Frequently Asked Questions list (7/9) for
"Mad About You" and the
Usenet newsgroup alt.tv.mad-about-you
This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list for the TV Comedy show
"Mad About You" is, as a collection of information,
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This is an extension of Section 6 of the FAQ, with answers to the
The character of Murray was played in the Pilot episode by Smiley,
who was deemed too active. Maui took over the role thereafter.
The other change was in the bedroom, namely the bed. The now famous
Paul and Jamie's bed was introduced after the Pilot; presumably
the producers couldn't afford its price tag for the two scenes that
book-end the episode. For a comparison, watch the Teases of episodes
[1.1] and [1.2].
Jerry Lewis's nose, according to information unwittingly supplied by
Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt. Presumably this happened during some
horsing around during the shoot of episode [1.17], which also
involved mangling the name of Warren (played by Steven Wright).
If you said two, you are not Minsking matters. The first was Masha
(no 'r') the cleaning machine [1.12], and then there was Sid Novak,
Paul's editor [3.20].
The first to be seen tossing anything out (and flicking ashes does
not count) was Jamie dealing out her #15 jersey [1.8], something
she has done more than once. Some other occasions would be:
- Paul and the help-message [1.16], weighed with a piece of soap
but padded with tissue so as not to concuss anyone,
- Jamie and the taupe shirt [2.17], which is retrieved by
Lisa, and Paul pulls a muscle trying to toss it out again,
- Paul and the $20 vertical tip in a sock [3.4],
- Jamie and a turkey, in a moment of panic [3.8], and
- Paul and a sandwich, when Jamie comes home unexpectedly [4.20].
Who doesn't? We never saw enough of Selby to know, so Lisa is probably
the only candidate since we've only seen her babbling about frozen
tulips in her sleep [3.13]. Those who have been shown snoring or are
on record as having snored include:
- Jamie, who starts out snoring in the opening scene of the series
[1.1] and has been seen so of necessity in season #5 [5.2, 5.8],
- Paul, who was caught at it during a performance of "Les
Miserables" [1.13], is shown at it as Jamie tries her nutty
trick [2.15], and is also known to talk in his sleep about
Mr. Mooney [3.12],
- Fran, on the ride back from Connecticut [1.9],
- Mark, likewise, on Paul's shoulder [1.9], and
- Ira, who also plays a mean sax in his sleep [3.13].
Freddy Stadler's assistant, Belden [1.17]. The cabbie in [3.7] at
least laughed at the Zest story. Both are listed in the closing
credits. There used to be (and probably still is) the 5-word rule,
whereby anyone uttering less than 5 words was not required to be
listed in the closing credits. This has been observed on MAY with
respect to another cabbie [5.5] who gets to ask "Can we go now?";
close but no cigar.
Of course there is Maui, who never gets credit for playing Murray,
and in a manner that sounds like Lisa's logic, Boone's Animals
for Hollywood gets credit for "training Murray." Anyone familiar
with MAY knows that Murray has never been trained, only Maui is!
No, it wasn't the installation of the fire-escape; that didn't show
up till the middle of season #2 [2.13]. For this episode [1.8] the
Buchman's refrigerator was changed from a side-by-side model to a
freezer-on-top model, if only to accomodate the final scene where
both Paul and Jamie stick their heads into the freezer and Jamie
discovers some more ice-cream.
For references to Canada and England, check out Mark Plumb's
Quotes library. As for the other civilization:
- Egyptian beer is shown in the fridge [4.1] and Egyptian cuisine
and motif are used at Lisa's engagement party [4.22]. The
Pharonic Egyptians were the first to brew beer, circa 2000 BC,
and the party was ostensibly held at the Temple of Dandur in
New York City. In 1963, as the waters of Lake Nasser rose high
behind the Aswam High Dam and UNESCO work to save the Temple of
Ramesses II was well under way, the Egyptian goverment presented
the Temple of Peteese and Pihar to the Metropolitan Museum,
rather than relocate it to higher ground. It was dismantled and
erected at its present site in New York City; the original site
is now smack in the middle of Lake Nasser.
