Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Mork & Mindy...the Game

I recently had the chance to play the vintage Mork & Mindy board game with friends of the show Amy, Dann, and Tina (and June watching)*. We had a good time playing this silly and slightly complicated game--or complicated till we got a handle on its rules and oddities (like 6-sided dice labeled with 1, 2, and 3), and it offered ample opportunity to utter, "shazbot," and other Orkan words, so who can complain?

*Tina donated this game to Amy's collection, which includes a number of TV-related games, and we also played a 1970s game about the sinking of the Titanic. Really.

Check out some pictures and minor commentary below!

The full board. Lots of Morks, fewer Mindys.
"Na-no, na-no"? We think not!
Grebbles equal money, but money seems very un-Orkan.
I'm not a Nimnul! I'm not!

"Gleek"? I thought this was about Mork and Mindy,
not the Wonder Twins.
So cheerful and so pink!
"SHAZBOT!=NUTS!"? Kayooooooooooooo.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Show Notes: Episode 2-8: Mork and Mindy

*"Mork's Mixed Emotions premiered Thursday, February 20, 1979, at 8:00 P.M. on the ABC television network.

*The OJ Simpson episode we reference is "Mork the Gullible," also from season 1, in which Robert Donner's  eccentric Exidor character begins worshipping the Juice.  We'll save you the trouble: Simpson does not appear in the episode.

*It is believed there are about 1,500 independent record shops in the USA today, including several in Boulder, Colorado.

*Mork premiered as a Thursday 8pm series, then moved to Sundays at 8pm for season 2. When ratings slipped, ABC switched back to Thursdays, but the damage had been done.

*Ralph James voiced Orson as well as Mr. Turtle in the Tootsie Pop ads (see an example in our YouTube playlist for this episode).

*The article I reference in the episode, a great oral history leaning on interviews with the show's writers, is right here.

*In and Out with Kevin Kline premiered September 1997 and was a modest success. It earned Joan Cusack a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination and also co-starred BOTNS fave Tom Selleck.

*Just the Ten of Us aired on ABC from 1988-1990, meaning it does fall into our timeline. I stand by my dislike of the show, but does anyone want to hear us cover it?

*Jeffrey Jacquet, who appeared in some first season episodes as Eugene, is now retired and practicing law in L.A. according to Wikipedia.

*Conrad is a 'SAG New Media Web Series and can be found here.

*The Mork and Mindy cartoon was part of the Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour, which aired on ABC Saturday mornings in the 1982-1983 TV season. See an example in the playlist!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Episode 2_8: Mork and Mindy "Mixed Emotions"

In 1978, aliens walked among us in the form of Robin Williams in his breakout role as Mork from Ork. In "Mixed Emotions," a little encouragement and a kiss from Mindy (Pam Dawber) release Mork's emotions all at once. They overwhelm in a flurry of comic activity. We discuss this and more, including the complexities of Orkan anatomy, the shape of Jay Thomas' face, and Conrads.

Check out this episode!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Show Notes: Episode 2-7: Search, "The Murrow Disappearance"

*This episode premiered on NBC September 13, 1972, at 10:00 P.M.

*The TV movie that launched the series, Probe, aired February 11, 1972.

*Name of the Game (1968-1971) rotated Tony Franciosa, Gene Barry, and Robert Stack as its leads.

*According to Hugh O'Brian's interview for the Archives of American Television, Hugh O'Brian asked for the rotating leads situation because he didn't want to do the whole series. Other sources have indicated the network asked for it.

*TV Obscurities reported that the series was renamed Search to avoid conflict with a local TV news show called Probe.

In fact, check out these great pieces (and their comments) for more tidbits about the series:

The TV Obscurities article reprints excerpts from negative reviews of the first episode (what were they thinking?) and has some specific numbers about the show's ratings/lack thereof from the get-go.

*Doug McClure died of lung cancer at the age of 59.

*I believe it was the Warner Archive Podcast, a great pod with people who were truly committed to bringing Search to the modern world, that referred to Grover as a savant.

*Mary Frann guested in the episode "Operation Iceman" and later went on to play Joanna Loudon on Newhart.

