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Gimme A Break!

I've always loved this show. Nell Carter was truly a spitfire and wonderful to watch. The Chief may have been the head of the household, but Nell wore the pants.

Gimme A Break!- Season 3 intro

This is the season 3 intro of my favorite show Gimme A Break!. Gimme A Break, now I know what it takes. I'm putting a new face on the old one Ready for anyth...

by Anonymousreply 11304/14/2019

WHET me?

by Anonymousreply 101/18/2012

I watched this show religiously as a very young child. I have no doubt I didn't get 85% of the jokes, but I loved it.

by Anonymousreply 201/18/2012

Only a spitfire could snort that much coke and show up for work.

by Anonymousreply 301/18/2012

I watched it everyday as a kid and don't seem to remember a single plot point.

by Anonymousreply 401/18/2012

Another one here who watched it as a child and I can't remember any of the stoylines. I think the kids were always getting themselves into some kind of jam and Nell had to get them out of it. I am exactly the same age as Joey Lawrence and I do remember feeling "funny" whenever he had a scene. It was one of my first memories that I was going to be different from the other boys.

How could Nell Carter still be big as a house when she was doing so much blow? She apparently was such an addict she was doing it on the set.

by Anonymousreply 501/18/2012

Yep, Nell had plenty of addictions, from drugs to food. I, too, heard that she did blow on the set. It makes sense because on many of the episodes, she was very hyper (remember the one where she picked up Telma Hopkins and bodyslammed her onto the couch?). For a big girl, she was really light on her feet, though. She was always good at physical comedy.

As for getting that "tingling" feeling when seeing a guy on TV, Jonathan Silverman used to do that for me when he was on this show. He was kind of hot back then.

Some of the more memorable episodes for me were:

when the Chief died (actor Dolph Sweet passed away in real life)

when Katie had an IUD scare

when Whitney Houston guest starred as one of Katie's friends and they sang in a pop group

when the Pointer Sisters guest starred as Nell's three backstabbing old friends

when Julie and Jonathan announced they were pregnant

when Samantha thought she was pregnant just from kissing a boy

when Jonathan accidentally shot Nell in the foot

when Samantha, Joey and Nell went back to Nell's hometown and Sam dressed Joey in blackface, angering Nell

when Nell held the PORKO fat club at the house, and later in the episode they all ended up getting stuck in an elevator

When the tall, ditzy Angie suckered Nell into selling the Amaz-o-Vac vacuum cleaner

when the chief's racist sister wanted custody of the girls because she didn't like the idea of a black woman raising them

when Nell and the chief went on crash diets at the same time and ended up eating everything in the kitchen

Anything involving the kookie Simpson was funny as well.

Also any episode where Nell sang was a treat. I still loved the show when they left the Glenlawn, California setting and uprooted to New York City. The only ones to stay on board were Nell, Telma and Joey, and new cast members included Andrew Lawrence, Rosie O'Donnell, Rosetta Lenoire and Paul Sand.

by Anonymousreply 601/19/2012

*correction, it was Joey who accidentally shot Nell in the foot, not Jonathan-- R6

by Anonymousreply 701/19/2012

Your goldfish is dead!

by Anonymousreply 801/19/2012

LOL! Loved how she'd say "YO goldfish is dead!" She'd be crying hysterically one minute and then straight-faced the next.

by Anonymousreply 901/19/2012

Two other funny episodes- Nell is arrested after she gets into a fight at the phone company after the phone is disconnected for non-payment. The phone company employee, Mr. Swackhammer, thinks Nell's name is Nell Fong. Simpson locks Nell up in a jail cell before the Chief arrives.

Another is when a neighbor, Miss Falkenberg, has a barking dog that keeps Nell awake all night. The Chief calls the neighbor over to the house to make peace, but Miss Falkenberg (played by Alice Ghostly) calls Nell " hippo breath!". Nell decides to teach her a lesson by lighting a bag of garbage on fire and dropping it on her step. In the process of doing this, the dog bites Nell on the backside, and they go to court to settle the case.

by Anonymousreply 1001/19/2012

How curious that the OP is also the deranged Janet Jackson defender on another thread (I still had my trolldar on after checking it out there). Even more curious is its defense of mediocre '80s-era black entertainment/entertainers.

by Anonymousreply 1101/19/2012

[quote] I looked at Raven Symone and I said: That's me.

