Frequently Asked Questions list (2/9) for "Mad About You" and the Usenet newsgroup

Archive-name: tv/mad-about-you/faq/part2
Posting-frequency: quarterly
Last-modified: 97-01-30
Version: 5.1

This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list for the TV Comedy show "Mad About You" is, as a collection of information,
Copyright (c) 1994-1997 by Ramaswamy [].
All Rights Reserved.

This document may be freely distributed in electronic form for personal use only, provided it is distributed in its entirety and with all original author and copyright information intact. Distribution by any other means must be by permission of the copyright holder. This material is for non-commercial use only and any sale for profit is expressly forbidden. It may not be included in any commercial documents, archives or CD-ROMs, nor uploaded to any BBS or online service without the permission of the copyright holder. The removal of this copyright notice is prohibited.

Sections with updates will be flagged with asterisks (*) in the Local Table Of Contents below. Almost all sections have updates in this re-organized document, hence none is flagged.

Please send in corrections/comments to: []

Main Table of Contents

Local Table of Contents

2.0 Who are all those characters on MAY?

2.0 Who are all those characters on MAY?

We can start with Paul and Jamie Buchman, who are the only characters to be featured so far in each and every episode of MAY. Jamie's older sister Lisa (Stemple) and best friend Fran Devanow have been in the story-line from the beginning, but are not featured in every episode. Fran's husband Mark Devanow left at the end of season #1 and returned toward the end of season #2 for 2 episodes. Mark was featured in seasons #3 and #4, but is unlikely to be part of the MAY ensemble from season #5 on. Paul's college buddy (Jay) Selby was written out of the series midway through season #1, and a fraternal cousin Ira Buchman introduced.

Ursula, the waitress at Riff's, was introduced in season #2 and phased out after season #3. Jamie's ex-boyfriend Alan Tofsky and Ira's girlfriend Susannah Gould were featured in season #3. Nat the dog-walker was introduced in season #4 and Debbie's girlfriend Joan Golfinos has been introduced in season #5.

Through it all, Jamie's parents Gus and Theresa Stemple have been featured (in alternate seasons) as well as Paul's parents Burt and Sylvia Buchman (the latter was introduced in season #2), and his 2 sisters Sharon and Debbie. Paul's dog Murray is another constant.

2.1 Who are the principal characters?

The definition of a principal character in this FAQ is inclusion of the actor's name in the opening credits. Murray is the sole exception to this rule; without him the show would have none of its Murray-ness.

Paul Buchman [Paul Reiser]

Born and raised in New York, Paul is a documentary filmmaker (Buchman Films [1.6]) who attended New York University (NYU) Film School and won an NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) grant [1.11]. After several nominations for the Silver Sprocket award that he covets [2.23], he has finally won one [4.20].

Paul lived in an apartment at 129 West 81st Street [1.11] before he met Jamie. He lived with his parents until age 18 and after college lived with his cousin Ira for a while before being kicked out [3.16].

Paul is quite the dutiful son, calling his mother often and then regretting telling her things. He has a typical father-son relationship with his father [1.18, 5.5], who has a better understanding of Paul's abilities than Paul gives him credit for [3.5]. Paul also gets along well with his in-laws [1.5, 5.6].

While his college days (with Selby) were certainly eventful, Paul really does not have "any guys" [3.16]. Ira is about it. He found a collie-mix puppy in Central Park one night [2.1], adopted it and named the dog Murray [2.20], who has become a significant part of his life.

Paul likes the Three Stooges [2.5], is a big Beatles fan [1.17, 2.17], is strangely attracted to "Saved By The Bell" [3.13], and watches or tapes "Baywatch" regularly [3.11, 3.22]. He hates the Opera [1.10] and hates to shop even more [1.2, 2.12]. He loves pizza [1.10, 3.21] and cinnamon toast [2.5, 2.10]. He usually took the subway or a cab, but never a bus [1.8], until he bought Mark Devanow's old car [4.2].

Jamie Stemple Buchman [Helen Hunt]

Born and raised in New Haven, Conn., Jamie graduated from Yale [1.11]. Having gone through 2 majors and 7 boyfriends [2.10] and spent some time hanging out at a biker bar (sporting a tattoo) [3.11], she went to work at the Public Relations firm of Farrer, Gantz. After 5 years, she was promoted to be the Regional VP, succeeding her mentor Fran Devanow [2.16], and landed many big accounts like Computron [1.6], the NY Tourism campaign [1.13] and the Central American Tourism account [2.4]. She quit her PR job because her boss Jack Farrer didn't give her credit for her good ideas [2.4].

