American Playhouse: Season 1, Episode 4

Who Am I This Time? (2 Feb. 1982)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 590 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 2 critic

From a short story by Kurt Vonnegut. Christopher Walken is a shy hardware store employee. But whenever he takes a part in a local amateur theater production, he becomes the part completely-... See full summary »



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Title: Who Am I This Time? (02 Feb 1982)

Who Am I This Time? (02 Feb 1982) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Episode cast overview:
Helene Shaw
Harry Nash
Robert Ridgely ...
George Johnson
Dorothy Patterson ...
Caitlin Hart ...
Les Podewell ...
Aaron Freeman ...
Jerry Vile ...
Paula Frances ...
Stage Manager
Ron Parady ...
Debbi Hopkins ...
Maria Todd ...
Sandy McLeod ...
Flirt #1
Edie Vonnegut ...
Flirt #2


From a short story by Kurt Vonnegut. Christopher Walken is a shy hardware store employee. But whenever he takes a part in a local amateur theater production, he becomes the part completely--while on stage. Susan Sarandon is new in town, a lonely itinerant telephone company employee. On a whim, she auditions for and gets the part of Stella to Walken's Stanley when the theater group does A Streetcar Named Desire. Before anyone realizes the growing affection between Helene and Stanley, she falls deeply in love with the sexy brute, not knowing what the real man is like. Written by Reid Gagle (with corrections by Fiona!)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 February 1982 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In Vonnegut's short story, the character George Johnson is the first-person narrator. He meets Helene while trying to sort out a phone bill and asks her to try out for the local play. See more »


[In the phone company office, George can't help noticing that Helene is a nice-looking lady. He lowers his voice]
George Johnson: Uh, excuse me, um, have you, have you ever... acted?
[She stares at him with what might be hostility but is more likely bafflement]
George Johnson: Um, what do you do? With the machine?
Helene Shaw: I teach the local girls how to operate them.
George Johnson: Ahh. How long are you gonna be in North Crawford?
Helene Shaw: [still officious] I stay in each place eight weeks, sir, then I take a new machine to a new town.
George Johnson: You see, the reason I'm ...
See more »

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User Reviews

Great rendition of Kurt Vonnegut's short story
28 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is one of my favorites, I only wish it would come out on DVD. Kurt Vonnegut's early work of fiction aims right at the heart, and he's a crack shot! Chris Walken and Sue Sarandon are marvelous in this light, yet poignant play within a play. Don't we all wish we could unlock the secrets in the heart of the person we love? Vonnegut has written a love story and the cast has made it soar. Production values are almost non existent but it was a PBS show, and the story and characters shine through beautifully. Loved it, and recommend it to everyone I know. In fact, I have shown it to just about everyone I know and it's a favorite with everyone who sees it!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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