Little Bill is a character created by Bill Cosby that first appeared in a series of children's books. The books, and eventual TV show are meant to teach kids a moral lesson.
The story behind the character, however, is marred with tragedy. Bill Cosby based the character in the loving memory of his dead son, Ennis.
Ennis William Cosby, a graduate student and aspiring teacher, was fatally shot in an attempted robbery in Los Angeles in 1997.
On the evening of January 16, 1997, Cosby, on break from school, was driving to visit a friend when his car developed a flat tire on Interstate 405 in Los Angeles. He telephoned his friend, who drove out to assist him.
While Cosby changed the tire, his friend remained in her own car. An armed man approached her driver-side window, causing her to move the vehicle twenty to fifty feet. When she returned, she discovered that Cosby had been shot in the head.
Bill Cosby created Little Bill to honor his son's memory. Little Bill uses "Hello, Friend" as a catchphrase, which Ennis used all the time.
Bill himself also adopted the phrase himself and even created a charity called "Hello Friend" to help people with learning disabilities.