Jamie went back to school [2.21], and then joined forces with Fran to form her own PR business [3.5, 3.17, 3.19]. After a slow start with Ira as the sole client [3.6], they do publicity for the Mayor [4.4] and soon are running the mayoral campaign of Lance Brockwell [4.16]. Jamie is still working for that campaign [5.2].

Jamie usually does not interfere in other people's affairs, except when her older sister Lisa is concerned [1.19, 2.7]. She avoids involvement in Paul and Ira's squabble [3.19]; even when Fran and Mark separate, she does not judge the matter. She genuinely dislikes her mother's interference in her life [1.5, 3.13].

She lived in an apartment at 142 West 81st Street [1.11] before moving in with Paul on Valentine's Day, 1991 [2.16] and marrying him a year later. She likes to shop at sales [2.6, 2.17], has a weakness for chocolates [2.2] and ice-cream [2.20], but fudge is another matter [5.8]. Oddly enough, she cannot program a VCR Plus [3.16].

Lisa Stemple [Anne Ramsay]

Jamie's unmarried older sister by 3 years [1.19], who spent 5 years in high school [1.16] and is a college dropout [1.5]. A character with decidedly odd logic [2.8, 2.21], Lisa is able to handle her parents in a manner Jamie is not [1.5, 2.20].

With a semi-permanent eating disorder and on Prozac [1.9], Lisa is under a therapist's care, who features her in a book under the pseudonym Edna [2.11]. Among her friends in group therapy are two bulimics named Harriet [2.11] and a man named Gunther [1.14]. Jamie has tried to fix her up from time to time [2.7] and can monitor her telepathically [1.19], while Lisa goes through a string of boyfriends; sometimes they are gay [1.3], and usually married if straight [1.5]. Things changed dramatically for Lisa in season #4 after finding steady employment at Klarik's [3.17] and being groomed for she knows not what by her employer [4.1]. She ended up engaged to the heir to the Klarik fortune, Sanford [4.18], though that is now presumably off [5.12].

In the old days, Lisa used to do her laundry on Tuesdays at the Buchmans' [1.4], where her entrances are preceded by full use (or abuse) of their buzzer [2.1, 2.11, 2.12], seemingly in Morse code [3.3]. She also constantly raided their fridge [2.12, 2.14].

We do not know where she lives, but it is in the vicinity of the 103rd Street subway station [3.17], and her fifth floor apartment [3.1], #5-G [3.22] is featured in [1.19]. Her purse is a world to itself and figures prominently in [3.17]; 7 kinds of pills can be found in there [3.20].

Fran Devanow [Leila Kenzle]

Jamie's former boss and confidant, 3 years her senior and formerly married to Mark Devanow. A Regional VP at the Public Relations firm of Farrer, Gantz for 5 years [2.4], she quit her job to spend more time with her young son Ryan [2.16]. Fran likes to shop [1.11, 1.12, 2.17], take charge in every conceivable situation, and fix up her single friends at annual Valentine's Day parties [1.16] (at least before Mark left). Paul considers her his friend-in-law [4.1].

Fran's husband Mark often took his cue from her [1.1, 1.2]; in fact she proposed to him [1.8]. However, after they separate [1.21], Fran had a rough time adjusting to single life again. She had quick affairs with Jamie's ex-boyfriend Sherman [1.21] and Paul's cousin Ira [2.9, 4.2], and even dated Jamie's college classmate Nick [2.22].

Fran appeared to have adequate means of support in Mark's absence, even though she was not working (in season #2). She went back to work at Farrer, Gantz [3.1], but quit because she thought Jamie resented her taking Jamie's old job there [3.9]. She then joined forces with Jamie in her PR business [3.11], but left it [4.21] after reconciling with Mark. They toured Europe for 3 months [5.1], but she is (presumably) back home alone in New York [5.7, 5.11].

Fran drives in NYC [2.1, 2.4, 2.21] and the Buchmans often borrowed her car in a pinch [3.1, 3.16, 3.17]. Her apartment (#1925 [2.14], at #171 on an unnamed street [3.7]) is in the Upper East Side of New York City and the subject of a re-painting exercise [2.14]. She packed off her young son Ryan to her mother's in Boca Raton, Florida from time to time [1.9, 1.21]; he attends a local school though [2.14, 5.11].