*The theme music was composed by Dominic Frontiere.

*Hugh O'Brian was born in 1925, making him 47 when this episode aired. His swagger made him seem...well, actually, still about 47, but easily twice as cool as most men half his age.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Episode 2_7: Search "The Murrow Disappearance"

This week, we introduce you to one of the shows that inspired the podcast. In Search, private security agents use a high-tech approach to solve problems. "The Murrow Disappearance" features Hugh O'Brian, one of three rotating lead actors, as suave, unflappable Hugh Lockwood plus a crew of technicians led by the grouchy Burgess Meredith and the sassy Angel Tompkins. Plus, we say the word "cool," like, 300 times.

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Guest Star Theatre: Silver Spoons - Bob Danish

A good show can't live on its main cast alone. Think of all the great supporting characters on shows like Seinfeld, Newhart, and The Simpsons, or even someone like Frasier from Cheers, who went from recurring character to main cast member to star of his own show. On Silver Spoons, dquare-jawed buffoon Bob Danish (John Reilly) has that same potential, although he only appears in two season one episodes "Falling in Love Again" and "Won't You Go Home, Bob Danish?"

In "Falling in Love Again," he shows up near the end as a foil for Edward as Kate uses him to make Edward jealous. Still, Reilly and Bob Danish make the most of it, and the audience learns the basic elements of Bob Danish. Bob Danish is a pilot, and that makes Bob Danish cool. Bob Danish takes everything in stride, even his romantic rival declaring his love in front of him and all of Carnegie Hall. If you're a kid, Bob Danish calls you Scooter.

"Won't You Go Home, Bob Danish?" gives Bob Danish the spotlight, and while all the Bob Danish basics remain intact, Bob Danish gets more room to move and, dare I say it, some depth. In this episode, Bob Danish buzzes Edward's house in his airplane, thinking Kate's there, only to crash the plane in the backyard. His parachute conveniently lands at the back of the set, but he injures his leg when Edward and Ricky cut him down. The plane belonged to his girlfriend, who shows up and dumps him, and Bob Danish becomes an unwelcome house guest (except to Scooter Ricky who invited him to stay in the first place).

Let's work through the episode by working through the Bob Danish Handbook.


When Edward asks what happened, Bob Danish says, "Well, Eddie, I'd say we had a, uh, bit of a plane crash."

When Bob Danish struggles to walk to his plane (before it explodes), Edward tells him he's hurt his leg. Bob Danish says, "It's all right. I've got a backup."

When Bob Danish knocks over a vase, he says, "First the plane crash, and now this. Ever have one of those days?"

When Edward yells at him about the chaos in the backyard--burning plane, debris everywhere, burning greenhouse, firefighters everywhere--Bob Danish says, "My goof, OK?"

When Bob Danish sees Kate...

When Kate rolls her eyes and leaves the room...


Bob Danish continues to call Ricky Scooter, even after Ricky requests he call him Ricky, and this leads to a short vaudeville routine.

BOB: My dad used to call me Scooter, Scooter.

RICKY: Your dad used to call you Scooter Scooter?

BOB: No. He just called me Scooter, Scooter.


Bob Danish* does this on a fairly regular basis, but he doesn't stop there. He also has at least two nicknames for himself: The Great Dane and Roberto Danishero.

Along the same lines, he refers to his dad as "The greatest man who ever walked the Earth, my dad Dan Danish**," multiple times.

*Ricky almost always refers to Bob Danish as Bob Danish and not Bob or Mr. Danish.

**Sad but true, the greatest man who ever walked the Earth, Bob Danish's Dad Dan Danish, died after a piano fell on him.

This brings us to that "depth" I mentioned earlier, as we dig into the lesser known chapters of the Bob Danish Handbook.


He has a whole photo album but not just of photos. It includes parsley from the one date he had with Kate, and later he adds a handkerchief.


After a few days, Bob Danish has made himself at home, eating a sandwich with "some kind of beef" on it (prime rib) and even taking a message about an urgent call for Edward. He can't remember the details but thinks Larry or Harry called. Then he finds a note his pocket. Frank called.

