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Series 2

Director: George Bloomfield
Head Writer: Harold Ramis (1-16), Joe Flaherty, Dave Thomas
Writers: Brian Doyle Murray, Jim Fisher, Jim Staahl
Producers: Andrew Alexander, Bernie Sahlins

There were six people who loved to watch television. But they didn't like what they saw. So they decided to do something about it. Armed with determination and a strong will to change the course of television, they wrote their own shows. Classy shows! But they knew that wasn't enough. They had to sell them. Letting nothing stand in their way, they went straight to the networks. But the networks just weren't ready for them. Not NBC, not CBS, not even ABC. But did that stop them? No! They built their own network: SCTV! And they liked what they saw. But they weren't the only people watching. Yes, SCTV was on the air!
Narrator - staff announcer John Stocker

Series 1 cast

With the second series, the show gets a new, more professional bumper and logo, along with a new theme song ('Freestyle', which would be used up until cycle 2 of Network 90), and the classic opening segment featuring John Candy lobbing a television out of the window. The production standard also appears to be higher - the show looks less cheap.

Harold Ramis, already in Hollywood writing screenplays, helped to write the first 16 episodes but only appears in shows 2-1 and 2-3. His departure resulted in the passing of Moe Green as station manager, to be replaced by inimitable Edith Prickley. The leopard-skin-clad dynamo was a perfect choice. At the same time, Guy Caballero comes into his irascible own as the owner and President of SCTV. He storms onto the screen in a Panama suit and a wheelchair "for respect", rolling over anybody who gets in his way. These two, possibly SCTV's most beloved and identifiable characters, anchored the show right through its run (and beyond).

Series 2 features some of the very best shows ever done, including the 30th Anniversary, the Solid Gold Telethon, Fantasy Island, and On the Waterfront Again. However, Ramis' writing productivity is missed; the series ends with some weaker shows and two best ofs.

Best of the Best: Bob Hope Desert Classic, Solid Gold Telethon, Municipal Election, SCTV 30th Anniversary, Fantasy Island, On the Waterfront Again

2-1 Premiere
Airdate: 16 September 1978

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As the show starts, the scripts are not finished. The first on-screen appearance of Guy Caballero, in a wheelchair (which he uses for respect) with a phone. And, seemingly out of nowhere, Lola Heatherton appears, fully formed, in her first special.

Additional Viewing: 70s TV series The Love Boat and The Incredible Hulk.

1 SCTV Editorial: The New Season

Moe introduces the new season. Good news - their license is no longer suspended. Caballero phones; there's a problem - the writer hasn't finished the scripts.

Moe Green - Ramis; Guy Caballero (voice only) - Flaherty; announcer - staff announcer

2 Ernest Kirsch, SCTV Writer

Caballero pesters Kirsch for the scripts. First on-camera appearance of Guy Caballero (in a wheelchair that has a phone).

Ernest Kirsch - Thomas; Guy Caballero - Flaherty

3 Promo: Lola Heatherton In Concert

The beautiful, dynamic, multi talented Lola in concert this Saturday. ("So Glad to Be Here," "You Light Up My Life") "I want to bear all your children!"

Lola Heatherton - O'Hara; Dancers - Flaherty, Levy, Thomas; announcer - Levy

4 Promo: Love Craft

A rich American divorced lady and her daughter take a cruise aboard the Love Craft. She may fly the Greek flag, but the comedy is international. ("You want special? Toast that kaiser!")

Captain Alki Stereopolis - Flaherty; Sailors - Levy, Thomas; American Divorcee - O'Hara; Daughter - Martin; Announcer - Candy, staff announcer; other vacationers - Candy, extras

5 Commercial: Water Spray from Pocketpic

Great new device for cleaning teeth. "Smile again."

Pitchman - Levy; Happy user - Candy

6 SCTV News: Informal chit-chat

Earl tries to lighten the newscast with chit-chat. Floyd has an item on mudslides in Togo and Tarzan accepting the help of mercenaries, and gets Earl to cut back the chit chat.

Floyd Robertson - Flaherty; Earl Camembert - Levy

7 Words to Live By with Rev. Ernest Kirsch

Kirsch tries to end the programming day a little early. Caballero calls him up and orders him back to his basement.

Ernest Kirsch - Thomas; Guy Caballero (voice only) - Flaherty; announcer - staff announcer

8 The Incredible Bulk

At his psychiatrist's office, Bulk meets a woman he can relate to.

Doctor - Martin; Mr Bigsby (Bulk) - Candy; Receptionist - O'Hara; Mrs. Strickler - O'Hara; Mr Bigsby (as himself) - Thomas; announcer - Levy

9 Commercial: Moxwell House Decaffeinated Coffee

The stock-boy has trouble stacking tins of juice.

Stock-boy - Thomas; Margaret Hamilton - Martin; Demons - Kathleen and Matthew Wallace

10 Feedback with Moe Green

Moe has a call-in show. Moe solicits feedback on the new season, and is forced to make some calls instead.

Moe Green - Ramis; Mr Dunston - Levy

2a Ernest Kirsch SCTV Writer Part 2

Caballero pursues Kirsch to get those scripts. Caballero signs off.

Ernest Kirsch - Thomas; Guy Caballero - Flaherty

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Bob Hope hosts his own celebrity golf tournament, this time in the deserts of the Middle East, even doing a walk on during Masterpiece Theatre to promote it. Bob is joined by a raft of Mid-East personalities, Lou Jaffe does the play by play, and SCTV Sports Central provides some background. Meanwhile, Monster Chiller Horror Theatre returns with the second Dr. Tongue feature, 'House of Wax.'

The show marks the introduction of Thomas' celebrated Hope impression, which he would eventually perform on an actual Bob Hope special; Thomas continued to do the impression long after SCTV left the air, most recently on Primetime Glick. The Desert Classic also introduces another long-running character - Flaherty's Charleton Heston.

Additional Viewing: The Bob Hope Desert Classic (now the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic) is an annual PGA golf tournament.

1 Promo: Monster Chiller Horror Theatre: The House of Cats

Floyd shows some clips from the three-dimensional semi-classic. Floyd is selling the 3D glasses for 27 bucks.

Clip: Dr Tongue's 3D House of Cats

Dr Tongue transforms women into cats. (The 3D technique is not quite perfected at this point.)

Woody Tobias Jr as Bruno - Levy; Dr Tongue - Candy; Alicia - O'Hara

Count Floyd - Flaherty

OPENING

2 SCTV Sports Central: Desert Classic

Coverage of the Bob Hope Desert Classic begins with some background on Bob's golf career.

Keith Hampshire - Thomas; Phyllis Gumble - O'Hara

3 Commercial: Delay

Have your headache when you want it.

Husband - Candy; Wife - Martin; Guests - Thomas, Levy, 2 extras for dates

4 Betty Bain: Professional Juror

Betty takes jury duty seriously, sacrificing her family life.

Betty Bain - Martin; Husband - Levy; Child - extra; Jurors - Flaherty, Thomas, O'Hara, Peter Wildman, extras; Defendant (voice-over only) - Thomas; Prosecutor (voiceover only) - Flaherty; Defendant's lawyer (voiceover only) - Levy; Judge - Candy

5 Promo: Masterpiece Theatre: Naughty Chambermaids

Alistair's introduction is interrupted by a walk on by Bob Hope plugging his special.

Alistair Cook - Flaherty; Bob Hope - Thomas

6 Bob Hope Desert Classic

Bob and Lou host this star-studded golfing event. Begin has a bad lie, and argues with Arafat. King Fahud shows Lola how to hold her putter. Charlton Heston helps Golda chip through a pipeline. Arafat occupies the 12th hole, while Begin takes the 13th fairway. Lou gets lost off the 18th hole.

Lou Jaffe - Levy; Bob Hope - Thomas; Menachim Begin - Flaherty; Yasser Arafat - Levy; King Fahud - Candy; Lola Heatherton - O'Hara; Jack Nicklaus - Candy; Cheap Bogie - Flaherty; Golda Meir - Martin; Charlton Heston - Flaherty; Richard Nixon - Flaherty; American businessman - Candy; Announcer - Candy; miscellaneous Arabs - extras

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Station Manager Moe Green is kidnapped by Lutonians. Harold Ramis' last appearance on the show. K-Tel Salvador Dali Car Stash Wax provides the obvious answer to the question "what do you do when your Linkin Mercury Dali Edition's moustache starts to droop?"

Additional Viewing: Donna parodies Dinah Shore's 70s daytime talk show Dinah!

1 SCTV Editorial: Lutonian Liberation Front

Moe Green declares publicly that he won't back down to threats from the Lutonian Liberation Front.

Moe Green - Ramis

OPENING

2 Donna: Barbara Streisberg

Joined in progress. Donna's guest Barbara Streisberg tries to sing a song.

Host: Donna - O'Hara; Barbara Streisand (Streisberg) - Martin; Chef - extra

3 Promo: Master Sergeant Chef

The sergeant prepares dinner for the ambassador and his party.

Sergeant Chef - Thomas; Ramone - Levy; Michel - Candy; Andre - Flaherty; Renee - extra; announcer - staff announcer

4 SCTV News: Moe Green Kidnapped

An outbreak of legionnaire's disease breaks out in Hawaii; Plattsburg cleanup; and Earl keeps forgetting the Moe Green kidnapping item - he's been kidnapped by Leftists for Lutonia. To finish, Earl gives an editorial about the kidnapping.

Floyd Robertson - Flaherty; Earl Camembert - Levy

5 Commercial: Cup 'n Soup

The cup you cook up with the soup.

Mother - Martin; Daughter - O'Hara

6 Petty Claims Court

Various petty people make petty claims to the bailiff.

Bailiff - Levy; Announcers - Flaherty, O'Hara; Man who wants 50 cents back - Candy; Alcoholic - Thomas; Bag lady - Martin

7 Commercial: Linkin Mercury Dali Edition

Dali abandons function for concept.

Salvador Dali - Flaherty; Announcer - staff announcer

8 Commercial: K-Tel Salvador Dali Car Stash Wax

Save the mustache on your Linkin Mercury Dali Edition car.

Harvey K-Tel - Thomas

9 Promo: SCTV Movie of the Week: Nice Kids from Hell

Some nice kids terrorize the neighborhood.

Husband - Flaherty; Wife - Martin; Nice kids: Kitten - O'Hara; Mort - Candy; Herb - Levy; Tony - Thomas; Announcer - staff announcer

10 SCTV News Bulletin: Message from Moe Green

A tape from Moe Green has arrived after SCTV refused to pay the excessive 00 ransom. Earl and Floyd discusses it.

Floyd Robertson - Flaherty; Earl Camembert - Levy; Moe Green - Ramis

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Sammy Maudlin, Bobby Bittman and Johnny LaRue anchor the show-length star-studded charity telethon. A great celebrity schmooze fest. The Solid Gold Telethon marks the first of three telethons SCTV would air in an attempt to get cash from viewers; it was followed by Pledge Week in Series 4, and the very final SCTV episode, Pledge Week in Series 6.

The Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme duet is an almost note-for-note parody of Jackie and Roy's rendition of the tune "You Smell So Good", a jazz classic. (Thanks Charlie R)

OPENING

1 SCTV Solid Gold Telethon Part 1

SCTV turns to public support as Sammy hosts a telethon encouraging people to send in their gold. Bobby and Johnny co-host. Bobby takes the audience to task for their middling reception, while Johnny offers a challenge to keep drinking heavily until they reach their goal. And they do a number.

Sammy Maudlin - Flaherty; Bobby Bittman - Levy; Johnny LaRue - Candy; Announcer - staff announcer; people on the phones - extras

BUMPER

2 Commercial: Beef and Booze Restaurant

Just Beef and Booze. No wimpy salads.

Waitress - Martin; Wimp - Thomas; Tough guys - Flaherty, Levy, Candy, extras

1a SCTV Solid Gold Telethon Part 2

Sammy thanks Bob Dylan for stopping by and checks the tote board. Sammy gives a speech and then has a chat with Lola and Captain Combat, who is encouraging kiddies to bring their parents gold down to the station. Steve and Edie do a number. LaRue and Bittman bring things down with the Solid Gold poster child.

Sammy Maudlin - Flaherty; Lola Heatherton - O'Hara; Captain Combat - Thomas; Gunny Rabbit - Candy; Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme - Thomas and O'Hara; Johnny LaRue - Candy; Bobby Bittman - Levy; Howard, the poster child - extra; announcer - staff announcer

3 Commercial: Max Lax Coffee Laxative

Your guests will notice the difference.

Hostess - Martin; Guests - extras

1b SCTV Solid Gold Telethon Part 3

Perini Scleroso helps out with the phones. Sammy checks the tote board and the results are disappointing. Bittman takes the audience to task again.

Sammy Maudlin - Flaherty; Bobby Bittman - Levy; Johnny LaRue - Candy; Perini Scleroso - Martin

1c SCTV Solid Gold Telethon Part 4

We rejoin the telethon already in progress, as Lorna Minelli finishes "Over the Rainbow". Johnny, now quite hammered, donates his weight in gold. They check the tote board and the goal is reached. Sammy, LaRue and Bobby do a closing number, and Sammy breaks down. The staff announcer thanks everyone who contributed; roll credits.

Sammy Maudlin - Flaherty; Bobby Bittman - Levy; Johnny LaRue - Candy; Lorna Minelli - Martin; Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme - Thomas and O'Hara; announcer - staff announcer

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Something of a sequel to the first episode as Ernest Kirsch, SCTV writer, goes on strike, disrupting regular programming. At SCTV News, Floyd and Earl are forced to write their own copy. Caballero (still in a wheelchair with a phone) starts a tradition of giving speeches to the camera - as the show progressed, he would become more and more verbose, but here he's brief and to the point.