Mark Devanow [Richard Kind]

Fran's now ex-husband, a gynecologist and obstetrician who had a considerable practice in Manhattan ($300,000 a year) [2.22]. An easy-going, good-natured person who likes opera [1.10] and eating out [1.2], he summed up his outlook on life on the train-ride back from a Connecticut Thanksgiving [1.9]: "... gotta live in the moment, keep moving on; everything else is just riding backwards."

After 10 years of marriage [2.9], he left Fran and Ryan to lead a bohemian existence on the road [1.22], with no regard to his wife's or son's welfare. Returning a year later to attempt a reconciliation with Fran [2.22], he found her indifferent to the idea [2.24]. But he persisted [4.8] and Fran relented in the end [4.21]. In between, he managed to stay in touch with his son Ryan, spending weekends [3.1], and once Thanksgiving as well [3.8].

Jay Selby [Tommy Hinkley]

Paul's college buddy and bachelor-at-large, who was a constant visitor at the Buchman apartment in the first months of their marriage [1.1]. An inveterate womanizer who considered donating to a sperm bank [1.9], he caused Paul great anxiety by dating Paul's ex-girlfriend [1.4]. He also counseled Paul strongly against surrendering the lease on his old apartment to Kramer [1.8]. He worked for his Dad's (unnamed) business, goofing off at the first opportunity [1.4]. For $50, he posed as Lisa's boyfriend during the Thanksgiving outing at her parents' in Connecticut, and bested Paul by getting invited to a day of golf with her father Gus Stemple [1.9].

Ira Buchman [John Pankow]

Born and raised in Sheepshead Bay, NY [1.20], Ira is Paul's fraternal cousin, older by a few years. They've competed all their lives [1.20, 4.14]. First referred to in [1.3], Ira was introduced in [1.15]. He is a sometime band leader of Ira and the Nightcaps [3.22], who played at Paul and Jamie's wedding, as well as at their friends' wedding [1.15]. Ira also worked in his uncle Burt's sporting goods store [1.18, 2.3, 2.16] and has since taken over its management [3.5]. He makes Paul a silent partner in the store due to the mistaken belief that Paul resents his inheriting the store [3.9].

Ira loves to gamble, and often took Paul with him on Atlantic City junkets, without Jamie's knowledge [1.15]. On another trip, he takes the house for $700 after asking Paul not to give him money [2.9]. His connections at Belmont help find a final resting place for the ashes of Jamie's uncle Van [3.3]. When he remembers to, Ira attends Gamblers Anonymous meetings [3.3].

Ira once advised Paul not to get involved with Jamie [3.19], advice that Paul correctly ignored, but Jamie is sufficiently used to Ira's ways now, to the point of referring to him as "my cousin Ira" [3.12].

Ira was married in late 1973 to Marianne Lugasso; they were together for all of 6 months, officially divorcing after 20 years [2.9]. But Ira has been playing the field for a long time. He had liaisons with one of Jamie's clients, Diane Caldwell ("Spy Girl") [1.20], with Lisa at Paul and Jamie's Wedding [1.18, 2.1] and then with the separated Fran [2.9, 4.2], leading to Fran's possible pregnancy [2.14]. After a brief liaison with Velma [3.10], he stumbled into a surprisingly steady relationship with Susannah Gould [3.12, 3.19, 3.20, 3.22], even brushing off Paul rather than miss a date with her [3.16]. That liaison dissolved without notice after season #3, and Ira is roaming again [4.10, 4.15, 4.22, 5.1].

Ira lives at 196 West 93rd Street, apartment 6-S [3.22]. He owns a car [1.18, 2.1, 2.17] and has a cat named Roscoe that Murray appears to dislike [3.20].

Murray [Smiley/Maui]

Paul's out-to-lunch dog is a collie-shepherd mix [1.10] that Paul found in Central Park as a puppy [2.20]. After a 7-year separation, Murray gets to meet his mother Mona [2.20]. He has been walked to great advantage by Paul and Ira to meet girls, and also by Lisa to meet guys [2.1].

Murray also had a brief acting career doing TV commercials [3.14], even appearing in a MegaDeath video and auditioning for a TV series. But for Paul's and Jamie's sake, he ends all prospects of a show-biz carrer by doing an impression of Cujo [3.14], something only Mark Devanow [1.7, 1.21] and Paul have seen before [3.1].

Known primarily for his immobility ("a rug with organs" [2.20]) and lack of awareness of his surroundings -- "Murray-ness" [2.1], his tendency to chase an imaginary mouse [2.2] acquired legendary status in season #2. He once had an affair with Sophie [1.10], the Conways' Cairn Terrier show dog from across the hall, but love blossomed in season #3, and they had 5 puppies [3.2]. He has been Maggie Conway's favourite ever since [3.14].