Edward has had enough and wants to kick him he allows Kate to volunteer. She did cause this problem she argues, and Edward doesn't argue back even though she should. She can't help it if Bob Danish digs her.

Anyhow, Kate tells off Bob Danish, and his veneer of cool finally gives. What man's wouldn't if Erin Gray told him she didn't like him?

Crushed Bob Danish.

Kate feels bad about it and wants to fix it. Edward volunteers but only so someone else will, which Ricky does (technically, it is Ricky's fault).


Bob Danish has packed up most of his stuff when Ricky finds him. He's still feeling lousy about the whole week, what with the plane and Kate--"That gal's the greatest thing since Lava Lamps"--hurting him that he almost cries, but the greatest man who ever walked the Earth, Bob Danish's dad Dan Danish, told him real men don't cry. Well, the other greatest man who ever walked the Earth, Ricky Stratton's dad Edward Stratton III, told Ricky otherwise, that expressing your feelings and crying helps.

Bob Danish gives it a try, a real try, weeping with great sound and fury, enough to bring Edward and Kate out from the library. Bob Danish liked crying, and he's ready to leave.


Bob Danish gets his composure back, calls Ricky Ricky, and offers a romantic, near poetic exit line. Kate asks who wrote it. Bob pulls something out of his pocket and says, "Some clown at a match factory." Cool.


The writers and John Reilly do a bang-up job with Bob Danish. I'd like to think Reilly's performance in "Falling In Love Again" inspired them to write this episode, but I wish they'd brought him back (even if I can't readily see those episodes).  Sure he had a great exit, but characters don't change that much in sitcoms, and he could have lived to annoy again.

Imagine an episode where Ricky, Edward, and Bob Danish end up stranded on an island together after he crashes another plane. Imagine an episode where Ricky, Edward, and Bob Danish end up stranded in the jungle together after he crashes another plane. Imagine an episode where Ricky, Edward, and Bob Danish end up stranded in Denmark after a snowstorm grounds Bob Danish's plane.

Reilly has had a prolific, varied career as a primetime guest star and regular in soaps but far fewer comedy credits than this performance would suggest (multiple of episodes of Arli$$ and Son of the Beach among others). Too bad, but in this age of TV revivals, one can dream of a new show called...BOB DANISH.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Call this number on the telephone and get your subscription to ROLLing Stone

I remain unsuccessful in tracking down that Tom Selleck/National Review ad, but another favorite spot from my youth is on YouTube. It features Paul Shaffer, star of "A Year at the Top," as we discussed in a recent "What We'd Like to See."

Check out the advert below:

Shaffer is in top-notch "smarmy, sincere, both, or does it matter" mode.  There are two types of singing in this commercial: Paul's seemingly impromptu jingle at the end, which is great, and the Rolling Stone theme song that takes up much of this spot.  This song is horrible.

I saw this ad all the time back in the day, but I wasn't a subscriber. It's a good thing because not only does that song make me want to avoid signing up, but it is enough to make me want to cancel if I were a subscriber.

"I want to READ all there IS
about rock and roll"

Embarrassing. The way he sings "rock and roll" is cringe-inducing.

"Know about the people
who touch my soul"

Even worse. The overwrought "emotion" in the singing makes this instant appalling self-parody, as opposed to Shaffer's knowing self-parody.

Bless whoever is singing it because the guy is really trying to "rock out," but straining to rock out rarely brings positive results. It's one of the phoniest tunes I have ever heard, and it should have killed any cred RS had left after 20 years of publication.

I'm sure Shaffer knows how ridiculous it all sounds, but he doesn't care. His little half-assed rhyme at the end almost does the impossible: makes us forget about the other song.  It can't quite accomplish that.

On the bright side, it's 30 years later, and I remembered the Shaffer part, but I had totally forgotten the rest of it. So maybe all of you will get it out of your minds in the next couple decades or so.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Show Notes: Episode 2-6: Silver Spoons

*"Me and Mr. T" premiered Saturday, October 16, 1982, at 8:30 P.M. "Twelve Angry Kids" premiered January 15, 1983 in the same slot, and the series aired on NBC, of course.

*The daytime reruns of Silver Spoons aired weekdays on NBC in 1985.

