"CHiPs," which stood for California Highway Patrol, followed the daily beats of two state motorcycle patrolmen as they patrolled the freeway system in and around Los Angeles. Officer Jon Baker was the straight, serious officer while Frank "Ponch" Poncherello was the more free- wheeling member of the duo; both reported to Sgt. Joe Getraer, who gave out assignments and advice in handling the cases. Each episode saw a compilation of incidents, ranging from the humorous (e.g., a stranded motorist) to criminal investigations (such as hijackings) and tragic incidents (such as a fiery multi-car pile-up with multiple deaths. Other aspects of Ponch and Jon's daily work were highlighted as well; the social lives of both officers (they were both single) often provided the lighter moments. On occassion, Ponch and Jon were assisted by a female "Chippie" at first, the very beautiful Sindy Cahill; and later, the more wholesome Bonnie Clark. In 1982, Ponch got a new partner, Bobby Nelson (series star... Written by
Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
Ponch was among the first leading characters on a dramatic series who was Latino. He's often cited as among the first positive or non-stereotypical portrayal of a Latino-American on a regular prime time drama series. See more »
Throughout the series and regularly in later seasons, car crashes were shown involving vehicles getting airborne after rear-ending another vehicle. This does not happen in actual crashes. In some scenes the ramps used to launch the vehicles are visible. See more »
Ponch and Jon, the corniest Cool guys there ever were...
Officers Francis "Ponch" Ponchorello and Jon Baker were the CORNIEST cool guys in the history of Hollywood TV. Make no mistake, these dudes were cool. Two young and reasonably handsome guys, athletic and fit looking while living that romantic fast life in Southern California. They were the man on bikes, high pursuit cops who enforced the law. Off duty their weekends could be spent jet skiing, sailing or sky diving, when the rest of us are off at the movies or perhaps hanging out at the mall. They also had the badge and gun, the uniforms, and of course the bikes that they would race at 90 mph on the highways while chasing bad guys, they were cool dudes. Then of course they romanced plenty of disco era honeys. But Ponch and Jon were not cool cool, they were just too over the top corny and Ponch was way too hammy. Then there was that silly freeze frame smile they all did at the end of the show. If you are over considerably over 40 today you probably think CHiPs is ridiculous because you were likely a teenager or young adult back then and you yourself were just too hip and cool back in the day to have appreciated CHiPs. And if you are 25 and under today then you are likely on the other side of being too cool for CHiPs because you may think the show is just flat out stupid. The series would likely look way too old for much of the early 20s and teenager crowd. The show had silliness, but not Dukes of Hazzard or Knight Rider silliness, Ponch and Jon were still grounded in something very close to our real world. If you are a middle-late Gen Xer born in the 70s and had a childhood in the 80s, then CHiPs was part of your syndicated TV diet. You know you watched.
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