While Murray sees in black and white, he dreams in color [3.14], one sure sign of a wonder dog!

2.2 Who are the other family members?

Burt Buchman [Louis Zorich]

Paul's father, who gains his fifteen minutes of fame on the Regis Philbin show [1.18]. Burt was the owner of Buchman's Sporting Goods store (#867 Broadway [2.16, 3.5], and had a mild angina attack when attempting to move a fibreglass pool-table in the store [2.3]. After running the store for 43 years, complete with an annual Midnight Madness sale, he hands over the reins to Ira [3.5], but helps out from time to time [5.7]. And he is still smarting about the loss of exclusive distribution rights for the Hoola Hoop to Ziggy Klarik more than 40 years ago [4.22].

Burt is adored by his daughter-in-law Jamie [1.18, 3.5].

Sylvia Buchman [Cynthia Harris]

Paul's mother, whose barbs never miss their mark, whether directed at son Paul, daughter Sharon or daughter-in-law Jamie [2.3]. Sylvia was heard only on the phone in season #1 [1.3, 1.10, 1.18] and it was at her suggestion that Freddy Stadler presented Paul with Ringo's drums [1.17]. She was also the force behind Burt's decision to retire and hand his store over to Ira [3.5].

Sylvia was 19 when she married Burt Buchman [2.24] on May 12, 1951 [4.22]. Paul chafes under her constant reminder of his 'bad' career choice as a filmmaker rather than be a doctor [2.3]; Ira and Lisa have no problem dealing with her [2.20]. Sylvia always makes a point of calling Lisa "sweet" [2.3, 2.24, 3.1]. Though initially stunned by her daughter Debbie's "outing" [4.9], she adjusted remarkably well to the new realities [5.1].

Jamie is often suspicious of her motives in the gifts Sylvia gives (an electric blanket [2.2], an answering machine [2.8], a gaudy flame-retardant parka [3.22]), forever wishing she would move to Florida [2.3], but nevertheless admires her spirit [2.20, 2.24]. After a few routine tussles [4.3], they now appear to have reached an understanding [5.7]. Sylvia has had similar problems in dealing with her own mother-in-law [3.8].

Sharon [Randy Graff]

Paul's older sister (by 2 years) [2.24], who is a either divorcee [2.3] or is separated from her husband Steve [4.3]. She has 2 children, one a 4-year old daughter [2.3] (then). An MBA, Sharon lived on Long Island [2.3], but has moved to New Jersey [4.3], and is not a very good driver [2.3]. She wasn't one of the three bridesmaids at her brother's wedding [3.13]; it is not known if she even attended the ceremony.

Debbie [Talia Balsam/Robin Bartlett]

Paul's sister, possibly a younger sibling, who has 2 sons, Jed and Noah [2.6, 2.24]. She is not mentioned by Sylvia when discussing Paul's birth: "Sharon was 2..." [2.24], and so was probably born after Paul.

Debbie separated from her husband Gary on the eve of Paul and Jamie's wedding, after 15 years together [3.13], so it would appear to have been a high school romance. 4 years later she found romance with Joan while on a trip to Vermont [4.9] and they've moved in together [5.1]. Debbie takes great exception to Paul and Jamie not selecting Joan as their ob/gyn [5.1], which they ultimately do.

Jed [Bradley Pierce]

Debbie's older son, who spent a Halloween with Paul and Jamie [2.6]. Jamie took him trick-or-treating in an Aladdin costume she improvised, with Murray in tow as a camel. Jed holds the distinction of being the best-behaved kid on MAY, even making Jamie wish for a child [2.6].

Noah [Andrew J. Ferchland]

Debbie's younger son, whose noisy behavior at his mother's lunch celebrating Paul and Jamie's second anniversary makes a deep impression on Jamie [2.24]. His mother copes with the tantrums by using a trip to Disney World as the stick.

Gus Stemple [Paul Dooley/John Karlen/Carroll O'Connor]

Jamie's father, a successful butcher [1.5] who has spent more than 34 years in the business [3.14]. He likes Paul, has no great opinion of his tool-handling skills [1.5], and never invites Paul to a golf outing [1.9]. But they end up at a lackluster New York Jets football game together [5.6] and manage to talk about sports, politics and the stock market. Gus lobbies hard for beef to be served at the wedding reception, in place of squab [3.13]. He can be quite helpless without his wife, and Jamie has to go up to keep him company when her mother is away [3.16].