[quote] I looked at Nell Carter and I said: That's two of me.

by Anonymousreply 1201/19/2012

R11 just provided proof that he has absolutely NO life. AND that he's likely a racist, to boot. I actually feel sorry for him, poor thing.

by Anonymousreply 1301/19/2012

Loved whenever the phone would ring at a crucial moment and Nell would pick it up and say something like, "Katie, baby, is that you?" Pause, then Nell would angrily shout, "No, there ain't no Julio here!!"

That happened several times.

by Anonymousreply 1401/20/2012

LOL R14, yes that did happen often.

by Anonymousreply 1501/20/2012

In a fabulous "what the fuck?" moment, Nell and Andy Gibb duet on "Up Where We Belong."

Andy Gibb & Nell Carter "Up Where We Belong"

Great duet of Andy & Nell Carter. Great song to start with, put Andy in the mix & it sparks into fabulous! Enjoy!

by Anonymousreply 1601/20/2012

R12, what's that quote from, I swear I laughed at it long, long ago.

by Anonymousreply 1701/20/2012

Aunt Nell, why are you standing over the sugar canister with a straw up your nose?

by Anonymousreply 1801/20/2012

Was Nell gay? I heard Rosie said she was.

by Anonymousreply 1901/20/2012

Anyone remember the rumors about Dolph Sweet's weight loss and "cancer"?

by Anonymousreply 2001/20/2012

We always called it "Gimme A Lunch Break" which might also be a good title for a future Paula Dean show.

by Anonymousreply 2101/20/2012

Rosie O'Donnell played the next door neighbor after Nell moved to NYC. She has said numerous times that not only was Nell an ENORMOUS (no pun intended) coke addict, she was an all around MISERABLE person. There was also an internet rumor a few years ago that before she died, her vagina fell off. Seriously.

by Anonymousreply 2201/21/2012

In fairness to Rosie, she never said Nell was a coke addict. She did say she was dealing with a lot of stuff and was extremely unhappy.

by Anonymousreply 2301/21/2012

Rose said Nell called Joey Lawrence's mom a cunt right in front of him!

by Anonymousreply 2401/21/2012


by Anonymousreply 2501/21/2012

Yes, R19, Nell was gay. I was surprised, since she had appeared on so many shows talking about her French husband, her conversion to Judaism on his behalf, and the twins they adopted. A couple years before she died, someone on the DL posted that Nell had appeared at concert for gay rights and announced that she was a lesbian. I still wasn't sure I believed that since the story never appeared anywhere else. However, shortly after she died there was a big article about her in People Magazine which talked about her female partner and how they'd been raising Nell's kids together.

by Anonymousreply 2601/21/2012

but did her vagina fall off? Or did she do coke via the vag and would that burn that shit up?

by Anonymousreply 2701/21/2012

I used to watch it as a young kid, but like someone else said, I don't remember a single episode. Just that the dad died (it went downhill after that) and Jonathan Silverman married the middle daughter and then Nell did a spin off with the kid.

It never went into major syndication. One show I would like to see again is Mr. Belvedere. That show was funny. Wish AntennaTV and those other cable channels that popped up would start airing more of these shows and less of Martin and In Living Color.

by Anonymousreply 2801/21/2012

Nell's voice was a bit nasal at times... could it be the coke that messed up your nose?

by Anonymousreply 2901/21/2012

I knew Lara Miller, the youngest daughter. She is a sweet and very unassuming lady. She's a lawyer nowadays and does voiceovers sometimes.

by Anonymousreply 3001/21/2012

Is it true that Nell was anti-gay in the 80s and supported republican candidates and said her gay brother deserved to die from AIDS?

by Anonymousreply 3101/23/2012

I loved the character Angie. I wish she appeared more often.

by Anonymousreply 3201/23/2012

I remember exactly one thing about this show. One of the sisters made fun of the other one for wearing way too much lip gloss by telling her, "You look like you ate a pork chop with your hands tied behind your back!"

I still use that line sometimes.

by Anonymousreply 3301/23/2012

I wish they would release the rest of the seasons on DVD.

by Anonymousreply 3401/23/2012

She dedicated this performance of "Back in the High Life" to her brother who passed from AIDS.

Nell Carter - Back in the High Life

The immortal Nell Carter performing Steve Winwood's "Back in the High Life." From the television special In a New Light: A Call to Action in the War Against ...

by Anonymousreply 3501/23/2012

I wonder if Nell and Andy Gibb did blow together before having to do that incredibly "WTF?!" scene?

by Anonymousreply 3601/23/2012

How does one's vagina fall off exactly?

by Anonymousreply 3701/23/2012

[quote]I knew Lara Miller, the youngest daughter. She is a sweet and very unassuming lady. She's a lawyer nowadays and does voiceovers sometimes.