OPENING

1 Restless Doctors

An episode of the daytime drama is interrupted when they run out of cue cards and have to improvise, leaving everyone desperate to get off the stage. Caballero arrives, furious, and goes in search of Kirsch, the writer.

Nurse Jennifer - O'Hara; Nurse Meg - Martin; Dr Michaels - Levy; cue card man - Candy; Frank the patient - Thomas; Guy Caballero - Flaherty; announcer - staff announcer

2 SCTV News Bulletin: Writer Strike

Floyd has a bulletin: writer Ernest Kirsch has gone on strike, but Guy Caballero insists programming will continue, though he can't guarantee its quality.

Floyd Robertson - Flaherty

3 Master Ralph Roister Doister

A Medieval sitcom.

Ralph Roister Doister - Thomas; Wife - O'Hara; Sheriff - Flaherty

4 Commercial: Palmoval

With special acid-based compounds to burn away grease.

Edith Prickley - Martin; Woman with dishpan hands - O'Hara

5 SCTV News: Thesaurus

Floyd and Earl have to write their own items because of the strike; Earl uses a thesaurus while Floyd tries to be hard-hitting.

Floyd Robertson - Flaherty; Earl Camembert - Levy

6 LaRue by Night Part 1

Johnny's written his show on some cocktail napkins. Johnny talks to Perini, who starts to ham it up. Others turn and run as Johnny approaches. Johnny plugs Angelo Rosato's restaurant supplies.

Johnny LaRue - Candy; Perini Scleroso - Martin

7 Commercial: Harlett Romances

"We'll show you what real love is all about."

Avid Reader - O'Hara; Coworker - Flaherty; Announcer - staff announcer

6a LaRue by Night Part 2

Johnny gets a gift of some fish, and Angelo Rosato arrives with a note pinned to his forehead.

Johnny LaRue - Candy; Angelo Rosato - Tony Rosato (?)

8 Ernest Kirsch SCTV Writer

Caballero confronts Kirsch and resolves the strike by giving Kirsch a union, but not what Kirsch was thinking of; Caballero, much more concise in the early episodes, closes with this remark: "Unions are the work of the devil. Thank You".

Guy Caballero - Flaherty; Ernest Kirsch - Thomas; Tony the Union Steward - Candy

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DVD Early YearsEarl Camembert faces a conflict of interest as Johnny LaRue's campaign manager as SCTV News covers the municipal elections and Johnny's run for council.

Additional Viewing: The 1978 TV miniseries The Bastard, starring Tom Bosley; 70s sitcom Three's Company.

1 Commercial: Johnny LaRue for City Council

Johnny makes his pitch for city council. And he denies that he's gay. Paid for by the Sicilian Homophile Society.

Johnny LaRue - Candy; Wife - O'Hara; Children - extras; announcer - staff announcer

2 Promo: The Silly Bastard

Andrew travels to England to find his real father.

Andrew, the Silly Bastard - Thomas; Mother - O'Hara; Tom Bosley as Ben Franklin - Candy; Printer - Levy; Woman - Martin; announcer - staff announcer

3 SCTV Election Central Part 1: Highlights from The Great Debate

SCTV News coverage of the election begins with some highlights of the debate between candidates.

Clip: The Great Debate

Earl, Johnny's campaign manager, is the moderator. Jack wants to face the ultimate political confrontation; Shirley wants a political theater; and Johnny proposes a bird sanctuary/casino.

Earl Camembert - Levy; Johnny LaRue - Candy; Jack Brown - Thomas, Shirley McLennan-Black - O'Hara

Early returns come in with LaRue far behind.

Earl Camembert - Levy; Floyd Robertson - Flaherty; Election Central staff - Peter Wildman, extras

4 Promo: One Is Enough

When you're Barbie Somers, one is definitely enough.

Barbie Somers - O'Hara; Announcer - staff announcer

5 Commercial: Moxwell House Decaffeinated Coffee (R)

The stock-boy has trouble stacking tins of juice.

Stock-boy - Thomas; Margaret Hamilton - Martin; Demons - Kathleen and Matthew Wallace

3a SCTV Election Central Part 2: Statistics

Earl has some election statistics.

Earl Camembert - Levy; Floyd Robertson - Flaherty; Election Central staff - Peter Wildman, extras

6 Commercial: Career Home Study

The next time you buy some matches, don't just pick your teeth with them.

Don Mair - Thomas

3b SCTV Election Central Part 3: LaRue's Speech

Earl is at Johnny's campaign headquarters to get Johnny's reaction to his defeat (he's bitter). Note: Johnny's slogan is Legalize LaRue.

Earl Camembert - Levy; Floyd Robertson - Flaherty; Johnny LaRue - Candy; campaigners, Election Central staff - Peter Wildman, extras

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Features several sketches with an arab element (Guy's pitch for Arab investment - 'You won't regret it effendis'), the first Farm Film Report where the catchphrase "blowed up good" is used, and the first 'Message from Guy,' firmly imprinting the garrulous SCTV owner and president as a mainstay of the show. Farm Film Report meets Arabia in the classic How the Middle East Was Won, which reunites the trio of Richard Harris, Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole, last seen together in The Man Who Would be King of the Popes from Series 1.

Additional Viewing: The Wind and the Lion (1975) meets Lawrence of Arabia (1962) in How the Middle East Was Won; 50s TV series The Millionaire.

OPENING

1 Message from Guy: Arabs

Guy (still in a wheelchair with a phone) welcomes oil rich Arabs to the community of nations and invites them to invest heavily in SCTV.

Guy Caballero - Flaherty; Announcer - Thomas; announcer - staff announcer

2 Farm Film Report

Big Jim's guest critic Billy Sol Hurok reviews The Red Hat. He gives it a good review, cause they blow up the king at the end. And then they blow up.

Big Jim McBob - Flaherty; Billy Sol Hurok - Candy; Announcer - staff announcer

3 Commercial: Cup 'n Soup (R)

The real cup you cook up with the soup. (Note: soundtrack added to this version)

Mother - Martin; Daughter - O'Hara

4 The $Millionaire

The Millionaire is flat broke and reduced to giving away 50 bucks. His male secretary takes the heat from the Adamly family who aren't impressed by 50 bucks. But a wealthy Arab arrives to save the day. Next week, The Millionaire From Mecca.

Michael Anthony, Male Secretary - Candy; John Beresford Tipton, (Ex)Millionaire - Flaherty; Adamly family - Thomas, O'Hara; Arab - Levy; announcer - staff announcer

5 Falcons and Oysters

Bob clears up some myths about falcons and oysters.

Host: Bob Bond - Thomas; Contestants - Flaherty, O'Hara

6 Speaking of Talk with Lou Jaffe

Lou interviews one of the greatest announcers in the business, Harvey K-Tel, and finds out they went to the same school.

Lou Jaffe - Levy; Harvey K-Tel - Thomas; Studio Engineer - Candy; extras

7 Commercial: Grease from LaRue Enterprises

Get rid of grease by using grease.

Johnny LaRue - Candy; Housewives - Martin, O'Hara, extras

8 Commercial: How the Middle East Was Won

Various English suitors try to convince the Mufti to do things their way, and then they blow up.

Richard Harris (Hariss) as Gordon of Khartoum - Thomas; Richard Burton (Berton) as Sir Richard Burton - Candy; Peter O'Toole (O'Tool) as Lawrence - Flaherty; Candice Bergen as the Woman Who Loved the Mufti - O'Hara; Sean Connery as the Mufti - Levy; Announcer - staff announcer

2a Farm Film Report Part 2

Big Jim and Billy Sol like what they see in How the Middle East Was Won. And then they blow up.

Big Jim McBob - Flaherty; Billy Sol Hurok - Candy

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The episode is more or less split in two, with the first half featuring the in-depth exploration of comedians 'The Mirthmakers', while the second half sketches all feature happy endings.

1 The Mirthmakers with Orson Welles: Part 1

Orson takes an in-depth look at comedians.

Orson Welles ('Orsan Welles')- Candy

2 Commercial: Max Lax Coffee Laxative (R)

Your guests will notice the difference. (Note: soundtrack added in this version)

Hostess - Martin; Guests - extras

1a The Mirthmakers Part 2

Orson interviews Bobby Bittman and Cheryl Kinsey to better understand comedians.

Orson Welles - Candy; Bobby Bittman - Levy; Dr Cheryl Kinsey - Martin; crew - extras

3 SCTV News: Happy Endings

Earl finds a happy ending to all his items. Mayor Tommy Shanks is referred to in one item.

Earl Camembert - Levy; Floyd Robertson - Flaherty; crew - extras

4 Commercial: Modular Shoe Kit from K-Tel

Keep up with the latest shoe fashions.

Gerry - Levy; Bert - Candy; Partygoers - Thomas, Flaherty, Peter Wildman, extras; Announcer: Harvey K-Tel - Thomas

5 Chinese Fairy Tales with Lin Ye Tang

Lin rebels against happy endings.

Lin Ye Tang - Thomas

6 SCTV Triple Feature Movie Part 1

Drums of the Congo Swamp Rats, Desert Rat Drums and Drum Rats In Outer Space are featured.

Heroine - O'Hara; Swamp Guide (Robert Mitchum) - Flaherty; Desert Guide (John Wayne) - Candy; Space Guide - Thomas; Announcer - staff announcer

7 Commercial: Pit Stop Deodorant 144

For women who do the job of men.

Jan Wilson, professional Race Car Driver - Martin; Mechanics - Candy, Levy; Announcer - staff announcer

6a SCTV Triple Feature Movie: Happy Ending Conclusions

Drums of the Congo Swamp Rats, Desert Rat Drums and Drum Rats In Outer Space all end happily.

Heroine - O'Hara; Swamp Guide (Robert Mitchum) - Flaherty; Desert Guide (John Wayne) - Candy; Space Guide - Thomas; Announcer - staff announcer

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The first appearance of gameshow host Alex Trebel, hosting the high school quiz show High Q.

Additional Viewing: The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, the long-running nature show from the 60s and 70s.

Second City notes: Marriage Counsellor originated in the 1976 revue For a Good Time Call 363-1674, Thomas and O'Hara reprising their respective roles here.

OPENING

1 Me and You and Yoga and Me

The legs and green pea tea.

Dana Yogahanson - Martin; announcer - staff announcer

2 Commercial: Water Spray from Pocketpic (R)

Great new device for cleaning teeth.

Pitchman - Levy; Happy user - Candy

3 High Q

First topic: authors, and Margaret jumps on the question before it is asked, several times. Bridgeman buzzes but backs out. Mifsud almost gets it right and contests it. Next topic: music. Margaret jumps on the question again. Bridgeman buzzes and backs out again. Townsend answers correctly, but it's Richmond's turn. Cathy then gets it wrong. The audience gets disruptive. Trebel loses his cool.

Alex Trebel - Levy; Parkdale: Margaret Meehan - O'Hara; Peter Townsend - Candy; James Bridgeman - Flaherty; Richmond: Leonard Mandel - Thomas; Cathy Mifsud - Martin; Bruce Moffat - Peter Wildman; Announcer - staff announcer

4 Commercial: LaRue Towers

Johnny wants to be your landlord. It's cheap and it's got character.

Johnny LaRue - Candy; Tenants - Flaherty, O'Hara, extras

5 Marriage Counsellor

Mr Tander didn't come to the session, so Mrs. Tander speaks for both of them. Then the counsellor plays himself and Mrs Tander while she plays Mr Tander. Then the counsellor plays the couple while Mrs Tander plays the counselor. Finally she plays all the roles.

Dr Tom - Thomas; Mrs Tander - O'Hara

6 Commercial: Botch and Lamb Soft Contact Lenses

Get rid of those glasses. "The eyes have it".

Woman with glasses - Martin; Date - Levy; people with glasses - Candy, O'Hara, Thomas; announcer - staff announcer

7 Jacques Cousteau's Undersea World

Jacques wonders what lies in the well. Renee and pierre make the descent while Jacques makes some calls. They come up empty-handed.

Jacques Cousteau - Flaherty; Announcer - Candy; Renee - Thomas; Phillipe - Levy; Pierre - Candy

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Edith Prickley is named station manager, replacing the kidnapped Moe Green. (Guy still has the chair with the phone.)

Additional Viewing: the 1976 blockbuster Jaws.

OPENING

1 Shoot at the Stars

The lucky contestant gets to shoot all three celebrities.

Host: Jeff Edwards - Levy; Contestant: Tom - O'Hara; John Rutter (John Ritter) - Thomas; Chalo (Charo) - Martin; Robert Groulet (Robert Goulet) - Flaherty; Announcer - staff announcer

2 SCTV News: Earl's Editorial about his neighbors

Bad News Bears suspended; marijuana and liquor cause disorientation; Edith Prickley's appointment as Station Manager is announced; Earl gives an editorial carping about his neighbors.

Earl Camembert - Levy; Floyd Robertson - Flaherty; Edith Prickley (photo only) - Martin

3 Message from Guy: Edith Prickley Station Manager

Guy introduces SCTV's new station manager. Edith announces her plans for station programming: boobs, bums, good-looking hunky guys, and no more sports.

Guy Caballero - Flaherty; Edith Prickley - Martin; announcer - staff announcer

4 Jaws 23 Part 1

Amity has a problem: a lack of sharks. The mayor calls a town meeting. So Quint tells a chilling story about mackerel.

Mayor Vaughn - Thomas; Police Chief Brody - Levy; Billy Sol Hurok - Candy; Other Hick - O'Hara; Disappointed Woman - Martin; Quint - Flaherty; girl, townspeople - extras; Announcer - staff announcer

5 Sunrise Semester: Town Pride with Paul Fistinyourface

Paul has some tips about keeping your town free of bad men.

Paul Fistinyourface - Candy; announcer - staff announcer

6 Promo: Sore Losers

A lawyer takes it the wrong way when a judge rules against him.

