Bill Cosby

Erinn Cosby

How much would you pay for one of Bill Cosby’s old sweaters?

Say, $5,000?

Three of Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable’s distinctive Cosby Show sweaters are being auctioned off on eBay’s Giving Works charity listing, beginning June 2. Bids start at $5,000, and the proceeds will go to Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation, which Cosby established after the murder of his son, Ennis, in 1997.

It’s a good cause, but that’s a steep price for an old sweater. So we consulted Kevin F. Sherry, who operates BadSweaterGuy.com, to get his take on the cultural significance of the pullovers Cosby wore during the 1984-1992 run of The Cosby Show.

Sherry says Cosby made sweaters fashionable and fun, so much so that any time a person donned a particularly eye-catching, or “eye-hurting,” pullover, people would say it “looks like a Cosby sweater.”

“They are the icon of that decade,” says Sherry. “It was a combination of being the No. 1 show and that he was America’s Dad at the time.”

What makes a sweater authentically Cosby-esque? “It’s just a swirl of patterns, sparkles, geometric shapes,” says Sherry. “Everyone could relate. Everyone had a sweater like that.” (Sherry, in fact, has 25.)

We asked Bad Sweater Guy if he had a favorite Cosby sweater, but admitted it was hard to single out just one.

“What’s your favorite Jackson Pollock painting?” asks Sherry.

Despite acknowledging the worthy cause as well as his appreciation of bad sweaters, Sherry won’t be bidding. “Who has that much nostalgia that they need to spend $5,000 on a sweater?” he asks.

For those longing to reboot the Huxtable look, Sherry has a simpler suggestion: “Go to Goodwill.”

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