Jamming on the one
Suspension of reality is a prerequisite for consuming and enjoying popular culture.
I just have question: Why the h*ll did Stevie Wonder have to teach the lyrics to “I Just Called To Say I Love You” to Claire Huxtable?
“The Cosby Show” pushed the outer limits of belief and practicability throughout its storied and renowned eight seasons of provincial, upper-class African American family fun.
What I can’t get over is Claire not knowing the lyrics to Lil’ Stevie Wonder’s most popular turd.
In “A Touch of Wonder,” (season two, episode 18), 15-year-old Theo Huxtable and 17-year-old Denise Huxtable are en route to pick up their younger sister, Vanessa, at the library after school.
There is a wreck. Unable to brake in time, a limousine transporting the prodigious Wonder slams into the Huxtable’s car. No word on whether Wonder or the limousine company had the appropriate insurance and by Cliff’s account of the damage “the fender is wrapped around the muffler through the back window.” I do not think the car was totaled, nor is it detailed Wonder’s deductible. I guess it would be the Huxtable deductible.
The next day, the Huxtable phone rings. It is Steve Wonder inviting the entire Huxtable family to the recording studio. Naturally, Theo and Denise rise from their sitting positions and dance with delight at the idea of meeting and watching the hitmaker ply his craft. With the children out of sight, Claire, too, jumps up with delight, hugging Cliff in exultation with the news.
The trip to the recording studio is a disaster. Cliff has to leave immediately to deliver a baby. Wonder ridicules the entire family for their formality and nervousness. The sexual tension between Claire and Wonder was electric (he was clearly sunglass-f**king her). And Wonder then threw it everyone’s faces just how blind he really is (as Rudy presents him with a paper giraffe, “Might need some help with this one,” when guessing what it is … we know, Stevie).
Mid-session, Wonder invites the family to help record by mixing and mashing bits of their own speech into a ragtag, quasi-hip hop noise that would have passed for a B-side for Wonder at the time.
He gets Claire to sing “I Just Called To Say I Love You,” and he is forced to feed the lyrics to you. Now, we’ve covered that the children are fans of Wonder and Claire, judging by her reaction, is a fan as well.
So, how the f**k does she not know the lyrics to “I Just Called To Say I Love you?”
The song was released on The Woman in Red album in 1984. It went No. 1 in 16 countries including three different Billboard charts, including “Hot Black Singles.” If that doesn’t scream “Huxtable,” I don’t know what does.
Also note, “A Touch of Wonder” came out in 1986. That’s two f**king years after “I Just Called To Say I Love You” played every six minutes on every radio station in the world and Claire Huxtable doesn’t know the lyrics?
It is insulting to the viewer, Wonder and even Claire Huxtable as a television character to not know those lyrics.
It just makes you wonder if it’s better to burn out or to fade away.
For your viewing pleasure:
This Clip has a few naughty words in it, such is Mad Dad’s way! (NSFW)
(Thanks Mad Dad!)