Lawyer Ted Gordon - Thomas; Judge - Flaherty; defendant - Candy; bailiff - Peter Wildman; announcer - staff announcer

7 Words to Live By with Edith Prickley

Prickley announces some more of her plans; Guy's not too pleased.

Edith Prickley - Martin; Guy Caballero - Flaherty; announcer - staff announcer

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DVD Early YearsFeatures the show-length, star-studded salute to SCTV's 30th anniversary, with some great parodies of 50's television.

Additional Viewing: Branded, the 1965 TV show starring Chuck Connors; and What's My Line?, the long-running 50s panel show. While Kirk Douglas made two appearances as a mystery guest on What's My Line? (in 1953 and 1960), he was never a guest panelist (his second wife, Anne Buydens, did appear as a guest panelist on a 1966 show, however). Coincidentally, Andrea Martin, like Arlene Francis, is of partial Armenian descent, while Catherine O'Hara, like Dorothy Kilgallen, is from an Irish-Catholic family. The opening sequence of What's My Shoesize? has more in common with the 1968-75 syndicated version of What's My Line? (Thanks William Brown)

OPENING

1 SCTV 30th Anniversary Show Part 1

The evening's hosts are introduced, and Earl and Floyd start things off by introducing an excerpt from a 1952 hearing featuring Earl's dad.

1952 Hearing on Un-American Activities

Earl's dad rats on his grandmother.

Merle Camembert - Levy; Congressmen - Thomas, Candy; Merle's Lawyer - extra; Audience - extras

Earl Camembert - Levy; Floyd Robertson - Flaherty; Announcer - staff announcer
Johnny LaRue - Candy; Lola Heatherton - O'Hara; Lin Ye Tang - Thomas; Cheryl Kinsey - Martin;

2 Commercial: Palmoval (R)

With special acid-based compounds to burn away grease.

Edith Prickley - Martin; Woman with dishpan hands - O'Hara

1a SCTV 30th Anniversary Show Part 2

Lin Ye Tang and Johnny LaRue introduce excerpts of classic westerns that were cancelled by the FCC for excessive violence.

Clip: Yellowbelly

Johnny LaRue as Yellowbelly - Candy; Mother - O'Hara; Child - extra; bystanders - extras

Clip: The Old Texas Rangers

Sheriff - Thomas; Deputy - Flaherty; Kids - extras

Clip: Liverboat

Captain - Levy; Cardsharp - Flaherty; Card-player - Candy; Kitty - Martin; bystanders - extras

Lin Ye Tang - Thomas; Johnny LaRue - Candy;

3 Commercial: Delay (R)

Have your headache when you want it.

Husband - Candy; Wife - Martin; Guests - Thomas, Levy, 2 extras for dates

1b SCTV 30th Anniversary Show Part 3

Cheryl Kinsey and Lola Heatherton introduce the classic panel show "What's My Shoesize?".

What's My Shoesize?

Panelists fail to guess the shoesize of contestant Barry Stubing (size 16)

Dorothy Kilgallen ('Kilpatrick') - O'Hara; Bennett Cerf ('Cerb') - Thomas; Arlene Francis ('Franklin') - Martin; Kirk Douglas ('Dugglis') - Flaherty; Host: John Charles Daly ('Bailey') - Levy; Contestant: Barry Stubing - Candy; Announcer - staff announcer

Conclusion.

Lola Heatherton - O'Hara; Dr Kinsey - Martin

Earl Camembert - Levy; Floyd Robertson - Flaherty; Johnny LaRue - Candy; Lin Ye Tang - Thomas; Announcer ("John Speakers") - staff announcer

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Several sketches featuring some occult element provide a very loose wraparound concept for the episode, anchored by an avant-garde episode of Monster Chiller Horror Theatre.

Additional Viewing: Whispers of the Wolf is a parody of films by Ingmar Bergman, including The Silence (1963), Persona (1966), and Cries and Whispers (1972). For another Bergman parody, see Scenes from an Idiot's Marriage, starring Jerry Lewis.

OPENING

1 Mr. Science: Acid and Electricity

Mr Science has problems with Damien, who wants to learn about acid and electricity.

Johnny LaRue - Candy; Damien - extra; announcer - staff announcer

2 Commercial: Career Home Study (R)

The next time you buy some matches, don't just pick your teeth with them.

Don Mair - Thomas

3 SCTV News: SCTV is Haunted

Floyd has a story about the station being haunted. Earl laughs it off, but starts hearing voices. Floyd has a final scary news item.

Earl Camembert - Levy; Floyd Robertson - Flaherty

4 Fireside Chat: Firewood

Mayor Shanks discusses the weather and cedar firewood. He gives a milkbone to a stuffed dog.

Mayor Tommy Shanks - Candy; announcer - staff announcer

5 4th Degree

Chuck grills Gerry Brown.

Chuck Clark - Flaherty; Governor Gerry Brown - Thomas; O'Donovan - Candy

6 Monster Chiller Horror Theatre: Whispers of the Wolf

Floyd presents Whispers of the Wolf.

Ingmar Bergman's Whispers of the Wolf

Stockholm 1966. Two sisters are depressed and have difficulty dealing with reality.

Desk Clerk - Levy; Sisters - O'Hara, Martin; Midget - extra

Floyd's a bit stunned, but gamely tries to convince us it was scary. He suspects Prickley booked Bergman.

Count Floyd - Flaherty

7 Words to Live By with Mulciber Arimaspians

Mulciber, high priest of the local coven, encourages evil and blows up; Billy Sol and Big Jim like what they see.

Mulciber Arimaspians - Thomas; Big Jim McBob - Flaherty; Billy Sol Hurok - Candy; announcer - staff announcer

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Features Sid Dithers Private Eye and the superb Bad Acting In Hollywood.

Additional Viewing: Bad Acting In Hollywood is a parody of That's Hollywood, a late 70s TV show hosted by Tom Bosley that looked at historic Hollywood films (mostly from 20th Century-Fox) (Thanks Jim Donato). Johnny Dark Always Rings Twice parodies 30's and 40' gangster films; start with Little Caesar from 1931. The Phil Donahue Show, which ran through the 70s and 80s, was the precursor of all modern daytime talk shows. C.P.O. Sharkey was a mid-seventies sitcom starring Don Rickles.

OPENING

1 Promo: Donahue in the Morning

Donahue talks about sex and other stuff, but mostly sex. (Note: was actually called 'Donohue in the Morning')

Phil Donahue - Thomas; Studio audience, guests - possibly Tony Rosato, extras; Announcer - staff announcer

2 Sid Dithers Private Eye

Sid tracks down the daughter of Mr Steele from San Francisco to a prostitution ring in Beverly Hills. Notes: San Francisky? So how did you came, did you drove or did you flew?

Sid Dithers - Levy; Wes Steele - Flaherty; Maxine - Martin; Bobby, Maxine's son - Thomas; Mr Steele's daughter - O'Hara; waiter, customers - extras

3 Promo: U.F.O. Sharkey

Don Rickles investigates UFOs and makes racist remarks. "It's a valid idea."

Don Rickles ('Rinkles') as Sharkey - Candy; Mexican - Flaherty; Hick - Thomas; Indian - Levy; Black guy - extra; Announcer - staff announcer

4 Enough About Me: Maureen Jolly

Katherine talks with a woman who's returned from Africa, and is promoting her book 'Almost Black Like Me.'

Katherine Timber - O'Hara; Maureen Jolly - Martin

5 Promo: Fish Police

"Stop or I'll cast!"

Woman who loses watch - O'Hara; Fish Police - Thomas, Levy, Candy; Announcer - staff announcer

6 Commercial: Biller Hi-Lite

Maxy and Jake discuss their favorite beer. 'Less taste!' 'Better calories!'

Maxy Stein - Flaherty; Jake Primo - Levy; Announcer - staff announcer

7 Bad Acting in Hollywood with Tom Boslee

Tom hosts a look at one of Hollywood's worst films.

Johnny Dark Always Rings Twice

Johnny Dark is tried for murder, his mother joins him on the stand, his alibi turns states, but it's all interrupted when the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor.

Johnny Dark - Flaherty; Judge - Candy; Ma Dark - Martin; Johnny's Girl - O'Hara; Defender - Levy; Prosecutor - Thomas; Crowd, Jury - extras

Tom has some closing comments. Closing credits: Hooray for Hollywood.

Host: Tom Boslee - Candy

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Additional Viewing: Alfred Hitchcock Presents, the 50s anthology series hosted by the man himself. Murder Is Bad For Your Health is (possibly) a parody of the 1948 film An Act Of Murder, starring Florence Eldridge and Fredric March (thanks Dusty Towne); Cecil and Cynthia appear again in Series 3's Gaslight.

OPENING

1 Only for Women: Divorce

Today's topic is divorce, and the guest is newly divorced Patricia Donovan, who has redecorated frequently in the past few months. They gain strength from each other.

Host 'Chris' - Martin; Patricia Donovan - O'Hara

2 SCTV Movie of the Week: Hats of the West

Sundance Kid is confronted about his hat by a stranger.

Bartender - Candy; Sundance Kid - Thomas; Sheriff - Levy; Saloon patrons - Tony Rosato, Peter Ackroyd, extras; Hat salesman - Flaherty; announcer - staff announcer

3 Promo: Consumer Concern

Fire-proof clothes. The show for conscientious consumers.

Host: Patsy Manuel - O'Hara; Chuck, the man with the fruit suit - Levy; Announcer - staff announcer

4 Commercial: Long Distance 119

A woman carps about not receiving any calls from an old friend. 'Get the long distance feeling, before it's too late.'

Complaining woman - O'Hara; Angry neighbors - Candy; Concerned Neighbor - Martin; Bystanders, ambulance men - extras; Announcer - staff announcer

5 SCTV Sports Special Presentation: Melonville Snooker Championships

Lou Jaffe makes the call at the snooker championship. Lou talks to Alki and Lenny before the match. Alki breaks. A fight breaks out.

Lou Jaffe - Levy; Lenny 'Golden arm' Bouchard - Candy; Alki Stereopolis ('The Greek Hustler') - Flaherty; Alki's chick - Martin; Goldenarm's chick - O'Hara; Guy at bar - Thomas; Crowd - extras

6 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Introduction

Hitch introduces tonight's show.

Hitchcock - Candy

7 Commercial: The Devil's Towering 10-G Upsidedown Inferno

Pitch man - Thomas; Happy riders with flat faces - extras

6a Alfred Hitchcock Presents Part 2

Tonight's mystery (not nearly as good as Psycho).

Murder Is Bad for Your Health

Cecil brings Cynthia to the top of a cliff to toss her over the side. But she proves difficult to kill.

Notes: Written and produced by Ernest Kirsch

Rodney Cockney as Cecil - Flaherty; Lucy Parpouzian as Cynthia - Martin

Hitch sums up with a quick re-enactment of his best films.

Alfred Hitchcock - Candy; Announcer - staff announcer

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Additional Viewing: Midway, the 1976 film about the pivotal Pacific War battle.

OPENING

BUMPER Promo: Fighting Air Dogs announcer - staff announcer

1 Promo: Undercover Policewoman

Undercover but on the job.

Paprika Anderson - O'Hara; Cops - extras; Suspect - Tony Rosato; Sarge - Candy; Announcer - staff announcer

2 SCTV News: Marijuana

Earl's a bit high and has the munchies.

Earl Camembert - Levy; Floyd Robertson - Flaherty

BUMPER "This is SCTV, the Second City Television Network, ma'am." announcer - staff announcer

3 Commercial: Daylea Yogurt

Interviewer - Thomas; Anna Karmalov - Martin; Olga Demetrov - O'Hara; Announcer - staff announcer

4 Promo: Masterpiece Theatre: Three Programs

Alistair plugs some of the productions coming this season.

Clip: The Lincoln-Douglas Debates

Lincoln - Flaherty; Douglas - Thomas; audience - extras

Clip: Mohicans Galore

Hawkeye - Thomas; Mohican - Levy; Settlers - Flaherty, Candy; Other Mohicans - extras

Clip: Cretin's Island

Cretin - Flaherty; Skipper - Candy; Millionaire - Levy; His Wife - Martin; Movie star - O'Hara; Professor - Thomas

Host Alistair Cook - Flaherty

5 Commercial: Mike's Mercenaries from Amco the Toy People

Have fun planning your revolutions with Mike's Mercenaries.

Announcer - staff announcer

BUMPER "This is SCTV, channel 109, in Melonville, Grimsby and Plattsburgh, cable 5." announcer - staff announcer

6 SCTV Movie of the Week: Fighting Air Dogs over the Pacific

An American flyboy triumphs over his craven Japanese nemesis.

American Pilot - Candy; Japanese Pilot (Lin Ye Tang) - Thomas; announcer - staff announcer

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Phil from Phil's Nails (later the Garment King) is a send-up of Phil Givner, who did similar commercials for his carpet outlet back in the 70's in Toronto.

Additional Viewing: William Castle was a director of B-movie thrillers that usually featured a gimmick of some sort. His 1961 film Mr Sardonicus featured The Punishment Poll, a gimmick whereby the movie audience could vote to determine how the movie would end. The Amazing World of Kreskin, the early 70s mentalist show hosted by the Amazing Kreskin.

OPENING

1 The Amazing Kretin

The Amazing Kretin amazes with feats of mental agility. But Big Jim and Billy Sol figure he can't blow up.

Kretin - Thomas; Young Lady - Martin; Big Jim McBob - Flaherty; Billy Sol Hurok - Candy; studio audience - extras; Announcer - staff announcer

2 The Heys of Our Lives

Hey, it's a soap opera.

Man - Flaherty; Woman - O'Hara; Announcer - staff announcer

3 SCTV News: Cash Prison Concert

Earl interviews some inmates about Johnny Cash playing at the Melonville state pen.

