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NO NUKES IS GOOD NUKES
Charles wants to make a good impression during the surprise homecoming visit of the children’s father Naval Commander Robert Powell who is also Ellen’s husband and Walter’s son. But his loyal efforts at keeping their joyful family reunion quietly unencumbered are greatly put to the test when Sarah is arrested for protesting nuclear weapons on her dad’s military aircraft carrier.
ROOM AT THE BOTTOM
Charles moves from the guest room to the basement in the Powell household as a direct consequence of Walter’s new home remodeling plans to include extra office space for Ellen and a larger recreational area for the kids.
Charles is assigned to tutor a couple of neanderthal football jocks on American history and successfully prepares them for their exam questions, thanks in large part to Walter and Lillian who knowledgeably reminisce about their own generation’s vibrant era while she begins planning to operate and manage a unique 1950′s style retro diner.
A STING OF PEARLS
Charles is entrusted by Walter with the important responsibility of safely hiding a lovely pearl necklace that will be a special gift for Ellen’s upcoming birthday during a troublesome visit by the children’s alluring former babysitter who may be secretly plotting to discredit him and take back her old job.
Charles becomes the unwilling love object of a persistent female camp staff member’s ardent infatuation even though he already has a steady girlfriend ( Erika Eleniak ). His naughty juvenile delinquent little cousin Anthony ( Justin Whalin ) knavishly resurrects the prickly ghost of Chachi Arcola from ”Happy Days” by quipping ”Wah, wah, wah!” in one memorable scene, thus allowing Scott a vintage opportunity to poke fun at himself.
WALTER GETS A DODO
Charles randomly plays amorous matchmaker when he introduces navy man Walter to the outgoing and fun-loving sister ( Marcia Wallace ) of his queerly eccentric and vainglorious college professor ( David Agrew eerily doing a keen and uncanny impersonation of the late great humorist Jack Benny ).
STILL AT LARGE
Charles and Buddy accidentally learn that Jamie’s favorite teacher ( Sally Struthers ) is a notorious wanted fugitive hunted down by the F.B.I. They go undercover in drag disguise at a women’s group meeting to collect key evidence and to verify the real truth behind her questionable outlaw past.
CHARLES SPLITS , Part 1 and Part 2
Charles suffers a jolting head injury which drastically alters his virtuous personality and unwittingly transforms him into Chaz, an egocentric mercurial lowlife knave whom Buddy, Lillian and the Powell family conspire to get rid of by bringing Charles back to his normal sensibilities.
CURING THE COMMON CULT
Charles and Buddy must act quickly to save Jamie and other brainwashed teenagers who have joined a pseudo-religious group where they’ve virtually fallen under the dangerous influence of a nefarious con artist masquerading as a knowing and enlightened spiritual leader ( Charles Nelson Reilly ).
THE ORGANIZATION MAN
Charles uses a digital pocket organizer to help schedule his loaded quota of intricately jumbled activities such as taking care of Lillian’s diner while she’s away visiting relatives in Brooklyn, making a birdhouse with Adam for his wood shop class, guiding Jamie in cooking a meal for her school assignment, and keeping a watchful eye on Sarah when she dates a nice young boy ( Jerry O’Connell ).
Charles is visited by his mother’s sister ( Ellen Travolta in a dual role ), a kooky cosmopolitan socialite who jauntily breezes into the neighborhood and encourages Jamie to pursue her idealistic quest of becoming an actress, even offering herself up as a temporary guardian as well as a place to stay in her luxurious urban residence when the young girl finally moves to New York City after she graduates from high school.
IT’S A BLUNDERFUL LIFE
Charles feels tremendous guilt after he prevents Walter from buying a jackpot winning lottery ticket in a sincere effort to discourage gambling as a vice among the children. A quixotically surreal nightmare reveals to him what the future existence of the Powell family might be like if he wasn’t around. Donny Most, who played Ralph on ”Happy Days”, makes a delightfully unexpected guest appearance in this 100th episode of the show.
