or race.

    Of course, in sitcomland everything gets cleanly solved in a half-hour, but that seems irrelevant with the Huxtables (unlike shows like Full House), because the way the parents handled issues was admirable and realistic, something all parents could and should aspire to.

    Searching for a fictional character, or the idea of her, in the real world certainly has its pitfalls, but as one of your readers points out, she's not shooting lasers out of her eyes, and her standard is not and shouldn't be unattainable.

    I love my mom, but in her absence would absolutely choose Claire Huxtable. And there's nothing wrong with a guy of any race wanting a woman who is intelligent, witty, educated, confident, a phenomenal mother, hot, cultured, and savvy.

  20. If you really want a Calie Huxtable go to it's a agency for the upper crust.. all professionals looking for love.

  21. I'll tell you what happened to Claire Huxtable. She had a freakin' nervous breakdown when she couldn't run her career, raise all the kids, clean the house AND make the chili while hubby's fat @ss sat on the sofa and conspired with the children. (At work they kept giving her grief about leaving early to go to soccer practice or Rudy's dance recitals, and that didn't help.)

    When she broke down, he left, probably to date some blonde chick. Theo got popped for hanging out in the projects at the wrong time and that set him up for a downhill slide, and Rudy went on to be stripper and then had a baby at 19.

    Claire went and got two tattoos and her nose pierced, became an artist and lived happily ever after.

  22. we're out there. you just have to find us. check this out:

  23. Funny. For all that I'm a black woman I never wanted to be Clair Huxtable. When I was in my teens I wanted to be Denise and now I'm somewhere between what Denise was after she married Martin (flighty and irresponsible but loving and real) and Roseanne (bitchy, mean and will fight a dog for a bone for her family but very loving and very real.)

    I always kind of equated Claire with that unattainable Leave-It-To-Beaver kind of mom.

  24. ^^^^^What the bear maiden said.

    Ugh. I'm so sick of the double standard. We are supposed to be Super Mom and sh*t - while the men fail to hold up their end of the deal.

    Heathcliff, Homer, Raymond, etc. A bunch of bumbling fools with attractive, intelligent and responsible women by their side putting up with there mess. We've been had, ladies.

  25. Hmm. Not black, but a Latina, and I get so much crap from my husband sometimes for being too concerned. I keep the house in order, make sure he takes care of himself, no kids, but when I cross that bridge, well, I'll fill those shoes. The thing in, as rare as this type of women may be, I find it equally hard to find a man that is appreciative of them.

  26. Saw her in "The Vagina Monologues" once; Sat in the front row; the women performing in the show were all barefoot and there she was, with her fine ass, sitting right in front of me, her feet about six feet away from my face. It was a glorious moment, until I looked at her feet. The bitch had "Hammertime" on her toes! Her feet were so jacked up, that I'm still traumatized to this day.

    Every time I watch the Cosby Show now, I can't help but to get a queasy feeling inside. Damn shame too.

    nuff said.

  27. There are many many present day claire huxtables out there, some are in training. I'm one of them in training and well on my way, but I'm taken already though (I hope he put a ring on my finger, or that somebody wonderful puts a ring on my finger). It's all about making the effort to find what you want and to get out there and get it with your best efforts. Trust me they are out there. Don't give up hope. It would be like giving up hope on there being any present day Heathcliff "Cliff" Huxtables out there. In which there are although they are quite hard to find since a lot of them do what you choose to do in the dating game. LOL It's all good though. The Clair's are keeping their options open to interacial dating too. :-)

  28. Does it help if we, the Cliff Huxtables, say we wish we could be Will Smith ?

  29. In my teens, I lived with my maternal grandparents, and our house was like the Huxtables - except my grandmother never worked, lol.

    If menfolks can look for their Claire, I can look for my Cliff. Good luck to all!


  30. Anonymous7/06/2007

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  31. what's the goooood word TAN!

    i run the "iwantaclairehuxtable" blog, and just got an order for a tshirt from a wonderful reader of ur blog, named domenique (what's good lady!!) haha...

    thanks so much for posting the picture of common in the claire huxtable shirt!... and mentioning shad (his web-link is

    i'd love to mail out a shirt to you. drop me an email:

    and if anybody else would like a shirt, they're $15+ shipping... we hand print them all the time, just email me to get in touch!

    big peace,

  32. I almost want to jack this post from you

  33. Wow, I never knew that men wanted a Claire Huxtable. Though it does make sense. I think I am more of an Annie Camden- more domestic, more sensitive, would love to put out a bunch of babies, and would totally dig being married to a hot reverend.

  34. I want to know where the Cliff Huxtables are!
    So many women (of all races) have graduate degrees, the ability to run a household, care for her children and her man, have success in a career and remain a sexual being. I live in a city with a ton of women friends (again of all races) and I watch them struggle in the dating world because the men just aren't pulling their weight.

  35. I'm a little younger than

  36. LOL, Good post.
    Though I find your site to be modern coonery, it is well written enough and thoroughly entertaining. Plus some says we may have been classmates. Hartford?

  37. Anonymous1/16/2008

    TAN if you want a Claire Huxtable, then you need to be Heathcliff, enough said.

  38. Anonymous3/14/2008

    ah, i want to know what amber fairweather said.

    but, uh, yeah, this was a fictional character for a reason.

  39. This is right on point TAN! I did a post about Claire Huxtable last year, and invariably when I check my Google Analytics, (, someone has arrived at my blog seeking "Claire Huxtable in pantyhose." Not just Claire Huxatble, but Claire Huxtable in pantyhose - maybe that explains the obsession

  40. Anonymous3/21/2008

    For all the ladies seeking an ideal tv husband, what about Mike Seaver from Growing Pains? Or maybe you wouldn't mind an imperfect husband like Tim Taylor on Home Improvement.

  41. Anonymous7/05/2008

    Where is Claire Huxtable, negroes please! As a kid in the 80's, I wanted to grow up and be just like her but all the black folks around me told me that-that was not realistic. Here am I anyway!

    Besides, most black men DO NOT appreciate or know how to treat a good woman like that. The first thing a man would do is call her out of her name or expect for her to be the "breadwinning caregiver" over the entire family while he took the back seat.

    Hey, I won't put it all on the black men. There are plenty of hood rattish hens who think being pregnant, 150% independent, and snapping their necks around is cute...classless chics who would try to talk down on a decent woman who carries herself like Mrs. Huxtable.

  42. very cool that you got to check out some bands you usually woudn’t. Win win situation.

  43. Geeeez, where's the 'wrap it up' box when you need it! Just say you like white women. No one is judging you! Well, possibly people are judging you, but so what!?

  44. Anonymous7/31/2011

    I've been saying this since I was 13. I even wrote a line about it in a song.

    I'd buy a T-shirt, but I found my Claire.


  45. Anonymous12/10/2011



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