The Stemples lived comfortably in New Haven, Connecticut [1.9] and drove down to New York City often to spend time with the Buchmans [1.5, 2.20, 3.8]. After 37 years of marriage trying to crack his wife's code, one day Gus decided to buy an RV to tour the US and Canada [5.6]. When his wife opted out of the trip, he drove off by himself. He keeps in touch with Theresa [5.6], and presumably knows about Jamie's pregnancy.

Theresa Cooper Stemple [Nancy Dussault/Penny Fuller/Carol Burnett]

Jamie's mother, who is naturally bubbly [2.20] and tortures her daughter with advice [1.5]. She also uses Lisa to get at Jamie when they are fighting [2.20]. Theresa is often heard on the phone [2.2, 2.20], but like her husband Gus, seen infrequently [1.5, 3.8, 3.13, 3.14, 5.6, 5.7]. She is not amused when she first hears about her grandchild-to-be on the radio [5.7].

A former beauty who snagged parts in 5 episodes of the Alan Brady Show [3.15], she has undergone a face-lift [3.11] and, presumably, breast-reduction surgery [2.11]. Jamie resembles the young Theresa, so much so that when Alan Brady is first introduced to Jamie, he wonders if they have met before [3.15].

Ryan Devanow [Spencer Klein]

Fran and Mark's "devil child" [1.16], whose tantrums once prevented his parents going to the circus with the Buchmans [1.7]. Ryan could recite Hiawatha's poem [1.9] and sing the Muffin Man song off-key [1.6], and played Cupid at his mother's Valentine's Day parties [1.16].

Ryan was featured only in season #1, until a violin recital 4 years later [5.11]. After his parents separated for the first time [1.21], he was packed off to his grandmother's in Boca Raton, Florida [1.22]. But he is back in school in NYC [2.4], and Paul, Jamie and Ira went with Fran to a benefit at his school [2.14], while Jamie and Paul attended his violin recital [5.11]. When his parents were separated, he got to spend weekends [3.1] and Thanksgiving [3.8] with his father.

Marianne Lugasso [Cyndi Lauper]

Ira's long-forgotten wife of 20 years, who once managed a casino in Atlantic City [2.9]. They were married in 1973 and lived with both sets of parents for 6 months, and were finally divorced in 1993 so she could legally marry her unseen beau (a Count [3.19]) and move to Luxembourg [2.9].

She returned briefly as a widowed Contessa [3.19], and tried to engage Ira's attentions by offering him an interest-free loan to finance his new catalog business. It is possible she was feeling guilty about the peyote incident in 1974 involving Ira, the night before he took his SAT exams [3.19].

Aunt Lolly [Meg Wyllie]

Jamie's 73-year old maternal aunt [3.15], who initially had trouble figuring out whom she was related to [3.8]. She was the toast of the Catskills in the 50's, where she played a harp in Grossinger's Lobby [3.15], dating Alan Brady among many others. She also played the viola at Paul and Jamie's wedding, except Paul insists it was a ukelele [3.13].

Twice widowed [3.13], she dated Paul's editor Sid for a while [3.20]. She drives a Buick Skylark and lives in Connecticut [3.20].

2.3 Who are the other supporting characters?

Hal Conway [Paxton Whitehead/Jim Piddock]

The Buchmans' neighbour in 11-C, a visiting professor at Columbia University teaching Diplomacy [1.10], who is Maggie's husband. The Conways are from Cambridge, England and believe that New York is populated by raving loons. They are undiplomatic enough to tell Paul and Jamie they don't like them, but accept an invitation from their friends (the Devanows) to go to Opera at the Met in place of the Buchmans [1.10]. When rumors fly about the building going co-op, they try to buy out the rights to the Buchmans' apartment, to enlarge their own; this hankering is even shown as alternate reality [3.22]. Hal Conway has been seen once in season #1 [1.10], and then again in seasons #3 and #4, and heard off-camera once in season #2 [2.6].

The Conways have been visiting New York for a long time now; they had arrived by 1991 [5.7]. Hal has written a novel [3.6] and is keenly interested in comic books [3.21]. He claims to having been a middleweight boxing champion at Oxford [3.22], though that may not have been reality.