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THERE’S A GIRL IN MY FICUS
Charles gets involved with a beautiful vixen ( Tiffani-Amber Thiessen ) who sabotages his close friendship to Buddy so that she can spend more personal time with him all by herself.
Charles has to keep watch over a cute and adorable little girl whom Adam is assigned to babysit under Buddy’s misguided supervision.
PAPER COVERS ROCK
Charles tries to meet and date a popular female rock star ( Samantha Fox ) which unwittingly puts his ethics scholarship in jeopardy and inevitably exposes his private life to sensational tabloid press coverage.
Charles reunites with three visiting gang mates from high school, collectively known as The Hang Men, but Lillian disapproves of their negative influence upon her son.
Charles must act quickly to save Buddy who is researching for a college paper at a mental hospital where he’s been erroneously misidentified as a patient thanks to an old nemesis.
BUDDY FLIPS A DISC
Charles helps an extremely nervous Buddy to get ready for a special disc jockeying stint that he luckily won in a promotional contest at the diner while Lillian tangles with a venal and crooked health inspector.
ALL THAT CHAZ
Charles is under a lot of stress and pressure reviewing for exams when he accidentally knocks his head again and turns back into his devilish alter ego Chaz once more just in time for another zany visit from gregarious Aunt Vanessa and other quirky characters.
DEAD PUCK SOCIETY
Charles presides as a substitute teacher over Sarah’s class where she is being manipulated into doing all of the school assignments by a handsome young boy ( Paul Walker ) who also possesses an embarrassing secret.
LA CAGE AUX FOOLS
Charles is convinced by Sarah into staging a symbolic protest against scientific animal experimentation where he and Buddy are jailed together inside a giant cage but this publicity stunt ultimately backfires and leaves them dangerously vulnerable to the nefarious machinations of a revenge-obsessed foe.
Charles judiciously teaches a history class attended by Walter who notices various glaring factual mistakes in the official college-sponsored textbook being used that are inconsistent with his personal knowledge and experiences as a young sailor during World War II.
SEEING IS BELIEVING
Charles strikes up a romantic acquaintance with a self-reliant blind woman in a stalled elevator during a power outage but later grapples with his own qualms and misgivings about whether or not to continue dating her.
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Charles-In-Charge Fan Sites :
charles.coolcherrycream.com ( Yesterday Cafe )
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The 10 Best Contemporary Sitcom Families Of The Eighties : ( funnyordie.com )
- My Two Dads
- Different Strokes
- Just The Ten Of Us
- Who’s The Boss ?
- Small Wonder
- CHARLES IN CHARGE Like ”Who’s The Boss?”, this show follows the exploits of a cool guy just trying to get by as a live-in babysitter. Thanks to the magic of first-run syndication, ”Charles In Charge” is actually two shows in one. The first season focused on college kid Charles taking care of the Pembroke family while seasons two through five swap in the Powell family. The one thing that remained constant was Charles solving everyone’s problems through his ingenuity and good looks. Oh, SCOTT BAIO, why did you ever stop being in charge?
- Kate & Allie
- Full House
The 10 Most Memorable TV Dads : ( http://buzzsugar.com )
- Cliff Huxtable ( Bill Cosby ) in ”The Cosby Show”
- Danny Tanner ( Bob Saget ), Joey Gladstone ( David Coulier ) and Jesse Katsopolis ( Jesse Stamos ) in ”Full House”
- Homer Simpson in ”The Simpsons”
- Jack Bauer ( Kiefer Sutherland ) in ”24″
- CHARLES ( SCOTT BAIO ) in ”CHARLES IN CHARGE” O.K., so SCOTT BAIO’S CHARLES wasn’t technically a dad. But as the live-in babysitter for not just one but two different families, he helped all the Pembroke and Powell kids through their awkward years - while also nabbing a perfect girlfriend, reigning in eccentric best friend Buddy, and rocking many a pair of suspenders. What child of the 1980s didn’t secretly want CHARLES IN CHARGE of our days and our nights?