The answer is not self-evident. In fact, it is three. There were five
turkeys involved, the first was bought elsewhere by Jamie and the last
one was on the house. Now, by all means tell us the disposition of all
MAY has been rattling around the weekly calendar in the US for the
past 5 years, and while seasons #2 and #3 were spent at the relatively
stable time-slot of 8:00pm on Thursdays, MAY was shown on Wednesdays
and also Saturdays at 9:30pm in season #1 and on Sundays at 8:00pm in
season #4. Currently in season #5, it is airing at 8:00pm on Tuesdays.
So the answer would appear to be Mondays and Fridays.
But the question was "which *day* of the week..." Well, on Monday
February 14, 1994 at 9:00pm, "Instant Karma" [2.17] made its debut.
What is more amazing about this Valentine Day Special is that on
the previous Thursday, February 10th, the Valentine's Day episode
"Cold Feet" [2.16] had its first telecast, while the following
Thursday saw a repeat telecast of "Surprise" [2.8].
Somehow it makes all the sense in the world.
So the answer is: Fridays. But there is always season #6.
After that there may be none...
A classic exercise is about how as Jamie progresses from 30 to 60
years of age, Lisa will go from 33 to 66 [2.8], but a few other
memorable instances come to mind:
- The conversation in the hallway outside Apartment 11-D,
as she introduces herself to the imaginary person
("[I'm] Lisa! What's yours?"),
- The skirmish with the Logic professor at Jamie's college
[2.21] to secure a place on a full class roster, and
- The advice to Paul to call Information to get Y. Ono's
There have been a number of characters played by multiple actors:
There is also the small matter of Murray, played by Smiley in
[1.1] and by Maui ever since.
- Debbie Buchman: Talia Balsam [2.6] and
Robin Bartlett [since 2.24]
- Hal Conway: Paxton Whitehead [1.10] and
Jim Piddock [since 3.2]
- Kim, the grocer: Darrell Kunitomi [2.24] and
Ping Wu [3.8]
- Manny Gantz: Wayne Tippitt [1.11] and
Jack Shearer [3.9]
- Lance Brockwell: Alan Ruck [season #4] and
Harry Groener [season #5]
- Theresa Stemple: Nancy Dussault [1.5],
Penny Fuller [season #3] and
Carol Burnett [season #5] and
- Gus Stemple: Paul Dooley [1.5],
John Karlin [season #3] and
Carroll O'Connor [5.6]
Jamie discovers that Paul cannot dance [3.13] and we are shown him
macarena-challenged [5.2], yet he manages some semblance of rhythm:
- He can dance a jig (at least in the kitchen) [1.8],
- He is in sync with a calypso beat in bed [2.2],
- He manages a tango on the roof-top once [2.23],
- He manages to hold his own with Jamie ("Dig me! I'm
Harry Belafonte!") [3.18], and
- He likes to twist [4.4].
No idea how this comes about, but as with the names that show up
wrong under Closed Captioning, this is a mystery as well:
Another odd listing is of Mel Slotkin [5.7] as Mark Slotkin.
A similar thing happened with Herbert Urbont [2.20], who is listed
as Albert Urbont.
- Manny Gantz [1.11] showed up as Manny Ganz [3.9],
- Hollis Pavelle showed up often as Hollis Pavel [season #4],
- Joan Golfinos showed up as Joan Herman [5.5] on her second
appearance on the show. The correct name is Golfinos, but
she is listed as Dr. Joan of late [5.7, 5.10].
It is Eunice [3.11], which is why she is listed at Tom Witelski's
site as Jamie E. Buchman. But for four years she let Paul believe
her middle name was Karen [3.11], which actually leads to an oddity
or an inconsistency: Diane Caldwell, aka Spy Girl tends to call her
Karen [1.20] and when she mentions this to Paul, he doesn't react
or respond with a "but that's your middle name!" Of course that was
all in season #1, while the Eunice/Karen incident was in season #3!
She tends to use her maiden name as the middle name, as in Jamie S.
Buchman [2.19, 3.20].
The first is Hap Evans, who Jamie was engaged to for 2 months [1.9],
followed by Sherman Williams [1.21] and Alan Tofsky [3.7]. If one
counts one-afternoon-stands, Stan Franklin figures as well [1.15].
It is not obvious Paul ever met the football player Hasten [1.8],
and it is equally doubtful he met Ted (who dumped Jamie) at the
office Christmas party [1.11]. The guy at the ATM [2.12] is mostly
At least thrice:
- Doing the soup vs bisque routine [1.1],
- Doing the Fung We dumplings routine [1.3], and
- Doing a monologue at Riff's as Paul writes a script [3.12].