Maggie Conway [Judy Geeson]

Hal's wife, allergic to all flowers, and proud owner of Sophie, a Cairn Terrier show dog [1.10]. Forever at odds with the Buchmans [3.2, 3.16], Maggie refuses to trick-or-treat Paul's nephew Jed at Halloween [2.6], but entertains an American friend and her boyfriend at Thanksgiving [5.7]. And she shows up with eats for Jamie when mistakenly believing that Paul had died [2.12]. Murray is the only Buchman she cares for [3.14].

Alan Tofsky [Eric Stoltz]

Jamie's last significant other, a year or so before she met Paul [3.21], a commercial graphics artist who did the cover for a Peter Gabriel album [3.7], and now famous for his comic book MegaVoid [3.21]. Apparently he had had the last word at their breakup, something Jamie will not admit to [3.7]. They manage to work together on an advertising campaign [3.21] and Alan even shows up in a what-if sequence in [3.22]. He is known to carry his own tea-bags [3.7] and to refer to Paul as Ken [3.21].

It is unlikely that Alan was being referred to in [1.3] when Jamie talks about an artist (commercial) that she'd slept with once. It is open to speculation if Alan and Jamie co-habited [3.22].

Susannah Gould [Anne Bobby]

Jamie's class-mate in Psychology class, who charmed Ira at their first encounter in the Buchman apartment [3.12], so much so that he bought towels and washed them before first use [3.19]. It is interesting to note that but for Fran's expert interpretation of a schizoid personality [2.21], Ira and Susannah would never have met. But fate being what it is, they managed to meet in the what-if sequence [3.22], no matter what.

Like Ira, Susannah was briefly married when young [3.12], and like Ira, she has a band [3.22]. She also once worked at a psychic phone-line [3.12] and has a knack for figuring people out, mostly by just listening. In less than an hour after she met Ira, she read him and they were off on their first date [3.12].

Susannah hates being called Sue [3.20] and feathers flew when a cabbie addressed her as Mamma [3.19]. She used to have a pet canary, that met with a sudden end [3.20].

Mel Wertzel [Louis Goss]

The Buchmans' landlord, who patiently fielded their interminable questions as they looked over apartment 11-D six times before signing the lease [2.16]. When an obituary of a Paul Buchman appeared in the newspapers, he sent around a note on a Saturday indicating the need for a 60-day notice to vacate the apartment [2.12].

Bill Wicker [Jerry Adler]

The previously pageable super of the Buchman apartment building, who was first alluded to in [1.5]. Always leaving a job to get to another one [2.19], he had been a super for 33 years [2.23].

He is 64 years old and has been married for 40 years [3.4] to Claire, whose Nyquil commercial won Jamie a $5 bet [2.19]. Mrs. Wicker was even featured on a Soap opera [3.6]. The Wickers used to live in apartment 5-J, next to the elevator [3.4], but appear to have moved on, since a new unnamed super has taken over [4.12].

Eddie [Lou Cutell]

The doorman at the Buchman apartment building, who brings up Jamie's boxes [2.4] as well as her tossed out jersey [1.8]. He also critiqued Paul's films [2.5] and offered suggestions to explain away Jamie's outburst at Riff's regarding her boss [2.4].

Ursula [Lisa Kudrow]

First seen in season #2 as an unnamed Waitress [2.4], later introduced as Ursula (a name she hates) in [2.7]. A routinely ditzy character that had been waiting tables at Riff's for at least 3 years [2.16], she also has a side job as a museum tour guide [2.7].

Ursula has a brother with a gimpy car [3.6]. Based on the premise of the TV comedy show "Friends" she has a twin sister named Phoebe, but this has never been mentioned in any MAY episode, nor the possibility that her last name is Buffay. By an odd coincidence, Ira once makes up a story about Ursula for Paul's benefit, commenting on how she may be having twins ("It runs in the family") [2.14].

Dutch [Steve Paymer]

The sales clerk at the Village Vogue [2.6], later known as the Village Video [2.18], the place that has brought us the category: Comedy, Comedy. It is located next to an antiques shop. Dutch entertained Paul's nephew Jed with an impersonation of Larry, one of the Three Stooges, but was severely reprimanded for his troubles by his boss.

Kim [Darrell Kunitomi/Ping Wu]

Owner of a neighborhood mini-market [2.24, 3.8], who was also Mark's Zen Master for the short time he employed Mark as a stocker and delivery boy. Kim has a tendency to talk in triples. He and his wife Tammy now have a daughter named Rose. His market, open 23 hours daily, is located at #1120 on an unnamed street [2.24], but then again, maybe not [3.8].