*Arnold Jackson/Drummond's guest appearance was in Season 1's "The Great Computer Caper."

*Harry Reasoner was on 60 Minutes from its launch in 1968 to 1970, when he was lured to ABC to be an anchor before returning to CBS and 60 Minutes until 1991.

*The TV movie pairing Mr. T and John Navin Jr. is The Toughest Man in the World (1984) and is on Amazon Prime Video.

*The A-Team debuted January 30, 1983, after Super Bowl XVII (The Redskins beat the Dolphins).

*Correction: I referenced Bobby Heenan calling King Kong Bundy a walking condominium, but it was actually Gorilla Monsoon. I regret the error.

*Best as we can tell, here are the legit heights of the following performers:
Mr. T=5'10" (though I suspect he was billed as taller in his WWF appearances, I can't confirm it)
Joel Higgins=5'11"
Erin Gray=5'7"

*Two of my favorite long-neglected 80s sitcoms are Its Your Move (1984) with Jason Bateman and David Garrison, plus Best of the West (1981) with Joel Higgins and Meeno Peluce. The former is MIA except on YouTube, but the latter is slated for an MOD DVD release from CBS/Paramount in the future.

*Leonard Lightfoot, Edward's attorney and right-hand man in season 1, left the series because...? Unfortunately, we could not find out, and nobody seems to know, though there is apparently a rumor that he was fired for bringing a gun to the set one time  (!)

*We also are unable to confirm the persistent rumor that Ricky Schroeder's parents, jealous of Bateman's talents, had him removed from the show after the second season.

*IMDB runs this Schroeder quote without attribution:
When I turned 18, my agent was like, 'You should change from Ricky to Rick.' So I thought it was a good idea. Rick never really fit. I tried for 18 years to make it work, and no one wanted to call me Rick. It should always have been Ricky. That's what it always should have been, so I'm going back to it.

*The show's theme song, "Together," was written by Rik Howard and Bob Wirth.

*John P. Navin Jr., who stars as Ox in both episodes we cover, has the distinction of being the first ever bar patron on Cheers, as the IMDB reports. His last acting credit is in 1993! he won a "Young Artist Award" for his work on the short-lived sitcom Jennifer Slept Here, but will he win a Batty? Time will tell!

*Remember to check our YouTube channel for a playlist including good looks at some of the people we talked about who were not in these episodes, like Alfonso Ribiero and John Houseman and some of the series' notable guest stars.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Episode 2_6: Silver Spoons "Me and Mr. T" and "Twelve Angry Kids"

This week, we look at two episodes of classic eighties sitcom Silver Spoons. First, Ricky (Ricky Schroder) struggles to fit in at his new school and deal with a bully named Ox. Ricky's dad Edward (Joel Higgins) doesn't help matters by hiring a bodyguard for Ricky...Mr. T (Mr. T). After a different incident, Ox sues Ricky, and Ricky requests a jury of his peers--kids. Plus, the BOTNS return of Erin Gray and the BOTNS debut of Leonard Lightfoot!

Check out this episode!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Photo Parade: NBC Saturday Morning Preview Revue (1974)

For our Run Joe Run YouTube play list, Rick found a clip of the NBC Saturday Morning Preview Revue from 1974, starring Jimmy Osmond (the youngest Osmond), a bunch of Sid and Marty Krofft puppets and characters, and a certain brown and black German shepherd. As per usual, the Kroffts created something equal parts gaudy, loud, and creepy. You should watch the whole play list, but if you're short on time, I've embedded the video below, and if you're even shorter on time, I've posted a bunch of screen grabs to pique your interest (or warn you far, far away). Shows previewed include Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch, Run Joe Run, Land of the Lost, Emergency +4 (an animated Emergency that included a team of 4 kids helping out), Go! (a live action show introduced by...the dudes from Emergency)*, Star Trek: The Animated Series, and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.

*This preview mentions a segment where Jon Voight will tell kids about kayaking on whitewater. I can't help imagining his introduction. "Hey, kids. In my movie Deliverance, you might have seen me canoeing on whitewater and getting into some real jams. Now I want to tell you about the real-world fun and risks of kayaking on the rapids."

