is an American sitcom
starring Tom Hanks
and Peter Scolari
created by Robert L. Boyett, Thomas L. Miller and Chris Thompson. It ran from 1980
and in reruns in the summer of 1984
The series was originally conceived by Miller and Boyett as both a takeoff on the movie Some Like It Hot and a male counterpart to their hit farce show Laverne & Shirley. After the cast had been chosen, Miller and Boyett asked Chris Thompson, one of the writer-producers of Laverne and Shirley, to write the pilot and be the series showrunner. Thompson (who would go on to executive-produce such shows as The Larry Sanders Show), said later that he took the job purely for the money, but unexpectedly found it to be "my completely favorite experience in show business," because the network left him and his young cast free to experiment. "We were left alone," he recalled. "Nobody was paying attention to us. We were all really young, but it was like we had daddy's Porsche. We had $500,000 to play with every week." The show became known for its quirky humor and its frequent use of improvisation, especially between stars Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari. Though the show started out with good ratings, it failed to hold the public's interest and was canceled after two seasons.
After their own apartment is demolished, two men disguise themselves as women in order to live in the women-only Susan B. Anthony Hotel because of the dirt cheap rent. Kip Wilson (Tom Hanks
) is originally skeptical of the plan, but after meeting knock-out resident model/dancer/nurse Sonny Lumet (Donna Dixon
), he ends up convincing aspiring writer Henry Desmond (Peter Scolari
) that the experience will make a great book. Their co-worker, Amy Cassidy, (Wendie Jo Sperber
) is the only resident in on the plan because she's attracted to Henry. In the first season, Kip, Henry, and Amy work for Ruth Dunbar (Holland Taylor
) at the advertising firm of Livingston, Gentry & Mishkin, where Kip is a graphic artist, Henry is a copy writer, and Amy is the receptionist. Ruth often takes credit for the boys' work when reporting to her (unseen) boss, Mr. Rubinowitz.
The boys' deception includes outwitting the hotel manager, Lily Sinclair (Lucille Benson), and fellow resident, Isabelle Hammond (Telma Hopkins), an aspiring singer.
In the second season, Kip, Henry and Amy leave Livingston, Gentry & Mishkin to start their own advertising firm, Sixty Seconds Street, with Ruth serving as a not-quite silent partner.
In the first episode of the second season, the male characters' ruse of living in drag is revealed, although they are allowed to continue living at the women-only hotel anyway. Sonny forgives Kip for the deception, and as the new hotel manager replacing Lily, Isabelle agrees to go along with the ruse rather than admit it to the other residents.
- My Brother, My Sister, Myself
- Loathe They Neighbor
- Macho Man
- What Price Glory?
- Kip and Sonny's Date
- Beauty and the Beasts
- Amy's Career
- Gotta Dance
- Sonny Boy
- How Great Thou Art
- Kip Quits
- Only the Lonely
- The Re-Write
- The Show Must Go On
- The Hospital
- Best Friends
- The Truths and Other Lies
- There's No Business ..."
- The Reunion
- One For You, One For Me
- Road to Monte Carlo
- All You Need is Love
- Other Than That, She's a Wonderful Person
- The Slightly Illustrated Man
- Two Percent Solution
- The Grandfather
- Hildy's Dirt Nap
- Kip Off the Old Block
- The Way Kip and Henry Were
- Who's On Thirst?
- Not With My Sister, You Pig
- Not the Last Picture Show
- The theme song for the opening credits was "My Life" by Billy Joel, although Joel's version was not used on the air. Some reruns shown in syndication(such as when USA Network and TBS aired reruns) and all home video and DVD releases use a vocal version of the show's end credits instrumental theme, "Shake Me Loose", performed by Stephanie Mills, used for the opening credits, with "My Life" removed altogether.
- Although the series was produced on videotape, the pilot episode was shot on film.
- Kip and Henry were named after two popular bars in Berkeley, California.
- Edie Adams plays the hotel manager in the pilot, and when Kip and Henry name each other's alter egos, they say Buffy and Hildy are sisters. Lucille Benson is introduced as the new hotel manager in the series, and she is told that Kip and Henry are Buffy and Hildy's brothers, respectively. Buffy and Hildy are allegedly from Saskatchewan, but Kip and Henry somehow attended high school in Shaker Heights, Ohio.
- Edie Adams in the pilot episode stated that the girls were "Nice Girls...probably virgins!" This was edited out of the syndication episodes. The DVD version did not edit out that phrase.
- Peter Scolari appeared in the Tom Hanks directed feature film That Thing You Do! as an Ed Sullivan-style announcer. He also appeared as astronaut Pete Conrad in an episode of the Tom Hanks produced HBO series From the Earth to the Moon and co-starred with Hanks in The Polar Express.
- Bosom Buddies was taped on Stage 25 at Paramount Pictures. Stage 25 was also the home of The Lucy Show, Cheers, and Frasier.
- Bosom Buddies reruns also aired briefly on NBC in the summer of 1984. Ratings were respectable and talks to bring the show back were mentioned; but by that time, Peter Scolari was on Newhart and Tom Hanks was just starting his film career.
CBS Home Entertainment
released both seasons of Bosom Buddies
on Region 1 DVD
. The original theme song My Life
by Billy Joel
was replaced with Shake Me Loose
, a song penned by show creator Chris Thompson, which was used during the show's syndication run. Many of the musical numbers featured during the show's run are edited or eliminated altogether from the DVD releases. Notable in this vein are the songs "Yakkity Yak" (from the episode "Call Me Irresponsible") and "Rock and Roll Heaven" (from "Hildy's Dirt Nap").