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Bosom Buddies aired from November 1980 until June 1982 on ABC.
For more on Bosom Buddies go to the mini-page right here at Sitcoms Online.
10 Hanks-tastic facts about 'Bosom Buddies'
Give thanks for Hanks. The sitcom celebrates its 37th anniversary.
Tom Hanks is the most beloved actor of his generation.
Just think, without Bosom Buddies, we might have never known his brilliance. Hey, we all have to start somewhere.
The crossdressing comedy proved to be the actor's big break. Prior to the premiere on November 27, 1980, Hanks had one television credit on his resume, an appearance on The Love Boat a month earlier. Paired with Peter Scolari, Hanks turned a dicey premise into a beloved cult sitcom. The show was the product of Miller/Milkis/Boyett Productions, which was also responsible for Laverne & Shirley.
Let's take a look at some surprising facts about the series on its 37th anniversary.
1. The crossdressing concept was a bit of an accident.
When Thomas Miller and Robert Boyett pitched the series to the network, the two envisioned it as a male spin on their hit Laverne & Shirley. In the meeting, the duo referenced Billy Wilder as an influence. The ABC suits asked what they meant by that. Miller and Boyett explained he was the man behind legendary comedies such as Some Like It Hot. The executives suddenly jumped on that idea, remembering Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in drag. Miller and Boyett went with the idea, even though it was not their original intention.
2. That is clearly not New York City in the credits.
Though the show took place in Manhattan, with the two leads working at the ad firm Livingston, Gentry & Mishkin, it was shot in Los Angeles, like most television. This was blatantly obvious from the opening credits, which had Hanks and Scoleri splashing through puddles past palm trees.
3. The main characters are named for two bars in Berkeley, California.
Kip's and Henry's are two long-standing college hangouts on Durant Avenue, just south of the Cal campus.
4. Tom Hanks made a measly $2,500 per week.
While that salary was certainly nothing to sniff at in 1980, it is a bargain bin rate considering he's reportedly getting about $15,000,000 for the upcoming Toy Story 4.
5. Hanks met Rita Wilson on the set of the series.
The star met his second wife when she appeared in the episode "All You Need Is Love." However, it was not the first time he laid eyes on her. He recalled developing a crush on her when she popped up as a cheerleader a decade earlier on The Brady Bunch. "I was actually at a friend of mine’s house when it aired and I remember thinking, 'That girl’s cute,'" he admitted years later.
6. Bob Saget was the warm-up comic before the tapings.
The budding comic and future Full House star warmed up the audience before the cameras rolled. The show also gave the comedian his first screen credit, when he played "Bob the Comic" in the 1981 episode "The Show Must Go On."
7. It was filmed on the same stage as 'The Lucy Show' and 'Cheers.'
The production's base on Stage 25 at Paramount Pictures was also the home of The Lucy Show, Cheers and Frasier.
8. That was not Billy Joel singing the Billy Joel song in the credits.
When it originally aired, Billy Joel's "My Life" served as the opening theme. Though it was singer Gary Bennett belting the tune, not the famous piano man. An urban legend arose that it was Hanks himself singing the song. Alas, not true. Though Hanks did eventually sing the tune in an episode of 30 Rock. When the show went to syndication, the Joel hit was replaced by Stephanie Mills' "Shake Me Loose," to save on those licensing fees.
9. The reruns aired on a different network.
After ABC canceled the series, Hanks became an overnight Hollywood star thanks to Splash. Hoping to ride on his fame, NBC purchased Bosom Buddies for reruns in the summer of 1984, and even hoped to revive the series. However, Hanks was already too big for the small screen.
10. Two actors from Steven Spielberg's '1941' almost took the leads.
Hanks and Scoleri were not the first actors in mind. The producers originally envisioned Bobby DiCicco and Perry Lang in the roles of Kip and Henry, respectively. The two had both appeared in the WWII comedy 1941, seen here.
Here's a look at the new sitcoms of the 1980-1981 season , including Bosom Buddies from Time Magazine.
The Bodies in Question
Monday, Nov. 03, 1980 By RICHARD CORLISS Article
The new season puts a lecherous sneer back into sex
Blame it on OPEC. Blame it on the mood of the country. Blame it on Suzanne Somers. Blame it on anything you want; there's plenty to go around. As the new TV comedy series finally slink into view after the actors' strike, an ominous trend becomes evident. The witty humanism of the best '70s shows Mary Tyler Moore, MASH, Taxi has given way to jokes built around bustlines and pratfalls. Out goes the humor of social complicity, of reasonably mature characters; in stomps the japery of sexual humiliation, in which grimly aggressive caricatures swat each other with gag lines. Mary Richards' chic office wear is declass ; this year's line consists of tank tops and tight jeans. Goodbye, Golden Age of TV comedy; hello, Little Annie Fanny. Watch 'em and weep: the age of the smutcom is upon us.