According to Lisa, everytime they throw a party [1.22]. Their kitchen
table has been used for sex in [1.1] and [1.22], then there is that
other kitchen table used by the elder Buchmans to conceive Paul all
those years ago [2.24]!
Millie Barton is the first to confirm it for Jamie [2.19] but Maggie
Conway discovers it independently [3.2], but obviously never tells
Jamie about it.
It all depends on where we are talking reality, or near-fantasy.
In reality, Paul is reluctant to let go of his canvas wallet with
the velcro snap, but he does eventually upgrade to a calfskin
version [4.8]. Along the way, we see:
In the near-fantasy world, while seated at the bar of Riff's after
being chased out of their apartment by the Conways and Mr. Wicker,
[3.22], Paul produces:
- A Sudafed tablet from the 80's, before the no-doze formula,
- Canadian money,
- An idea for a movie, remarkably like "Speed"
- A 2-for-1 pass to the Palisades Amusement Park,
- An unopened condom from 1979,
- A Stephanie Powers Fan Club member card and
- A slip of paper with the first phone number Jamie gave him.
- A membership card of the Director's Guild,
- A membership card of the Equinox Gym on Amsterdam,
- A Driver's license with a new address (196 West 93rd St),
- Yet another condom.
Just three characters: Sid Novak, the waiter from the Kwanzaa,
At least two: Hal Conway, who teaches Diplomacy there [1.10] and
Saul Beckner, who teaches Physics [2.1]. If Jamie's college is also
Columbia, he has met a professor who teaches French [2.21].
Lisa on many occasions [2.1, 3.14, 4.6], mostly to meet men but also
as a job, as well as Ira [2.1] to meet girls. An unnamed kid from the
neighborhood also walked Murray [1.1], while Selby only fed him
Anthony Hopkins, although Paul has to labor to come up with the name
Well, Spy Girl called him Larry [1.20], Lisa's shrink dubbed him
Raul [2.11] and Jamie's ex-boyfriend Alan mocks him to Jamie's face
as Ken [3.21]. Paul himself has signed a register once as Leonard,
of Toronto [2.12].
The threat to Paul was issued in [5.5], but the first time she met
Paul as an adult at a news-stand she calmly dispatched her own
parents [1.11], and later she did in her mother-in-law to get more
space on an Amtrak train [1.9]. No wonder Paul consider her totally
Paul David Buchman, who died one Thursday and caused the Buchmans to
lose their bank accounts and credit cards by Saturday [2.12]. And all
because he didn't have a bathmat.
Most of New York City, we hope. Jamie's parents probably don't have
it, while Paul's parents certainly don't [5.8]. Mark Devanow did
not, a matter of some friction the day he finally takes off [1.22].
Fran has a key [1.22], Lisa certainly does [2.16] as does Ira [3.12].
Selby had a key [1.8] as did Mr. Wicker while he was the super in
seasons #2 and #3.
Lynne Stoddard is the obvious answer [1.4] but Marianne Lugasso [2.9]
might also qualify. Jamie has also heard of Shirley Kleinman [2.9],
Leslie [2.20] and the girl with the deviated septum [1.5].
For Paul Reiser it is one ("Diner"), for Helen Hunt not so much.
As for the rest of the MAY cast, consider it homework!
If you thought of Joey Tribbiani, that was not on MAY, it was on
"Friends" and doesn't really count. The only reference is to
a Hector, but we have no idea who he is [3.12].
As long as everyone promises not to ooooh and aaaah, we can state
that it contains [2.20]:
- Murray's baby teeth,
- His first (puppy-sized) collar,
- A ball to play with,
- A Hard-Rock Cafe T-shirt (baby size),
- A certificate from Dog Obedience School (he failed "Sit!")
- A small tag with the original owner's name and telephone number.
Fran is the most frequent customer [2.22, 3.16] after trips to
the gym in the neighborhood, while Lisa might have as well [2.13].
Mr. Wicker obviously did when he stayed with the Buchmans [3.4].
Ira probably never used the shower, in fact he once didn't even
use the sink [2.19].
