After a divorce, middle-aged Larry Alder moved from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon with his teenage daughters Diane and Ruthie. He landed a job as a radio talkshow host, where he dealt with his attractive producer Morgan and his corpulent engineer Earl. Larry also hung out with legendary Harlem Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemon, who owned a Portland sporting goods store. Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
Even though this show was considered a spin off of Diff'rent Strokes (1978), the connection between the two shows wasn't explained until a few months after the show premiered. Since both shows were produced by the same company, it was decided to have a plot where Larry Alder and Phillip Drummond (McLean Stevenson and Conrad Bain respectively) were old army buddies from Korea as a way of having the shows cross over and boost the ratings of Hello Larry. See more »
Brilliant but stupid....Lasted Two Seasons and 38 episodes.
This series didn't run long enough to jump the shark. We had to say goodbye to "Hello,Larry" aka "The MacLean Stevenson Show" all too soon. This series which was produced and created by the same people who brought you "Diff'rent Strokes" and "The Facts of Life" lasted for two seasons on NBC-TV which came in as the mid-season replacement producing 38 episodes on January 26,1979 ,and it only lasted a mere two and half seasons on the air before it was canceled on April 30, 1980 it gave its viewers a nervous breakdown to why in the hell actor MacLean Stevenson should have stayed on M*A*S*H,but lets face it,back in the mid- 1970's,and part of the early-1980's,NBC had the reputation as being the worst television network around,and believe me when I say that NBC was going toward a downward spiral as it faced stiff competition from rivals ABC and CBS.
The show itself had a good concept during its first five episodes then after that it got the reputation for one of the worst TV shows of all time,and it ranked right up there with "My Mother The Car","F- Troop","Manimal", "Mister T and Tina","Pink Lady and Jeff" and the worst of them all "Gilligan's Island", to name a few,giving "Hello,Larry" a scapegoat for bad TV,which some of NBC's programming was at the time,totally horrible under the supervision of the network executive over at NBC at the time,Fred Silverman.
However,I do recall the changing of the guards when it came during the cast change for same character,but was played by two different actresses:It wasn't the same after actress Donna Wilkes was replaced by Krista Errickson,and from there the result was a train wreck on impact. However,this show was that bad overall,but lets not put the blame on MacLean Stevenson,whom after his involvement with M*A*S*H,gain the reputation for a string of failed TV-shows that emerge during the late-1970's,but in some way he was fairly positive with his role. But I put the blame on the producers of this series! The same producers that were behind "Hello,Larry",were behind the shows "The Facts Of Life","Diff'rent Strokes","One Day At A Time",and so many more! Stevenson brought along a Everyman approach to the role,given him a comedic fair to the character who was a single dad raising two teenage daughters on his own without a mom around in suburban Portland,Oregon. This was in fact the male equivalent to another situation comedy show that was around the same time as this series:"One Day At A Time",which was on a rival network.
Did "Hello,Larry" jumped the shark? Actually,no. It started out in midair,then went halfway over the shark tank. What really stinks is that actress Kim Richards-a child actor that was all over the place in several movies and TV shows during the entire decade of the 1970's and way into the mid-1980's-stayed on throughout the whole show until its demise in the spring of 1980,after 38 episodes. Richards,was a drop dead gorgeous babe who was the object of every teenage boys' fantasy during the mid-1970's,and still is today. Ahhh yes,KIM RICHARDS,every boy's erotic fantasy! Was that really Kim Richards in the 1985 teen drama called "Tuff Turf"? Yes,it was and she was totally hot!!! The second reason that "Hello,Larry" didn't jump the shark is this: Why is it that in every episode you got to have Meadowlark Lemon as special guest star? Why wasn't he made a regular? Why was he the second banana? The others? Having the cast of Diff'rent Strokes on the show--which at time was the ONLY hit that NBC had,where the carrying presence of Gary Coleman made the show--where Gary Coleman's character,Arnold runs away in Portland leaving Kim Richards,and Strokes' regulars Dana Plato and Todd Bridges to find him. The other daughter? Donna Wilkes,after her departure from the show,was tapped to do three installments to the "Angel" films in the 1980's,and was never heard from again since.
Whatever happened to MacLean Stevenson after the demise of Hello,Larry? This was in fact a string of failed shows one after the other including his own series,"The New MacLean Stevenson Show","America","In The Beginning","Dirty Dancing","Dear,John"...the list goes on and on! "Hello,Larry" was a good show in his heyday,but there was a time that NBC sucked so badly that everything on its programming roster never had a chance because viewers stayed the hell away from the network. The saving grace that rescue NBC from a watery grave was the realignment of its entire programming,that resulted during the termination of Fred Silverman,during the mid-1980's and the resurrection of a new person that would bring the network back to glory who was also in charge of NBC's entertainment division as well.
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