Earl Camembert - Levy; Floyd Robertson - Flaherty; Prisoners - Candy, Thomas, extras

4 Commercial: Phil's Nails

He's putting nails in his own coffin with this sale.

Phil the Garment King - Levy

5 William Castle Presents: Agatha Christie's Death Takes No Holiday

Passengers are quickly knocked off on a train while Poirot investigates.

William Castle polls the audience on how they would like the mystery to end, but is interrupted by Poirot and Mrs. Christie.

Hercule Poirot - Candy; Agatha Christie - Martin; Jack Blake, Chicago Tribune - Levy; Mr Middleton - Flaherty; Reverend Ian Innis - Thomas; Countess - O'Hara; William Castle - Thomas; Steward - Tony Rosato; passengers - extras

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Features the first Tex and Edna Boil Organ Emporium commercial, while Bob Clark in the Mailbag segment is a very similar character to Bill Needle, who would take over the Mailbag in series 3.

Additional Viewing: Mind Games includes a neat little parody of the 1966 film Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. They parodied the film again (in a radically different way) in Fast Talking Playhouse.

OPENING

1 Cooking with Prickley Part 1

Prickley cooks with the aid of a Rhythm Ace, and introduces her sister who will let us know where to get one.

Edith Prickley - Martin

2 Commercial: Tex and Edna Boil's Organ Emporium: Rhythm Ace

Tex and Edna are offering a deal on the Rhythm Ace (195.95). Four miles of organs, open 24 hours. This weekend is cookout weekend, where Tex will be cooking up piggies on the grill.

Tex Boil - Thomas; Edna Boil - Martin

1a Cooking with Prickley Part 2

The turkey comes out perfectly.

Edith Prickley - Martin

3 Promo: Masterpiece Theatre: Burlington Central Library production of Hamlet

Cook promotes the Burlington Library Production of Hamlet and shows a clip. The production is not without logistical problems.

Alistair Cook - Flaherty; Hamlet - Candy; Gertrude - O'Hara; The King - Flaherty; Laertes - Levy; Audience - Thomas; Librarian - Martin; miscellaneous people - extras

4 Commercial: Mind Games

The new game where you play mind games on your spouse and friends; complete with touchy subject cards, playing board, timer, and tranquilizers. 'The game that keeps people awake all night.'

Stan - Levy; Cynthia - Martin; George (Richard Burton) - Thomas; Martha (Elizabeth Taylor) - O'Hara; Announcer - staff announcer

5 SCTV News: Earl's Wisdom Tooth

Melonville Savings and Trust heist. Earl has an impacted wisdom tooth and can't be understood, so Floyd takes his items. Floyd makes him laugh with the next item.

Earl Camembert - Levy; Floyd Robertson - Flaherty

6 PSA: Stop Smoking

Lola makes a less than successful pitch to get people to stop smoking.

Lola Heatherton - O'Hara

7 Commercial: Masterpiece Wigs

Make your next piece a masterpiece.

Alistair Cook - Flaherty; Man waiting for transplants to grow in - Thomas; Cassius - Candy; Richard III - Thomas; Louis the 14th - Levy

8 SCTV Mailbag with Bob Clark

Bob answers some viewer mail about EPA ratings, Huron Indians, and bottling soft drinks.

Bob Clark - Thomas

9 SCTV Rock Concert with Big Jim and Billy Sol

Big Jim and Billy Sol blow up Freddy Fender ('Wasted Days and Wasted Nights'), Randy Newman ('Short People'), Patti Smith ('Gloria'), Helen Reddy ('I Am Woman') and the Village People ('Macho Man').

Big Jim McBob - Flaherty; Billy Sol Hurok - Candy; Freddy Fender - Levy; Randy Newman - Thomas; Patti Smith - Martin; Helen Reddy - O'Hara; The Village People - Flaherty, Candy, Thomas, Levy; announcer - staff announcer

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Features the show-length parody of Fantasy Island, which itself incorporates a bevy of parodies of classic 40s pictures.

Additional viewing: the 70s hit TV show Fantasy Island; Hope and Crosby road pictures; Casablanca; and The Wizard of Oz.

OPENING

1 Fantasy Island Part 1: Arrival

Ricardo and Patoo welcome their guests to the island, including the lead singer and guitarist of Black Plasma who, like most rock stars, want to be comedians; Maria Schuulman, a violinist who wants adventure; and Lee Vanderbill, a bored and clumsy socialite who wants a return of glamour. Maria pays for her fantasy with a Stradivarius, which Patoo makes out with.

Ricardo Montalban - Levy; Herve Villechaize as Patoo - Candy; Rock Musicians - Flaherty, Thomas; Maria Schuulman - Martin; Lady Vanderbill - O'Hara; island girls - extras

1a Fantasy Island Part 2: Hope and Crosby

Ricardo and Patoo observe the rock musicians, transformed into Hope and Crosby, selling braziers in the king's harem. They find the one bad egg, and run off.

Ricardo Montalban - Levy; Herve Villechaize as Patoo - Candy; Bob Hope - Thomas; Bing Crosby - Flaherty; harem girls, guards, assassin - extras, including Mimi Kusick

2 Commercial: Ronco No Sweat Sauna Air Conditioner

Stop sweating it out in your sauna.

Husband - Levy; Wife - O'Hara; Announcer - staff announcer

1b Fantasy Island Part 3: Casablanca

At Rick's Cafe American, Maria as Elsa enters and talks to Sam. Everyone observes that she is, indeed living on the brink of danger. Elsa and Rick talk about old times. Hope and Crosby have given the Grand Vizier the slip and slip into the cafe, but Hope's been turned into a dog. Lady Vanderbill as Ginger Rogers does a number with Fred Astaire. The cops enter and bust the place. Hope rubs a lamp and Glenda the good witch of the North appears and transports Hope and Crosby back to Kansas.

The rock musicians wake up and share their dream with their band, and conclude with a number (a disco version of "I Love Lucy" called "Disco Lucy" by the Wilton Place Street Band) as the credits roll.

Ricardo Montalban - Levy; Herve Villechaize as Patoo - Candy; Bob Hope - Thomas; Bing Crosby - Flaherty; Elsa - Martin; Ginger Rogers - O'Hara; Fred Astaire - Claude Tessier; Humphrey Bogart (Rick) - Candy; Glenda the Good Witch of the North - O'Hara; Margaret Hamilton (Wicked Witch) - Martin; Chief of Police - Tony Rosato; Rock musicians - Thomas, Flaherty with Candy, Levy, O'Hara, Martin; Sam - Joe Seely; patrons - extras; cops - extras

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DVD Early YearsThe second episode in a row to feature a show-length sketch, an episode of The Sammy Maudlin Show with Bobby Bittman promoting his remake of On the Waterfront. Maudlin music is "Soulful Strut" by Young-Holt Unlimited.

Additional Viewing: On The Waterfront, the 1954 classic

OPENING

1 The Sammy Maudlin Show: On the Waterfront Again Part 1

Sammy and William B exchange compliments, Sammy welcomes Edith, who plugs Bobby Bittman's latest movie before rushing off.

Notes: One of the few that doesn't start 'already in progress'.

Sammy Maudlin - Flaherty; William B Williams - Candy; Edith Prickley - Martin

2 Commercial: Chet Vet the Dead Pet Remover

Chet will remove your dead pet. No animal too small or too large.

Chet - Thomas

3 Commercial: LaRue Toys

Having received complaints about his toys, safety's the motto for LaRue's latest toy, Jessie the Sponge.

Johnny LaRue - Candy; Lab technicians - extras

1a The Sammy Maudlin Show: On the Waterfront Again Part 2

Bobby Bittman plugs his latest film, which he directed, and shows a clip from the movie.

Clip: On the Waterfront Again

Terry and his girlfriend find his brother hanging from a stevedore's hook.

Bobby Bittman as Terry - Levy; Lola Heatherton - O'Hara

They are riveted by the performance. Sammy brings out Bobby's co-star, Lola Heatherton.

Sammy Maudlin - Flaherty; William B Williams - Candy; Lola Heatherton - O'Hara; Bobby Bittman - Levy

4 Commercial: Evelyn Wolf School of Speed Eating and LaRue's Speed Drinking Book

Don't loiter over your meals. Special bonus - Johnny LaRue's Speed Drinking Book.

Evelyn Wolf ("Evelynn") - Martin; Dave - Thomas; Wife - O'Hara; Students - Thomas, extras; Johnny LaRue - Candy; partygoers - extras; announcer - staff announcer

1b The Sammy Maudlin Show: On the Waterfront Again Part 3

Bobby Bittman shows another clip.

Clip: On the Waterfront Again

Charlie tries to convince Terry not to testify.

Bobby Bittman as Terry - Levy; Lin Ye Tang as Charlie - Thomas

Lin Ye Tang, the only man who could hang on a stevedore's hook and act the part of really being dead, comes out. Bobby quips that good acting does not have to take a back seat to race, creed or color. Sammy sums up by saying these three prove to us all that, if you apply yourself, anybody, no matter how bad, can act.

Sammy Maudlin - Flaherty; William B Williams - Candy; Lola Heatherton - O'Hara; Bobby Bittman - Levy; Lin Ye Tang - Thomas

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SCTV Boogie, from episode 20 of the first series, has been rechristened SCTV Disco.

Additional Viewing: Lou Grant, the Mary Tyler Moore Show spinoff series starring Ed Asner; Art Linkletter's House Party, a long-running TV series during the 50s and 60s, included a segment Kids Say the Darndest Things.

OPENING

1 Promo: The Butch Grant Show

Butch takes over the elementary school paper.

Butch Grant (Ed Asner) - Candy; Teacher - O'Hara; Kids - extras; Announcer - staff announcer

2 Commercial: Oil of Oil

For the woman who loves to be touched.

Yenna Olsen - Martin; Her man - Flaherty

3 Promo: Those Two Zany Ambulance Drivers

Two happy-go-lucky guys join the Ramparts Hospital team.

Chick - Levy; Chuck - Flaherty; Dispatcher - Candy; Doctor - Thomas; Bystanders - extras; Announcer - staff announcer

4 Promo: Women Say the Darndest Things

Art interviews cute housewives with their afternoons free and gives away bobby pins and panty hose.

Host Art Linkletter - Thomas; Modeine Grunge - Martin; Anne Sterling - O'Hara; other guests - extras; Announcer - staff announcer

5 Commercial: Ronco Wiener Skinner

"Honey, I'm glad you skinned my wiener."

Husband - Candy; Wife - O'Hara; kids - extras; Announcer - staff announcer

6 Commercial: Tex and Edna Boil's Organ Emporium: Budgie Smuggling

A free budgie with every organ. Tex and Edna were out of budgies so they had to smuggle Shetland budgies across the state line.

Tex Boil - Thomas; Edna Boil - Martin

7 SCTV News: Earl has problems with the crew

Earl doesn't like his chair, doesn't get a picture with his item, his marking pencil is missing, and takes it out on the crew; the crew strikes back.

Earl Camembert - Levy; Floyd Robertson - Flaherty; crew - extras

8 Commercial: Captain O'Shaunnessey Table Top Smoke Alarm

Be well rested for your fire.

Captain O'Shaunnessey - Thomas; Wife - Martin; Husband - Candy; Announcer - Staff Announcer; Exhausted fire victim - Levy; firemen, victims - extras

9 SCTV Disco

Mel and the kids dance to some disco (Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me by Peter Brown). Mel talks to two couples (Debbie and Don, Benny and Jim) and Melba the Disco Queen shows a few steps. Credits - "Do What You Want To Do" by T-Connection (the percussion break)).

Mel Slirrup - Levy; Melba the Disco Queen - Martin; Debbie Divine - O'Hara; Don Pong - Flaherty; Benny Borenstein - Thomas; Jim Baron - Candy; Funky Announcer - staff announcer; dancers - Peter Wildman, extras

2-21 Pipeline
Airdate: 3 February 1979

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Notable for the unusual Pipeline documentary and the Dr Braino Hour (featuring "Casey Jones" by Grateful Dead and "Fresh Air" by Quicksilver Messenger Service).

OPENING

1 Passport to Adventure: Pain-free Home Entertaining

Bob and Betty show how throw a party as painlessly as possible. Badger your guests. Use disposable stuff and large garbage pails. Tape the ashtrays to the window sills. Water down drinks and pre-mix them.

Bob Wilson - Thomas; Betty Wilson - O'Hara

2 Promo: Tax Advice with Liberace

Claiming wardrobe and jewelry.

Liberace - Thomas

3 SCTV News Bulletin: Mayor Shanks' Speech

Pre-empting regular programming, the press have not been briefed on the Mayor's remarks...

Fireside Chat: The Weather

Mayor Shanks remarks on the weather and feeds a Hershey bar to a stuffed giraffe.

Mayor Tommy Shanks - Candy; Announcer - staff announcer

Earl tries to read between the lines. Floyd is disgusted.

Earl Camembert - Levy; Floyd Robertson - Flaherty; Announcer - staff announcer

4 Commercial: Tap's No-Name Supermarket

Where can you go wrong?

Joey - O'Hara; Announcer - staff announcer

5 The Doctor Braino Hour

Doctor Braino is joined by his friend Doctor Psychedelic, who's brought some stuff. Doctor Braino has a bad trip.

Doctor Braino - Candy; Doctor Psychedelic - Flaherty; Announcer - staff announcer

6 Pipeline

A day in the life of plumber Vince Debaucheo. 7:00am, Vince arrives at the McLennan's. Vince gives an estimate on unclogging a toilet. 10:15am, Vince goes to a bar. 3:00pm, Vince arrives at the Fuschetti house to fix a leaky faucet. 4:45pm, Vince arrives home. 6:30pm, Vince is engaging in his hobby. 5:30am, Vince is in bed. 7:30am, Vince is back at the McLennan's. 9:05, the toilet is finally unclogged.