This should be obvious, since the only other recently married
person on the show is Fran [1.1]. While on the subject of gravy
boats, we know that the Buchmans received dozens of gravy boats
[3.13], including one from Jamie's parents [1.5] that they
So far only three: Michael [2.19], Irwin the ventriloquist [2.19]
and Sanford Klarik [4.21]. A blind date with Jim (aka Jimbo) at the
Museum of Natural History turned into a near-miss [2.7].
As for the off-screen variety, we can start with Arthur of Fort Lee
[1.1] and work all the way to Avril, the Con Ed guy [4.12].
The list is seemingly endless, and we are obliged to add "Sit!"
to this category [5.10] because we have to; Murray can only do
a "Manual Sit" [2.20] and that cannot change, else the end of
the world as we know it is near. Other abilities alluded to:
- He can flush the toilet [4.2],
- He knows how to use the toilet to pee into [4.22],
- He can drive and park the car [4.2],
- He can fetch help from Upper Manhattan [1.16],
- He can dream in color [3.14],
- He knows his ABCs [4.1],
- He understands French [2.1].
In no chronological order, they have been to:
- Pine Junction, Vermont to see Barnaby Jones [1.14],
- Atlantic City, all paid for by Ira's wife [2.9],
- Las Vegas, to pick up Seigfried and Roy matches [3.12],
- A Caribbean resort, posing as Burt and Sylvia [3.18],
- The Poconos, in the spring of 1992 [4.17], and
- Winnipeg, with Paul holding it in for 6 hours [4.6].
The Conways [1.10] and the Callahans [2.23] come to mind right
away, but there are also Annabelle Stern and the Cohens [3.4],
Harrison Delahanty [3.6], and Ellen in 3-B [2.19]. The Wickers
of 5-J [3.4] appear to have moved on. It is possible that John
Astin lives in the penthouse [2.23], and a Brenda Vaccaro is a
resident of 51 Fifth Avenue as well [2.24].
Among the unnamed neighbors are those that get cable illegally
[3.6], refuse to trick-or-treat or insist on giving to the
Bosnian Relief Fund [2.6], help out with the turkey scheme [3.8],
or refuse to get in the elevator with Queen Talon [3.21].
The Empire State [4.20] and the Nutmeg State [3.11], New York
and Connecticut respectively.
The list is somewhat longer than 6, so there is some leeway.
If you considered canine actors, give yourself bonus points:
- Lisa Kudrow: Karen [1.11] and
Ursula [seasons #2 and #3]
- Ric Edinger: The stage manager [1.13] and
a customer [4.20]
- Susan Blommaert: Miss Grundy, the caterer [1.15] and
Rita, the cabbie [2.17]
- Jerry Adler: Sgt. Panino [2.1] and
Mr. Wicker [seasons #3 and #4]
- Jim Piddock: Logic Professor [2.21] and
Hal Conway [3.2 onward]
- George O. Petrie: Macy's elevator operator [2.17] and
Sid Novak, Paul's editor [seasons #3 and #4]
- Bill Ingram: The vegetarian at Union Square [2.8]
and Meat of the Month Club delivery man
[3.16]. (*That* is inspired casting!)
- Mark Schiff: Subway passenger Max [2.8] and
Parking Garage supervisor [4.2]
- Tyrees Allen: Guest at Fran's party [3.7] and
Bobby, the lighting man [season #4]
- Patrick Bristow: Hotel clerk [4.13] and Jamie's
co-worker on Brockwell campaign [season #5]
- Randl Ask: Telephone page boy [4.8] and
caterer [4.21 and 4.22]
- Maui: Simon [2.1] and Murray
Once again there are more than 6 instances, and they can be
classified in different categories as well. In terms of other
movies and shows done by Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser, we have:
Then there are jokes within the show itself such as:
- a Movie of the Week reference to "In the Company
of Darkness" [1.13] [HH],
- a "Swiss Family Robinson" reference [1.16] [HH],
- a "Waterdance" reference, as Jamie motions
to Alan about his shaved beard [3.7] [HH],
- a "Twister" reference [4.22] [HH],
- an "Aliens" reference [1.21] [PR].
