EW Staff
June 25, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

NAMES/AGES Jermaine Williams (Mush Mouth), 21; Marques Houston (Dumb Donald), 22; Aaron Frazier (Weird Harold), 24; Shedrack Anderson (Rudy), 27; Alphonso McAuley (Bucky), 21; Keith Robinson (Bill), 30; Kenan Thompson (Fat Albert), 26.
MUSTWORTHINESS Hey hey hey! What took you so long? After two years of script rewrites, director drama, and a production halt, Bill Cosby’s lovable fatty and the Junkyard Gang are living large in a live-action adaptation of the Saturday-morning cartoon. Plus, casting Thompson — a Nickelodeon mainstay with a serious kiddie following himself — as the fat guy is pretty phat.
A BIG FAT CONFESSION (THE LAST FAT JOKE, WE PROMISE) ”I don’t even remember the cartoon,” says newcomer McAuley of Albert, which debuted in 1972 and lasted 12 years. ”I had to watch some [episodes] on tape because it was waaay before my time.”
CLOTHES CALL, PART 1 ”Damn, that fat suit is hot,” gripes Thompson, now a regular on ”SNL.” ”I went through, like, two pairs of T-shirts and shorts a day.”
CLOTHES CALL, PART 2 ”That wool mask definitely works against me,” says Houston (”You Got Served”).
ON THEIR MUST LISTS ”OutKast, Bernie Mac, and, yes, I even watch ‘MADtv,”’ says Thompson.
NEXT ”Fat Albert” hits theaters this Christmas.

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