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TV Q and A: The Incredible Inman

By David Inman

The Courier-Journal

Published: Tuesday, June 9 2009 2:04 p.m. MDT

Question: There was a sitcom with Bronson Pinchot, but it wasn't "Perfect Strangers." He was a guy trying to get his ex-wife back. It only ran for a few weeks. Any ideas?

Answer: That was "The Trouble With Larry," which ran on CBS for a few weeks in 1993. Pinchot played a guy who had been abducted by apes while honeymooning in a jungle. Years later, his wife (Shanna Reed) had remarried, thinking Larry was dead. But he wasn't. And he came back (with a few apelike mannerisms) to win her again even though she was married to good-looking Boyd Flatt (Perry King). Courteney Cox played Reed's sister.

Q: OK, I know there used to be a show in the mid- to late-1980s about three kids who lived upstairs from an ice-cream shop they ran on the beach. I believe their parents were deceased. It used to be on TBS but when I mention it people act like I'm crazy! Help me prove I'm right!

A: "Rocky Road" was one of several sitcoms produced by TBS in the mid-1980s (one of the others was "Down to Earth," about an angel-turned-nanny). These shows were distinguished by cheesy production values, untalented cast members and lousy scripts.

The no-star cast of "Rocky Road" included Jim Menza, Marcianne Warman and Hope North.

Take my word for it - you've never heard of them and never will again.

Q: Please help! My husband, who thinks he knows everything and is just a truck driver, swears that John Schneider and Tom Wopat were not the original stars of "The Dukes of Hazzard."

No matter what I say or have shown him, he thinks he is right. My proving him wrong has become an obsession. Will you please tell him to leave the sitcoms to me and just drive the truck?

A: Hey, I'm the son of "just" a truck driver, Missy, so watch your mouth.

But you are right.

Schneider and Wopat were Bo and Luke Duke from the get-go. (That is, 1979.) When they left the show in a contract dispute in 1982, they were replaced for a season by Coy (Byron Cherry) and Vance Duke (Christopher Mayer), but things were settled by 1983 and Schneider and Wopat came back for two more seasons.

Q: I recently heard a movie quote in which the character was telling another person about how unintelligent his/her comment was and in fact it was so dumb that he was now dumber for having heard it. What movie is this from?

A: It's from the Adam Sandler movie "Billy Madison," spoken by a principal, played by James Downey, to Billy:

"Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

Q: Many years ago, I saw a movie with Jeff Chandler and Loretta Young. They were married and had a child, but something happened that made her leave the marriage, so she joined a magician who went to birthday parties to entertain the children. She did that so she could see her child. Can you give me the name of the movie?

A: Awwww. That's the 1952 film "Because of You," although the complete title should be "Because of You (I'm a Magician's Assistant)."

Q: I was wondering if you could help me with an old TV show I used to watch either in the late-1960s or early '70s. It was about a wilderness family living out West somewhere without parents, and there were a lot of kids. I had a coloring book about them. Please tell me there was such a show!

A: Sure there was such a show! You don't think they go around making coloring books willy-nilly, do you?

That was "The Monroes," which ran on ABC from 1966 to '67. Michael Anderson Jr. played the head of the clan, Clayt, and assorted siblings were played by Barbara Hershey, Keith and Kevin Schultz, Tammy Locke, and Jerry Mathers as the Beaver. (Just kidding.)

Q: Was Christopher Reeve ever a character on a soap opera?

A: Yes. Reeve played Ben "Beanie" Harper on a CBS soap from 1974-76, just before he was cast as Superman. "Love of Life" ran on CBS from 1951-80, and as you might recall, Ben was the son of Meg, who was involved with mobster Miles Pardee and was sent up the river for his murder, which she didn't commit, because, although she wasn't very nice, there are some things even mean women won't do.

Write David Inman in care of The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal, 525 W. Broadway, P.O. Box 740031, Louisville, Ky. 40201-7431; or e-mail him at incredibleinman@yahoo.com. Questions of general interest will be answered; personal replies are not possible.

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