Finally there are the breaking-the-fourth-wall variety:
- Jamie directing a woman asking directions to
Hunter's Point to what is in fact Hunt's
- The casting of an actor first as a vegetarian
[2.8] and then as a Meat-of-the-Month Club
delivery boy [3.16],
- A bunch of Japanese businessmen exclaiming
"we own the show!" [1.7] They are referring
to the Broadway show they are trying to get
to, but equally Sony owns TriStar,
- Paul dictating to Lou on how to format the
credits on their documentary, much as it is
done on MAY [2.10],
- Paul pretending to recognize the song sung by
the Sauve singers, in fact the MAY theme [2.8].
- Paul asking Helen to let Christie Brinkley play
Jamie, in her pyjamas too [2.17],
- Anne Ramsay showing up in the balcony with a
bandaged thumb, wondering why she was not
told they were shooting an episode [2.14],
- Paul and Helen explaining to the audience that
the mouse was unharmed and that the chocolates
were real [2.2],
- Helen and Paul reading fortune cookies to the
- Helen and Paul informing everyone that the dog who
played Murray's mother was indeed Maui's mother,
then Helen informing Paul that his mother, his
real mother, was calling him [2.20].
The three wives of Michael were Delia, Amanda and Fiona,
respectively killed at the Bull Run at Pompalona, lost
drifting out to sea during floods in Scotland and struck
This has parallels in the world of "Northern Exposure"
where Maggie O'Connell's beaux had a tendency to buy the farm
soon after meeting her. In turn:
It is interesting to note that Jamie talks to Lisa about the
possibility of finding her under a glacier.
- Harry was poisoned by potato salad at a picnic,
- Bruce was victim to a fishing accident,
- Glenn took a wrong turn in his Volvo into a missile site,
- Dave fell asleep on a glacier and froze to death,
- Rick was struck by a re-entering satellite and
- Steve was struck by lightning on an oil rig.
Jamie [2.11]. As Paul explains it: "So she rolls her eyes,
that's what she does. You don't have a pen, that's what
In the order of appearance, we have:
And Paul's Aunt Selma over the telephone [3.13].
But this list is about to expand quite a bit...
- Paul's Uncles Jules, advising on a Will [1.8],
- Jamie's Uncle Van, in an urn [3.3],
- Jamie's Aunt Lolly, for Thanksgiving [3.8],
- Paul's Uncle Phil, in Brooklyn [5.2].
Juan, the Funeral Director at the Everly Chapel [2.12].
Bosnia for one [2.19], but earlier there was also mention
of an unnamed war-worn country, an emigre from which created
the replica of Paul and Jamie's tiered wedding cake [1.22].
At least three. The first is the blue Florsheim box that Paul fetches
from his batchelor pad [1.8] and which pops up at odd intervals,
whenever the Buchmans have to review their tax situation [1.19, 4.14],
then there is the box in which Ira's birthday present arrives (retail)
[2.8], and finally there is the Murray box [2.20].
A variation of the inside joke, and the names are right off the
opening or closing credits:
- Jamie and Fran pretend to be Slater and Damski to collect
office furnishings and equipment ordered by Messrs. Slater
and Damski [4.6]; Peter Damski is the Sound Mixer for MAY.
- Lisa finds her first permanent job at Klarik's [3.17];
Jeffrey Klarik was a writer for MAY that season.
- Paul talks about Marty Lembeck [5.5]; Michael Lembeck is
a MAY director.
Sometimes it picks up the call right away, sometimes after 2 rings,
and still other times after 4 rings. The 2 vs 4 ring pickup may be
a setting, but the instant pickup on an idle phone is decidedly odd.
Let's face it, it has to do with how much time they allot the scene!
Burt made him take flute lessons as a kid [3.18] but Paul still
prefers the piano. We see him playing while Jamie is talking to her
mother, and his concentration is lax enough to sense her looking at
him [2.11]. He plays accompaniment to the national anthem [4.6]
which may have been better done standing up, and he strikes a single
note on John Lennon's piano [2.17].
His wife of 20 years, Marianne, does not count [2.9]. Among the
serious relationships we have Susannah Gould [3.12 onward in
season #3], Sophia [4.10, 4.14] and Iris [4.15, 4.16]. Before that
we had Fran [2.9] and Diane Caldwell [1.20]. He chased Ursula [2.7]
and Cassandra [4.1], and there has been a rapid succession of
girlfriends as well: Velma [3.10], Lily [4.8] and Joyce [4.22],
and an unidentified woman [5.1].
