Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Remembering "Too Close for Comfort"

"Too Close for Comfort" began its run in 1980, and it was definitely one of my favorite shows. It focused on the Rush family, who lived in a two-family house in San Francisco.
In the first episode, after the Rushs’ downstairs tenant dies (and they discover not only his crazily decorated apartment, but also that the tenant was a cross-dresser), the Rushs’ two daughters, Jackie (played by Deborah Van Valkenburgh) and Sarah (played by Lydia Cornell) decide to rent the apartment. ("What happened to those nice tenants we had, the ones with the musical instruments?" Henry Rush asks his wife, Muriel. She replies, "They kidnapped Patty Hearst." Power to the People, man!)
The late Ted Knight (also known as "Ted Baxter" to "Mary Tyler Moore" fans) and Nancy Dussault, played the parents, Henry and Muriel. Henry worked from home drawing his comic strip, "Cosmic Cow," usually wearing a cow puppet on his hand while he drew.
And then there was the bumbling Monroe Ficus, played by JM J. Bullock, who had a not-so-secret crush on Sarah Rush, and was a constant thorn in the side of Henry Rush. Audrey Meadows ("Alice" from "The Honeymooners") also made guest appearances at Muriel’s mother, Iris Martin.
But the show lost it’s oomph when the daughters left and the Rushes moved into a house with their small son (born during the show’s run) and the show was renamed "The Ted Knight Show."

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