- Steven Keaton ( Michael Gross ) in ”Family Ties”
- Henry Warnimont ( George Gaynes ) in ”Punky Brewster”
- Jason Seaver ( Alan Thicke ) in ”Growing Pains”
- Joey Harris ( Greg Evigan ) and Michael Taylor ( Paul Reiser ) in ”My Two Dads”
- Philip Drummond ( Conrad Bain ) in ”Different Strokes”
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by Tom Johnson
With the recent rash of TV show reunion movies, I have come to the conclusion that one classic from the 80s is being tragically overlooked: CHARLES IN CHARGE. What more could be said with CHARLES IN CHARGE, you say? Well, think about it - when we last left Charles, he was a college student working his way toward his degree by being the permanent babysitter of a family of three teens. Never mind that they were far too old for babysitters. Charles was more than a babysitter, more than a guide. He was a friend. Each week, he dispensed his immeasurable wisdom, he quipped mightily, he bantered with the inimitable Buddy ( arguably one of the finest character studies in television, portrayed by the incomparable Willie Aames ) and, in the end, he always saved the day.
In the years since the show, I like you probably have often wondered just what had happened to Charles and his witty cohorts. To answer this question, we obviously need a reunion. I propose a TV movie - CHARLES : STILL IN CHARGE. Just think of it. Charles has graduated and moved on. But his work as . . . I don’t know, the lackey of some sort at a big company - has turned out to be unfulfilling. Charles reminisces about the good old days. And in a montage of favorite scenes from the show, we see Charles, Buddy, the Pembrokes, the Powells, Gwendolyn Pierce and others cavorting in slow motion. Charles realizes that what he wants to do is take care of people. He wants to be In Charge once again.
Charles quits his job and begins his hunt. There should now be a series of scenes of wacky job possibilities that obviously do not suit our Charles. When all appears lost, Charles comes upon an apartment building that the landlord is vacating. Perhaps it’s the building Charles grew up in and he is disheartened to hear that it will be torn down. Charles then takes it upon himself to save the building, as he always comes to the rescue of a good cause. Of course, it will be a big struggle because it turns out that his former employer is behind the initiative to tear it down. Charles frets and worries but ultimately discovers that the building is historical because . . . I don’t know, Rudy Giuliani was born there or something, and saves it from destruction. As a gift for his hard work, the landlord turns the building over to Charles. He is at first frustrated and exasperated as he could never imagine being a landlord, but suddenly the light bulb goes on in his head. Charles knows he was meant to take on this task!
S C O T T B A I O
Another montage of wacky scenes is in order, to show Charles attempting to get the building in order. Alas in vain, he is only one man. He puts an ad for help in the paper. And who shows up for the job but Buddy! We all know Buddy already has the job but forces Charles to go through with a zany job interview so we know that Buddy is back. They go about renovating the building and at some point, Charles hits his head and out pops his alter ego Chaz! Chaz, of course, grows a goatee, raises hell and puts the whole renovation at risk simply because of his bad behavior - say there’s a big TV interview set up that day and Chaz just royally screws the whole thing up. You know - he insults the elderly, makes fun of the mentally challenged, makes lewd comments to the comely female reporter, etc. Back to feeling himself, Charles must repair the damage he’s done. I don’t know how. That can be worked out later!
The important part is that Charles is back and they can open the newly, and fittingly, christened Chaz Heights to prospective tenants. Of course, this is the perfect opportunity for both of the families Charles worked for ( oddly enough, in the same house ) to return under his protective supervision - all by chance, of course. A big moment of tension arises when one of the members of the clan asks him about Gwendolyn Pierce. We learn that they were about to be married after college but had a misunderstanding and Gwendolyn left him. Charles explains the problem and how he’s never felt right without her. Just when he is about to relate that it’s hopeless and they’ll never see each other again, Gwendolyn slips through the doorway. “Can you forgive me, Charles?” she asks. A big grin grows on Charles‘s face and he replies, “Of course.” Everyone cheers and laughs. And we know everything is going to be safe in Charles‘s hands. It’s just so big and beautiful and dramatic! Tears will be streaming down the faces of the Charles faithful.
