Fridays

From Academic Kids

Fridays was the name of ABC's weekly late-night hour-long live comedy show, which aired on Friday nights from 1980 to 1982.

The program was ABC's attempt to cash in on the success of NBC's popular Saturday Night Live. Like SNL, each week, Fridays featured a different celebrity guest host, fake newscasts, musical guests and cast members performing comedy sketches, and spoofs of television shows and commercials.

The cast included Mark Blankfield, Jack Burns, Maryedith Burrell, Melanie Chartoff, Larry David, Darrow Igus, Brandis Kemp, Bruce Mahler, Michael Richards, and John Roarke.

Cast member Larry David would, a few years later, go on to help create Seinfeld, one of the most popular television shows in American history. Another cast member, Michael Richards, would actually become one of the stars of that show, with his performance as "Cosmo Kramer".

One of the most memorable moments on the show was an evening when comedian Andy Kaufman was hosting the show. During one sketch, about couples at dinner sneaking away to the bathroom one by one to smoke marijuana, Kaufman, who loved causing trouble on live TV, broke character and refused to read his lines. Richards got up from the table, grabbed the cue cards and threw them down on the table in front of Kaufman, who responded by throwing a glass of water on Richards. Some of the show's cast and crew members became angry and a small brawl broke out on stage. Since the show was broadcast live, home viewers were able to see most of these events transpire on their television screens until the network cut the cameras off. Kaufman returned the following week in a taped apology to home viewers. This incident was recreated in the 1999 film Man On The Moon.

Recurring sketches and characters

  • "Drugs 'R' Us" Blankfield as a strung-out pharmacist who apparently samples his own goods liberally. Catch Phrase: "I can handle it!"
  • "Nat E. Dred- Rasta Gourmet" Darrow Igus prepares- and smokes- food items heavily dosed with 'ganja.'
  • "Battle Boy" Michael Richards as a hyperkinetic young boy who stages elaborate war scenarios in his backyard with toy soldiers.
  • "Dick" Michael Richards as an overzealous would-be ladies' man.
  • "Pitkinville, Montana" Rich Hall narrates footage of a fictional small town of tiny model people, usually at the mercy of household implements such as an electric hair dryer simulating a hurricane.
  • "Latin DJ" Bruce Mahler fills time between records by reading radio commercials entirely in Spanish.
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