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Poster: Mr. Television
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Pictured ( beginning in the back L-R) are DeLane Matthews, Scott Bakula, Patricia Richardson, Rose Portillo, Henderson Forsythe, and Leo Geter
Eisenhower And Lutz aired from March until June 1988 on CBS.
Bud Lutz ( Scott Bakula), had barely made it through law school and, after failing to establish a practice in Las Vegas, had returned home to Palm Springs, California, to open a law office there. The office, located in a former hot-tub showroom ( with a leftover sample in his reception area), in a mini-mall on the outskirts of town, did not attract a high-class clientile-mostly whiplash victims and illegal aliens. Bud's girlfriend Megan ( DeLane Matthews), who had returned with him from Vegas, was a cocktail waitress at the nearby Kon Tiki Lounge. Her relationship with Bud was threatened by his highschool sweetheart Kay ( Patricia Richardson), a partner in the high-powered local law firm of Grifin, McKendrick & Dunne, who still had the hots for him. Other's in the cast were Millie ( Rose Portillo), the secretary who Bud never seemed to pay; Dwayne ( Leo Geter), the eager young law student who did odd jobs for free in order to watch a real lawyer at work ( Some Example, lol); and Bud's free spirited father, Big Bud ( Henderson Forsythe), an eccentric sign painter. It was Big Bud's idea to call his son's firm, Eisenhower & Lutz, because the Eisenhower name was well respected in the desert. Unfortunately too many prospective clients asked for the nonexistant Mr. Eisenhower and not enough for Mr. Lutz.
Although this series was unsuccessful, the 3 leads eventually hit it big; Scott Bakula would star in the cult classic Quantum Leap ( 1989-1993); Patricia Richardson would star in the smash hit sitcom Home Improvement ( 1991-1999); and DeLane Matthews would star in the CBS hit sitcom Dave's World ( 1993-1997).
A Review From The New York Times
Review/Television; 'Eisenhower and Lutz,' A New Comedy on Law
By JOHN J. O'CONNOR
Published: March 14, 1988
It is not the world's most inviting title. ''Eisenhower and Lutz'' sounds suspiciously like still another police romp. But the new series, having an unusual debut on CBS this evening, is a comedy, and it turns out that the title is part of the joke. Created by Allan Burns for MTM Productions, ''Eisenhower and Lutz'' is an offbeat sitcom. What's more, it's very funny.
The show will be seen Mondays at 9:30 P.M. Tonight, though, it is being given two premieres. The first episode is at 8:30, following ''Kate and Allie''; the second at 9:30, right after ''The Newhart Show.'' CBS is either very confident or simply frantic to get a large audience sampling. In any case, here is one of the more promising comedy efforts of the season.
This is the kind of exercise that might have been written for Steve Martin if he had to do weekly television for a living. Instead, Mr. Burns has hired Scott Bakula, who brings a dopily affable Martin style and look to his portrayal of Barnett (Bud) Lutz Jr. Bud is the kind of good-looking lout who might work as a carhop and pick up customer telephone numbers as his tips. The bouncy opening theme song spells him out: ''Short on smart, long on cute/And honesty was never your strongest suit.''
Somehow Bud has received a law degree from the Southeast Las Vegas School of Law (he has had his secretary drop ''and Acupuncture'' from the school's name) and is now returning to Palm Springs to set up practice. His speciality seems to be whiplash cases. He has brought with him his girlfriend Megan O'Malley (DeLane Matthews), a sweet and airy young woman who works as a waitress at the Kon Tiki Lounge. Megan protests that she doesn't want to be a waitress all her life. ''Didn't I want you to go to bartender school,'' retorts the gallant Bud.
Bud has a Mexican-American secretary named Millie (Rose Portillo) who has yet to see a paycheck. And a geeky young man named Dwayne (Leo Geter), formerly a delivery boy for the local sushi restaurant, is the office gofer. Complicating economic and romantic matters is Kay Dunne (Patricia Richardson), Bud's former high-school flame and now a megaton lawyer with a major law firm. Kay would like to recapture the ''delicious danger'' of the old days, and is willing to throw a little business Bud's way if he is agreeable. Megan tries desperately to remain perky.
Mr. Burns, who also wrote this evening's episodes, in addition to directing the first, is a television veteran whose credits go back to ''Room 222'' and some of MTM's brightest achievements, including ''The Mary Tyler Moore Show'' and ''Rhoda.'' He can not only whip up generous batches of clever dialogue but he is also extremely clever with staging bits of comic business. Witness the scene in which, going to Kay's posh office, Bud gets his new tie caught in his new attache case. Mr. Bakula handles the crisis beautifully, right down to the moment when, trying to be casually debonair, he swings his hand into a giant cactus plant. He tries to maintain his composure as Kay insists on calling him Buddy. ''It's not Buddy,'' he says with as much dignity as he can muster, ''it's Bud.''