I want CHARLES IN CHARGE of me! Don’t you? Who doesn’t? There is no show more deserving of the full blown reunion treatment than this seminal TV institution. Not only can it pave the way for an exciting set of DVD releases of the original. It can be the beginning of a new CHARLES IN CHARGE. With TV gone to the reality dogs, what would revive interest in sitcoms more than bringing back the glory of a past classic?
( Cleveland TV @ http://www.cleveland.com : June 9, 2004 )
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( Why The Honestly Virtuous CHARLES-IN-CHARGE Played By SCOTT BAIO Has Become A More Genuinely Beloved And Fondly Remembered 1980s Family Sitcom Hero Than MICHAEL J. FOX’s Deceptive And Fake Liberal Stereotype Of A Conservative Youth Alex P. Keaton From FAMILY TIES )
As creator Gary David Goldberg describes, FAMILY TIES riffed on the angst of the 1960s generation at the Reagan Revolution. It also reinforced the nascent yuppie upset so evident in shows like “Cheers” and later, “thirtysomething”, questioning how the rebels of the 1960s could preserve their radical values while becoming bourgeois parents and business owners benefiting from the capitalist system.
But FAMILY TIES wasn’t designated to be an evenhanded riff on Reagan era politics or even 1960s Liberal angst. It was designed to target Conservatives. ALEX P. KEATON ( Michael J. Fox ) was the stand-in for Conservatives. He was brilliant and witty and serious-minded. And totally amoral, Gordon Gecko at age seventeen. The whole point of the show was that ALEX WAS ALWAYS WRONG. Only the panache of Michael J. Fox made ALEX palatable.
“The interesting thing with ALEX, and to the same extent with Archie Bunker ( from ‘All In The Family’ ), and if you go back to Norman Lear and ask him, he’d say he did not think he was creating a sympathetic character,” said Goldberg. “But all the sympathy went to Archie. It was crazy. With ALEX, I did not think I was creating a sympathetic character. Those were not traits that I aspired to and didn’t want my kids to aspire to, actually. But at the end of FAMILY TIES, when we went off the air, The New York Times had done a piece and they said, ‘Greed with the Face of an Angel’. And I think that’s true. Michael J. Fox could make things work. The audience would simply not access the darker side of what he’s actually saying.“
A few examples. After being told in season 3 by his younger, innocent sister that there’s more to life than just getting rich and that “people who need people are the luckiest people in the world“, ALEX replies, “Jennifer, people who have money don’t need people.” Another season 3 episode has ALEX telling his pregnant mother that she shouldn’t fly. “Alex, you know, if you had it your way, Mom would be locked in her room for nine months wearing a veil,” sister Mallory snipes. “Oh come on, that’s not true” says Alex. “I see no need for a veil.” ALEX is constantly putting his foot in his mouth this way, ironically poking fun at and caricaturing conservative positions - and he gets a laugh because he’s so charming.
In fact, ALEX became so much of a hero that even Liberals didn’t understand when he lost battles. “Steven Spielberg was a a huge fan,” Goldberg recalled, “Used to come to all the tapings and was a close friend and he’d come on Friday nights. One night, we did a show where ALEX lies to this girl and completely disses the Equal Rights Amendment and everything it stands for and pretends to be a feminist. At the end, she tells him off. So after, Steven comes over and I said, “How did you like the show?” He said, “Well, it’s all right.” And I said, “What’s wrong?” And he said, “ALEX didn’t get the girl.“ And I said, “Yeah, but he lied and cheated.” And he said, “But it’s ALEX, you want him to win at the end.“
But ALEX RARELY WON, because Goldberg and the writers’ room didn’t want him to win. In fact, Goldberg said, “We actually had this structure that we inherited from Jim Brooks and Allan Burns, which was six scenes and a tag. And then THE LAST SCENE BECAME ALEX APOLOGIZES IN EVERY SHOW. We just left it up there. ALEX APOLOGIZES. Some version of it.
