Sweater Competition: Ted Danson vs. Bill Cosby in the 80s

These days a lot of people take part in what’s called an ‘Ugly Sweater’ competition, which usually takes place in the winter when it gets colder and even more so around the holidays since ugly Christmas sweaters are all the rage at that time of year. It’s a strange pastime but it appears to entertain a lot of people. Of course, back in the 80s and even part of the 90s really sweater designs were pretty out there at times, and a lot of them looked more like carpet designs than something a person would actually wear. Take Ted Danson and Bill Cosby for instance, as their sweater game was on display now and again as they wore some truly funky designs that might have made some people dizzy considering how out there the designs really were. When deciding who wore it best though it’s kind of hard to say since both men really pulled off the look, especially since they wore their sweaters over collared shirts, which was the look at that time. To be fair it’s still a look that some guys and even gals can rock, though it’s not the most common style that one might see in this day and age. Back then however both of these men made a habit of keeping this style alive in a way that was almost impressive to watch.

In terms of who did it best though, well, it’d have to be a tie since really, both men made it work when they did it at all. It’s a hard look to mess up really, unless someone picks out a sweatshirt that belongs in the godawful pile that’s on sale and is continually stocked with some of the worst designs ever known to mankind. When talking about frequency however one could easily point to Cosby since his sweatshirt game was pretty strong and he appeared to wear the big, bulky sweatshirts a lot more often than Sam since the wisecracking, bartending ladies man tended to wear button-down shirts quite a bit or thin sweaters that didn’t feel as though they really qualified as sweatshirts. There’s a good reason for it too though, since anyone that’s ever tended bar could tell you that unless you’re working outside a bar can become a very warm place after a time since the number of people that come in to enjoy a drink only adds to the warmth, and behind the bar, if one is moving continuously and actually doing their job, the lighter clothing one can find is usually the better fit for such an environment. For women, sexist as this might sound, it’s even better since if they’re attractive and have a definite personality, a lot of male patrons are often more willing to tip better and drink more. I know that sounds sexist, but go to just about any bar that has a female bartender that’s good-looking and in shape and you’ll likely find that she makes pretty good to great tips.

With Cosby the sweatshirts felt like more of a personal style than anything that was really needed. Poor circulation could have facilitated the need for a sweatshirt so often, or it could have been that he was just a cold-blooded person, as it’s been called with some folks that get cold so easily. But the point is that his need to wear sweaters so often felt more like a personal choice than anything he really needed to do, kind of like someone wearing a ball cap out of personal habit rather than any real need to do so. His sweatshirt game was on most of the time since most of the designs he wore were kind of amazing, but to be real, they likely wouldn’t be considered so now. Back then though people just loved Cosby and his sweatshirts made him appear even more likable as they were a part of his personality and made the show a little better for one reason or another. Sam Malone wasn’t really known for his sweaters so much as he was known for his charm, wit, and his way around the bar. Between the two the ultimate winner of the sweatshirt competition has to go to Cosby simply because this was a big part of his character and something he was known for back in the day.

Sadly what he’s known for now is far less family friendly than anything that helped to build him up and make him a star. Ted Danson’s career has been continuing onward in its own way, but Cosby hit the bottom hard and as a result a lot of what he’s done in the past has been scrutinized in a very big way by anyone with the mind to do so. It’s not the 80s anymore, as is a little too obvious.

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