Petey the Peacock tries to pass himself off as the NBC Peacock
and steal the show with his shrill vocal stylings. He gets the hook
immediately but somehow ends up in almost every number.
Creepy puppets part one.
Creepy puppets part two, slightly inappropriate puppets part one.

Jimmy Osmond sings and dances with the creepy puppets.
We need to get one of these for our show.

Look who's in the audience--Joe (Heinrich of Midvale)!
Joe (Heinrich of Midvale) puts up with Petey.
Petey wears Jimmy down and gets to do a number
with Dina Dinosaur. "Ain't she sweet?"

Johnny Whitaker and all the Ooze family (plus Petey natch)
from Sigmund and the Sea Monsters perform a number.
The Sigmund preview promises the debut of Rip Taylor's
Sheldon the Sea Genie.
Creepy puppets part three. Cooooool.
Jimmy "The Prince" Osmond with creepy puppets part--I lost count.
Creepy, etc. The Electric Mushroom.
So much happening here, making so little sense
(those yellow things are like giant mop heads with lips).
"Down in front!"
Seriously, how can that poor girl see anything?
Creepy puppets part whatever, slightly inappropriate puppets part two.
Because things weren't creepy enough--
bring in the clowns!
The commercials in the clip include this one, where this kid
talks very sensibly to mothers about the economic and health
benefits of Kool-Aid for the whole family.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Show Notes: Episode 2-5: Run Joe Run "Homecoming"

*This episode premiered Saturday, October 19, 1974, at 9:30 A.M. on NBC.

*D'Angelo Productions created other live-action kids shows like Westwind, and William D'Angelo was involved in The Red Hand Gang and also produced a failed pilot called The Karen Valentine Show starring...Regis Philbin. OK, it starred Karen Valentine, but Reege was in it, too.

William D'Angelo also helped produce other kid shows like Big John Little John and was also a producer on Alice.

*Run Joe Run's format change occurred in season 2, and it involved Joe teaming up with a troubled loner (OK, he was actually a hiker, but I'm projecting) and helping strangers in distress. According to Wikipedia, Sgt. Corey never found Joe and was "called back to duty."

*During its first year on NBC, Joe aired against The New Adventures of Gilligan and Partridge Family 2200 A.D. (interesting that two cartoon adaptations of sitcoms aired against each other like that). The Partridges were replaced by The Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm Show on CBS, then in the 1975-1976 season, Joe moved to 10:30.

At 10:30, the show faced Uncle Croc's Bloc  with Charles Nelson Reilly (And would I like to track down an episode of this) and the second half of The Shazam-ISIS Hour. Later, ABC dumped Croc for Speed Buggy and Super Friends in that timeslot.

*The Fugitive is one of the best TV dramas of all time; a Quinn Martin production, it lasted 4 years on ABC, and its two-part finale was one of the highest-rated episodes of all time and one of the first true event finales.

*Donnelly Rhodes is still around and is perhaps best known for playing the dad on Double Trouble. That's totally untrue, but I would love to do an episode on Double Trouble someday, so...

*Character actor James Hampton is also still around and was Caretaker in the original Longest Yard, is perhaps best known in the BOTNS era for being the dad on Teen Wolf, and was also a regular on the aforementioned Red Hand Gang.

*Kristy McNichol actually won two Emmy awards for her work on Family and did indeed have some success as a musician.

*Albert Salmi co-starred in Angels Travel on Lonely Roads, the two-parter of The Fugitive that we mention on the show. Come back Tuesday for more on the sad end of Salmi if we didn't turn you off already in our discussion.

*Special shout out to Wesley Hyatt and his book we referenced, The Encyclopedia of Daytime Television, which we note is readily available in the secondary market for low prices and well worth it.

*According to IMDB, Heinrich of Midvale, AKA Joe, had a stunt double named Gus. First of all, I'm disappointed Heinrich HAD a stunt double. Second, how appropriate it is that while "Heinrich of Midvale" gets all the glory, some poor schlub named GUS does all he grunt work and gets none of the credit?

*Our crack research team could find no evidence of Heinrich appearing in The Bionic Woman, nor in any other TV show, for that matter. It appears that unlike other child stars, Heinrich lived a quiet life post-Hollywood.