For example, in the season 1 episode “The Fifth Wheel”, ALEX is supposed to babysit younger sister Jennifer. As always, his desire for cash gets the better of him. He decides to take Jennifer with him to a poker game, justifying his actions with an appeal to pseudo-conservative masculinity. “In this industrial society of ours, there aren’t a lot of battles for a man to fight. There aren’t a lot of opportunities to go one-on-one with another man. There aren’t a lot of tests of one’s courage and stamina. Do you know what I mean?” he says.
Naturally, things get out of hand - Jennifer walks out of the game and get lost. Later, she shows up at home after taking the bus. ALEX gets into trouble, then promises his parents that he’ll take better care of Jennifer from now on: “Yeah, we’ll keep her happy, we’ll make sure she gets out every now and then, we’ll feed her and keep her clean.” Finally, HE APOLOGIZES, baming his own self-centeredness and his lack of sensitivity. This is a more subtle episode than some of the earlier ones, but it is just as effective: money is the root of all evil and ALEX is the greedy Reaganite who loses the child.
This show format, repeated over and over again – ALEX HAS A CONSERVATIVE / GREEDY IDEA, ALEX SCREWS SOMETHING UP, ALEX APOLOGIZES – exposes just what Goldberg and the 1960s era creators thought of the Reagan generation. The show always ends with ALEX needing to be reaccepted into the family, after attempting to individuate, to be himself. THE LIBERAL ASSUMPTION IS THAT ALEX’S POLITICAL CHOICES ARE MERELY TEENAGE REBELLION AND THAT REUNIFICATION WILL INEVITABLY OCCUR ONCE ALEX COMES TO HIS SENSES. For that reunification to occur, however, ALEX must subordinate his principles - which aren’t true principles but greed manifest in a false facade of principles - to his need for communion with his family.
Goldberg makes that clear in the pilot episode. In that episode, ALEX wants to go out with a hot, blonde, rich cheerleader-type named Kimberly. She takes him to a “restricted” country club - it bans blacks, Hispanics, Jews and anyone who didn’t “come over on the Mayflower”, as Elyse puts it. Steven stands up against ALEX but ALEX goes anyway. Later, Steven shows up at the country club, humiliating ALEX. ALEX reams Steven when he gets home. “I was wrong to go over there like that,” says Steven, “but I hope you understand why I felt so strongly about your being at a restricted club.” “I do, Dad,” replies ALEX, “but I’m seventeen years old. When I see Kimberly Blanton in a strapless evening gown, I don’t look past her for the Bill of Rights.”
“I was seventeen myself once,” answers Steven. ”But I had principles. I had beliefs.” The pattern is set: ALEX, despite all his talk of principle, is unprincipled. His parents Steven and Elyse are the principled heroes of the piece. ALEX’S REBELLION IS SIMPLE FREUDIAN PSYCHODRAMA. ( By contrast, Meathead’s rebellion in “All In The Family” is principled opposition to Conservative bigotry. ) What Goldberg did not expect, of course, is that by allowing ALEX to mock liberal values, he was unwittingly undermining them.
Goldberg made no bones about the fact that he INFUSED POLITICS INTO THE SHOW - but he learned early on that he couldn’t simply do it in Norman Lear’s obvious fashion. “That’s a tension ( between messaging and entertainment ) we welcomed. What you can’t do is ‘a very special episode of ‘ where you do the show and there’s no jokes. The shows we did earlier in the season were the ones we buried, because I was completely wrong about what I thought the show was going to be: nuclear war, gun control, climate change, death. And so you had to put it in a different package. It had to come out in a different way.”
And FAMILY TIES did do it in a different way. There were episodes about nuclear war - one in particular in which ALEX learns to get along with a Russian kid at a chess tournament - and episodes about sex and episodes about The Evils Of Capitalism. But they were covered over in a brilliant display of hilarity. It’s no wonder that Ronald Reagan said that FAMILY TIES was his favorite show.
Like ”Cheers”, FAMILY TIES was a slow starter out of the gate but the network stuck with it. And like ”Cheers”, it eventually became a massive hit when it was placed behind ”The Cosby Show” in 1984, running for seven seasons.
