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




1998   Unknown  


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

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Four episodes were broadcast before the show was canceled. It was later spoofed and referenced several times in Clerks (2000) (though the characters did not pronounce the "P" in "Pfeiffer"). That animated series was even more short-lived, lasting a mere two weeks on the air before it was canceled. See more »


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

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User Reviews

What a loss!
21 June 1999 | by (Pleasant Valley) – See all my reviews

"The Secret Diaries of Desmond Pfieffer" was a television show that, sadly, only lasted for four weeks, during which the show and its premise was constantly derided and mocked by the media and largely ignored by the television viewing public.

True, a sitcom about Abraham Lincoln's sarcastic black butler sounds silly, and it is, but luckily the show carried a sense of self-awareness. Despite one atrocious episode (in which the drunken Ulysses S. Grant faces down his bowling demons) the show 's remaining three were not pitifully stupid, as some folks would have you believe.

The cast was top notch: Chi MacBride (who was Cyrus in Peter Jackson's under-rated "The Frighteners") is simply superb as the title character: A dignified and intelligent overwieght black man, truly a rarity among prime-time role models. Max Baker was the image of perfection as Nibblet, the inbred indentured servant, and Dan Florik was suitable as the Bill Clinton-meets-Gerald Ford Lincoln.

The show isn't perfect, though. Many jokes fall flat, and the woman playing Mrs. Lincoln is quite annoying.

But the show had its moments, as evidenced in the episode in which Desmond, Nibblet, and Lincoln are stranded behind Confederate Lines. Desmond has convinced the Southern soldiers that he is, in fact, a white Confederate spy disguised as a black Northern free slave. One Southerner inquirers, "It must be awfully hard on you to even temporarily go through life as a Negro."

To which Desmond replies "Oh, it hasn't been that bad. I have been able to get a lot more white women!"

It will be missed.

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