The Dentist is the 16th episode of Season 2 of The Cosby Show, also the 40th overall in the series. The episode was directed by Jay Sandrich and written by Thad Mumford. The episode originally aired in the United States on NBC on February 2, 1986.


Peter has a toothache but is afraid to go to the dentist, so Rudy goes with him. Meanwhile, Cliff tries to hide the newspaper from Clair because she won't let him sleep when she reads it in bed.

Plot summaryEdit

The Huxtable family dentist, Dr. Burns (played by guest star, Danny Kaye), helps Rudy's friend, Peter, overcome his fears with his zany style of dentistry. And Peter isn't the only patient persuaded by Dr. Burns to jump into the chair as Cliff gets a checkup of his own.

Did you know?Edit

  • The original script gave Danny Kaye the line "This is the tooth shuttle, and I need an astronaut!" as he propelled his chair up and down. The episode's original air date was less than one week after the disaster aboard Space Shuttle Challenger, so Kaye overdubbed that line with "This is the tooth ship, and I need a pilot!"
  • Danny Kaye makes one of his last appearances before his death in early 1987 as Dr. Burns, who is also Cliff's dentist.
  • This episode aired on Sunday, February 2, 1986 (instead of its usual Thursday time slot) as a lead-in to NBC's airing of the mini-series Peter the Great.

Scene quotesEdit

  • Rudy: Show us teeth!

[Dr. Burns opens his mouth]

  • Rudy: No! Those teeth!
  • Dr. Burns: Where, on the shelves? Yeah these go on the shelves too sometimes.

[picks up some false teeth]

  • Dr. Burns: A long time ago these teeth came into my office, they didn't have an appointment, they didn't have anything! And I said 'do I know you?' and they said 'No, but you've taken out some of our friends!'

  • Cliff: There's no woman in here.

Dr. Burns: No, just me.

  • Cliff: And you're not pregnant either!
  • Dr. Burns: Not now, no.

  • Cliff: [Claire's going on about a story in the paper about water conservation] Claire, did you see this story?
  • Clair: What is it?
  • Cliff: 'Man dies because wife won't let him sleep!'

  • Dr. Burns: Monday you come see me.
  • Cliff: No, Monday's no good.
  • Dr. Burns: Tuesday?
  • Cliff: No, Tuesday's even tighter than Monday.
  • Dr. Burns: How loose is Wednesday?
  • Cliff: No, Wednesday's no good either.
  • Dr. Burns: Would you consider Feezle day?
  • Cliff: No because Feezle Day we take the children out to see the Feezles.

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

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