*A Year at the Top, originally titled Hereafter, was co-produced by Don Kirshner and Norman Lear but only made 7 episodes, 5 of which aired on CBS in Summer 1977.

*Besides co-stars Greg Evigan and Paul Shaffer (who left SNL for this, then returned), the series also featured former Bowery Boy Gabriel Dell and the ubiquitous old lady character actress Nedra Volz. Mickey Rooney was only in the first episode.

*Bustin' Loose was a short-lived sitcom with Jimmie Walker taking Richard Pryor's role from the feature film.

*Perhaps the most interesting thing Shaffer says about A Year at the Top in his memoir is that he would wander over to the set where Lear's One Day at a Time was taped and met Valerie Bertinelli, who he dated. He was 27 and she was 16, but with levity he quotes R. Kelly and asks, "Who was counting?"

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Episode 2_5: Run, Joe, Run "Homecoming"

Loyal listener Amy recommended this Saturday-morning drama about an Army-trained German shepherd on the run for a crime he didn't commit! Kristy McNichol guests as a girl who takes in Joe against her father's wishes. Plus, "What We'd Like to See"!

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Untold* Stories of "The Golden Girls"

I said that we would go into the saga of Coco--the ill-fated gay houseboy character scrapped after (and technically during) the pilot episode, but I have been reading the excellent book Golden Girls  Forever: An Unauthorized Look Behind the Lanai by Jim Colucci, and I think that story will have to wait for another day. Today I will bring you 3 other untold* stories.

(*"Untold" is a sketchy term considering I am telling you right now that they were told in this book, but it sounds good, doesn't it?)

1) His Burtness: Our episode discusses "Ladies of the Evening," a story built around the gals obtaining tickets to a Burt Reynolds movie premiere. One of the series' writers, Kathy Speer, says the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre kept coming up in the writers' room and that she thinks he only did the show to thwart the speculation that he had AIDS at the time.

Barry Fanaro, credited co-writer on "Ladies," says Betty White told them Burt Reynolds loved the show, so they asked her if he'd do a guest shot. Fanaro says Burt was a little nervous about botching his big appearance at the end of the episode but that "it worked perfectly."

One of the "ladies of  the night" the Girls share a holding cell with is played by Rue McClanahan's niece Amelia. According to an associate director of the episode, she opted not to wear a bra during dress rehearsal and experienced a "wardrobe malfunction." It caused chaos in the booth, and then everyone settled down and figured, "OK, she's just being a little ambitious." They fixed the situation before the version that aired.

2) Thank you for being an earworm: The book details the origin of the famous theme song, Cindy Fee's cover version of Andrew Gold's AM Gold hit (and not a huge hit at that) "Thank You for Being a Friend." The original concept was a series of stock shots of Miami on screen to the sounds of Bette Midler's "(You Got to Have) Friends," but the original choice of that tune was too expensive to license.

The producers went with a female rendition of Gold's old hit, and the then-23-year-old Fee showed up, said she was gonna nail it in one take (she had a lot of other gigs lined up that day) and did so. She had no idea what the series was even about, but she declared today that the song put her kids through college.

3) Coming up after The Smurfs: Perhaps the most amazing untold story of all is the fact that the series producers actually considered a Saturday morning animated spinoff of The Golden Girls. Production associate Robert Spina dreamed up The Animated Everyday Adventures of Sophia Petrillo and the Golden Gang, with the lead to be voiced by Estelle Getty. Disney actually considered this, but alas, it was never to be.

The concept included Sofia teaming up with the kids from the neighborhood, plus the dog from Empty Nest, while her roommates were away during the day. There would be stories of Sicily and cameos by the other Girls.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Further Viewing: The Golden Girls "Larceny and Old Lace," or the Golden Girls Meet the Mickster

If you've listened to our Golden Girls episode (see in player above), you know we love Burt, but we also love Mickey Rooney (The Mickster going forward). In "Larceny and Old Lace" (season 3, episode 21), The Mickster pays a visit as Sophia's new boyfriend Rocco. Sophia met him at the police station while trying to identify a purse snatcher, and they hit it off. Rocco was caught spray-painting something obscene on a billboard of Spuds MacKenzie.