She hasn't practiced law in many years. She makes a very nice living as a voice over actress.

[quote]Anyone remember the rumors about Dolph Sweet's weight loss and "cancer"?

Yes he had cancer. Nothing scandalous, I think he went in for ulcer surgery and discovered he had cancer.

The show wasn't the same after he died. The last season the two older daughters were written out and the younger one was recurring. Joey Lawrence's little brother Matthew joined the cast and Nell and Addie moved to NY, so did Nell's mother.

by Anonymousreply 3801/23/2012

If I had a housekeeper who screamed at the neighbours, smashing windows and furniture, throwing buckets of water on animals, and making death threats over the phone - all at 4 in the morning - crazy bitch would be out of a fucking job.

Gimme A Break!-Love Thy Neighbor 1/3

Nell takes her neighbor to court after the neighbors dog attacks Nell

by Anonymousreply 3901/23/2012

The real title of the series was, "Oprah Winfrey Presents Gimme a Break, Based on the Novel Bitch by Sapphire."

by Anonymousreply 4001/23/2012

I love the way Nell handles the chief's racist sister beginning at 6:10 in this clip

Gimme A Break!-Custody Suit 3/3 - YouTube

Carl's dead wife's sister (Carl's sister-in-law) comes to town and she tries to get custody of the girls.

by Anonymousreply 4101/23/2012

On Broadway!

Nell Carter Sings On Broadway

Nell Carter sings On Broadway from Gimme a Break. Great time capsule of what was showing on the Great White Way c. 1980

by Anonymousreply 4201/23/2012

The controversial Joey in blackface episode

Gimme A Break-Baby Of The Family 2/2


by Anonymousreply 4301/23/2012

It's kind of spooky, today is the 9th Anniversary of her death.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 4401/23/2012

R39 actually Nell wasn't the housekeeper. She was best friends with the mother of the family who was terminally ill. Before she died, she made Nell promise she would take care of her family.

by Anonymousreply 4501/23/2012

WEHT Andy Gibbs he was really good looking.

by Anonymousreply 4601/23/2012

Are you serious, R46? Andy Gibb died of a heart infection at age 30, way back in 1988.

by Anonymousreply 4701/23/2012

Wow, R46 must be a moron.

by Anonymousreply 4801/23/2012

(R47, pssst, it was drugs)

by Anonymousreply 4901/23/2012


by Anonymousreply 5009/11/2012

I'm sure we all remember the episode where Nell's breasts exploded?

by Anonymousreply 5109/11/2012

Grandpa was a mo.

by Anonymousreply 5209/11/2012

Kari Michaelsen, the oldest daughter, did practically nothing after GMAB. Surprising because she was cute.

by Anonymousreply 5309/11/2012


by Anonymousreply 5409/13/2012

For me, this is one of those shows that you can't help but love despite how awful it is...rather like the first few seasons of Three's Company. The acting and writing were so pedestrian, but there was just something endearing about it. I certainly rather watch Gimme A Break than the overrated, pretentious Cosby Show.

by Anonymousreply 5509/13/2012

[quote]The acting and writing were so pedestrian...

Nell was a great actress, actually. She always brought it with the comedy and the drama.

by Anonymousreply 5609/13/2012

The episode I most remember is when Ray Parker Jr., singer of the theme to "Ghostbusters", came to visit for some reason and everybody was over-the-top starstruck. They somehow managed to work phone calls into the conversation so that at least three times, Ray had occasion to say "Who you gonna call?" and the girls would ecstatically scream "GHOSTBUSTERS!"

I also remember the PORKO episode and the elevator getting stuck. They read the Maximum Weight on the elevator safety card and Nell says "We exceed that by half a ton!" And someone else says "NELL exceeds that by half a ton!"

Otherwise, it's all a blur but I watched it religiously.

by Anonymousreply 5709/13/2012

I loved the epiosode where Nell taught the girls how to snort coke.

by Anonymousreply 5809/13/2012

Wasn't that Helen Lawson as the chief's sister?

by Anonymousreply 5909/13/2012

I enjoyed this show too.

by Anonymousreply 6001/21/2015

Julie smokes!

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 6101/21/2015

When she toured Japan the billboards said 'Fatty from Give Me Break'

by Anonymousreply 6201/21/2015

Angie, the model dumb friend, was a riot. The actress was great, what happened to her?

by Anonymousreply 6301/21/2015

[quote]Another one here who watched it as a child and I can't remember any of the storylines.