Viewers tuning in over the next month may think that they have entered a time warp, for the programs seem like instant artifacts of the '50s, when automobiles were first recognized as sex objects and a movie star like Jayne Mansfield seemed manufactured on the voyeur's assembly line. There is a difference though: most of the new fare pretends to an awareness of feminism. It's a Living (ABC, Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. E.S.T.) is set in a posh Los Angeles restaurant, where five spunky women try to keep a sense of humor as they fight off lecherous customers. Lecherous viewers, however, are encouraged: the waitress uniforms look to have been painted on by Frederick's of Hollywood. On Wendy Schaal, who brings just the right mixture of innocence and sensuous vitality to her role, the character fits as well as the uniform.
I'm a Big Girl Now (ABC, Fridays at 8:30 p.m. E.S.T.) means to be a battle of wills and wits between a young divorcee (Diana Canova) and her haranguing father (Danny Thomas). Diana is sweet and smart, but, in the opening episode at least, it is father who knows best: he turns from Jewish mother to father confessor in record time. She must endure his sudden wisdom even as she trades toilet and underwear jokes with the rest of the cast, including her boss (Sheree North), who has an I.Q. of 190 but talks only of trysts with men who dress up in rubber.
Ladies' Man (CBS, Mondays at 8:30 p.m. E.S.T.) is a clumsy attempt to satirize almost every woman who has a good job and a little ambition. It is set in the offices of a woman's magazine that publishes articles on both "Sexual Harassment and the Working Woman" and "17 Ways with Tuna Fish." The boss is an amalgam of famous woman editors a sort of Helen Gloria Vreeland. But the moment a token male (Lawrence Pressman) joins the staff, the gals go man-crazy.
The editor in chief (Louise Sorel) tests the new man his first day on the job, promising to advance his career if he agrees to spend the weekend with her. Ladies ' Man may develop into a vehicle for sprightly social comedy but, at the moment, this vehicle is a Ms. carriage.
It is not easy to blend social comedy with slapstick, especially when the emphasis is on the latter. Farce is a precision instrument: the cuckolded husband must negotiate a labyrinth of plot twists before he opens his bedroom door at the split second his lovely young wife adjusts her peignoir and the milkman defenestrates himself. Farce demands ingenuity, grace and discipline qualities in short supply on network TV. Occasionally those magic imps Penny Marshall (Laverne) and Cindy Williams (Shir ley) bring it off. Now Chris Thompson and Joel Zwick, two veterans of L & S, have devised Bosom Buddies (ABC, Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. E.S.T.). The first ep isode is as silly as its prem ise: two guys dress as women to secure lodging in an all-girl hotel. Some Like It Hot this is not, and some of the jokes are more than nine days old. But there is promise here: the young stars, Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari, know when to underplay a line and when to run with it. If Thompson and Zwick can find inventive ways to extend this single-joke situation, Bosom Buddies could be worth watching.
One wishes that could be said for Ted Knight and Too Close for Comfort (ABC, Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. E.S.T.). As Mary Tyler Moore's Ted Baxter, Knight embodied a wonderful comic oaf: vain, inept and hilarious. In his new series he is just another henpecked husband, who must put up with two nubile daughters and fall over a loveseat every eight minutes. The other seven minutes, Too Close slavers over the sight of bountiful Lydia Cornell as she ponders the implications of taking a deep breath. The show can not see the farce for the tease. The actors exaggerate their gestures grotesquely, as if performing R-rated charades for the nearsighted. Too Close for Comfort marks a milestone in TV history: the eclipse of a fine comic actor, and the full festering of the smutcom. Never has the medium more fully deserved its reputation as the boob tube .
An article from the LA Times
Bosom Buddies still close to Tom Hanks heart
The Oscar-winner reunites with the cast of the 1980s series at TV Land awards show, which is airing next Sunday.
April 19, 2010|
By Greg Braxton, Los Angeles Times
Before the two best-actor Oscars, the hit movies and other distinguished projects that catapulted him into Hollywood's elite ranks, Tom Hanks was an un-pretty woman.
In 1980, Hanks got one of his first breaks with "Bosom Buddies," an ABC show in which he and Peter Scolari played bachelor ad men who move into an all-female apartment house after their building is condemned. The actors donned wigs, bras, pantyhose, wigs and skirts as they hung out with their neighbors, including a blond bombshell (Donna Dixon) who was the object of Hanks' affections.
The theme song, "My Life" by Billy Joel, was a major hit, but "Bosom Buddies" flopped with critics and viewers, flaming out after two seasons. Hanks would emerge unscathed; two years later he starred in the man-loves-mermaid comedy "Splash" that launched his meteoric film career.
Instead of treating "Bosom Buddies" as a footnote best forgotten, Hanks embraced his past with open arms Saturday during a gleeful reunion with Scolari and the cast at Sony Studios for the "8th Annual TV Land Awards." The show, which will air Sunday on the cable network, marks the first "Bosom Buddies" reunion since the show went off the air.
