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An Old ‘Cosby Show’ Secret Sauce Joke Seems Tasteless Today

A Season 7 episode of "The Cosby Show" features a joke about Dr. Huxtable, played by Bill Cosby, having a secret barbecue sauce that makes people want to have sex. At the end of the episode, Huxtable even suggests to his wife, Claire, that he has "a cup of it up on the night table" and that they should "go on up and have some sauce."

The implication is troubling after a 2005 deposition recently surfaced, in which the comedian admitted to purchasing quaaludes with the intent to give them to women with whom he wanted to have sex. 

In the 1990 episode, titled "The Last Barbecue," Huxtable's son-in-law, Elvin, is attempting to figure out what ingredients are in his father-in-law's secret sauce. Huxtable jokes with him about how Elvin will never figure it out.

Huxtable says almost nothing throughout the entire episode, even during an argument where his daughters and their husbands disagree on whether a stripper would be appropriate at a belated bachelor party for his daughter Denise's husband, Martin. The fighting continues until everyone starts eating at the barbecue. Huxtable speaks up only when Claire mentions that it was nice that the younger couples had figured out their arguments at the end of the barbecue by themselves.

Huxtable suggests that they didn't solve anything for themselves as "it's [his] barbecue sauce." Then, after remaining silent for the majority of the episode, Huxtable launches into a speech about the special powers of his sauce.

"Haven't you ever noticed after people have some of my barbecue sauce, after awhile when it kicks in they get all huggy-buggy?" said Huxtable. "I'm dead serious, haven't you after noticed that after one of my barbecues, and they have the sauce, people want to get right home?"

"Let me tell you something else," he continued. "I've got a cup of it up on the night table ... " It sounds as if Huxtable finishes the sentence by saying "that I'll give you," but with the loud laugh track over his voice, it's unclear.

In any case, Huxtable continues, "I've got a cup of it, I said. I left it up there breathing. Why don't you give the chicken to these people? Let's just go on up and have some sauce." Claire smiles and agrees to join him for the sauce and so the two run from the barbecue into the house. The focus is then put on the young Kenny -- a friend of one of Huxtable's daughters -- who is dipping some chicken deeply into the sauce while proclaiming his love for it. Huxtable then runs back in and stops the kid from eating the sauce.

The entire episode can currently seen on YouTube, but it's unclear how long it'll take for it to be scrubbed. 

To gain insight to the possible inspiration of the episode's central joke -- which seems tasteless given the less than wholesome accusations we now know against the comedian -- The Huffington Post reached out to episode co-writer Janet Leahy for comment. Of course, these allegations came to light nearly 15 years after this episode aired, so it is possible that this is just an unfortunate coincidence. The episode recently gained notice on Reddit and has since started to receive viral attention.

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