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Big John, Little John 

A middle-aged schoolteacher transforms into a 12-year-old boy at inopportune moments.






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Complete series cast summary:
Herb Edelman ...  Big John Martin 13 episodes, 1976
Robbie Rist ...  Little John Martin 13 episodes, 1976
Joyce Bulifant ...  Marjorie Martin 13 episodes, 1976
Mike Darnell ...  Ricky Martin 13 episodes, 1976
Olive Dunbar ...  Bertha Bottomly 13 episodes, 1976
Stephen H. Cassidy Stephen H. Cassidy ...  Stanley 5 episodes, 1976
Kristoff St. John ...  Homer 4 episodes, 1976
Cari Anne Warder Cari Anne Warder ...  Valerie 4 episodes, 1976


Junior high school science teacher John Martin, on a vacation in Florida, drinks from the legendary Fountain of Youth allegedly discovered by Ponce de Leon. A few weeks later, he transforms into a 12-year-old version of himself. The change is temporary, but from then on, John proceeds to randomly switch back and forth from "Big John" to "Little John" and back again at unexpected moments. John's wife and son were in on the secret, explaining "Little John" away as their nephew, but the struggle to keep John's secret made up most of the show's humor. Miss Bottomly was the matronly school principal who harbored Dr. Bellowsesque suspicions about John. Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@soltec.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

11 September 1976 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Referenced in Enough Said (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Looking forward to if and when Virgil Films ever releases the full 13 episodes on DVD
25 May 2010 | by Moax429See all my reviews

I, too, distinctly remember "Big John, Little John." When NBC first aired the program in the fall of 1976, I was 14 years old and had just begun 9th grade at Lansing Catholic High School in Lansing, Michigan.

My two favorite episodes I remember are the ones where Big John/Little John performs in the school's talent show ("they" sing "The Man on the Flying Trapeze") and where Big John/Little John and the kids go to a haunted house owned by a Mr. Crabtree; in one scene, a skeleton pops out of a closet and says to Big John and the kids, "Happy Midnight, suckers!," then laughs wickedly. (Maybe one reason I enjoyed the latter episode even more is because when NBC reran said episode for the last time in August 1977, I was visiting my relatives in Derry, Pennsylvania, a small town on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, and I remember watching that episode while I was there. Now *that* would *really* bring back some great memories of my "wonder years!") One member of the cast who went on to stardom was Kristoff St. John, who played one of the kids in Big John's class; as an adult, St. John went on to play numerous roles in daytime dramas.

I read over at TV Shows on DVD.com that the small, independent company Virgil Films and Entertainment was supposed to have released the entire 13-episode DVD box set of "Big John, Little John" on April 8th of this year after numerous delays, but unfortunately has delayed release of the box set *again,* with an official street date *still* to be announced. (According to the TV Shows on DVD.com article, Virgil is still deciding the appropriate "channel" - most likely meaning "distribution venue" - to release the box set under. I can only hope Virgil gets whatever external "stops" that are keeping the box set of "Big John" from being released pulled out *very* soon). If and when Virgil ever does announce a formal release date, they will *certainly* have a customer in me!

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