Play It Again, Russell is the 17th episode of Season 2 of The Cosby Show, also the 41st overall in the series. The episode was directed by Jay Sandrich and written by John Markus. The episode originally aired in the United States on NBC on February 13, 1986.


After an example of not so great trombone playing at a Jazz club gig, Russell needs to get it together quick because the next time is his career finale.

Plot summaryEdit

Cliff convinces his father, Russell, a former professional musician, to come out of retirement and play with his old band, The Jazz Caravan, in an old-fashioned jam session. Since his retirement, Russell thinks he's not the musician he used to be. But Cliff and his mother, Anna, use reverse psychology to convince him to blow the trombone with his pals once again.

Did you know?Edit

  • The episode's title is a reference to "Play it again, Sam", a quote from Casablanca
  • Musicians Tito Puente, Art Blakey, Percy Heath, Jimmy Heath, Tommy Flanagan, Eric Gale, Joe Wilder, Carlos Valdes ("Patato"), Bootsie Barnes, and Jimmy Oliver all appear in this episode. Slide Hampton provided the audio track for Russell's trombone solos.

*Note: Sabrina Le Beauf does not appear in this episode.