Vince Debaucheo - Levy; Mr McLennan - Flaherty, Mrs McLennan - O'Hara; Mrs Fuschetti - Martin; Narrator - Flaherty; guys in bar - extras; model - extra

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Features the mysteriously cut from syndication Family Crisis Game Show.

Syndication Note: Family Crisis was dropped; replaced by Wara Wara Wara from 1-2 (2)

OPENING

1 Promo: The Young Weasels

Weasels find a niche in Hollywood.

Weasels - Thomas, Flaherty; Cop - Levy; Producer - Candy; Announcer - staff announcer; Stalone - extra

2 Fireside Chat: The State of the Economy

The mayor's tobacco went up in price. He gives a biscuit to a stuffed parrot.

Mayor Tommy Shanks - Candy; announcer - staff announcer

3 Commercial: Simple Touch Whitener

They take the whitener out of Mary Feenan's detergent.

Mary Feenan - O'Hara; Announcer - Thomas

4 Commercial: Tax and Edna Boil's Organ Emporium: Budgies

Tex and Edna are offering a free budgie with every organ, and budgie bait.

Tex Boil - Thomas; Edna Boil - Martin

5 Family Crisis

Johnny introduces Chrissy, who has a husband that beats her. First up, Colonel Sanders asks her whether her family likes chicken and advises her to pay more attention to her family. Lola asks if her husband beats her in bed, and when Chrissy replies yes, she advises her to ship the kids off to the YMCA for a few months and turn their house into a pleasure palace. Bobby suggests Chrissy watch Bobby's next special, "Bobby Bittman looks at Marriage...from a distance." The studio audience likes Bobby's advice best.

Host: Johnny LaRue - Candy; Panelists: Bobby Bittman - Levy; Lola Heatherton - O'Hara; Colonel Sanders - Thomas; Contestant: Chrissy Steiner - Martin; studio audience - extras; announcer - staff announcer

6 Commercial: Graft Cheese

A tasty sandwich recipe.

Announcer - Levy; Hands - Levy (?)

7 SCTV News: Consumer Action Line

Earl has an item on a doctor who has discovered mental illness is a virus. Floyd counters with an item where the good doctor is arrested with fraud. Perini Scleroso interviews an Irish mother of triplets. In a new segment, Consumer Action Line, Earl is put on hold.

Earl Camembert - Levy; Floyd Robertson - Flaherty; Perini Scleroso - Martin; Mother of triplets - O'Hara

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Bit of a grab bag, padded with two repeats, but I love the sleazy Raoul Wilson.

OPENING

1 Promo: Take the Money and Run

Contestants try to escape with native artifacts.

Host: Rick Marshall - Candy; Contestant: Ian - Thomas; natives - extras

2 Natalie Wingneck

Natalie, raised by geese, is a nursery school teacher adjusting to life in the real world.

Natalie - Martin; Announcer - staff announcer; Mrs McCallum - O'Hara; Dr Louden - Flaherty

3 Commercial: Ronco No Sweat Sauna Air Conditioner (R)

Stop sweating it out in your sauna.

Husband - Levy; Wife - Martin; Announcer - staff announcer

4 Commercial: Big Giant Restaurant

Diners - Thomas, Flaherty, Levy, Martin, O'Hara, extras; Big Giant - Candy; Announcer - staff announcer

5 Relaxing with Raoul

Raoul teaches some relaxation techniques.

Raoul Wilson - Levy; Announcer - staff announcer

6 Commercial: National Council of Antique and Restricted Automatic Weapons

Save endangered guns.

Bob Burns - Thomas; Announcer - staff announcer

7 Commercial: Biller Hi-Lite (R)

Maxy and Jake discuss their favorite beer. 'Less taste!' 'Better calories!'

Maxy Stein - Flaherty; Jake Primo - Levy; Announcer - staff announcer

8 Dining With LaRue: French Restaurant

LaRue is at the Chez Chic, has problems with his reservation, snooty waiters, the food (Thunderbird, tossed salad, and cheeseburger) and paying the bill. (Music is "Brazil" by Antonio Carlos Jobim)

Johnny LaRue - Candy; Maitre D - Thomas; Waiter - Flaherty; Diners - extras; announcer - staff announcer

Credits - Jazzy instrumental version of 'Brazil'

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Hugh Betcha's Insights and Firing Squad, both first seen in Series 1, return; Socrates is now played by Thomas (replacing Ramis) - the numbskulls are still played by Levy and Candy.

Second City notes: A Flaming Turkey-style ballet parody was featured in the 1975 revue Alterations While You Wait; the stage version was also introduced by Candy.

OPENING

1 Commercial: The Two Goofs Grocery Store

'The two goofs have got bargains galore at the two goofs grocery store'.

Goofs - Thomas, Candy; Shopper - Martin; Announcer - staff announcer

2 PSA: Mental Illness

Seven warning signs that you may have mental illness.

Dom Strom - Levy; Announcer - staff announcer

3 Insights with Hugh Betcha: Socrates on Good and Evil

Socrates, discussing good and evil, is interrupted by an animal.

Host: Hugh Betcha - Flaherty; Socrates - Thomas; Thracimacus - Candy; Telemachus - Levy; animal - Flaherty

4 Promo: Meet the Pawnbroker

Contestants pawn possessions for cash, then spin the wheel to see what they'll run into on their way 'Home'.

Host: Johnny LaRue - Candy; Contestant: Dorothy - O'Hara; Charlene - Martin; Street gang - extras

5 SCTV News: Earl's dinner

Earl eats dinner during the newscast.

Earl Camembert - Levy; Floyd Robertson - Flaherty

6 Commercial: Polardak ESP 1 Camera

The camera that anticipates good pictures.

Woman in bed - Martin; Happy Couple - Thomas, O'Hara; Announcer - staff announcer

7 Firing Squad: Latin

Bill Buckley destroys Meatloaf's arguments using Latin.

William F Buckley - Flaherty; Meatloaf - Candy; Guitarist - Thomas

8 SCTV Big Cultural Event: The Flaming Turkey

An SCTV cultural event, presenting the classic ballet. Host Boris Bloshetnik describes the story line, then on to the ballet. Briefly, the Prince and his sidekick encounter an attractive peasant girl and her turkey in the forest in time to prevent Von Rathbone from collecting his rent.

Host: Boris Bloshetnik - Candy; Prince - Levy; Sidekick - Flaherty; Peasant - O'Hara; Turkey - Martin; Von Rathbone - Thomas

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The first of two full episodes of repeats.

OPENING

1 Promo: Lola Heatherton In Concert (R)

A fabulous television special.

Lola Heatherton - O'Hara; Dancers - Flaherty, Levy, Thomas

2 Donna: Barbara Streisberg (R)

Donna's guest Barbara Streisberg tries to sing a song

Host: Donna - O'Hara; Barbara Streisand (Streisberg) - Martin; Chef - extra

3 Promo: U.F.O. Sharkey (R)

Don Rickles investigates UFOs and makes racist remarks.

Sharkey - Candy; Mexican - Flaherty; Indian Sikh - Levy; Hick - Thomas; Negro - extra

4 What's My Shoesize? (R)

Panelists fail to guess the shoesize of contestant Barry Stubing (size 16)

Dorothy Kilpatrick - O'Hara; Bennett Cerf - Thomas; Arlene Franklin - Martin; Kirk Douglas - Flaherty; Host: John Charles Bailey - Levy; Contestant: Barry Stubing - Candy; Announcer - staff announcer

5 Commercial: Phil's Nails (R)

He's putting nails in his own coffin with this sale.

Phil the Garment King - Levy

6 Bob Hope Desert Classic (R)

Bob and Lou host this star-studded golfing event. Begin has a bad lie, and argues with Arafat. King Fahud shows Lola how to hold her putter. Charlton Heston helps Golda chip through a pipeline. Arafat occupies the 12th hole, while Begin takes the 13th fairway. Lou gets lost off the 18th hole.

Lou Jaffe - Levy; Bob Hope - Thomas; Menachim Begin - Flaherty; Yasser Arafat - Levy; King Fahud - Candy; Lola Heatherton - O'Hara; Jack Nicolas - Candy; Cheap bogie - Flaherty; Golda Meir - Martin; Charlton Heston - Flaherty; Richard Nixon - Flaherty; American businessman - Candy; Announcer - Candy; miscellaneous Arabs - extras

Back to top Previous episode Next Series

OPENING

1 Speaking of Talk with Lou Jaffe (R)

Lou interviews one of the greatest announcers in the business, Harvey K-Tel, and finds out they went to the same school.

Lou Jaffe - Levy; Harvey K-Tel - Thomas; Studio Engineer - Candy; extras

2 Commercial: Long Distance (R)

A woman carps about not receiving any calls from an old friend. 'Get the long distance feeling, before it's too late.'

Complaining woman - O'Hara; Angry neighbors - Candy; Concerned Neighbor - Martin; Bystanders, ambulance men - extras; Announcer - staff announcer

3 Family Crisis Game Show (R)

Johnny introduces Chrissy, who has a husband that beats her. First up, Colonel Sanders asks her whether her family likes chicken and advises her to pay more attention to her family. Lola asks if her husband beats her in bed, and when Chrissy replies yes, she advises her to ship the kids off to the YMCA for a few months and turn their house into a pleasure palace. Bobby suggests Chrissy watch Bobby's next special, "Bobby Bittman looks at Marriage...from a distance." The studio audience likes Bobby's advice best.

Host: Johnny LaRue - Candy; Panelists: Bobby Bittman - Levy; Lola Heatherton - O'Hara; Colonel Sanders - Thomas; Contestant: Chrissy Steiner - Martin; studio audience - extras; announcer - staff announcer

4 Commercial: Tex and Edna Boil's Organ Emporium: Rhythm Ace (R)

Tex and Edna are offering a deal on the Rhythm Ace.

Tex Boil - Thomas; Edna Boil - Martin

5 The $Millionaire (R)

The Millionaire is flat broke and reduced to giving away 50 bucks. His male secretary takes the heat from the Adamly family who aren't impressed by 50 bucks. But a wealthy Arab arrives to save the day. Next week, The Millionaire From Mecca.

Michael Anthony, Male Secretary - Candy; John Beresford Tipton, Millionaire - Flaherty; Adamly family - Thomas, O'Hara; Arab - Levy

6 SCTV Rock Concert with Big Jim and Billy Sol (R)

Big Jim and Billy Sol blow up Freddy Fender, Randy Newman, Patti Smith, Helen Reddy and the Village People.

Big Jim - Flaherty; Billy Sol - Candy; Freddy Fender - Levy; Randy Newman - Thomas; Patti Smith - Martin; Helen Reddy - O'Hara; The Village People - Flaherty, Candy, Thomas, Levy

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A best of shown in the US, combining sketches from the two Canadian best ofs.

OPENING

BUMPER Promo: Desert Classic announcer - staff announcer

1 Promo: U.F.O. Sharkey (R)

Don Rickles investigates UFOs and makes racist remarks.

Sharkey - Candy; Mexican - Flaherty; Indian Sikh - Levy; Hick - Thomas; Negro - extra

2 What's My Shoesize? (R)

Panelists fail to guess the shoesize of contestant Barry Stubing (size 16)

Dorothy Kilpatrick - O'Hara; Bennett Cerf - Thomas; Arlene Franklin - Martin; Kirk Douglas - Flaherty; Host: John Charles Bailey - Levy; Contestant: Barry Stubing - Candy; Announcer - staff announcer

BUMPER Promo: Desert Classic announcer - staff announcer

3 Bob Hope Desert Classic (R)

Bob and Lou host this star-studded golfing event. Begin has a bad lie, and argues with Arafat. King Fahud shows Lola how to hold her putter. Charlton Heston helps Golda chip through a pipeline. Arafat occupies the 12th hole, while Begin takes the 13th fairway. Lou gets lost off the 18th hole.

Lou Jaffe - Levy; Bob Hope - Thomas; Menachim Begin - Flaherty; Yasser Arafat - Levy; King Fahud - Candy; Lola Heatherton - O'Hara; Jack Nicolas - Candy; Cheap bogie - Flaherty; Golda Meir - Martin; Charlton Heston - Flaherty; Richard Nixon - Flaherty; American businessman - Candy; Announcer - Candy; miscellaneous Arabs - extras

4 Commercial: Tex and Edna Boil's Organ Emporium: Rhythm Ace (R)

Tex and Edna are offering a deal on the Rhythm Ace.

Tex Boil - Thomas; Edna Boil - Martin

3a Bob Hope Desert Classic part 2 (R)

Bob wraps up.

Bob Hope - Thomas

BUMPER

5 SCTV Rock Concert with Big Jim and Billy Sol (R)

Big Jim and Billy Sol blow up Freddy Fender, Randy Newman, Patti Smith, Helen Reddy and the Village People.

Big Jim - Flaherty; Billy Sol - Candy; Freddy Fender - Levy; Randy Newman - Thomas; Patti Smith - Martin; Helen Reddy - O'Hara; The Village People - Flaherty, Candy, Thomas, Levy


American rock musical, based on La Bohème

"RENT" redirects here. For other uses, see RENT (disambiguation).

"Goodbye Love" redirects here. For the 1933 film, see Goodbye Love (film).

Original Broadway cast, 1996

Rent is a rock musical with music, lyrics, and book by Jonathan Larson,[1] loosely based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La Bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in Lower Manhattan's East Village in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.

The musical was first seen in a workshop production at New York Theatre Workshop in 1993. This same Off-Broadway theatre was also the musical's initial home following its official 1996 opening. The show's creator, Jonathan Larson, died suddenly of an aortic dissection, believed to have been caused by undiagnosed Marfan syndrome, the night before the Off-Broadway premiere. The musical moved to Broadway's larger Nederlander Theatre on April 29, 1996.[2]

On Broadway, Rent gained critical acclaim and won several awards. The Broadway production closed on September 7, 2008, after a 12-year run of 5,123 performances. On February 14, 2016, the musical Wicked surpassed Rent's number of performances with a 2pm matinee, pushing Rent from the tenth- to eleventh-longest-running Broadway show.[3][4] The production grossed over 0 million.

