The misadventures of Abraham Lincoln, his loony associates, and the only sane man amongst them, the President's black butler Desmond.




1998   Unknown  
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Series cast summary:
 Desmond Pfeiffer (4 episodes, 1998)
 Nibblet (4 episodes, 1998)
 Abraham Lincoln (4 episodes, 1998)
 Mary Todd Lincoln (4 episodes, 1998)
Kelly Connell ...
 Ulysses S. Grant (4 episodes, 1998)


Desmond Pfeiffer (the P is pronounced) was a black British gentleman who was run out of England after being accused of cheating at cards. He takes a job as butler to a perpetually horny Abraham Lincoln in the White House during the Civil War. Written by Jeff Cross <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Critics hate it. See more »







Release Date:

5 October 1998 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Word of mouth spread quickly that the show was demeaning to African Americans and an untrue rumor circulated that a scene in the establishing pilot included hooded black men being executed. After protests, UPN ultimately bowed to controversy pulled the pilot off of the schedule just prior to airing, replacing it with another episode. See more »


Referenced in DVD-R Hell: Deception of a Generation: Part 1 (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Wow. Seriously. Wow.
17 September 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Back in 1998, I was present for the taping of an episode of The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer. Thankfully, I'd managed to block it from memory ever since. But something this evening brought it to mind and, unable to remember the name, I found myself entering "abraham lincoln sitcom" into Google.

Kinda wish I'd let that sleeping dog lie.

I have to say, I don't understand the defense of the show. There are those who will tell you that the show was canceled because it was too controversial. Those people are fooling themselves. The problem wasn't that the show was racially insensitive. The problem wasn't that it was irreverent. The problem wasn't that it was juvenile. The problem wasn't that it was raunchy. It was all of these things, but there are plenty of drop dead funny shows that encompass all of the above.

The problem was that it was painfully, painfully, PAINFULLY unfunny.

You know the scene in Swingers when Mikey just can't put the damn phone down, and with every message you bury your head deeper in your hands, your skin crawls and your stomach churns as you watch this poor guy surrender, bit by bit, every last shred of dignity he's ever possessed? That's how I felt for the cast. Desmond Pfeiffer wasn't broad, ironic or self-aware. That set was where broad, ironic and self-aware went to die. It was beyond unfunny. It was negative funny. All the funny things I'd seen in the month preceding and two months following the taping? Completely negated and rendered unfunny by Desmond Pfeiffer. Rehashing the same old tired, overused, unfunny sex jokes in a different setting doesn't make them fresh and amusing. And it doesn't help matters when the show is convinced -- CONVINCED -- that it's absolutely hysterical.

The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer is the annoying, drunken lout at the party who belts out the one about the farmer's daughters that you've heard at least 127 times (screwing up the punchline, no less), but who's convinced his retelling is a work of comic genius because he's smashed and he's wearing a lampshade on his head. It's not funny. It's just hard to watch.

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