Working Stiffs

Do You Recall 1979’s Working Stiffs Starring Michael Keaton?!

Well, to be completely honest, Working Stiffs didn’t just star Michael Keaton. No, this CBS comedy series also co-starred Jim Belushi.
Working Stiffs

The two portrayed Mike and Ernie O’Rourke – two men who have yet to find their true purpose in life. So naturally they do what they can to make ends meet, becoming your typical Working Stiffs of course.

For the O’Rourke brothers it turns out they do have some aces up their sleeves. For one thing – the apartment where the two can hang their hat is situated above a cafe. In addition Mike and Ernie are able to become friends with the owner of the eatery, Mitch Hannigan as well as the cafe’s waitress, Nikki Evashevsky.

Hannigan by the way is played by M.A.S.H.‘s Allan Arbus with Nikki portrayed by Lorna Patterson. I bet some of you might recognize Patterson from her starring role in the early 80’s TV version of Private Benjamin.

[Via] Jamie Gee

The other bit of good fortune for our Working Stiffs is they are able to secure employment with a relative. Their rich Uncle Harry who owns the building reluctantly agrees to put them on the payroll. However not as the businessman as the duo hope but as janitors in fact.

While I can certainly say in all honesty that I hadn’t seen Working Stiffs before today. I have to say that the short video below – from the pilot episode showed a lot of promise.

[Via] Greg Stanina

When Working Stiffs debuted on CBS back in 1979 it rather unwisely decided to compete against NBC’s CHiPs. It was also attempting to compete against ABC’s Three’s Company spin-off The Ropers. The series itself was created by Bob Brunner, who had a hand in the popular TV series Happy Days as well as Laverne and Shirley. In addition, the pilot episode was directed by none other than Penny Marshall. As well as having a rather catchy theme song in my honest opinion.

Sadly Working Stiffs just couldn’t stand up to the likes of Ponch and Jon nor even Stanley and Helen Roper. After a mere four episodes the comedy series was cancelled. However, once both Keaton and Belushi found success in films, the show was released on VHS. Having said that though, friends, in total there were nine episodes filmed – but only six present on the VHS release. I found that the show has been seen here and there since 1979. I’ve read that it’s appeared on the likes of retro-themed TV channels such as TV Land, Comedy Central, and the A&E Network. Although I haven’t found an actual DVD release as of yet.

Like I mentioned up above, I wasn’t aware of this TV series until today. I have fellow Retroist author, Phillip Cary, to thank for the heads up. For my birthday earlier this week he brought me a 1979’s TV Guide. A Fall preview issue that had this to say about the then upcoming television series.

Now that you’ve learned a bit about Working Stiffs why not check a stand-up comedy routine by Michael Keaton?


I am pretty positive this is actually from the TV show An Evening at the Improv.

[Via] A Blast from the Past

The Atari 2600 Guest Stars on Three’s Company

When I watch older TV shows I am always on the lookout for tech treats. Last night I was watching Three’s Company episode “Furley vs. Furley” (original air date 2/17/82) and right at the start of the show we get a healthy dose of 80s gaming culture as Jack and Janet play some mysterious football game (even though their is no cart is the unit) while Mr. Furley attempts to fix a door in the background. It is perfect fake gaming moment complete with fake sound FX and poor joystick holding. It was a real treat so I thought I would share some shots of the episode.

The Competition looks intense

Janet Dominating...

Janet Wins!!

Perfect Gaming Setup, but no cart in the system :P

Retroist Threes Company Podcast

Retroist Threes Company Podcast

Welcome to the Retroist Threes Company Podcast. On today’s show we talk all about the comedy television series, Three’s Company. We talk about the characters and actors on the show, the talent behind the show, the cast changes and its availability today. What are the best episodes of Three’s Company? You will find out because, we also have a brand new top 5 list from metagirl.

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