“Me and Stevie”

Via Ken Levine, here is an episode of the short-lived James L. Brooks comedy The Associates (his white-collar follow-up to Taxi) starring a Martin Short who was so young and so fresh from Canada that he literally said “aboot” in several episodes. I wrote about the pilot of the show a couple of years ago; it had an interesting cast, and obviously some good scripts (David Lloyd wrote about half the episodes), but it was also depressing, and it’s hard to create a lot of audience sympathy for people who are making good money.

This episode was a change-of-pace, where all the characters except Short’s are absent except for the opening and closing scenes. I feel like Ed. Weinberger and Stan Daniels, who wrote it, could easily have made it into a Taxi episode if they’d had to. (Just replace Martin Short being a legal consultant on a sitcom with Bobby getting a small role on said sitcom.) It’s very much a TV insider episode, with a lot of references to censorship and network-interference issues that were uppermost in Weinberger and Daniels’ minds when they did it. The stuff about the family hour, and what’s appropriate for an 8:30 show, was especially current in the ’70s.

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