Tag Archives: Totally 80’s

Elvin, the non-provider

This  NY Times article from 1988 discusses the (then) status quo of The Cosby Show and Bill’s star ability.  In some sort of 80’s double trifecta, the article manages to name-check Ted Danson, Tom Selleck and Michael J. Fox and Head of the Class, Murder, She Wrote and Magnum P.I. (which, for the record, has advertisements on the back of every bus in Phoenix [ Tuesdays at 3p.m.]). 

My favorite part of the article validates that Elvin and Sondra do, in fact, reside in a tenement building.  Which is terrible because Sondra has to stay home and take care of the twins all day in that crappy old apartment while Elvin completes his residency at Barbizon Hair Design and Medical School or somesuch place that will be of no help to him in securing more lucrative doctor jobs in the future.   And you just know that Cliff and Claire are dying to gain custody of the babies while having the opportunity to cite Elvin’s total inability to provide for his family and Sondra’ poor choice in men at a public civil hearing (before they tell her she’s grounded which means no phone privileges).   

I’m not sure if they end up in the tenement building before they decide not to go to graduate school and choose to instead open up a wilderness supply store or after when Elvin is forced to go to med school because he has those twins AND that crappy tenement apartment to help pay for.  I bet that wilderness supply store is Elvin’s stupid idea.  He is always such a male chauvinist, especially when he secretly beats up Sondra for not cooking his steak long enough or folding his clothes. I bet he yells a lot about how as a man, he knows best, and that means opening a wilderness supply store and oh, by the way, her job is sweeping the floor but not working numbers at the register because finances are a man’s job.  If I were her, I’d be too pissed to find a real job either. 

*Supposedly, they meet up at Princeton as undergrads.  Which is clearly Sondra’s mistake in finding Elvin (the learning impaired math wing janitor) erasing blackboard business calculus equations and believing he has been working out homework problems.


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