American Playhouse: Season 6, Episode 8

The House of Blue Leaves (25 May 1987)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, Drama
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Zoo attendant Artie Shaughnessy dreams of being a successful songwriter. What his mistress, Bunny Flingus, who lives downstairs from his Queens apartment won't tell him -- and what his ... See full summary »


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Title: The House of Blue Leaves (25 May 1987)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Bananas Shaughnessy
Artie Shaughnessy
Bunny Flingus
Corrinna Stroller
Ronnie Shaughnessy
Billy Einhorn
Debra Cole ...
Little Nun
Patricia Falkenhain ...
Head Nun
Jane Cecil ...
Second Nun
MP / El Dorado bartender
Brian Evers ...
The White Man / El Dorado Bartender


Zoo attendant Artie Shaughnessy dreams of being a successful songwriter. What his mistress, Bunny Flingus, who lives downstairs from his Queens apartment won't tell him -- and what his insane wife, Bananas, tries to get through to him -- is that Artie's songs stink. On Oct. 4, 1965, the day Pope Paul visits New York City, Bunny convinces Artie to call his old school buddy Billy Einhorn, a famous film director from Los Angeles, to finagle a job writing music for Billy's movies. (After all, Bunny feels that with the Pope here, there must be "miracles in the air.") But before Artie can reach out to Billy, Artie's son, Ronnie, goes AWOL from Fort Dix, secretly preparing to blow up His Holiness at Yankee Stadium. Instead, when the bomb explodes prematurely, the victims include a deaf film starlet and two Sisters of Charity ... but no Pope. Written by Craig C. Bailey <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

25 May 1987 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Broadway revival of 'The House of Blue Leaves' by John Guare opened at the Vivian Beaumont Theater on April 29, 1986, ran for 398 performances and was nominated for the 1986 Tony Award for the Best Play. Swoosie Kurtz, John Mahoney, Julie Hagerty, Ben Stiller, Patricia Falkenhain, Jane Cecil and Ian Blackman recreated their stage roles in the television production. Swoosie Kurtz won the 1986 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play and John Mahoney won the 1986 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play. See more »


Referenced in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

10 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was incredible. The storyline was so compelling. I saw it on stage and then saw the televised version which was taped off the stage. I would give anything to find a copy of it. The acting was top notch and it is interesting to see a young Ben Stiller. Also excellent was Swoosie Kurtz and John Mahoney who many people relate to the television show Frasier. The story starts out comically and becomes more and more interesting until the incredible finale which I won't give away. I remember seeing it in the theater and you could have heard a pin drop. A truly powerful story with an incredible ending. I hope that in the future there is some type of re-broadcast or at least making it available for purchase on DVD.

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