The success of the show led to several national tours and numerous foreign productions. In 2005, it was adapted into a motion picture featuring most of the original cast members.

Contents

Concept and genesis[edit]

In 1988, playwright Billy Aronson wanted to create "a musical based on Puccini's La Bohème, in which the luscious splendor of Puccini's world would be replaced with the coarseness and noise of modern New York."[6] In 1989, Jonathan Larson, a 29-year-old composer, began collaborating with Aronson on this project, and the two composed together "Santa Fe", "Splatter" (later re-worked into the song "Rent"), and "I Should Tell You". Larson suggested setting the play "amid poverty, homelessness, spunky gay life, drag queens and punk" in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, which happened to be down the street from his Greenwich Village apartment. He also came up with the show's ultimate title (a decision that Aronson was unhappy with, at least until Larson pointed out that "rent" also means torn apart). In 1991, he asked Aronson if he could use Aronson's original concept and make Rent his own. Larson had ambitious expectations for Rent; his ultimate dream was to write a rock opera "to bring musical theater to the MTV generation".[7] Aronson and Larson made an agreement that if the show went to Broadway, Aronson would share in the proceeds and be given credit for "original concept & additional lyrics".[7]

Jonathan Larson focused on composing Rent in the early 1990s, waiting tables at the Moondance Diner to support himself. Over the course of years, Larson wrote hundreds of songs and made many drastic changes to the show, which in its final incarnation contained 42 songs. In the fall of 1992, Larson approached James Nicola, artistic director of New York Theatre Workshop, with a tape and copy of Rent's script. When Rent had its first staged reading at New York Theatre Workshop in March 1993, it became evident that, despite its very promising material and moving musical numbers, many structural problems needed to be addressed, including its cumbersome length and overly complex plot.[7]

As of 1994, the New York Theatre Workshop version of Rent featured songs that never made it into the final version, such as:

  • "You're a Fool"
  • "Do a Little Business", the predecessor of "You'll See", featuring Benny, Mark, Roger, Collins and Angel
  • "Female to Female A & B", featuring Maureen and Joanne
  • "He's a Fool"
  • "He Says"
  • "Right Brain", later rewritten as "One Song Glory", featuring Roger
  • "You'll Get Over It", the predecessor of "Tango: Maureen", featuring Mark and Maureen
  • "Real Estate", a number wherein Benny tries to convince Mark to become a real estate agent and drop his filmmaking
  • "Open Road", the predecessor of "What You Own", with a backing track similar to this in "Your Eyes"

This workshop version of Rent starred Anthony Rapp as Mark and Daphne Rubin-Vega as Mimi. Larson continued to work on Rent, gradually reworking its flaws and staging more workshop productions.[8]

On January 24, 1996, after the musical's final dress rehearsal before its off-Broadway opening, Larson had his first (and only) newspaper interview with music critic Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times, attracted by the coincidence that the show was debuting exactly 100 years after Puccini's opera. Larson would not live to see Rent's success; he died from an undiagnosed aortic aneurysm (believed to have resulted from Marfan syndrome) in the early morning of January 25, 1996. Friends and family gathered at the New York Theatre Workshop, and the first preview of Rent became a sing-through of the musical in Larson's memory.[7][9]

The show premiered as planned and quickly gained popularity fueled by enthusiastic reviews and the recent death of its composer. It proved extremely successful during its Off-Broadway run, selling out all its shows at the 150-seat New York Theater Workshop.[2] Due to such overwhelming popularity and a need for a larger theater, Rent moved to Broadway's recently remodeled Nederlander Theatre on 41st Street on April 29, 1996.[2]

Sources and inspiration[edit]

Larson's inspiration for Rent's content came from several different sources. Many of the characters and plot elements are drawn directly from Giacomo Puccini's opera La Bohème, the world premiere of which was in 1896, a century before Rent's premiere.[10]La Bohème was also about the lives of poor young artists. Tuberculosis, the plague of Puccini's opera, is replaced by HIV/AIDS in Rent; 1800s Paris is replaced by New York's East Village in the late 1980s or early 1990s. The names and identities of Rent's characters also heavily reflect Puccini's original characters, though they are not all direct adaptations. For example, Joanne in Rent represents the character of Alcindoro in Bohème, but is also partially based on Marcello. Also, Joanne is the only Rent character whose predecessor in La Bohème is a different sex.

La BohèmeRent
Mimì, a seamstress with tuberculosis Mimi Márquez, an erotic dancer with HIV and Roger's girlfriend
Rodolfo, a poet Roger Davis, a songwriter-musician who is HIV positive and Mimi's boyfriend
Marcello, a painter Mark Cohen, an independent Jewish-American filmmaker and Roger's roommate
Musetta, a singer Maureen Johnson, a bisexual performance artist and Joanne's girlfriend
Schaunard, a musician Angel Dumott Schunard, a drag queen percussionist with AIDS, who is Collins' partner.
Colline, a philosopher Tom Collins, a gay, part-time philosophy professor at New York University and anarchist with AIDS and Angel's partner.
Alcindoro, a state counselor Joanne Jefferson, a lesbian lawyer, who is Maureen's girlfriend (Also partially based on Marcello)
Benoît, their landlord Benjamin 'Benny' Coffin III, the local landlord and a former roommate of Roger, Mark, Collins, and Maureen

Other examples of parallels between Larson's and Puccini's work include Larson's song "Light My Candle", which draws melodic content directly from "Che gelida manina";[11] "Quando me'n vo'" ("Musetta's Waltz"), a melody taken directly from Puccini's opera; and "Goodbye Love", a long, painful piece that reflects a confrontation and parting between characters in both Puccini's and Larson's work.[12] "Quando me'n vo'" is paralleled in the first verse of "Take Me or Leave Me", when Maureen describes the way people stare when she walks in the street. It is also directly referred to in the scene where the characters are celebrating their bohemian life. Mark says, "Roger will attempt to write a bittersweet, evocative song..." Roger plays a quick piece, and Mark adds, "...that doesn't remind us of 'Musetta's Waltz'." This part of "Musetta's Waltz" is also later used in "Your Eyes", a song Roger writes.

Rent is also a somewhat autobiographical work, as Larson incorporated many elements of his life into his show. Larson lived in New York for many years as a starving artist with an uncertain future. He sacrificed a life of stability for his art, and shared many of the same hopes and fears as his characters. Like his characters he endured poor living conditions, and some of these conditions (e.g. illegal wood-burning stove, bathtub in the middle of his kitchen, broken buzzer [his guests had to call from the pay phone across the street and he would throw down the keys, as in "Rent"]) made their way into the play.[13] Part of the motivation behind the storyline in which Maureen leaves Mark for a woman (Joanne) is based on the fact that Larson's own girlfriend left him for a woman. The Mark Cohen character is based on Larson's friends, cinematographer and producer Jonathan Burkhart and documentary filmmaker Eddie Rosenstein.

Playwright Sarah Schulman alleged that Rent bore striking similarities to her novel People in Trouble.[14]

The line, "I'm more of a man than you'll ever be... and more of a woman than you'll ever get!", attributed to Angel Dumott Schunard at her funeral, was previously used by the character Hollywood Montrose, who appeared in the films Mannequin (1987) and Mannequin Two: On the Move (1991). Like Angel, Hollywood performs a song and dance number and sometimes wears women's clothing. This line was originally in the film Car Wash (1976), delivered by Antonio Fargas as a flamboyant homosexual cross dresser.

The earliest concepts of the characters differ largely from the finished products. Everyone except Mark had AIDS, including Maureen and Joanne; Maureen was a serious, angry character who played off Oedipus in her performance piece instead of Hey Diddle Diddle; Mark was, at one point, a painter instead of a filmmaker; Roger was named Ralph and wrote musical plays; Angel was a jazz philosopher, while Collins was a street performer; Angel and Collins were both originally described as Caucasian; and Benny had a somewhat enlarged role in the story, taking part in songs like "Real Estate", which was later cut.[15]

Life Café

Many actual locations and events are included in, or are the inspiration for, elements of the musical. Life Café, where the "La Vie Bohème" numbers are set, was an actual restaurant (closed 2013) on 10th Street and Avenue B in the East Village of New York City.[16][17] The riot at the end of the first act is based on the East Village riot in 1988 that arose as a result of the city-imposed curfew in Tompkins Square Park.[17]

"Will I?", a song which takes place during a Life Support meeting and expresses the pain and fear of living a life with AIDS, was inspired by a real event. Larson attended a meeting of Friends in Deed, an organization that helps people deal with illness and grief, much like Life Support. After that first time, Larson attended the meetings regularly. During one meeting, a man stood up and said that he was not afraid of dying. He did say, however, that there was one thing of which he was afraid: Would he lose his dignity? From this question stemmed the first line of this song. The people present at the Life Support meeting in the show, such as Gordon, Ali and Pam, carry the names of Larson's friends who died. In the Broadway show, the names of the characters in that particular scene (they introduce themselves) were changed nightly to honor the friends of the cast members who were living with or had died from AIDS.[18]

The scene and song "Life Support" were also based on Friends in Deed, as well as on Gordon, Pam, and Ali. Originally, the members of Life Support had a solid block of the "forget regret" refrain, and they talked about remembering love. When Jonathan's HIV positive friends heard this scene, they told him that having AIDS was not so easy to accept: it made you angry and resentful too, and the song did not match that. Jonathan then added a part where Gordon says that he has a problem with this "credo...my T-cells are low, I regret that news, okay?" Paul, the leader of the meeting, replies, "Okay...but, Gordon, how do you feel today?" Gordon admits that he is feeling the best that he has felt all year. Paul asks, "Then why choose fear?" Gordon says, "I'm a New Yorker. Fear's my life."

Lynn Thomson lawsuit[edit]

Lynn Thomson was a dramaturg who was hired by New York Theatre Workshop to help rework Rent. She claimed that between early May and the end of October 1995, she and Larson co-wrote a "new version" of the musical. She sued the Larson estate for million and sought 16% of the show's royalties, claiming she had written a significant portion of the lyrics and the libretto of the "new version" of Rent.[19]

During the trial, Thomson could not recall the lyrics to the songs that she allegedly wrote, nor the structures of the libretto she claimed to have created.[20] The judge ruled against her and gave the Jonathan Larson Estate full credit and right to Rent. A federal appellate court upheld the original ruling on appeal. In August 1998, the case was settled out of court. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.[21]

Synopsis[edit]

Rent at David Nederlander Theatre in Manhattan, New York City

Act I[edit]

On Christmas Eve in Manhattan's East Village, two roommates—Mark, a filmmaker, and Roger, a rock musician—struggle to stay warm and produce their art ("Tune Up #1"). Mark's mother leaves him a voicemail wishing him a merry Christmas and trying to comfort him since his ex-girlfriend Maureen dumped him ("Voice Mail #1"). Their friend Tom Collins, a gay anarchist professor at New York University, calls and plans to surprise them at their apartment, but is mugged before entering. At the same time, Mark and Roger's former roommate and friend Benny, who has since become their harsh new landlord, has reneged on an earlier agreement and now demands last year's rent, before shutting down their electrical power ("Tune Up #2"). However, Mark and Roger rebel and resolve not to pay the rent they cannot pay and which they were promised wouldn't be a problem ("Rent"). Meanwhile, Angel, a cross-dressing street drummer (presently out of drag), finds Collins wounded in an alley and tends to him ("You Okay Honey?") - the two are immediately attracted to each other, both learning that the other is HIV positive. It is revealed that Roger too has HIV which he contracted from his last girlfriend, who committed suicide after learning of her diagnosis, which has caused Roger to fall into depression. Mark leaves the loft while Roger stays home ("Tune Up #3"), trying to compose on his guitar without success; he wishes desperately to write one last song to be remembered by before he dies ("One Song Glory"). An exotic dancer, junkie, and neighbor, Mimi, shows up at their apartment asking for help with lighting her candle, flirting with Roger in the process; however, he is clearly hesitant to return her affections ("Light My Candle"). Meanwhile, Joanne, a lawyer and Maureen's girlfriend, receives a voicemail from her parents ("Voice Mail #2").

At last, the missing Collins enters the apartment, presenting Angel, who is now in full drag and shares the money she made and the amusing story of how she killed a dog to earn it ("Today 4 U"). Mark comes home, and Benny arrives, speaking of Maureen's upcoming protest against his plans to evict the homeless from a lot where he is hoping to build a cyber arts studio. Benny offers that, if they convince Maureen to cancel the protest, then Mark and Roger can officially remain rent-free tenants. However, the two rebuff Benny's offer and he leaves ("You'll See"). Mark leaves the loft again to go help Maureen with the sound equipment for the protest, unexpectedly meeting Joanne at the stage. Initially hesitant with each other, the two eventually bond over their shared distrust of Maureen's "gaslighting" and promiscuous behaviours ("Tango: Maureen"). Mark then joins Collins and Angel to film their HIV support group meeting ("Life Support"), while Mimi attempts to seduce Roger alone in his apartment ("Out Tonight"). Roger is extremely upset by Mimi's intrusion, demanding she leave him alone and resisting any romantic feelings he may harbour for her ("Another Day"). After Mimi leaves, Roger reflects on his fear of dying an undignified death from AIDS, while the Life Support group echoes his thoughts ("Will I").

