Norman Lear: 'The Jeffersons' Was Better, Funnier Than 'The Cosby Show'

Norman Lear on Bill Cosby's mistake with The Cosby Show -Screen Shot-CNBC-H 2016
Courtesy of CNBC

"We got the humor in life far more than I think he [Bill Cosby] pontificated," says the veteran TV producer.

Norman Lear thinks his sitcom The Jeffersons is better than The Cosby Show, and he expounded on the reasons why in a recent interview with CNBC.

"I like more what we did with The Jeffersons for the 'moving on up' African-Americans, than Mr. [Bill] Cosby did with The Cosby Show," the veteran TV producer said in a segment from CNBC's show Binge.

"I preferred the way we handled things over the way he handled things, and I even think that now," Lear added with a chuckle.

When asked what, specifically, he preferred about his own show, Lear responded, "We got the humor in life far more than I think he pontificated."

Lear said he doesn't want to hit Cosby when he's "down," alluding to the many allegations of sexual assault recently leveled against the comedian, and that he thought The Cosby Show was "wonderful." "But I thought our show was wonderful plus," he added.

Lear said he felt that actor Sherman Hemsley was a "gift from the gods" and called him "one of the great clowns of the last century." He also shared a story of receiving a visit from the Black Panthers, who asked Lear to depict African-American characters with more successful jobs than the ones his characters on Good Times had.