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!
|by Anonymous||reply 113||04/14/2019|
|by Anonymous||reply 1||01/18/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 2||01/18/2012|
Only a spitfire could snort that much coke and show up for work.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||01/18/2012|
I watched it everyday as a kid and don't seem to remember a single plot point.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||01/18/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 5||01/18/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 6||01/19/2012|
*correction, it was Joey who accidentally shot Nell in the foot, not Jonathan-- R6
|by Anonymous||reply 7||01/19/2012|
Your goldfish is dead!
|by Anonymous||reply 8||01/19/2012|
LOL! Loved how she'd say "YO goldfish is dead!" She'd be crying hysterically one minute and then straight-faced the next.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||01/19/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 10||01/19/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 11||01/19/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 12||01/19/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 13||01/19/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 14||01/20/2012|
LOL R14, yes that did happen often.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||01/20/2012|
In a fabulous "what the fuck?" moment, Nell and Andy Gibb duet on "Up Where We Belong."
|by Anonymous||reply 16||01/20/2012|
R12, what's that quote from, I swear I laughed at it long, long ago.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||01/20/2012|
Aunt Nell, why are you standing over the sugar canister with a straw up your nose?
|by Anonymous||reply 18||01/20/2012|
Was Nell gay? I heard Rosie said she was.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||01/20/2012|
Anyone remember the rumors about Dolph Sweet's weight loss and "cancer"?
|by Anonymous||reply 20||01/20/2012|
We always called it "Gimme A Lunch Break" which might also be a good title for a future Paula Dean show.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||01/20/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 22||01/21/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 23||01/21/2012|
Rose said Nell called Joey Lawrence's mom a cunt right in front of him!
|by Anonymous||reply 24||01/21/2012|
|by Anonymous||reply 25||01/21/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 26||01/21/2012|
but did her vagina fall off? Or did she do coke via the vag and would that burn that shit up?
|by Anonymous||reply 27||01/21/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 28||01/21/2012|
Nell's voice was a bit nasal at times... could it be the coke that messed up your nose?
|by Anonymous||reply 29||01/21/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 30||01/21/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 31||01/23/2012|
I loved the character Angie. I wish she appeared more often.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||01/23/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 33||01/23/2012|
I wish they would release the rest of the seasons on DVD.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||01/23/2012|
She dedicated this performance of "Back in the High Life" to her brother who passed from AIDS.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||01/23/2012|
I wonder if Nell and Andy Gibb did blow together before having to do that incredibly "WTF?!" scene?
|by Anonymous||reply 36||01/23/2012|
How does one's vagina fall off exactly?
|by Anonymous||reply 37||01/23/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 38||01/23/2012|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||01/23/2012|
The real title of the series was, "Oprah Winfrey Presents Gimme a Break, Based on the Novel Bitch by Sapphire."
|by Anonymous||reply 40||01/23/2012|
I love the way Nell handles the chief's racist sister beginning at 6:10 in this clip
|by Anonymous||reply 41||01/23/2012|
|by Anonymous||reply 42||01/23/2012|
The controversial Joey in blackface episode
|by Anonymous||reply 43||01/23/2012|
It's kind of spooky, today is the 9th Anniversary of her death.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||01/23/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 45||01/23/2012|
WEHT Andy Gibbs he was really good looking.
|by Anonymous||reply 46||01/23/2012|
Are you serious, R46? Andy Gibb died of a heart infection at age 30, way back in 1988.
|by Anonymous||reply 47||01/23/2012|
Wow, R46 must be a moron.
|by Anonymous||reply 48||01/23/2012|
(R47, pssst, it was drugs)
|by Anonymous||reply 49||01/23/2012|
|by Anonymous||reply 50||09/11/2012|
I'm sure we all remember the episode where Nell's breasts exploded?
|by Anonymous||reply 51||09/11/2012|
Grandpa was a mo.
|by Anonymous||reply 52||09/11/2012|
Kari Michaelsen, the oldest daughter, did practically nothing after GMAB. Surprising because she was cute.
|by Anonymous||reply 53||09/11/2012|
|by Anonymous||reply 54||09/13/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 55||09/13/2012|
[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 Anonymous||reply 56||09/13/2012|
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 Anonymous||reply 57||09/13/2012|
I loved the epiosode where Nell taught the girls how to snort coke.
|by Anonymous||reply 58||09/13/2012|
Wasn't that Helen Lawson as the chief's sister?
|by Anonymous||reply 59||09/13/2012|
I enjoyed this show too.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||01/21/2015|
|by Anonymous||reply 61||01/21/2015|
When she toured Japan the billboards said 'Fatty from Give Me Break'
|by Anonymous||reply 62||01/21/2015|
Angie, the model dumb friend, was a riot. The actress was great, what happened to her?