Paul is "Pez-Head" to Ira [2.16], Ira is "Splinky" to Paul
[3.7 onward], Jamie is "Peanut" to her dad [1.5], while Lisa
is "Princess" [4.10]. Burt calls Debbie "Debelah" at times [4.21],
while Burt himself had a nickname once upon a time. The teamsters
working on the set of the "I Still Love New York" campaign
spot take to calling Jamie "Dragon Lady." And "Warren" could be
considered Eddie Mermelman's nickname.
In order of decreasing importance: the city-wide blackout [3.6],
the outage at the Museum of Natural History circa 1968 [2.7] and
the circuit breaker popped when the juicer was operated concurrently
with the hair-dryer [3.2].
Hardly any, but she has worked at a boat show pointing at boats and
was all set to work an auto show [1.19], tried her hand at writing
fortune cookies on spec [2.2], and worked for Murray as his assistant
[3.14]. She has far more success playing Jamie off her mother [2.20],
but considers fish-tossing at her mother's suggestion [3.15].
It all began with monopoly [1.13] and scrabble [2.14], but since has
expanded to chess, checkers and Yaht-zee [5.2]. Paul's affinity for
checkers [1.1] and chess [4.21] has been attested to, and Jamie got
caught up with Paul's nephew Jed's Game-Boy once [2.6].
Paul is obliged to buy the pair of slacks and the loafers he passes
out in, but the Buchmans eventually bought the Tea-dipped Irish Linen
couch/loveseat after all [1.5]. And it is highly probable that Jamie
bought the black dress she tried on, and wore it to the wedding of
her friend [1.15].
Fran and Mark went by themselves to Mexico on a cruise [1.1], but
Jamie wondered aloud once that she may decide to go on one after
Paul has died [1.8], whereupon Paul's Uncle Jules suggested Bermuda.
Ken Burns, Seymour Loach, Andre Duquette and the two Yee brothers,
who are not so much brothers.
Indeed it has been. Selby has ridden it around the livingroom in
circles and crashed [1.1], Ira has taken it for a ride and lost the
front wheel [2.24], Jamie considered lugging it to Vermont for the
weekend getaway [1.14], and Fran has moved it from room to room
[1.21]. Paul on the other hand has only managed to get run over
by a loopy bike messenger [1.8].
Split screen displays [4.16] are not exactly special effects, and
the spinning globe, when stopped, never appeared to be in sync with
the script [2.22]. However the ring vanishing from Paul's finger
[3.22], the exploding Jamie, the hulk Paul, and the starry-eyed
Murray [5.9] definitely qualify, and perhaps even the exploits of
Queen Talon [3.21].
The only instance of them together is the Tag to [1.16]. At various
times in [1.3], [1.16], [2.13] and [4.2] Paul has been in the bathtub.
Jamie's shower is interrupted once [3.13] when she hears Paul opening
her wedding present to him. Too bad there is no record of the Zest
story [3.7]! On a whimsical note (why not?), Murray jumps into the tub
to keep from getting his paws wetter [2.19].
Paul uses it to clean the toothpaste from Jamie's forehead as they
get ready for their civil ceremony officiated by Lenny, the Con Ed
man [3.13]. Jamie uses it on Lisa during that harrying day when
their purses get switched [3.17].
"Ira and the Nightcaps" [3.22] have been seen in action
at two weddings but no funeral [1.15, 3.13]. Ira has also subbed with
Susannah's band [3.22] in an alternate reality segment, and held a
note for 2+ minutes at a New Year's Eve jam [4.8].
The name of Susannah's band was "Close Before Striking" but
that information was cut from the episode [3.12] before it aired.
The name was derived from the fact that she collected matchbooks;
that is why she tried to swipe Paul and Jamie's Siegfried and Roy
matches from their kitchen.
Most of them are dead, but the list is: George Gobel, Charlie Weaver,
Tina Louise, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Mr. Green Jeans and the boy who
played Lucy's little Ricky. Nothing works, until Paul plays his Sid
He got his start on a "Yum Yum Gum" commercial [3.12], and with a
boost from an agent, went on do a Subaru commercial, a Megadeath
video and auditioned for a pilot ("My New Family"). He didn't get
the part and decided against continuing a show-biz career.
