St. Elsewhere: Season 5, Episode 10

Once Upon a Mattress (3 Dec. 1986)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Drama
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Westphall begins to doubt the long term viability of his relationship with Novino; Fiscus' estranged father comes to visit him in the hospital; Kiem begins to sees the writing on the wall ... See full summary »



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Episode credited cast:
Ed Flanders ...
Ellen Craig (credit only)
Dr. Seth Griffin (credit only)
Eric Laneuville ...
Luther Hawkins (credit only)
Dr. Philip Chandler (credit only)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Melinda Culea ...


Westphall begins to doubt the long term viability of his relationship with Novino; Fiscus' estranged father comes to visit him in the hospital; Kiem begins to sees the writing on the wall when Craig returns; Auschlander finds that he has things in common with a rabbi who is a patient at the hospital. Written by SteveG

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Release Date:

3 December 1986 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title is derived from the musical Once Upon a Mattress written by Mary Rodgers with lyrics by Marshall Barer and book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, and Marshall Barer. The play was an adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Princess and the Pea, opened in 1959 and starred a still relatively unknown Carol Burnett. The original Broadway production of "Once Upon A Mattress" opened at the Phoenix Theater (Eventually running at a total of five separate theaters!) on May 1, 1959, ran for 244 performances and was nominated for the 1960 Tony Award (New York City) for the Best Musical. See more »

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User Reviews

Absolutely funniest bit Howie Mandell Ever Did
14 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Allow me to summarize the Dr Fiscus sub-plot of this episode. In the previous episode (After Life) Fiscus was shot and experienced an out of body preview of the afterlife and was brought back by open-heart surgery. The character of Fiscus was a clown (wearing an examination glove on his head like a cock's comb) but after his near-death he is a sober, somber man. Having the med students come in to examine his scar just depresses him further. Add to this, the fellow in the bed next to his is in for a penile implant ("It's for my wife, you understand...") who votes for the inflatable implant, rather than the 'goose-neck' model ("Nothing's too good for my old lady...") After the surgery, with Fiscus still drowning in self-pity, the roommate announces that he's going to "Take this baby out for a test-drive!" and pulls the curtain between them shut. From behind the curtain, Fiscus hears "Fwish, fwish, fwish" and the roommate's amazed comment of: "Wow! My wife's gonna LOVE this!" "Fwish fwish fwish" "Holy Cow! That's amazing!" Fiscus is sitting up higher and higher in the bed, reacting to the sounds and comments emerging from behind the curtain. "Fwish fwish fwish" "Jeez! The old lady ain't gonna BELIEVE this!" "Fwish fwish fwish - BANG!" "OW! OH! OW!" Fiscus reacts in shock, and then begins to laugh, holding his aching ribs as the curtain pulls aside and the roommate displays the paper bag he's just popped. "Gotcha!" he grins, and Fiscus is in tears as he laughs and suffers the pain of his incision... Great TV

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