SAME! I remember never missing this show and thinking Nell Carter was mind-blowingly amazing. She was funny! She was pretty (to me)! She could sing! I still remember the episode where they visited New Orleans. I learned "When the Saints Go Marching In" from seeing that episode so many times. I loved it when she sang!

by Anonymousreply 6401/21/2015

Rosie O'Donnell has nothing nice to say about her brief stint on the show during the final season.

It was bad enough when they brought Joey Lawrence in to be the cute kid when Lara Jill Miller got older. But then to bring in Matthew Lawrence when Joey got older...jeez.

by Anonymousreply 6501/21/2015

Remember the episode where the pissy little one with short brown hair gets mad at Nell and cons the little boy into putting on black face?

by Anonymousreply 6601/21/2015

I remember when it first came on, I couldn't figure out if the youngest one was a girl or a boy?

Also if you read the original TV guide review, the show was so bad they didn't even have a preview show and the TV Guide says it's a show about a recently widowed father and his two daughters and son. The middle child was supposed to be a male child, who was not to be seen ever.

This was the "great hook."

And who told Nell Carter she could sing. She was no MEL Carter and definitely from the Linda "I can sing" Lavin school of voice.

by Anonymousreply 6701/21/2015

Sam is a girl.

by Anonymousreply 6801/21/2015

$18, folks.

by Anonymousreply 6901/21/2015

There used to be clips from the unsold unaired original pilot on YouTube, but they got taken down. The youngest child was a redheaded boy named Matt, a coincidence considering where the show's story direction ended up. Samantha was the middle child, and Tracey Gold played her. The rest of the cast was the same.

by Anonymousreply 7001/21/2015

I loved this show too. While never a ratings powerhouse, it was entertaining and had some great episodes. A lot of people rag on it, but there was far worse on tv. Looking at you, Mr. Belvedere.

The synth version of the theme song was the best ever.

by Anonymousreply 7101/21/2015

When I watched the movie [italic]20 Feet From Stardom[/italic] and they got to the part where they talked about Darlene Love having worked as a maid after her Phil Spector heyday, the first thing that came to mind was, "wow, just like Nell from [italic]Gimme A Break![/italic]"

by Anonymousreply 7201/24/2015

What happened to my piece of the cake?

by Anonymousreply 7301/27/2015

I've been watching it recently on Peachtree TV (it airs in the middle of the night so I record it) and I've enjoyed it enough to order the complete series on DVD. Nell Carter elevates the material. Peachtree has been airing episodes out of order so I'm going to stick to the DVD set now.

by Anonymousreply 7401/27/2015

Nell Carter and David Crosby must've been the only cokeheads in history who were big as fucking whales.

by Anonymousreply 7501/27/2015

There were many times in the show where Nell's coke use was obvious. She acted really hyper, talked a mile a minute, and her eyes were all wide and buggy. She frequently did coke in her dressing room on the set.

by Anonymousreply 7601/27/2015

Don't forget her sweating on camera.

by Anonymousreply 7701/27/2015

I was watching the special features on the Mama's Family DVDs and Vicki Lawrence said Mama taped in the same studio as Gimme a Break. She said Nell Carter had her on refrigerator with a sign on it which read: "Do Not Touch. Nell Carter's Refrigerator."

by Anonymousreply 7801/30/2015

This clip shows a few scenes from the unaired pilot, which has a somewhat different (and incredibly cheap-looking) set, and with two different kids. Kari Michaelson is there, but the other two, as mentioned upthread, are Tracey Gold (well, it looks like her, anyway) and some red-headed little boy.

Mike Newton WAFF/NBC 1981 Season Preview - Neil Carter and Dolph

Gimme' a Break

by Anonymousreply 7901/30/2015

Dolph Sweet always looked like he left the hanger on his shirts and suits when he wore them. Odd posture.

by Anonymousreply 8001/30/2015

Whitney Houston guest starred just before she came onto the music scene. Since coke was readily available on the Gimme A Break! set, I wonder if dabbled. I never thought the fault fell on Bobby Brown. Whitney was also modeling, where drugs are also readily available. I'm sure she was a druggie years before she met Brown.

by Anonymousreply 8101/30/2015

Didn't [italic]Gimme a Break[/italic] also launch Jonathan Silverman's career? He married Julie on the show.

by Anonymousreply 8201/31/2015

Did Nell eat Whitney out?

by Anonymousreply 8301/31/2015

I love Nell and Andy Gibb singing "Up Where We Belong." You just KNOW those two were hoovering up half of Columbia backstage!

by Anonymousreply 8401/31/2015

Even at its worst it was still better than [italic]Mike & Molly[/italic].

by Anonymousreply 8502/05/2015

all the episodes are uploaded on YouTube

by Anonymousreply 8606/29/2017

[quote]Even at its worst it was still better than Mike & Molly.

