The Bill Cosby Show

The Poet
(First aired: 1970)

In the first few seconds of the show you can see Mark fighting with someone big and ugly. His first fight - but not the last one. He fights one of the Holmes' High School's resident bullies. A unfair fight - just look at Mark's frame. The character he plays is the type of guy that is not quite a jock, but definitely not a wimp either.Henry and several other students are reading a posted notice asking for original poetry for the school newspaper. Some of the school's jocks start making fun of the mere idea writing poems, and Henry gets ticked off. The bullies laugh and simply pick him up and toss him aside, scattering his books across the hall. About this time, Chet Kincaid (Bill Cosby) comes to the rescue and helps Henry pick up his things, including a poem that someone else must have dropped, for it's not Henry's.
     The rest of the episode (in which Mark does not appear) follows Kincaid's efforts to find and encourage the writer of the poem.
     This was Mark's TV debut, and lots of appearances followed 'til today. He has always been grateful to Bill Cosby. "I got paid $200 for speaking about seven words."