It begins with Jamie's fantasy trio of Bruce Springsteen, Tom Brokaw
and Yannick Noah [2.10], and proceeds in earnest in seasons #4 and #5
[4.8, 5.2, 5.5]. During the great NYC blackout, Tom Brokaw was trapped
in an elevator [3.6].
In "The Ride Home" [3.7], between Lisa and Paul at Fran's
birthday party. The scrod was in fact brought to the party by Mark
Denanow, but his part in that episode ended up on the cutting room
floor due to time constraints. As it is, the episode ran 30 seconds
over regulation time for its initial telecast and was recut for the
repeat (and syndication) telecasts; it has the strange distinction
of having been seen with three different Tags.
Getting back to Mark, you can spot him in the background of the last
scenes of the episode, sporting a red sweater, with Paul busy in the
foreground spilling the secrets of Buchman signals to Carol of NBC.
The series has always aired as "Mad About You" but originally
its theme song, as composed by Paul Reiser and Don Was, did not have
that phrase in its lyrics; the words
were added later at singer Andrew Gold's suggestion. Coincidentally,
and bearing no relation to the MAY theme song, a song named "Mad
About You" does exist, sung by Sting and released as part of the
Soul Cages album. Check out the following URL:
At MAY's inception there was something called "Paul Reiser's Pilot"
and the characters of Paul and Jamie were known as the Coopers. An
early working title in the summer of 1992 was "Loved By You,"
reminiscent of the Betty Boop song [4.17]. Eventually "Mad About You"
came to be and the show started telling us about of the lives and
times of the Buchmans.
It is interesting to note that the name Cooper was retained as Jamie's
mother's maiden name. As for Buchman, it bears some resemblance to the
name of the character Paul Reiser played in "Crazy People":
It has been argued that as a filmmaker Paul Buchman fails to impress;
indeed the execution of the Yoko Ono project [4.5] made little sense.
But he does soldier on. And while he held a job at the Explorer
Channel for almost a year, it is interesting to note that he has
managed to miss the boat at NBC twice [3.7, 4.22]. Possibly in
chronological order, his films are:
Among the aborted projected are the Freddy Stadler film [1.17],
the one on the closing down of Boston Garden that Marianne could
have financed except Paul handed the check over to Ira [3.19],
and the one about coyotes in Central Park that Lance Brockwell
would not permit [4.4].
- A Day in the Life of a Button [2.23]
- Hooter Vacation (under a pseudonym) [3.11]
- The Fastest Tailor in New York [3.13]
- Slumlords [1.4]
- 70th Anniversary of Yankee Stadium [1.6]
- New York At Night [2.5]
- A Halloween Parade [2.6]
- The shoot in Chicago, week after week [2.13]
- A Day at the Zoo [2.18]
- The Fastest Short-Order Cook in NYC [2.22]
- About the Iraqi Janitor at the Pentagon [2.23]
- Mr Science episodes [3.1]
- A documentary on self, for PBS [3.11]
- How to Find 'em, Meet 'em and Make 'em Yours [3.12]
- History of Television, for HBO [3.15]
- On Dog Sledding, for ESPN2 [3.17]
- The Last Milkman in New York City [3.21]
- About a so-called survivor of the Titanic [4.4]
- About Falcons at the Chrysler Building [4.5]
- The Times Square Ball dropping gala [4.8]
- Weed [4.19]
- Buchman [5.2 onward]
And while Paul was initially set against ever doing commercials
[1.13], Jamie has managed to persuade him into 2 projects, one
for the NYC tourism campaign [1.13] and the other for Brockwell's
mayoral campaign [4.16]. In between, with no projects on hand,
he did an airline safety video [3.5] and a gum commercial [3.12].
A number of folks who usually work off-camera have managed to
get on the screen for brief intervals. Among them:
- Ric Edinger, Paul Reiser's stand-in [1.13, 4.20]
- Louis Maggiotto, Paul Reiser's former assistant [2.21]
- Wendy Kamenoff, Former Audience Warmup-person [3.5]
- Andrew Gordon, Former writer [3.17]
- Michael Lembeck, Director [3.18]
- David Steinberg, Director [4.6]
- Andrew Gold, Theme song singer [4.12]
- Roy Goldman, John Pankow's stand-in [4.12]
- Ron Darian, Current writer [5.10]