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Too Close for Comfort

By Wikipedia

Too Close for Comfort was a television series which ran on the ABC network and in syndication from 1980 to 1986 (as The Ted Knight Show). It was modeled after the British series Keep It in the Family.

The show starred Ted Knight (formerly of The Mary Tyler Moore Show) and ex-Good Morning America anchor Nancy Dussault as Henry and Muriel Rush, owners of a duplex in San Francisco. Henry played a cartoonist, who was the author of a comic book called Cosmic Cow. Their grown daughters, Jackie and Sarah, had lived with them in their old residence but moved downstairs when the transvestite named Rafkin died suddenly in the first episode. Despite the daughters' minor push for independence, Henry proved to be a very protective father and meddled in their affairs constantly. Also seen was Sarah's friend Monroe Ficus, played by JM J. Bullock. It was the dynamics between Henry and Monroe that would eventually become the core of the show.

In the show's second year, Henry's wife Muriel (who on the show as in her 40s) announced she was pregnant. At the beginning of the third year, Muriel would give birth to Andrew - the son that Henry always wanted.

It was also in the second year that Henry's niece, April (played by actress Deena Freeman) came to live with the Rush family. April was written out of the show for the third year.

There were many references to Henry's Mother-in-law on the show. That role of Iris Martin would eventually be played by Audrey Meadows, who would move in with the Rush's after Andrew's birth.

Ted Knight's character of Henry became famous for wearing sweatshirts of College Universities. Eventually fans would send in sweatshirts from universities around the country hoping to get Henry to wear them.

A minor hit for ABC, the show ran on that network for three years. It was subsequently syndicated until 1986, when Ted Knight announced that he had cancer. He died later that year.

Caveat: the first season DVD set uses the episodes as they were shortened for syndication, not the originally broadcast versions that were 2-3 minutes longer. Some companies will never learn that customers simply will not settle for such shoddy products. Rhino, however, learned from its terrible mistake and Season 2 was properly released with full episodes. (The Cosby Show, Roseanne, and Mr. Bean DVD boxed sets also suffer badly from such butchering.)

Too Close for Comfort on DVD!
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Season One, Season Two

 

Share Your Memories!

Do you have a favorite episode of Too Close for Comfort? What do you remember about the series? Share your stories with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"Too Close For Comfort was one of the funniest comedies of the Awesome80s. My favorite character was Monroe. He was just so dumb! And at the same time, he was totally loveable and cute! And it didn"t even occur to me that his character was gay or suspected of being gay. To me, he was just this big, dumb, goofy- yet sweet, shy and sensitive guy. The show itself was funny and had great dialog. However, Monroe Ficus- for me- was THE reason for watching it."

--Anonymous

"Wow, what a great show, and a prime example of Awesome80s prime-time cheese! Sarah and Jakie were two little hotties, and I would loved to have dated them! My favorite episode is the pilot, where Sarah comes out of the bathroom wearing nothing but a towel, and walks into the living room, starting up a conversation with Jackie's date!

Ted Knight played their father, Henry Rush, whose profession was the writer of the comic strip Cosmic Cow.

The woman who played Jackie also starred in the outstanding action film, Mean Guns, which also starred Ice T and Christopher "Highlander's Connor MaCloud" Lambert."

--Anonymous

"Hey, I remeber this show as being ok. I always thought the father dude was a jerk and the dorky guy was a dork. (If I was the writer I would have dropped those characters. ) Those chicks were all hot and the mom was hot too. I was probobly like 6 when I watched the show."

--Billy

"Too Close For Comfort was my FAVORITE show in the Awesome80s. It was about a paranoid, over-protective father Henry Rush (Ted Knight) who worries about his gorgeous daughters when they move out on their own. The girls only move as far as the downstairs apartment where Rafkin, a deceased drag-queen had lived. Ted was always spying on the girls, worried about guys taking advantage of them in their apartment. Ted actually put his ear to the floor to listen.

I fell in love with Lydia Cornell, who played Sara Rush. She had great comedy timing. She was so beautiful, not just because she was blonde, but because she had such a sweet spirit. She was the first and funniest weathergirl on TV, much better than the girl on "Married With Children".

Her sister Jackie played by Deborah Van Valkenburgh was great at getting annoyed with Sara, and there was a great episode where the girls smeared pizza on each other's clothes.

Jim Bullock was hysterically stupid as Monroe and it seemed that Ted Knight, who had always been the punching bag in the Mary Tyler Moore Show -- finally got to be the smart one. He had two characters more ditzy than he was: Sara and Monroe. Muriel, played by Nancy Dussault was okay as the mom.

But my other favorite player was Audrey Meadows as the grandmother. She played Jackie Gleason's wife in "The Honeymooners. " Other famous actors on the show were Bill Dana (Jose Himenez), Ray Middleton (South Pacific) and Selma Diamond. Too Close For Comfort was hilarious and comforting to watch. It reminds me of a time of innocence in our world."

--jakmack

 

TV TIDBITS

Aired: November 11, 1980 - September 15, 1983

Cast: Ted Knight, Nancy Dussault, Deborah Van Valkenburgh, Lydia Cornell, Hamilton Camp, Audrey Meadows

Network: ABC

Genre: Sitcom

Theme song

Image courtesy of ABC


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