9. Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (1972-1985)
Long before he was known as Cliff Huxtable, Bill Cosby was the creative genius behind the legendary animated series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. Loosely based on Cosby's experiences growing up in North Philadelphia, the Fat Albert character originated during a Cosby stand-up routine. After a primetime special entitled Hey, Hey, Hey, It's Fat Albert aired on NBC, the network wanted to build a series around the character, but was hesitant to bring it to Saturday mornings fearing it would be to education-heavy. Apparently, nothing's worse for children than learning. Eventually, Cosby took the series to CBS, where it reigned supreme on Saturday mornings beginning in 1972.
When no one else would, Fat Albert dealt with issues facing children in urban environments. Each of the characters—Fat Albert, Dumb Dumb Donald, Weird Harold, Russell, and Rudy—learned a lesson that was expressed through song every week. This, and Cosby's celebrity, helped the show last until 1985, making it one of the longest running Saturday morning cartoons ever. Aside from being one of the best animated shows ever, Fat Albert is one of the most iconic cartoon characters ever created.