The man, the myth, The Mickster

Dorothy doesn't much care for Rocco, and this creates a role-reversal gag throughout the episode with Dorothy playing mom to Sophia's rebellions teenager. She tells Rose that Sophia came home "with NyQuil on her breath and his surgical stockings in her pocket." She doesn't know what that means, but she doesn't like it.

Rocco certainly talks a big game. At one point, he tells Dorothy if she had a suit and a higher voice she could pass for notorious gangster Frank Nitti, and he claims to have known him, Dutch Schultz, and Al Capone. He also says he "ran Detroit." Later, Rocco shows up with a grocery cart full of his stuff (most notably a deer head and a satchel) because he doesn't have room on his apartment...or does he?

In the slightly predictable and quickly dispensed with B story, Blanche has been giving Rose an extra hard time. She found and broke into Rose's diary only to read about two awful, snoring, belching pigs. Dorothy chastises Blanche for reading the diary, but of course, she succumbs to temptation and tries to break into it as soon as Blanche leaves the room. Later, Rose catches them and rightly gets angry at their violation of her privacy, refusing to talk to them. Guilt-ridden, Dorothy and Blanche end up in Sophia's bedroom, seeking advice, and then Rose comes along and reveals the diary was her 4-H pig diary...about literal pigs. They make up.

Rocco's satchel falls on the floor, opening and dumping out thousands of dollars in cash. Sophia says they stopped by a bank earlier, and he ran out, and they know he must have held up the bank. She calls him, and he admits the truth, saying he did it for her and that he's coming over.

While they wait for Rocco, the other girls reminisce about the most romantic moments of their lives. Blanche tells a touching (but of course sexy) story about her courtship with her late husband punctuated with a stupid question by Rose and two amazing takes by McClanahan and Arthur.

Dorothy's tells a more rough-around-the-edges story about her ex-husband Stan proposing to her. It includes a ring in a champagne glass, Dorothy accidentally swallowing it, and the phrase "three days later."

Finally, Rocco arrives, struggling to climb over the patio wall, then trying to get Sophia to run away with him. She refuses. He comes clean. He's no tough guy. He told those stories to impress her. He was an "assistant" cook at a chowder house in Bayonne, New Jersey. He robbed the bank so he could treat her like a queen. Sophia explains he doesn't need to do fancy things for her. He always treats her like a queen. They reconcile.


Except a mention in the last scene, Rocco never appears on the show again. Did he go to jail? Did he die? Did they just break up?

Forget it, Jake. It's Sitcom Town.

Other thoughts:

  • Sophia says Rocco is 85, but The Mickster was a youthful 68 in 1988.
  • The Mickster kills it, playing puffed up, weird (the scene with the grocery cart), hurt, and sweet. He also gets some good jokes and reactions.
  • All the Golden Girls have moments, too, both comedic and serious: 
    • Rose seems genuinely hurt by her friends' betrayal of her, but she also has a number of classic naive/dumb lines.
    • The role reversal with Dorothy works well, and she gets annoyed by just about everyone, plus she shows remorse for hurting Rose.
    • Blanche tells that wonderful story (it really is nice if a little "intimate"), but she gets plenty of funny business and a number of good takes not just reacting to Rose but reacting to Dorothy trying to open the diary.
    • Sophia shoots off her normal zingers and insults but has that nice moment with Rocco.
  • At the end, Dorothy has a one-sided phone call with Sophia (who says she's staying at Rocco's) and says, "I should do what to myself?" Don't say this show didn't have an edge.
  • Pop culture references:
    • The aforementioned Spuds MacKenzie
    • Sophia calls Dorothy Donald Trump (page hits, here we come) after she breaks up Sophia and Rocco's game of strip poker
    • Dorothy has a line about Spiro Agnew
    • Rose questions whether George Bush (H.W. model) is married to his mother.
  • No one eats cheesecake in this episode either. Big-name guest stars must have affected the cheesecake budget.
  • Can anyone identify this board game? It involves trivia but looks like a Sorry type game. Probably isn't real, but I thought I'd ask.