Collins, Mark, and Angel protect a homeless woman from police harassment, but she chastises them ("On the Street"). To lighten the mood, Collins talks about his dream of escaping New York City to open a restaurant in Santa Fe ("Santa Fe"). Soon, Mark leaves to check up on Roger and while alone, Collins and Angel confess their love for each other ("I'll Cover You"). Joanne hectically prepares for Maureen's show, trying to balance all of the people calling her at once ("We're Okay"). Before the performance, Roger apologizes to Mimi, inviting her to come to the protest and the dinner party his friends are having afterwards. At the same time, police, vendors, and homeless people prepare for the protest ("Christmas Bells"). Maureen begins her avant-garde, if not over the top, performance based on "Hey Diddle Diddle" ("Over the Moon"). At the post-show party at the Life Café, Benny arrives, criticizing the protest and the group's bohemian lifestyle. In response, Mark and all the café's bohemian patrons defiantly rise up to celebrate their way of living ("La Vie Bohème"). Mimi and Roger each discover that the other is HIV-positive and hesitantly decide to move forward with their relationship ("I Should Tell You"). Joanne explains that Mark and Roger's building has been padlocked and a riot has broken out; Roger and Mimi, unaware, share their first kiss. The celebration continues ("La Vie Bohème B").

Act II[edit]

Cast of Rent performing "Seasons of Love" at Broadway on Broadway, 2005

The cast lines up to sing together before the plot of the second act begins, affirming that one should measure life "in love" ("Seasons of Love"). Afterwards, Mark and Roger gather to break back into their locked apartment with their friends ("Happy New Year"). A new voicemail reveals that Mark's footage of the riot has earned him a job offering at a tabloid news company called Buzzline ("Voice Mail #3"). The others finally break through the door just as Benny arrives, saying he wants to call a truce and revealing that Mimi––who used to be his girlfriend––convinced him to change his mind. Mimi denies rekindling her relationship with Benny, but Roger is upset, and although they apologize to each other, Mimi goes to her drug dealer for a fix ("Happy New Year B").

Around Valentine's Day, Mark tells the audience that Roger and Mimi have been living together, but they are tentative with each other. It is also told that Maureen and Joanne are preparing another protest, and during rehearsal, Maureen criticizes Joanne's controlling behaviour and Joanne criticizes Maureen's promiscuous mannerisms. They break up dramatically following an ultimatum ("Take Me or Leave Me"). Time progresses to spring ("Seasons of Love B"), but Roger and Mimi's relationship is strained by Mimi's escalating heroin usage and Roger's lasting jealousy and suspicion of Benny. Each alone, Roger and Mimi sing of love and loneliness, telling each other how they feel, as they watch Collins nurse Angel, whose health is declining due to AIDS ("Without You"). By the end of the summer, Mark continues to receive calls offering a corporate job at Buzzline ("Voice Mail #4"). A dance is performed representing all the couples' sex lives ("Contact"). At the climax of the number, the two former couples break up, and Angel suddenly dies. At the funeral, the friends briefly come together to share their memories with Collins being the last to reminisce ("I'll Cover You [Reprise]"). Mark expresses his fear of being the only one left surviving when the rest of his friends die of AIDS, and he finally accepts the corporate job offer ("Halloween"). Roger reveals that he is leaving for Santa Fe, which sparks an argument about commitment between him and Mimi, and between Maureen and Joanne. Collins arrives and admonishes the entire group for fighting on the day of Angel's funeral, causing Maureen and Joanne to reconcile, but not Mimi and Roger. The group shares a sad moment, knowing that between deaths and leaving, their close-knit friendships will be breaking up. Everyone leaves except Mark and Roger, and so Mark tries to convince Roger to stay in New York. Roger, unable to handle Mimi's declining health, becomes angry with Mark and leaves. Mimi returns to say goodbye, overhears everything Roger says, and, terrified, agrees to go to rehab ("Goodbye Love"). Collins is forcibly removed from the church for being unable to pay for Angel's funeral; Benny shows compassion by paying and offering Mark and Collins drinks; Collins accepts, causing him and Collins to rekindle their old friendship, but Mark has to turn down the offer due to work commitments.

Some time later, both Mark and Roger simultaneously reach an artistic epiphany, as Roger finds his song in Mimi and Mark finds his film in Angel's memory; Roger decides to return to New York in time for Christmas, while Mark quits his job to devote his efforts to working on his own film ("What You Own"). The characters' parents, concerned and confused about their respective situations, leave several worried messages on their phones ("Voice Mail #5"). On Christmas Eve, exactly one year having passed, Mark prepares to screen his now-completed film to his friends. Roger has written his song, but no one can find Mimi for him to play it to. Benny's wife, discovering Benny's relationship with Mimi, has pulled Benny out of the East Village. The power suddenly blows and Collins enters with handfuls of cash, revealing that he reprogrammed an ATM at a grocery store to provide money to anybody with the code 'ANGEL'. Maureen and Joanne abruptly enter carrying Mimi, who had been homeless and is now weak and close to death. She begins to fade, telling Roger that she loves him ("Finale"). Roger tells her to hold on as he plays her the song he wrote for her, revealing the depth of his feelings for her ("Your Eyes"). Mimi appears to die, but abruptly awakens, claiming to have been heading into a white light before a vision of Angel appeared, telling her to go back and stay with Roger. The remaining friends gather together in a final moment of shared happiness and resolve to enjoy whatever time they have left with each other, affirming that there is "no day but today" ("Finale B").[22]

Musical numbers[edit]

Act 1

  • "Tune Up #1" – Mark, Roger
  • "Voice Mail #1" – Mark's Mother
  • "Tune Up #2" – Mark, Roger, Collins, Benny
  • "Rent" – Mark, Roger, Collins, Benny, Joanne, and Company
  • "You Okay Honey?" – Christmas Caroler, Angel, Collins
  • "Tune Up #3" – Mark, Roger
  • "One Song Glory" – Roger
  • "Light My Candle" – Mimi, Roger
  • "Voice Mail #2" – Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson
  • "Today 4 U" – Collins, Roger, Mark, Angel
  • "You'll See" – Benny, Mark, Roger, Collins, Angel
  • "Tango: Maureen" – Joanne, Mark
  • "Life Support" – Paul, Gordon, Steve, Ali, Pam, Sue, Angel, Collins, Mark
  • "Out Tonight" – Mimi
  • "Another Day" – Mimi, Roger, Ensemble
  • "Will I?" – Steve and Company
  • "On the Street" – Christmas Carolers, Squeegee Man, Mark, Collins, Angel, Homeless Woman, Cops
  • "Santa Fe" – Collins, Angel, Mark, Ensemble
  • "I'll Cover You" – Angel, Collins
  • "We're Okay" – Joanne
  • "Christmas Bells" – Christmas Carolers, Saleswoman, Collins, Angel, Mark, Roger, Cops, The Man, Mimi, Benny, Company
  • "Over the Moon" – Maureen
  • "La Vie Bohème A" – Waiter, Mark, Roger, Collins, Benny, Mimi, Angel, Maureen, Joanne, Mr. Grey, and Company
  • "I Should Tell You" – Mimi, Roger
  • "La Vie Bohème B" – Joanne, Maureen, Mark, Angel, Collins, and Company

Act 2

  • "Seasons of Love A" – Company
  • "Happy New Year A" – Mimi, Roger, Mark, Maureen, Joanne, Collins, Angel
  • "Voice Mail #3" – Mark's Mother, Alexi Darling
  • "Happy New Year B" – Maureen, Mark, Joanne, Roger, Mimi, Collins, Angel, Benny, The Man
  • "Take Me or Leave Me" – Maureen, Joanne
  • "Seasons of Love B" – Company
  • "Without You" – Roger, Mimi
  • "Voice Mail #4" – Alexi Darling
  • "Contact" – Company
  • "I'll Cover You (Reprise)" – Collins and Company
  • "Halloween" – Mark
  • "Goodbye Love" – Mimi, Roger, Benny, Maureen, Joanne, Mark, Collins
  • "What You Own" – Mark, Roger
  • "Voice Mail #5" – Roger's Mother, Mimi's Mother, Mr. Jefferson, Mark's Mother
  • "Finale A" – Homeless People, Mark, Roger, Collins, Maureen, Joanne, Mimi
  • "Your Eyes" – Roger
  • "Finale B" – Roger, Mimi, Company

Main characters[edit]

  • Mark Cohen (Lead): A struggling Jewish-American documentary filmmaker and the narrator of the show. He is Roger's roommate; at the start of the show, he has recently been dumped by Maureen.
  • Roger Davis (Lead): A once-successful-but-now-struggling musician and ex-lead singer and rock guitarist who is HIV-positive and an ex-junkie. He hopes to write one last meaningful song before he dies. He is having a hard time coping with the fact that he, along with many others around him, knows that he is going to die. His girlfriend, April, killed herself after finding out that she was HIV-positive. He is roommates with Mark.
  • Mimi Márquez (Lead): A Hispanic-American S&M club dancer and drug addict. She lives downstairs from Mark and Roger, is Roger's love interest, and, like him, is HIV-positive. She is also Benny's ex-lover.
  • Tom Collins (Support): An anarchist professor with AIDS. He is described by Mark as a "computer genius, teacher, and vagabond anarchist who ran naked through the Parthenon." Collins dreams of opening a restaurant in Santa Fe, where the problems in New York will not affect him and his friends. He was formerly a roommate of Roger, Mark, Benny, and Maureen, now just Roger and Mark, until he moves out.
  • Angel Dumott Schunard (Support): A young drag queen who is addressed as a female when in drag and as a male when out of drag. Angel, who has AIDS, is a street percussionist with a generous disposition; Collins' love interest.[23]
  • Maureen Johnson (Support): A performance artist who is Mark's ex-girlfriend and Joanne's current girlfriend. She is very flirtatious and cheated on Mark (presumably with Joanne). Larson considered Maureen a lesbian, despite her previous relationships with men, and he specifically identified her as "lesbian" in the script itself.[10]
  • Joanne Jefferson (Support): An Ivy League-educated public interest lawyer and a lesbian. Joanne is the woman for whom Maureen left Mark. Joanne has very politically powerful parents (one is undergoing confirmation to be a judge, the other is a government official).
  • Benjamin "Benny" Coffin III (Support): Landlord of Mark, Roger, and Mimi's apartment building and ex-roommate of Mark, Collins, Roger, and Maureen. Now married to Alison Grey of the Westport Greys, a very wealthy family involved in real estate, and he is considered yuppie scum and a sell-out by his ex-roommates. He at one time had a relationship with Mimi.

Minor characters[edit]

  • Mrs. Cohen: Mark's stereotypical Jewish mother. Her voicemail messages are the basis for the songs Voicemail #1, Voicemail #3, and Voicemail #5.
  • Alexi Darling: The producer of Buzzline, a sleazy tabloid company that tries to employ Mark after his footage of the riot makes primetime. Sings Voicemail #3 and Voicemail #4.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson: The wealthy parents of Joanne Jefferson, they leave her Voicemail #2. Mr. Jefferson is also one of the a cappella singers in Voicemail #5. Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson usually sing the solos in Seasons of Love.
  • Mrs. Davis: Roger's confused mother who calls in Voicemail #5, asking continuously, "Roger, where are you?"
  • Mrs. Marquez: Mimi's Spanish-speaking mother who sings in Voicemail #5, wondering, in Spanish, where she is.
  • Mr. Grey: Benny's father-in-law who wants to buy out the lot.
  • The Man: The local drug dealer whom Mimi buys from and Roger used to buy from. Based on the character Parpignol from La Bohème.[24]
  • Paul: The man in charge of the Life Support group.
  • Gordon: One of the Life Support members.
  • Steve: One of the Life Support members.
  • Ali: One of the Life Support members
  • Pam: One of the Life Support members
  • Sue: One of the Life Support members.
  • In Larson's script, the roles of all of the Life Support members are encouraged to take on the name that someone in the cast (or production) knows or has known to have succumbed to AIDS. In the final Broadway performance, Sue is renamed Lisa.
  • Squeegee Man: A homeless person who chants "Honest living!" over and over during "Christmas Bells".
  • The Waiter: A waiter at Life Cafe.
  • The Woman with Bags or Homeless Woman: A woman who calls Mark out for trying to use her to assuage his guilt during "On The Street".
  • The Preacher or The Pastor: The Preacher kicks Collins out of the church because he can't pay for Angel's funeral.

There are also many other non-named roles such as Cops, Bohemians, Vendors, Homeless People.

Reception[edit]

Rent received several awards including a Pulitzer Prize and four Tony Awards.[25]

Critical reception of Rent was positive not only for its acting and musical components, but for its representation of HIV-positive individuals. Many critics praised the portrayal of characters such as Angel and Collins as being happy, with positive outlooks on life, rather than being resigned to death.[26] While critics and theatre patrons had largely positive reviews of the show, it was criticized for its stereotypically negative portrayal of lesbian characters and the "glamourization" of the East Village in the late 1980s.[27]

Billy Aronson said, "For the record, although I was ambivalent about Jonathan’s ideas for Rent when we were working together on it, I have come to love the show. And as tragic as it is that he didn’t live to see his work become a huge success, I believe he knew it would be. In our last conversation I asked how the show was going and he said, with complete assurance, that it was incredible."[6]

Cultural impact and legacy[edit]

Mel B as Mimi at Nederland in 2004.

The song "Seasons of Love" became a successful pop song and often is performed on its own. Because of its connection to New Years and looking back at times past, it is sometimes performed at graduations or school holiday programs.

RENT-heads[edit]

Rent gathered a following of fans who refer to themselves as "RENT-heads." The name originally referred to people who would camp out at the Nederlander Theater for hours in advance for the discounted rush tickets to each show, though it generally refers to anyone who is obsessed with the show. These discounted tickets were for seats in the first two rows of the theater reserved for sale by lottery two hours prior to each show.[29] Other Broadway shows have followed Rent's example and now also offer cheaper tickets in efforts to make Broadway theater accessible to people who would otherwise be unable to afford the ticket prices.

