Where Sarah Jessica Parker got her start on TV, and also featuring Jami Gertz (quite a gifted child comic actor, as the clip will show) as the insufferably peppy preppie Muffy Tepperman, Tracy Nelson as the mean Valley Girl Jennifer di Nuccio, and the beautiful Merritt Butrick (RIP) as the New Wave space cadet Johnny Slash.
Here's a clip with Bill Murray as a substitute teacher.
I remember loving the show when it was on, being really disappointed when it was canceled so soon... and really shocked at how badly it's aged and how painful it is to watch now.
This gefilte fish is from a jar! I hate that!
She was just a young foal then, not even on the racetrack.
I just thought of this yesterday OP, while watching Jami in "Undercover Christmas". She and SJP appear to be the only actors still working from this. (Although Tracy Nelson has been in the DL headlines recently.)
Gertz' husband owns an investment firm, so she doesn't really need to work ever again. I haven't seen her new sitcom, but I know the critics have been harsh.
You made me go see Olivia Newton-John! I HATE that chick!
I loved this show too. SJP and Jami had the most amazing hair. There's a video on YouTube of Jami and Sarah talking about their experiences working on SP, and Jami even recounts how Bill Murray took her for a drive around LA in his sports car or something. She also talks about how education-oriented SJP's mom was as opposed to her own mother.
It wasn't laugh out loud funny usually (although the writers, which included among them Andy Borowitz, wrote great lines sometimes especially for Muffy and LaDonna), and the use of Patty (SJP) always to provide pathos and sincerity always got pretty irritating. Still, I remembered when it aired it was the only thing at the time until John Hughes started making movies that showed anything that in any way approximated what life was actually like in high school. Before then, it was all sappy and out-of-date ABC After School Special stuff.
totally different head
I did the same thing with my friends at school (in 7th grade), R2. We would "compare notes" at our lockers and at lunch.
I really felt like a square peg (wore glasses, braces, was tall and gawky) and I so related to the pettiness of many cliques in the school.
It was such a disappointment when the show was cancelled in its first season.
Years later, when "Freaks and Geeks" followed the same path, I was equally disappointed. One critic noted rather crassly, "People avoided freaks and geeks in school, so why would they want to watch them on TV?" Bastard.
People, it behooves me to remind you that all proceeds from Friday's New Wave Dance-a-thon will go towards orthodonture for our class's adopted Guatemalan child! --Muffy
Like, why should I care about some poor kid in, like, Europe? --Jennifer
The gifts for the Guatemalan child ("Rosita") that Weemawee H.S. "adopted" would get more and more elaborate as the season progressed. I think by the end of the show Muffy was asking for people to pony up so they could buy Rosita a cleaning lady's services for her shack in the slums.
Who was the actor who played the hot Italian boy Vinny in the clip?
And what was the name of the actress who played SJP's bff with the braces? In the clip she looks very obviously padded under her clothes.
Cocaine hit the writing staff of this sitcom hard. It was the reason behind the great CBS housecleaning of 1982, which included 'WKRP in Cincinnati'.
[quote]Who was the actor who played the hot Italian boy Vinny in the clip?
Jon Caliri. He didn't do much film or TV after the mid 80s. He lives in Southern California now and breeds Wheaton terriers--he's still handsome, if silver-haired now.
[quote]And what was the name of the actress who played SJP's bff with the braces? In the clip she looks very obviously padded under her clothes.
Amy Linker. She left entertainment pretty soon after the show folded, and went on to be a French major at Wellesley. She's been a teacher in recent years.
She wasn't fat when they did the show and had to wear padding for the character. Also, she had to put on fake braces for the part.
I once met her when we were in college, and she talked about the show to me. She said that the writers were mostly from the SNL staff and were doing a LOT of coke, and that the execs at CBS were terrified it was going to spill down and affect the child actors and that they'd have a huge scandal on their hands. I think Jon Caliri was in his early 20s, but most of the rest of them were still in high school. Merritt Butrick had coke problems later, but I don't know if that originated from doing the show or predated it or came later.
"There Ain't a Black Girl Alive Who Can Look at a Broom and Think About Halloween"
My mama, my mama, my mama rode the bus...
By the way, Amy Linker is extremely pretty - probably better looking than any other cast member today.
[quote]By the way, Amy Linker is extremely pretty - probably better looking than any other cast member today.
By which of course you mean: all of them except for Sarah Jessica Parker.
After all, I have a perfume that was named "Lovely" explicitly after me!
[quote]What's going on with Jami Gertz's hair? Are the long pieces extensions?
No, I think it was just chopped into that way--layered.
