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Ahh, the '80s - what a decade: big hair, faded denim, ankle-high boots...and
that was just Heather Thomas alone!
"The Fall Guy" was a guy's show, plain and simple. Produced by action-meister Glen Larson (along with TV shows "Battlestar: Galactica", "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century", "BJ and the Bear" and "The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo"), it followed the same tried-and-true formula of lots of action, explosions, fights, tough guys doing tough things...and, of course, beautiful women.
They had the tough guys covered with "The Six Million Dollar Man" himself Lee Majors as Colt Seevers (See? Even a tough name!), a stunt man who moonlights as a bounty hunter.
His partner is nephew Howie Munson (Doug Barr), a guy who is a semi-genius (having been in countless colleges) and fancies himself a stunt man also, in spite of the fact that he ends up getting the worst of the situation usually.
And then there's Jody Banks (the blossom of womanhood herself - Heather Thomas), who was as rough and tough as they come, but looked a HECK of a lot better in swim-wear than her fellow stunt men!
Every week they were bringing felons back to justice, saving towns from outlaw bikers, fighting against evil UFOs, finding themselves surrounded by beautiful women and, every once in a while, big name guest stars (Buddy Hackett, William Conrad, Barry Newman, Richard Burton (!!!), Shecky Greene) - even Roy Rogers came by for two shows! What talent!
No wonder it stayed on the air as long as it did; it had everything a male chauvinist pig could want in a TV show. Even, for a few seasons, Markie Post (and if you've never seen Markie in a bikini, you HAVE to watch this show!!).
It lives on in syndication and, naturally, finds new generations of fans every time it's on. So, join the legion of fans who forever cheer, "Viva la "Fall Guy!" - you won't be alone.
Ten stars and a set of gold-plated elbow pads for "The Fall Guy" - and let's hear it for that Fall GIRL!
Lee Majors could have been a burned out 70s star during the 80s much
like Burt Reynolds and John Travolta, but the former Six Million Dollar
Man resurrected his career yet again with "The Fall Guy". Majors played
Colt Seavers, a working class Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a
bounty hunter. You gotta love a TV show that was brave enough to have
it's star walk around with a name like "Colt". The Fall Guy was full of
manly macho bravado, right from the iconic opening lyrics, where Colt
gets into full country cowboy mode and laments his status as a
Hollywood stuntman. Even though that song is clearly grounded in the
late 1970s, with it's references to women such as Sally Field, Cheryl
Tiegs, Bo and of course Farrah, it continues to play effortlessly well
across the decade. You understand the plight of Colt Seavers. He does
all the dirty work for guys like Clint Eastwood and Robert Redford
(more 70s stars), but he never gets the girl. It always felt right that
Lee Majors would sing about celebrities from the 1970s anyway, even in
an 80s TV show. Nobody questioned it, it was like oh wait it's Lee
Majors singing, well of course he would be singing about Farrah, Bo and
Clint Eastwood in 1984.
This isn't the best written TV show, but for a Glen Larson show it sure is. The concept of Hollywood mixing in with bad guys is a hit out of the park. The creators can always give the audience that extra double wink with what they're doing, after all Colt Seavers is a Hollywood stuntman. It's mind bogglingly enticing to wonder what Stephen J. Cannell (a far better writer who was an 80s TV tycoon that specialized in action-humor) could have done with this show. I'll admit nostalgia plays a huge part in my fondness for The Fall Guy. I can actually remember when this show first aired back in the early 80s. I was 6 years old, and this series was sure bet for Wednesday nights. It even had it's own set of Colt Seavers action figures and toy pick truck modeled after the one Lee Major's used on the show, so you knew this show marketed itself at children as well as adults.
There's something so magical about '80s TV, that even silly TV shows like The Fall Guy can
Sure, this show had holes in it, it is cheesy, but I loved it. In Junior High I grew up on this, and it influenced me greatly. I can not watch boring sit coms, which maybe have 2 sets, or even cheaper made reality tv shows. Do I really care who gets voted off the island , or can keep their hand on a rock for 2 hours. After years of watching Colt drive through a china shop with his truck, use the trailer part of the truck which is used to move cars as a ramp, use a a rocket pack and hang onto the side of a chopper. All in a hour show! This show raised the bar high. My wife hates Heather Thomas. and says she's there for her anatomy, with her lines "Colt he's got a gun or "Oh Colt." Howie was funny, and added good comedy. The Unknown stunt man theme was great. I loved the time some thugs beat up an identical truck to Colt's and he drives off with the real one and these 2 huge guys leaving the bar say, "hey what did you to my truck." Speaking of trucks I think that truck must have started the SUV craze, with the imprint it left on many 30 and 40 year olds minds. I love the Mad comic spoof on this show. A must watch.
The Fall Guy was just one in a whole list of classic 80's fare such as The
A-Team, Dukes of Hazzard and Knight Rider. It featured Lee Majors as bounty
hunter Colt Seavers and he was joined by his sidekick Howie Munson who was a
bit naive at times. They were also joined by the beautiful Heather Thomas
who played Jody Banks.
