Discover more from The Retroist
Remember the 1987 TV show, The Popcorn Kid?
From March 23 – April 24, 1987 , CBS ran the TV show, The Popcorn Kid. It would quickly join the huge ranks of failed sitcoms, but it was a show that I really enjoyed and was sad to see go.
Set in Kansas City, Missouri, the show is about 16-year-old, Scott Creasman, the “Popcorn Kid.” He works behind the candy counter of the Majestic Theatre and dreams someday of being in show business. As you might guess, as a young person, who spent most of their teenage years working in a video store, I saw a lot of parallels with my own life in Scott’s.
The show had a solid cast.
Bruce Norris played Scott Creasman. Bruce is probably best known to people as a character actor. He had a great role in the The Sixth Sense as Stuttering Stanley. In the show his character was a bit of a troublemaker and a huge film buff.
Raye Birk played Mr. Leonard Brown, the Majestic Theatre. Brown is very much a eighties sitcom boss. He is gruff and is always threatening to come down hard on Scott, but never does.
Penelope Ann Miller played Gwen Stottlemeyer, another student from the same high school as the other ushers at the Majestic Theatre. A hard-worker who does not get any credit. She is a good friend to Scott and has a crush on him.
Jeffrey Joseph played Willie Dawson, a football star at the same high school Scott attends. Willie is skating through life and often shows up late for work, but does not get into trouble.
John Christopher Jones played Marlin Bond, the projectionist at the theatre. The Yoda character of the film, Marlin has a love of film that appeals to Scott and has an amazing knowledge of film which he acts out while spouting wisdom. Primarily comic relief, I was a big Marlin fan.
Faith Ford played Lynn Holly Brickhouse. Lynn is the typical spoiled cheerleader from eighties TV. Scott of course has a crush on her, but she doesn’t even know he is there. When not checkinging herself out or hanging with her friends, Lynn can be found talking on her very eighties mobile phone.
The show was co-created by Mark Ganzel and Barry Kemp. Which is kind of a big deal. Kemp is no lightweight. He is credited with two very long-running sitcoms that you probably know, Newhart and Coach. The show is based loosely on Kemp and Ganzel’s childhoods in Fort Dodge, Iowa and Kansas City, Missouri.
The show didn’t make it, but the creators were planning for the long term. To give the show a timeless quality, they cast adults in the teenager roles. Cressman, who is supposed to be 16, is actually 26.
All 6 episode of the show are frequently posted online. Recently someone went through with a claim and took down some of the higher quality ones on YouTube. Still, the Pilot of the show tends to keep appearing. It is 25 minutes long and moves quickly. If you don’t have time to watch the entire show, why not check out the opening credits. If someone was to ask me for a credit sequence that typified the 1987 “vibe,” I would probably send them this.