Actually R43 Muffy was her nickname on Square Pegs.
When she went to Eastland she used her full name Boots St. Clair. It was much proper since she was in college, rather than let people know her High School nickname.
Eastland was a high school, not a college.
[quote]Actually [R43] Muffy was her nickname on Square Pegs. When she went to Eastland she used her full name Boots St. Clair. It was much proper since she was in college, rather than let people know her High School nickname.
LOL nice plot twist, but no. They were two totally different characters. On SP Jami was Muffy Tepperman, and on FOL she was Boots St. Clair. Jami once did an interview where she said she didn't know why they always cast her as an uppity prepster back then, but it was her forte for a while.
One size does not fit all.
I agree with R42--I was in high school and an out cast and excited for the show. The first couple of episodes were good, but then it went downhill fast. Even for TV, the world the show displayed was too unreal.
I enjoyed the show and was bummed that it only had one season. It was more entertaining than Alice or One Day At A Time and was loads smarter than shit like Three's Company or Happy Days.
Amy Linker--who's her GF?
All these posts and not one mention of the theme song which was performed the New Wave band The Waitresses who had minor success with the song "I Know What Boys Like"?
It was funny - and yes R52 I remember the Waitresses theme for the show - they also do Christmas Wrapping, my favorite Christmas song.
I thought Square Pegs was, like Molly Dodd, a show that I and ONLY I had ever seen.
Shame about the laugh track.
Mad Magazine had a hilarious parody of "Square Pegs" in one of it's 1983 issues. It blasted the show for having the characters blurt out topical references without context in order to be "hip" to the young crowd. Very true.
Magazine Interview with Devo Bassist Reveals Cocaine Hijinks on the Square Pegs Set
[quote]“The girls were out of control—they were doing drugs and they were making out and they were coming on to us in a big way… They might have been 15 or 16, but in their heads they were already 40. I don’t think there was a virgin on the set, except maybe a couple of the guys.”
I generally dislike Christmas music, but I love Christmas Wrapping and love hearing it every year - it still sounds great all these many years later.
Patty Donahue, the lead singer of the Waitresses, died a very untimely death from cancer back in the 90s.
Merritt Buttrick died of AIDS in the late 80s. I don't think he was even 30 years old.
I went to high school with girls who were EXACTLY like Muffy, and I still shudder at the memory.
[quote]Merritt Buttrick died of AIDS in the late 80s. I don't think he was even 30 years old.
Loved him in The Wrath of Kahn.
And it was bitter-sweet to see him in one of his final performances, in Star Trek: The Next Generation, as an alien dying of an AIDS-like incurable disease.
Merritt was good in the small role he had in "Fright Night 2"
Listen to Jamie on the DVDs, she clearly says Merritt was drugged out and couldn't even get to the set most of time and that he lived in his own filth.
Not a pretty picture.
I almost wish I hadn't watched the DVDs. The show was better in my memory, or maybe I was easier to please when I was 10 or 11. Still, fun to re-watch and there was some good stuff.
[quote]she clearly says Merritt was drugged out and couldn't even get to the set most of time and that he lived in his own filth.
She said that? What a bitch. She didn't have to defame his memory.
I hate that
I thought the earlier episodes were more awkward and hit their stride in the second half of the season. Though Jennifer and LaDonna were just awful in the final "Geek Week" episode.
And there's an episode that could be a "Sex and the City" precursor where SJP's character is typing up a story and narrating the episode.
Who would ever want to sleepover at a teacher's house?
Although Lauren and Patty in their "elegant" nightgowns was funny.
"Great, now there's a popular side of the couch."
Jon Caliri (Vinny) doing his Weemawee Indian dance shirtgless made me wonder if he'd been a stripper.
I'm surprised no other posters mentioned that the guy who played Marshall turned out GORGEOUS.
I didn't hear Jami Gertz say anything negative about Merritt, she just said he would oversleep and people would have to go to his apt. and wake him up.
A fun fact: Jami Gertz was originally cast as Monica Geller when "Friends" was pitched to NBC.
Based on those DVD commentaries, Tracy Nelson seems like she'd be fun to be around, if she'd spill some of the vast amount of secrets/info you know she has.
Jami is a lez
Jami is a lez
I always thought Amy was much prettier than Jamie, even back in the day. I see it still holds true.
The only other thing I remember Amy Linker in was some HBO teen movie about a girl who falls in love with a guy whose mom drunkenly killed her sister in a car accident. It sounds more complicated than it was.
SJP was in "Footloose" the year after Pegs.
R60, it behooves me to say, you really took liberty with Jami's comments.