|Index||8 reviews in total|
This quasi-spin-off of Different Strokes brought well-loved McLean Stevenson back to the airways after his departure from MASH. This was one of the first to ACCURATELY portray a single father's struggles raising two young daughters. It never really developed a following, and the numerous scheduling changes made it difficult to find. This is an ideal candidate for TV Land.
I remember watching this show in the late seventies and thinking "McLean Stevenson left MASH for this?!" But the show began to grow on me and it was fun watching a single dad raise two teenaged daughters. One episode that hit home with me was when Ruthie decided to rechristen herself as Ruth. That's my name (officially Ruth Ann, but call me Ruthie) and I can relate to being Ruth (serious, professional, etc.) as well as Ruthie (cute, informal, etc.)-it's been going on for almost 55 years. Granted, this show will never equal MASH, but McLean Stevenson could be knock-down funny when he wanted to and it was sad to see him go through so many projects (the reason he left MASH was to possibly host the Tonight Show) and it was sad to see him die without equaling his work on MASH. The show got better when Krista Errickson replaced Donna Wilkes as older daughter Diane and the other cast (Joanna Gleason, Ruth Brown, Meadowlark Lemon, etc.) did very well. This was a show that should've gotten a better chance. And that's the Ruth(ie).
This show could have been seen as the male equivalent of One Day At a Time. Only instead of a divorced mother raising two girls, it was a divorced father raising two girls. The only thing that was wrong with the show were the inane scripts that crippled the show from the start. The only memorable episode was the one in which the oldest daughter was caught with drugs that were planted on her. This episode was the showed what every parent goes through when they suspect that their child might be using drugs. However, this was the only memorable episode from an otherwise forgettable show.
"Hello Larry" was part of Fred Silverman's attempt to ruin, er, resurrect NBC from the ratings doldrums. Amongst other great works he begat "Supertrain," "Turnabout," "Diffrent Strokes," and "Hello Larry." Despite it's abysmal badness, the show ran for two seasons simply because so many of the network's offerings bombed that they had nothing better to run, a fact that beleagured network execs cheerfully admitted to. While the show was lousy and never drew good ratings (despite often being paired with "Diffrent Strokes") Mac at least was a "name" actor and supposedly a proven commodity. Poor McLean Stevenson, so loveable as the boob Henry on "M*A*S*H" never again found material as good. Unfortunately unlike fiascoes like "In the Beginning," "Condo," or even "The McLean Stevenson Show," "Hello Larry" ran long enough for people to remember it as the series that wouldn't die, and poor Mac is now probably as well remembered for being trapped in TV purgatory there than he will be for "M*A*S*H."
This was a series that I never missed, but also never recorded. It would be nice to see it go back on air sometime. It was about a single father raising 2 teenage girls.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Having watched this abomination in '79-'80,it's easy to see why NBC was
the worst! It's also easy to see that MacLean Stevenson just couldn't
catch a decent break in the sitcom world! "The MacLean Stvenson
Show","In The Beginning",this humiliating show and a last ditch effort
on ABC known as "Condo",(which I thought was the best out of the 4!)
The only other places to find Maclean between this and his passing are Disney's,"The Cat From Outer Space" and a guest shot on NBC's,"The Golden Girls". A few years after that he was gone. All I have to say about "Hello Larry" is if it had gotten better writers,it could have been something. It's inane,silly,stupid and even annoying!
If through some twist of fate it ends up DVD,I caution you to think before you spend! Bad enough one ever had to spend time just watching it. 0 stars because even "BJ and The Bear" was better than this!
Does anyone remember the call letters of the radio station where Larry worked? I've drawn a blank on this one item. As a matter of fact, I can barely remember the series. Obviously, this was not one of my father's favorites since he controlled the remote and only watched 2 or 3 episodes. Back then that was the way most families had to watch television. Also, we only had one set in the whole house. Therefore, my mom and I had to wait for dad to go out of town in order to watch anything with females, sex, or anything that was not sports or war related. My,how times have changed! We have only three people currently living in our house, but we have a total of five TV sets. Go figure!
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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