And, oh yes, the title. There is no Eisenhower. Bud's father, known as Big Bud (Henderson Forsythe), dreamed up that touch when painting a sign for his son's new business. It seems the Eisenhower name is still revered in Palm Springs. Also included on the sign is ''Se Habla Espanol'' and the puzzling message ''Vaya con carne.'' Big Bud is the crotchety old geezer. Sushi? ''I took some home once,'' he says,''fried it up and wasn't half bad.'' Meanwhile, in the second episode, directed by Peter Baldwin, Bud explains to Kay that the waitress making her margarita is his close woman friend. ''Lovely figure,'' Kay says through clenched teeth. ''I'll say,'' says Bud proudly, ''you should see her naked.'' Bud and his friends have a seductively dizzy charm.
Here is a review from The Washington Post
CBS' 'LUTZ' JURIST IMPRUDENT
By Tom Shales March 14, 1988
The Lutz of "Eisenhower & Lutz" is Barnett M. (Bud) Lutz Jr., a two-bit attorney in Palm Springs, Calif. He added Eisenhower to his firm's name because, he says, he "just figured it would give us a little class." A little class is what "Eisenhower & Lutz" has. A little more wouldn't hurt.
The new CBS sitcom, premiering tonight, was created by Allan Burns, six-time Emmy winner present at the creation of "Mary Tyler Moore" and other MTM classics. "E&L" can be seen as an attempt by both CBS and MTM to regain lost stature. MTM's has plummeted since the days when Grant Tinker ran it. CBS Entertainment has fallen, or perhaps thrown itself, on hard times.
Thus is the network giving the new series a flattering and unusual opening night showcase. One episode airs at 8:30 on Channel 9, after "Kate & Allie," and the second at 9:30, after "Newhart."
This may help, because after one exposure to Bud Lutz, you're not likely to be very fond of him. It's in the second episode that he begins to grow on you. Lutz is a sitcom antihero in the tradition of "Buffalo Bill" and "Slap Maxwell."
Bud's not nice. Sometimes he's veritably ratlike. Occasionally piggish. He's been known to behave like a lowdown dog. The guy is a walking zoo.
Lutz is played by Scott Bakula, who looks like a combination of Steve Martin and Michael Dukakis. He has made himself at home in the role, that of a lawyer who would give lawyers a bad name if they didn't already have one. He earned his degree over eight years at night school -- specifically, the East Las Vegas School of Law and Acupuncture.
When you have a louse at the heart of a series, you need strong supporting characters, and here "Eisenhower & Lutz" shines, particularly in the case of DeLane Matthews as Megan, Lutz's absurdly loyal and devoted girlfriend. Matthews is a true discovery, a prize-worthy blossom, a melter of hearts.
Waiting tables at a tropical bar where every drink must have a flower or an umbrella in it, Megan is an all-give and no-take kind of a gal, the self-sacrificing saint who never has to try to make a man feel guilty; it just comes naturally. In the second episode, she has to deliver drinks to a table at which Bud sits with an old flame who is now a successful lawyer. Matthews is wonderful balancing her jealousy and her dignity and a trayful of margaritas.
Others in the cast include Patricia Richardson as said old flame, Rose Portillo as an unpaid secretary named Millie and Leo Geter as an errand boy named Dwayne. The most expendable lumpen zany among them is Henderson Forsythe as Big Bud, Lutz's father, a besotted nut case who leans politically to the right. And falls over.
"This country ain't been the same since we lost Joe McCarthy," he brays at the bar. "I miss Mortimer Snerd, too," says the woman on the next stool. Young Bud is a forgivable scheming loser, Big Bud an insufferable lout.
The hero's charms are best appreciated, it seems, by the opposite sex. In the title song, Bud is sung to: "You're short on smart, and long on cute, and honesty was never your strong pursuit ..."
Among the show's problems, its setting seems excessively bleak. This Palm Springs looks like lower Tijuana. The show needs accommodations a bit more de-Lutz.
Burns, who wrote the premiere, will stoop to sushi jokes, yes, but his character comedy does have character, and so shows potential. Relatively long on smart and comparatively short on cute, "Eisenhower & Lutz" is prima facie funny.
'Sesame Street Special' It could be argued that "Sesame Street" is always special and so a "Sesame Street Special" is redundant. Well yes, of course, but it also could be argued that cream puffs are health food. Must we have all this arguing? "Sesame Street Special," at 8 tonight on Channel 26, is inarguably and inordinately irresistible.