The term originated in Rent's first months on Broadway. The show's producers offered 34 seats in the front two rows of the orchestra for each, two hours before the performance. Fans and others interested in tickets would camp out for hours in front of the Nederlander Theater – which is on 41st Street, just outside Times Square – to buy these tickets.[29]

Popular culture references[edit]

The television series The Simpsons,[30]Family Guy,[31]Friends,[32]Will and Grace,[33]Scrubs,[34]Glee, The Big Bang Theory, Gilmore Girls, Felicity,[35]Saturday Night Live, The Office, Franklin & Bash, 2 Broke Girls, Girls, Seinfeld, The Neighbors, Modern Family, Smash, Supernatural, Superstore, and Bob's Burgers have included references to the show.

The film Team America: World Police includes a character who plays a lead role in Lease, a Broadway musical parody of Rent; the finale song is "Everyone has AIDS!".[36]

Yitzhak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch wears a Rent T-shirt and speaks of his aspiration to play the role of Angel.[37]

The off-Broadway musical revue Forbidden Broadway Strikes Back includes parodies of Rent songs such as "Rant" ("Rent"), "Ouch! They're Tight" ("Out Tonight"), "Season of Hype" ("Seasons of Love"), "Too Gay 4 U (Too Het'ro 4 Me)" ("Today 4 U"), "Pretty Voices Singing" ("Christmas Bells") and "This Ain't Boheme" ("La Vie Bohème").[38]

In the film Deadpool, Wade Wilson is seen wearing a Rent T-shirt. Stan Lee also referenced one of the songs ("Cover you") when he said as the DJ in the strip club "You can't buy love.." - "but you can rent it... "

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the composer and writer of the Broadway show Hamilton, has cited Rent as a main source of inspiration.[39] He also referenced the show in a verse of the song "Wrote My Way Out" on The Hamilton Mixtape in the line "Running out of time like I'm Jonathan Larson's rent check".

Productions[edit]

New York workshops and off-Broadway production[edit]

Rent had its first staged reading at New York Theatre Workshop in March 1993.[7] A further two-week New York Theatre Workshop version was performed in 1994 starring Anthony Rapp as Mark and Daphne Rubin-Vega as Mimi, and more workshops followed. The show opened on 1996, again at New York Theatre Workshop, and quickly gained popularity off-Broadway, receiving enthusiastic reviews. The New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley called it an "exhilarating, landmark rock opera" with a "glittering, inventive score" that "shimmers with hope for the future of the American musical."[45] Another reviewer wrote, "Rent speaks to Generation X the way that the musical Hair spoke to the baby boomers or those who grew up in the 1960s," while the New York Times similarly called it "a rock opera for our time, a Hair for the 90s."[46] The show proved extremely successful off-Broadway, selling out all of its performances at the 150-seat theatre.[2]

Original Broadway production[edit]

Due to its overwhelming popularity and the need for a larger theater, Rent moved to Broadway's previously derelict Nederlander Theatre on 41st Street on April 29, 1996.[2] On Broadway, the show achieved critical acclaim and word-of-mouth popularity. The production's ethnically diverse principal cast originally included Taye Diggs, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Jesse L. Martin, Idina Menzel, Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Fredi Walker.

The production's controversial topics and innovative pricing, including same day-of-performance tickets, helped to increase the popularity of musical theater amongst the younger generation.[47] The production was nominated for ten Tony Awards in 1996 and won four: Best Musical, Best Book, Best Original Score and Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical (Heredia)

On April 24, 2006, the original Broadway cast reunited for a one-night performance of the musical at the Nederlander Theatre. This performance raised over ,000,000 for the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation, Friends In Deed and New York Theatre Workshop. Former cast members were invited, and many from prior tours and former Broadway casts appeared, performing an alternate version of "Seasons of Love" as the finale of the performance.[49]

Rent closed on September 7, 2008, after a 12-year run and 5,123 performances,[50] making it the eleventh-longest-running Broadway show.[51] The production grossed over 0 million.

Original cast ensemble members Rodney Hicks and Gwen Stewart returned to the cast at the time of the Broadway closing. Hicks played Benny and Stewart played the role she created, the soloist in the song "Seasons of Love". In addition, actress Tracie Thoms joined the cast at the end of the run playing Joanne, the role she portrayed in the 2005 film version.[50] The last Broadway performance was filmed and screened in movie theaters as Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway in September 2008. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray formats on February 3, 2009.

North American touring productions[edit]

Successful United States national tours, the "Angel Tour" and the "Benny Tour", launched in the 1990s. Later, the non-Equity tour started its run. There was also a Canadian tour (often referred to as the "Collins Tour").

The Angel tour began in November 1996 in Boston. Anthony Rapp joined the cast for the Chicago run, and Daphne Rubin-Vega joined for the Los Angeles run. The tour finished in San Francisco in September 1999. Other members of the Angel cast included Carrie Hamilton, Amy Spanger, Luther Creek, Kristoffer Cusick, and Tony Vincent.

The Benny Tour began in July 1997 in San Diego, California, at the LaJolla Playhouse. Michael Grief, the original director of the Broadway show was also the artistic director of the LaJolla Playhouse and was instrumental in arranging for the Benny tour to begin in the smaller city of San Diego rather than Los Angeles, California. It originally featured Neil Patrick Harris in the role of Mark Cohen. The Benny tour generally played shorter stops and often-smaller markets than the Angel Tour did. Other cast members included Wilson Cruz and d'Monroe.

Tours ran each season from 2005 to 2008. Cast members throughout the run included Aaron Tveit, Ava Gaudet, Declan Bennett, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Constantine Maroulis, Dan Rosenbaum, Heinz Winckler, Anwar Robinson, Christine Dwyer and Karen Olivo.[citation needed] In 2009, a national tour starring Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp, reprising their original Broadway roles, launched in Cleveland, Ohio. Original Broadway Cast member Gwen Steward also appeared, alongside Michael McElroy as Collins, The tour ended on February 7, 2010, in Sacramento, California.[52] A 20th-anniversary touring production of Rent began in Dallas on September 20, 2016.[53]

UK productions[edit]

The show made its UK premiere on April 21, 1998, at the West End's Shaftesbury Theatre and officially opened on May 12, 1998. The original cast included Krysten Cummings as Mimi Marquez, Wilson Jermaine Heredia as Angel Schunard, Bonny Lockhart as Benny, Jesse L. Martin as Tom Collins, Adam Pascal as Roger Davis, Anthony Rapp as Mark Cohen, and Jessica Tezier as Maureen Johnson. The show closed on October 30, 1999, after one-and-a-half years. Limited revivals took place at the Prince of Wales Theatre from December 4, 2001, to January 6, 2002; December 6, 2002, to March 1, 2003 (featuring Adam Rickett as Mark and Caprice as Maureen). There was also a successful production for a limited run in Manchester in 2006 with an additional 'goodbye' performance in 2008 from the Manchester cast.

On October 16, 2007, the heavily revised production titled Rent Remixed opened at the Duke of York's Theatre in London's West End. Directed by William Baker, it was set in the present day. The cast included Oliver Thornton (Mark), Luke Evans (Roger), Craig Stein (Benny), Leon Lopez (Collins), Francesca Jackson (Joanne), Jay Webb (Angel), Siobhán Donaghy (Mimi), and Denise Van Outen (Maureen). From December 24, 2007, the role of Maureen was played by Jessie Wallace.[54] The production received generally unfavorable reviews. The Guardian gave it only one out of five stars, writing, "They call this 'Rent Remixed'. I'd dub it 'Rent Reduced', in that the late Jonathan Larson's reworking of La Bohème, while never a great musical, has been turned into a grisly, synthetic, pseudo pop concert with no particular roots or identity."[55] The production closed on February 2, 2008.[56]

The production radically altered elements of the musical including defining the characters of Mimi, Angel and Mark as British. Songs were reordered (including Maureen's first appearance as the Act I finale). The rehaul of the score was masterminded by Steve Anderson and featured radically rearranged versions of Out Tonight, Today 4 U, Over the Moon and Happy New Year.

A one-off Rent - The 20th Anniversary Concert was held at the Blackpool Opera house Monday November 11, 2013 A 20th anniversary tour opened at Theatr Clwyd in October 2016 before playing a two-month run at the St James Theatre, London. The cast included Layton Williams as Angel and Lucie Jones as Maureen.[57] The production then continued to tour the UK.[58]

In 2018 an immersive production of RENT premiered at Frogmore Paper Mill in Apsley, Hemel Hempstead.[59] The Cast included Aran Macrae (Roger), Connor Dyer (Mark) and Lizzie Emery (Mimi). The show opened on July 10, 2018, and ran until July 28th.

Off-Broadway revival[edit]

The show was revived Off-Broadway at Stage 1 of New World Stages with previews starting July 14, 2011 and a scheduled opening of August 11, 2011. This was the first New York Revival of the show since the original production closed less than three years earlier. The production was directed by Rent's original director Michael Greif. Almost the entire show was different from the original yet the reinvention did not please the critics, who complained that the new actors did not have a feel for the characters they were playing and it made the show feel contrived.[60] The Off-Broadway production of RENT closed on September 9, 2012.[61]

Additional productions[edit]

In 1999, an Australian production featured Justin Smith as Mark, Rodger Corser as Roger and Christine Anu as Mimi. The tour began in Sydney and finished in Melbourne. A production in Perth, Western Australia was mounted in 2007 and featured Anthony Callea as Mark, Tim Campbell as Roger, Courtney Act as Angel and Nikki Webster as Maureen.

The Dublin production had an extended run at the Olympia Theatre, Dublin in 2000. It starred Sean Pol McGreevy as Mark, Rachel Tucker as Maureen and Allyson Brown as Mimi under the direction of Phil Willmot. The Swedish production premiered on May 15, 2002 at The Göteborg Opera in Gothenburg, Sweden, playing until June 8, 2003. Sarah Dawn Finer played Joanne.[62]

Rent veteran Neil Patrick Harris directed a production at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA. The production played a three night engagement, August 6–8, 2010. The cast included Vanessa Hudgens as Mimi, Aaron Tveit as Roger, Skylar Astin as Mark, Wayne Brady as Collins, Telly Leung as Angel, Tracie Thoms as Joanne, Nicole Scherzinger as Maureen, Collins Pennie as Benny, and Gwen Stewart as Seasons of Love soloist (and additional roles).[63]

In 2017, the first tour for the German speaking countries was mounted by Berlin theatrical producer Boris Hilbert [de]. The production travelled Germany, Austria and Switzerland and was directed by the British opera director Walter Sutcliffe.[64]

Rent: School Edition[edit]

In 2007, an abridged edition of Rent was made available to five non-professional acting groups in the United States for production. Billed as Rent: School Edition, this version omits the song "Contact" and eliminates some of the coarse language and tones down some public displays of affection of the original.[65]Shorewood High School in Shorewood, WI became the first high school to perform an early version of the adaptation in May 2006. The high school was selected to present a workshop performance as part of Music Theatre International's work to adapt the musical for younger actors and potentially more conservative audiences.[66] As of 2008, Music Theatre International began licensing "Rent School Edition" for performances by schools and non-professional amateur theaters in the United States and around the world.

International productions[edit]

Rent has been performed in countries around the world, including Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Greece, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Panama, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Russia, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, South Africa, Australia, Guam, New Zealand, Israel, Puerto Rico, Austria, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominican Republic, Cuba and the Czech Republic.

The musical has been performed in twenty-five languages: Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Hungarian, Polish, Slovak, Greek, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Hebrew, Czech, and Catalan.

Recordings[edit]

Cast/Audio recordings[edit]

Main article: Rent (albums)

A cast recording of the original Broadway cast recording was released in 1996; it features all the music of the show on a double-disc "complete recording" collection along with a remixed version of the song "Seasons of Love" featuring Stevie Wonder.[67]

The later 2005 film version (see below) also resulted in a double-disc cast recording of the complete score used in the movie[68] There are also many foreign cast recordings of international productions of the show.[69]

Live stage filming[edit]

Main article: Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway

The final performance of the Broadway production of Rent, which took place on September 7th 2008, was filmed live and, cut together with close-up footage from a day of filming in August of the same year, released as Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway in cinemas with high definition digital projection systems in the U.S. and Canada between September 24 and 28, 2008. Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway was released on February 3, 2009 on DVD & Blu-ray formats.[70][unreliable source?]

Adaptations[edit]

Film[edit]

Main article: Rent (film)

In 2005, Rent was adapted into a movie directed by Chris Columbus with a screenplay by Stephen Chbosky. With the exception of Daphne Rubin-Vega (who was pregnant at the time of filming) and Fredi Walker (who felt she was too old for her role), who played Mimi and Joanne respectively in the original Broadway cast, the original Broadway cast members reprised the principal roles. Released on November 23, 2005, the film remained in the box office top ten for three weeks, receiving mixed reviews. Several plot elements were changed slightly, and some songs were changed to spoken dialogue or cut entirely for the film. The soundtrack was produced by Rob Cavallo, engineered by Doug McKean and features renowned session musicians Jamie Muhoberac, Tim Pierce and Dorian Crozier.

Rent: Live[edit]

Main article: Rent: Live

In May 2017, Fox announced plans to air a live television production of Rent in late 2018. However, on September 25, 2017, Fox announced the official air date for Rent Live! would be Sunday, January 27, 2019. Marc Platt is set to serve as executive producer along with the estate of Jonathan Larson.

Upcoming documentary[edit]

Filmmaker and Rent alum Andy Señor, Jr. is currently producing a documentary, following his journey producing the musical in Cuba in late 2014. This production of Rent was the first Broadway musical to premiere in Cuba since diplomatic relations between the two countries became strained during the Cold War.

Awards and honors[edit]

Original Broadway production[edit]

Original West End production[edit]

20th-Anniversary UK tour[edit]

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2017 WhatsOnStage Awards Best Regional Production Nominated

References[edit]

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