"You can look back and say, You know, we really did some great shows,' " said Hanks backstage after accepting the TV Land honor with Scolari, Dixon, Telma Hopkins and Holland Taylor. The cast gave a special tribute to costar Wendie Jo Sperber, who died in 2005 of breast cancer.
Life after "Bosom Buddies" brought varying degrees of good fortune to cast members. Scolari, who shared top billing with Hanks, later joined the cast of "Newhart" for six years and has worked steadily in film, TV and theater. Hopkins, who had beeen a member of the hit group Tony Orlando and Dawn, has appeared in several television shows ("Family Matters"). Taylor has been a regular on several series and currently plays the mother of Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer on "Two and a Half Men." Dixon married actor Dan Aykroyd and made a memorable appearance in "Wayne's World."
Taylor said that during the "Bosom Buddies" days, there was something about Hanks that set him apart. "I called my mother after filming the pilot and said, There's a boy on this show that is freakishly talented.' "
"Tom's talent as a comedic actor was more than evident," added Scolari. "But no one could have predicted what he would be capable of as a dramatic actor in the years to come."
Though Hanks achieved success far beyond his "Bosom Buddies" mates, he was as giddy with excitement as his former colleagues as they reconnected and teased each other. The memories flowed: the time a live tiger who was part of a storyline got loose on the set; the "computer dating" episode with a guest appearance of an actress named Rita Wilson, who would later become Hanks' wife; long days of camera blocking and rehearsals where the exhausted, frazzled cast would improvise material that would become part of the finished episode.
There were also tough times behind the camera. Both Hanks and Scolari were in troubled marriages at the time and frequently cried on each others' shoulder while in women's garb. Hanks had no car and had to borrow money from the producers: "I was stone-cold broke," he recalled.
Asked how it felt to get back together, Scolari quipped, "I feel a bit gassy," while Dixon countered, "No, I noticed that you had a tear in your eye." Added Hopkins: "Yeah, he gets very emotional."
In fact, the show's lack of success helped cement their obvious warmth for each other. "Occasions like this makes me want to see everyone more," said Taylor. "We were not a hit, we were not anything. We were virtually invisible. As a result, it just came down to us enjoying each other, and we really did. It was like kids fooling around in the backyard."
"Except we got paid," chimed in Hopkins.
The cast credited executive producer Chris Thompson with expanding the show beyond its basic gimmick. They also praised the shows' producers, writers and director Joel Zwick, a veteran of numerous TV shows ("Family Matters," "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper").
Said Hanks: "We really owe those guys our careers."
Still, being in drag was a bit of a drag for Hanks and Scolari.
"We hated it," said Scolari. Piped in Hanks: "We would tell the writers, Aren't we strong enough as clever guys with our banter? Isn't that enough?' And then there would be the next episode and we'd have to dress up."
Added Scolari: "We really took a beating in the press, got hammered for it the first few weeks. But when Dustin Hoffman comes out with Tootsie,' everyone goes, Ooooh, masterpiece.' "
Hanks and Scolari, along with their once, present and future friends, roared with laughter.
To read some articles on Bosom Buddies go to http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=udsvAAAAIBAJ&sjid=mTQDAAAAIBAJ&dq=tom%20hanks&pg=5495%2C3647268 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=FxtgAAAAIBAJ&sjid=y20NAAAAIBAJ&dq=bosom%20buddies%20tv%20show&pg=1343%2C4457097 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=uaQrAAAAIBAJ&sjid=wfwFAAAAIBAJ&dq=bosom%20buddies%20tv%20show&pg=5313%2C5404406 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ZKJlAAAAIBAJ&sjid=a4wNAAAAIBAJ&dq=bosom%20buddies%20tv%20show&pg=2031%2C5661909
To watch some clips from Bosom Buddies go to http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=bosom+buddies+tv+show&aq=f
For a Website dedicated to Bosom Buddies go to http://web.archive.org/web/20000621225949/www.ozemail.com.au/~peterv/bb/index.html
For Tim's TV Showcase go to https://web.archive.org/web/20020606232510/http://www.timstvshowcase.com/bbuddies.html
For a Biography of Tom Hanks go to https://web.archive.org/web/20010609205408/http://movies.yahoo.com:80/shop?d=hc&id=1800010392&cf=bios
For Tom Hanks' Facebook Page go to https://www.facebook.com/TomHanks/
For a website dedicated to Tom Hanks go to http://tomhanks-online.com/
For some Bosom Buddies-related interview videos at the Archive of American Television go to https://interviews.televisionacademy.com/shows/bosom-buddies
For 2 reviews of Bosom Buddies go to https://web.archive.org/web/20111017110547/http://www.televisionheaven-usa.com/overview.htm#buddiesand http://www.commonsensemedia.org/tv-reviews/Bosom-Buddies.html
To hear Billy Joel sing "My Life" go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85sIJcC8zbs
� Date: Mon January 16, 2006 � Filesize: 25.6kb � Dimensions: 179 x 250 �
Keywords: Bosom Buddies: Cast Photo