The program, produced for public stations to use in their current fund-raising drives, features all the "Sesame Street" regulars (though Big Bird makes himself very scarce) and a grab bag of guest stars, like Phil Donahue (proving he can spoof himself), Barbara Walters, Patti LaBelle, Ralph Nader, Mookie Wilson, James Taylor, Seiji Ozawa, Martina Navratilova and Robert MacNeil. There's a crowd almost as colorful as the Muppets.
And sooner or later, nearly everybody sings, most of them joining in one of umpteen choruses of "Put Down the Ducky," a song designed to instruct Ernie in the finer points of saxophoning. John Candy and Andrea Martin, of "SCTV," pop up too, along with Joe Williams, Pee-wee Herman and you-name-them.
The song is reprised during the closing credits (that's when Phil, Ralph and Barbara take cracks at it), so the show's not over till it's over. And the name for any PBS station that fades the song under an importuning announcer, or shrinks it into a postage stamp in one corner of the screen, is unspeakable. Especially in company like this.
However one feels about "Sesame Street" and the digital-liberal stimulation blitz with which it conditions its young audience, the Muppets are delightful, and despite some lags in the second half, the show is still a sure-fire family affair. Get the kids, get the pets, and you might even want to import a few aunts and uncles from out of town.
For a curtain raiser, Gladys Knight and the Pips offer a winning rendition of the title tune. Sesame Street is "where the air is sweet," they sing. How true. The place is a little like Shangri-La, in that you're old again the minute you leave.
'Broken Angel' Attention all parents who feel they have experienced insufficient paranoia and lack of gnawing guilt: ABC offers another TV movie designed to promote both. "Broken Angel," at 9 tonight on Channel 7, tells of a dopey couple who have no idea their daughter is a member of a vicious teen-age gang.
They appear to have no idea of anything, these two. As unconvincingly played by William Shatner and Susan Blakely, they and their problems have no more immediacy than the statistics with which they are constantly being pelted by Brock Peters as a concerned cop and Roxann Biggs as a gang specialist.
Shatner looks as though he is going to break out in guffaws at any moment, perhaps his way of surmounting the material. The script by Cynthia Cherbak seems a variation on the movie "Hard Core," in which George C. Scott doggedly (and moosily) searched for his daughter in the porn pits of the city. In this film, the daughter disappears after a brutal gang murder outside the high school prom, but Dad never does get down to any very serious searching.
Instead he wanders about doling out photos of the lost girl and listening to lecture upon lecture about the gang problem. Director Richard Heffron was unable, or unwilling, to promote any kind of urgency or momentum.
Erika Eleniak, a Brooke Shields look-alike (she has the same centipede eyebrows), plays 16-year-old Jaime, who spends most of the movie in hiding, lucky for her. There's one sparkling performance, however, and that's Jason Horst as Jaime's 13-year-old brother Drew; Horst is most assured tossing off the wisecracks, and he and Shatner have some funny moments together before the big abduction.
The potential is there for a sitcom; Shatner as a father constantly bested by his witty, erudite son. They'd have to hurry, though, because Horst's prime years may be limited. Anyway, other than a couple of scenes with Millie Perkins as a distraught mom, he's the sole distinction of this overwrought underachiever.
'Danger Down Under' NBC's "Danger Down Under," at 9 tonight on Channel 4, just has to be the kind of movie that is regularly shown to literally captive audiences way down yonder in the yawning chasms of hell!!!
Almost nothing happens, the characters are all completely false and transparent, the acting is pitifully feeble, and the sound track is regularly punctuated by the agonized whinnies of a distressed horse. You want to nod off to slumberland but the horse whinnies keep rousting you.
Lee Majors, chubbing out as the years advance, plays a Kentucky horse breeder who grabs his lawyer son and runs off to Australia, where his ex-wife and a $4 million thoroughbred are living. Most of the movie was filmed in New South Wales, which looks very nice in the aerial shots but terrible at ground level, where the actors are free to block one's view.
Step aside there, Majors, and let us get a good look at that tree, s'il vous plait.
Obviously made to capitalize on the growing and appalling strain of Aussie chic precipitated by "Crocodile Dundee," the film has to fall back on that ancient device, the disgruntled hired hand, to get any kind of plot going. The relationship between Majors and his ex (Rebecca Gilling) could only be more boring if both were sedated. Come to think of it, they may have been.
