Bill says this scene and the relationship between Cliff and Clair was intentional, but that he owes Phylicia Rashad the credit for bringing the role of Clair to life. "If there was ever an actress who should have gotten an Emmy for her work—nobody tied everything together like Phylicia Rashad."
Bill says Phylicia was the anchor in the Huxtable family and that the interaction between Clair and the kids was extremely important. When Malcom-Jamal tried out for Theo, Bill says he was told to go back and rethink how his character should interact with his mother. Phylicia, however, knew just how to react to the children. "The reason why Phylicia got the job as the mother was because of the way she cut a look to the children when they were wrong," Bill says. "And only mothers know that or children who have gotten that look."