Like many 1980's action shows The Fall Guy was not to be taken seriously. The plots were crazy, the characters were crazier, the stories were rather mad at times and what can I say about the stunts-they were out of this world. Week after week Lee Majors topped his stunts and did things such as jumping from a plane without a parachute and jumping from tall bridges into water below.
Highly enjoyable series-but when will anyone release it onto video?
Another classic teatime viewing experience from Glen Larson. Totally mindless, relaxing formulaic Larson stuff. The success and longevity of his series prove that old formulas work and this 5 year series was no exception. Colt , Howie and Jodie (most male viewers reason to watch!) were to the 80's what Xena is to a new generation.
80s shows that you can still enjoy today. This cannot be said about many of the other shows out there at that time (Knight Rider, A-Team, all the ones I can't even recall anymore). Got to love that title tune sung by Lee himself as well :)
Some time back I was visiting David Sommerville, lead singer for the
50's doo-wop band The Diamonds ('Little Darlin'/'Why Do Fools Fall In
Love') who was at the time, living in David (Kung Foo) Carradine's
shack (literally) above Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills.
Looking around I joked with him that he must have stolen the idea for
the outdoor bathtub from the opening credits of 'The Fall Guy' where
Lee Majors is seen soaking with a stogy clenched firmly in his teeth. I
was informed it was quite the opposite -
David was hired to do the music for a couple of TV specials chronicling the life of stuntmen by his friend and fellow composer; television producer Glen A. Larson. Shortly after, David began writing in anticipation of another installment of the series which never saw the light of day. While vacationing at Glen's place in Hawaii, he'd discovered the unused sheet music buried in his guitar case and as he began playing he caught Glen's attention. Wheels spinning, he changed the original name in the opening verse to Farah; "Well, I'm not the kind to kiss and tell but I've been seen with Farah", and picked up the phone -
As fate would have it, the 'The Six Million Dollar Man' had just been canceled so, with Majors on the other end they sang him the (soon to be theme) song; 'The Unknown Stuntman' and the television series 'The Fall Guy' was born. Now, about that bath tub -
Having been to the quirky Carradine/Sommerville "ranch" with it's tree-house house, outdoor plumbing and combination horse stables/guest quarters, Glen thought it was the perfect setting for the residence for his new lead character; Stuntman/Private Investigator, Colt Seavers..... Only in Hollywood!
The Fall Guy represented an era when actors and actresses really had to
earn their pay by getting ratings across 24 episodes in a season,
unlike now where a season can run for 8 episodes and rate 1.5 on a good
night, and be considered a "critical breakout success" because they
cover "politically correct" agenda items. Of course due respect to
those who do that kind of 8 episode work.
The Fall Guy was one of the best of the 80s and it's an era that in some ways reflected the glory days of Reagan-Bush (the Bush Sr), with no action spared, an incredibly attractive Heather Thomas (she should have got her own show), and Lee Majors being The Man. No time for being distracted by social issues if you know what I mean.
Both seasons of this show offer good, undemanding entertainment with a
nice blend of action and humour. Perfect viewing for a Sunday
afternoon, or whenever you want to relax & be entertained by a TV show,
Good idea to have a trio (sometimes quartet) of main characters this brings a nice interaction between a group of regular characters which fills out the show and gives it an extra lift, adding personality to the show (a regular writer's technique, but always good to see it in action and working as well as it does here).
Some episodes also feature circa 1980s Country music on their soundtracks though some of this was changed for the DVD releases because of copyright - so the show can be pretty easy on the ear too!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I always remember The Fall Guy's invasion on the British TV screens in the 1980s and the typical things added in with the classic opening of "The Unknown Stuntman" song. In fact, this goes to Lee Majors from his earlier stint starring as Steve Austin in Six Million Dollar Man to another Glen A. Larson creation of "The Fall Guy" about the unknown stuntman and so-called bounty hunter Colt (Coltrane?)Seavers. The plots generally worked out fine from starting with Colt's "on screen" stunt work to usually hunting down and tricking criminals whom evade justice being centred mostly in and around Los Angeles with sidekick assistant from a slightly flustered Howie and sparkling Jodie. I like the course of the action scenes, some stunts with the use of a large wheeled pick up and Colt armed with a gun that he normally uses on a film set and fires just blank shots. Some well known guest screen names have appeared on some episodes and quibbles aside, some of the scenes were quite funny when Colt goes knocking on somebody's door usually only to get an edgy and unfriendly welcome along with some of the endings were when Howie outspokenly blew Colt's chances of meeting a girl together with an unplugged food vending machine. Some of the lyrics from The Unknown Stuntman are funny and the most funniest is when it goes; #I might roll a brand new car#. Ha Ha Ha. I wonder how many have rolled about in a brand new car.
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