Ike [Art Evans]

Paul's editor in season #1, who claimed to know or have known a number of luminaries of the screen, like Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese and Orson Welles [1.4, 1.6]. He pulled no punches when criticizing Paul's work or his bumbling efforts at trying to find out what Jamie's job at Farrer, Gantz really is. Warren succeeded Art as editor/cameraman at Buchman Films.

Stacey [Kerri Green]

Paul's assistant in season #1, who screened all incoming calls and was free with her opinions of his films. She deftly rebuffed Selby [1.4] and held a low opinion of Paul as a husband [1.6]. Connie succeeded Stacey as Paul's assistant in season #1.

Connie [Meagen Fay]

Paul's assistant, who appeared to do a lot without getting anything done, and was in a constant state of confusion [1.17]. Connie accompanied Warren to Paul and Jamie's first anniversary party [1.22], but was not heard of after that. All we know about her is that she has a cat that feels isolated [1.22]. Remy succeeded Connie in season #2 as Paul's assistant.

Warren [Steven Wright]

Paul's editor and cameraman, whose real name is Eddie Mermelman and whose credentials were mostly true [1.17]. He suffered Lou as much as Paul [2.5], burned for Connie [1.22], is a self-proclaimed peripheral visionary [2.1] and recognized Lisa as Edna in her shrink's book [2.11]. Warren has since left Buchman Films, having been succeeded by Sid Novak.

Lou Bonaparte [Larry Miller]

Paul's producer, replacing an unnamed, unseen, hands-off producer [2.4]. Lou hovered around Paul and Warren, trying to get his fingers into every aspect of production of Paul's films. He was a former accountant [2.5], who also practiced tumbling and was the class validectorian at Amherst [2.10]. His accomplishments at Buchman Films included elimination of a 3-minute montage [2.10], getting Jamie's opinion about another film [2.5], and rearranging all the camera positions for shooting a Halloween parade [2.6]. Lou has since left Buchman Films.

Remy [Marva Hicks]

Paul's assistant in seasons #2 and #3, introduced in [2.4]. She is a straight-shooter and stuck to business [2.6, 3.14}. Not much is known about Remy, but she showed up at Jamie's bridal shower [3.13].

Sid Novak [George O. Petrie]

Paul's editor (who travels back in time, as much as 3 years [3.20]), born in Minsk [3.20] and a former employee of Alan Brady (from whom he got a pineapple for Christmas) [3.15]. Sid appears to have known all the comics of the Borsch Belt. With the looks of Errol Flynn, he charmed Jamie's Aunt Lolly for the better part of a year [3.20]. Even Ira's ex-wife Marianne took him out to lunch after his offer to fetch her some cinnamon crullers, though that was probably Marianne's way of pumping him for information [3.19].

Sid followed Paul to the Explorer Channel [4.4, 4.11] and was even involved in the editing of his campaign commercial for Lance Brockwell [4.16], but in the end recommended that Paul quit his job to get a life [4.19]. Presumably Sid did likewise, as he has not been seen in season #5.

Ricky [Cameron Thor]

Jamie's assistant at Farrer and Gantz, who was heard only on the phone in season #1 [1.6], but finally featured in season #2 [2.4]. It was also his last appearance, since Jamie quit her job the very next day. In season #3, he has been heard again on the phone in flashback episodes [3.13, 3.20, 3.22], so the memory lives on.

Manny Gantz [Wayne Tippitt/Jack Shearer]

Fran's boss (and thus Jamie's as well), who handed out the Christmas bonus checks in [1.11] and bored everyone except Mark Devanow with his Rose Bowl story (he played in the game, but not the way anyone would think). And yet he mistook Ira for Mark in Fran's office [3.9].

Jack Farrer [Ken Jenkins]

Jamie's boss, who unfailingly gave insipid gifts to his subordinates, but never any credit for their good ideas [2.4]. His remarks about why Jamie had snagged the Central American Tourism account caused her to quit in disgust.

Allison Rourke [Gates McFadden]

Responsible for producing documentaries at the Explorer Channel, she lured Paul with state-of-the-art editing facilities and a very generous compensation [4.1]. Working for a female boss with more than 70 documentaries to her credit, Paul was wary of letting Jamie know how attractive Allison was [4.7]. Allison was also featured in some dream sequences, both Paul's and Jamie's [4.11]. Oddly enough she had no part in Paul's dismissal [4.19], and presumably has no future with the series.