But then to be fair, so is a root canal.

by Anonymousreply 8706/29/2017

All I can remember from that show is the opening credits where she accidentally sticks the vacuum wand in the aquarium, sucking up all the water.

by Anonymousreply 8806/29/2017

My friends and I loved that show when we were kids! And like most of you, I remember almost nothing about it.

by Anonymousreply 8906/29/2017

The True Hollywood Story.

Gimme A Break - E! True Hollywood Story (2003)

This episode of E! True Hollywood Story follows the life of Nell Carter as she reached the peak of her fame with her sitcom Gimme A Break.

by Anonymousreply 9006/29/2017

Since it's getting a lot of mentions in the Family Ties thread, I figured I'd bump it. I loved the show, even some episodes from the last season. Nell was fierce.

by Anonymousreply 9106/19/2018

I knew “grandpa”, he would double park his car with the blinker on while he had a drink at his family”s home.

by Anonymousreply 9206/19/2018

I always thought those three daughters were so ugly. How in the hell did they get cast. Explains why they never had another significant acting role since.

by Anonymousreply 9306/19/2018

My favorite episode was the one where Nell taught the girls how to cut lines like a Benihana chef.

by Anonymousreply 9406/19/2018

Kari Michaelsen was in the running to play Jo on The Facts of Life.

by Anonymousreply 9506/19/2018

She didn't get the part of Jo because she wasn't a bulldyke.

by Anonymousreply 9606/19/2018

I watched so many episodes when I was growing up and yet the only one I remember is the Joey blackface one. Did they just run that one the most?

And r75...John Goodman.

by Anonymousreply 9706/19/2018

Kari Michaelsen got to sample dL fave Andy gibb.

by Anonymousreply 9806/19/2018

I saw Nell Carter perform live at a AIDS benefit in Atlanta back in 1992. I was always a big fan.I can see that she was so unhappy, it seems she had a lot of pain in her life on top of being addicted to drugs.

by Anonymousreply 9906/20/2018

R93, Kari Michaelsen was NOT ugly. Lara Jill Miller was very awkward looking when the show began but she looked decent by the time she got written off.

by Anonymousreply 10006/20/2018

i watched the entire show on youtube a few years ago. I never realized Julie was supposed to be kind of the hippie one, when i was little i just thought she was nerdy.

by Anonymousreply 10106/20/2018

I prefer original Gimme A Break intro song (soulful version) I sang it all summer long to my dog. It was good to have something to look forward to when I was unemployed. I religiously tuned in to watch on METV, I think. Followed by Alice, oh how I miss those days. Gimme a Break I sure deserve it!

by Anonymousreply 10206/20/2018

The 80s sounding version of the theme song is SO much better. Diff'rent Strokes I guess.

by Anonymousreply 10306/20/2018

I think they should do a movie version with Tiffany Haddish.

by Anonymousreply 10407/14/2018

I I got through the whole damn Marathon today. Anybody else?

by Anonymousreply 10504/14/2019

-Nell Carter sings about finally making it to the top-She's a FAT BLACK WOMAN working as a MAID for a WHITE FAMILY-GIRL you've made it to the STEREOTYPICAL TOP!

by Anonymousreply 10604/14/2019

The top is indefinable. It could be anything you make it to be. Subjective.

by Anonymousreply 10704/14/2019

R107-You're at the wrong thread. This is GIMME A BREAK NOT about TOPS

by Anonymousreply 10804/14/2019

R106 not in the last season, she moved with Addie to NYC to pursue her career and officially adopted Joey and Matthew

by Anonymousreply 10904/14/2019

She also became a TOP book editor don't forget about that. In ew York City no less.

by Anonymousreply 11004/14/2019

R110 Rosie O'Donnell and her TERRIBLE acting as Maggie, the annoying stereotypical NYC neighbor/dental hygienist, ruined that last season though

She was horrid

by Anonymousreply 11104/14/2019

I thought she was kind of beautiful there actually.

by Anonymousreply 11204/14/2019

[quote]Angie, the model dumb friend, was a riot. The actress was great, what happened to her?

I LOVED LOVED LOVED Angie! She was beautiful, and comedic gold :) Was she in anything else?

Loved Nell's singing of the opening, all the versions.

by Anonymousreply 11304/14/2019
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