|by Anonymous||reply 63||01/21/2015|
[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 Anonymous||reply 64||01/21/2015|
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 Anonymous||reply 65||01/21/2015|
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 Anonymous||reply 66||01/21/2015|
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 Anonymous||reply 67||01/21/2015|
Sam is a girl.
|by Anonymous||reply 68||01/21/2015|
|by Anonymous||reply 69||01/21/2015|
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 Anonymous||reply 70||01/21/2015|
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 Anonymous||reply 71||01/21/2015|
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 Anonymous||reply 72||01/24/2015|
What happened to my piece of the cake?
|by Anonymous||reply 73||01/27/2015|
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 Anonymous||reply 74||01/27/2015|
Nell Carter and David Crosby must've been the only cokeheads in history who were big as fucking whales.
|by Anonymous||reply 75||01/27/2015|
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 Anonymous||reply 76||01/27/2015|
Don't forget her sweating on camera.
|by Anonymous||reply 77||01/27/2015|
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 Anonymous||reply 78||01/30/2015|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 79||01/30/2015|
Dolph Sweet always looked like he left the hanger on his shirts and suits when he wore them. Odd posture.
|by Anonymous||reply 80||01/30/2015|
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 Anonymous||reply 81||01/30/2015|
Didn't [italic]Gimme a Break[/italic] also launch Jonathan Silverman's career? He married Julie on the show.
|by Anonymous||reply 82||01/31/2015|
Did Nell eat Whitney out?
|by Anonymous||reply 83||01/31/2015|
I love Nell and Andy Gibb singing "Up Where We Belong." You just KNOW those two were hoovering up half of Columbia backstage!
|by Anonymous||reply 84||01/31/2015|
Even at its worst it was still better than [italic]Mike & Molly[/italic].
|by Anonymous||reply 85||02/05/2015|
all the episodes are uploaded on YouTube
|by Anonymous||reply 86||06/29/2017|
[quote]Even at its worst it was still better than Mike & Molly.
But then to be fair, so is a root canal.
|by Anonymous||reply 87||06/29/2017|
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 Anonymous||reply 88||06/29/2017|
My friends and I loved that show when we were kids! And like most of you, I remember almost nothing about it.
|by Anonymous||reply 89||06/29/2017|
The True Hollywood Story.
|by Anonymous||reply 90||06/29/2017|
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 Anonymous||reply 91||06/19/2018|
I knew “grandpa”, he would double park his car with the blinker on while he had a drink at his family”s home.
|by Anonymous||reply 92||06/19/2018|
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 Anonymous||reply 93||06/19/2018|
My favorite episode was the one where Nell taught the girls how to cut lines like a Benihana chef.
|by Anonymous||reply 94||06/19/2018|
Kari Michaelsen was in the running to play Jo on The Facts of Life.
|by Anonymous||reply 95||06/19/2018|
She didn't get the part of Jo because she wasn't a bulldyke.
|by Anonymous||reply 96||06/19/2018|
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 Anonymous||reply 97||06/19/2018|
Kari Michaelsen got to sample dL fave Andy gibb.
|by Anonymous||reply 98||06/19/2018|
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 Anonymous||reply 99||06/20/2018|
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 Anonymous||reply 100||06/20/2018|
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 Anonymous||reply 101||06/20/2018|
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 Anonymous||reply 102||06/20/2018|
The 80s sounding version of the theme song is SO much better. Diff'rent Strokes I guess.
|by Anonymous||reply 103||06/20/2018|
I think they should do a movie version with Tiffany Haddish.
|by Anonymous||reply 104||07/14/2018|
I I got through the whole damn Marathon today. Anybody else?
|by Anonymous||reply 105||04/14/2019|
-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 Anonymous||reply 106||04/14/2019|
The top is indefinable. It could be anything you make it to be. Subjective.
|by Anonymous||reply 107||04/14/2019|
R107-You're at the wrong thread. This is GIMME A BREAK NOT about TOPS
|by Anonymous||reply 108||04/14/2019|
R106 not in the last season, she moved with Addie to NYC to pursue her career and officially adopted Joey and Matthew
|by Anonymous||reply 109||04/14/2019|
She also became a TOP book editor don't forget about that. In ew York City no less.
|by Anonymous||reply 110||04/14/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 111||04/14/2019|
I thought she was kind of beautiful there actually.
|by Anonymous||reply 112||04/14/2019|
[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 Anonymous||reply 113||04/14/2019|