Hollis Pavelle [David Strickland]

First seen as an unnamed sycophant of Allison's at the Explorer Channel [4.5], he was the office busy-body whose mission in life was to check up on Paul [4.6, 4.13] and reason with him regarding expenses as Paul went for the 47th take of a shot [4.19]. His habit of clicking his pen as he made notes never failed to irritate Paul [4.18, 4.19] but the joint dismissal from the Explorer Channel generated a bond. They even end up in the same unemployment line together [4.21].

Nat [Hank Azaria]

A highly original character whose first and last language is English [4.10] and whose love of all creatures great and small prompts the Buchmans to hire him as Murray's walker [4.6]. Nat and Murray bond instantly, so much so that he appears to prefer Nat over Paul [4.6]. Even Jamie gets compliments from Nat that Paul cannot quite manage [4.8]. Nat comes up with interesting variations of Murray's name [4.6, 4.8, 4.10] and is 3 credits short of becoming a male nurse [4.10].

Lance Brockwell [Alan Ruck/Harry Groener]

The Director of Public Relations at City Hall, who once received hate mail from Paul Buchman about a denied permit (to film coyotes in Central Park), but holds no grudge [4.4] as he hires Jamie and Fran to do publicity for the Mayor. When he decides to run for the office himself [4.8], Lance hires them to direct the campaign [4.16]. But his acceptance of cab-fare from a known mobster [4.19] leads to a Grand Jury investigation, while his use of prozac leads to more routine complications [5.3]. He has good ideas but speaks in sound "gulps" rather than bites [5.2]. He is married, with 2 kids [4.4].

Doug Berkus [Bradley White]

Lance Brockwell's deputy, who likes to trade favors and recommends Jamie for the chairmanship of the "Fun City" committee under unusual circumstances [4.15]. He played all the right cards to get Paul to produce a campaign spot for Brockwell [4.16] and arranged for a getaway package to Massachusetts for Jamie to spend a weekend away with Paul [4.19]. But a kiss exchanged with Jamie at the office had major repurcussions [4.21]. These days he is stationed in Albany, but still working for the mayoral campaign [5.2].

Sanford Klarik [Billy Morrissette]

The 23-year old heir to the $400 million Klarik fortune, who has been kicked out of 4 Ivy League schools including Harvard, Yale and Brown [4.17]. Then his father Ziggy asked Lisa to take him under her wing. Obsession followed and Sanford proposed to Lisa [4.17]; she accepted and his father threw a big bash in their honor [4.22], but their engagement presumably has come to nought [5.12]. Sanford has his share of secrets, but he unwittingly causes the broadcast of Jamie's latest big secret over the airwaves [5.7].

Joan Golfinos [Suzie Plakson]

A doctor, who falls in love with Debbie on a trip to Vermont [4.9], and who is finally introduced to Debbie's parents over a buffet lunch [5.1] that dashes Jamie's hopes of climbing up the totem pole of Sylvia's graces. The elder Buchmans take to Joan readily and are amazed that Jamie would look beyond her for an ob/gyn. Always the professional, Joan keeps Jamie's pregnancy a secret from Debbie, leading to their first fight [5.7].

2.4 What other TV shows and movies have some cast members been in?

Most of the information in the lists that follow is courtesy of the Internet Movie Database, with some additions and corrections.

Paul Reiser

Born March 30 1957, New York, NY.
B.A. in music from SUNY, Binghamton, NY.
Married to Paula Ravets, a psychotherapist (1988).
They have a son, Ezra Samuel, born September 1995.

Helen Hunt

Born June 15 1963, Culver City, CA.
Daughter of Gordon Hunt, acting coach and director (including MAY, season #3 onward).

Anne Ramsay (Anne Elizabeth Ramsay)

Born in southern California.
B.A. in Theatre from UCLA.

Leila Kenzle

Born July 16 19??, Patchogue, NY.
B.F.A. in Theatre from the Mason Gross School of the Conservatory at Rutgers University.
Married to Neil Monaco, an acting coach, April 1994.

Richard Kind

Tommy Hinkley

John Pankow

Born February 18 19??, St. Louis MI.
Majored in in Speech and Performing Arts at Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago.
Married, has a daughter.

Louis Zorich

Married to Olympia Dukakis.

Cynthia Harris

Lisa Kudrow

Born July 30 1963, Encino CA.
Bachelor's degree in Biology from Vassar.
Member of the comedy troupe "The Groundlings."
Married to Michel Stern, May 27, 1995.
Father is a renowned headache specialist.

Steven Wright

Born 6 December 1955, New York NY.

Anne Bobby

Please send in corrections/comments to: []