The sons are all beastly to their father, and between meals there's tiresome bickering. We know the oldest son is a lawyer because he says "quid pro quo" (ooooh, lawyer talk!). He also says, in dialogue typical of that fashioned by writer Reuben Leder, "You can bet your wombat I didn't ask to come down here."
Majors, contemplating a prize stallion, observes, "You know, if reincarnation really works, I wouldn't mind coming back as a horse." Hey, Lee, how about coming back as an actor? Ha!
Because the original title was "Harris Down Under" and because certain narrative lines are left dangling, we may assume that this film was meant to be the pilot for a series. A series, right. A series showing weekly on the network of the damned!!!
Here is Henderson Forsythe's Obituary from The New York Times
Henderson Forsythe, 88, Character Actor, Dies
By DOUGLAS MARTIN
Published: April 20, 2006
Henderson Forsythe, an accomplished character actor who demonstrated his versatility in plays by dramatists like O'Neill, Beckett and Pinter and in rollicking musicals, movies and television including 31 years on the soap opera "As the World Turns," died on Monday at his home in Williamsburg Landing, Va. He was 88.
His death was announced by the Nelson Funeral Home of Williamsburg, Va.
Mr. Forsythe was acclaimed for his portrayal of Ed Earl Dodd, the earthy, profane sheriff in "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." He won the 1979 Tony Award for outstanding featured actor in a musical for the role, and when he reprised the role in London, was nominated there for actor of the year in a musical.
In a mostly disparaging article on the Broadway production, Walter Kerr wrote in The New York Times, "When there are laughs, it's Mr. Forsythe who gets them."
Mr. Kerr praised Mr. Forsythe as an actor, singer and dancer, calling him "a triple-threat fellow."
Mr. Forsythe created roles, although seldom leads, in many significant plays. These included "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," "A Delicate Balance," "The Texas Trilogy" and "The Birthday Party."
Millions of fans of "As the World Turns," knew Mr. Forsythe's character, Dr. David Stewart, as if he were a family member. From the time he replaced Ernest Graves, who briefly played Dr. Stewart, in December 1960, Mr. Forsythe saw his character through almost innumerable twists and turns, none more intriguing than when he almost married a second wife while suffering from amnesia in 1981. Dr. Stewart died in 1991.
Mr. Forsythe had roles in movies including "Silkwood (1983)" and "End of the Line" (1988). His television appearances ranged from playing Dr. Kildare's father to roles in episodes of "Law & Order" to Big Bud, a crotchety old geezer, in "Eisenhower and Lutz," a 1988 series.
In one episode, Big Bud recounts that he took some sushi home once. He said he "fried it up and wasn't half bad."
In interviews, Mr. Forsythe insisted he did not consider acting in a soap opera to be beneath him. "It's the variety that makes it interesting," he told The Associated Press in 1979.
But his first love remained serious theater, though in 1994 he played a reincarnated Col. Harland Sanders in commercials for KFC restaurants. In 1993, Ben Brantley of The New York Times, in reviewing "A Quarrel of Sparrows," said Mr. Forsythe's character, a harpist, "suggests an updated aesthete-bachelor version of the aphorism-spouting sages Lionel Barrymore used to play."
Mr. Forsythe was born on Sept. 11, 1917, in Macon, Mo., where he first studied theater, ran track and worked in his family's filling station and produce company. He transferred from Culver-Stockton College in 1938 to the University of Iowa, where he appeared in many productions, earned his undergraduate degree and was a classmate of Tennessee Williams.
The University of Iowa said he was the first person to earn a master's in fine arts from its theater department. He met Dorothea Maria Carlson at the university and they married in 1942.
He was in the Army in Europe during World War II. After he returned, he and his wife, an actress, spent nine years with the Erie Playhouse in Pennsylvania.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Forsythe is survived by his sons Eric, of Iowa, and Jason, of New Jersey, and four grandchildren.
Correction: April 21, 2006
An obituary of the character actor Henderson Forsythe yesterday misstated his involvement with the Broadway play "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" He appeared as George during the original Broadway run, but it was Arthur Hill who originated the role.
To watch some clips from Eisenhower & Lutz go to http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Eisenhower+%26+Lutz&aq=f
For more on Eisenhower & Lutz go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisenhower_and_Lutz
For a webpage dedicated to Scott Bakula go to
For some Eisenhower & Lutz-related interview videos at the Archive of American Television go to https://interviews.televisionacademy.com/shows/eisenhower-lutz
To watch the opening credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xpoKzHF4xg
� Date: Fri April 8, 2016 � Filesize: 62.5kb, 70.2kb � Dimensions: 796 x 1000 �
Keywords: The Cast of Eisenhower & Lutz (Links Updated 7/17/18)