Gary David Goldberg’s other big show came years later when he brought back Michael J. Fox for SPIN CITY. Goldberg wrote the show with partner Bill Lawrence ( who would go on to create ”Scrubs” ). That show cast Fox as the deputy mayor of New York, and was even more political than FAMILY TIES. Fox was still playing Alex Keaton, but this time Keaton was grown up and a Democrat. He was just as Machiavellian, just as manipulative, but this time, he was good-heartedly trying to ram through The Liberal Agenda.
I asked Goldberg why there didn’t seem to be any real debate about politics on television anymore - why everyone simply assumed that the far-left position was correct, and that the only real question was whether that position was practical. At least in ”All In The Family”, I said, the Conservative position was articulated, however badly, and then knocked down. Modern television doesn’t even bother articulating the Conservative position.
“If I was writing now, I wouldn’t be having those debates either,” Goldberg said. “Because I think it’s great we’ve moved beyond that.” That’s certainly arguable - we’re still debating Gay Marriage, the morality of which SPIN CITY took for granted. But if we’ve begun to move beyond such debates, it’s due in large part to the success of writers like Gary David Goldberg, who have made The Leftist Position so palatable to a broad swath of Americans simply by presenting likable characters who promote Liberal Politics as tautologies.
( “Family Ties, 1982 - 1989 : Reagan’s Children Of The Corn” pp. 124 - 129, “PRIMETIME PROPAGANDA - The True Hollywood Story Of How The Left Took Over Your TV” by Ben Shapiro, Broadside Books : 2011 )
ALEX P. KEATON - Finally Exposed!!!
The Winner : SCOTT BAIO as CHARLES-IN-CHARGE!
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How Charles In Charge and Patrick Bateman in American Psycho are The Cain and Abel of The Reagan Decade
1. SCOTT BAIO is Charles, an excellent scholar and a nice, caring big brother in CHARLES-IN-CHARGE.
CHRISTIAN BALE is Patrick Bateman, an executive serial killer and a knife-carving bloody butcher in AMERICAN PSYCHO.
2. Commander Walter Powell ( James Callahan ) keeps a vigilant eye on Charles who has to balance his double responsibilities as a college student and a male nanny for the Powell grandchildren.
Police Detective Donald Kimball ( Willem Dafoe ) keeps a vigilant eye on Patrick Bateman who has to balance his double life as a corporate stockbroker and a mass murderer of party-going urban citizens.
3. Jamie ( Nicole Eggert ) is the vain, materialistic and status-conscious high school cheerleading eldest granddaughter of the Powell family whom Charles must look after.
Evelyn ( Reese Witherspoon ) is the vain, materialistic and status-conscious high society patrician fiancee of Patrick Bateman whom he must provide for.
4. Sarah ( Josie Davis ) is the shy, empathetic and bright second granddaughter of the Powell family whom Charles helps through her awkward teenage years.
Jean ( Chloe Sevigny ) is the shy, empathetic and bright secretary of Patrick Bateman whom she helps in his various routine corporate duties.
5. Adam ( Alexander Polinsky ) is the naive and impressionable young grandson of the Powell family who looks up to Charles as an admirable role model deserving of emulation but still hides in the closet for the purpose of spying on his older sisters.
Louis ( Matt Ross ) is the naive and impressionable office associate of Patrick Bateman who looks up to him as an admirable role model deserving of emulation but still hides in the closet for the purpose of keeping his homosexuality a secret.
6. Ellen ( Sandra Kerns ) is the sensible mother of the Powell family who employs Charles as a substitute father and big brother to care for her young kids because her loving husband is stationed overseas as the naval commander of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. She gradually fades away when her character spends more and more time with her military spouse abroad.
Courtney ( Samantha Mathis ) is the secret mistress of Patrick Bateman who takes him as a substitute lover because her official fiancee Louis is obviously gay. She gradually fades away when her character spends more and more time becoming numbingly drunk and drugged out of her mind.
7. Anthony ( Justin Whalin ) is the cute and streetwise little cousin who intentionally annoys Charles a lot but then vanishes mysteriously after several episodes of the program’s fourth season.
Paul Allen ( Jared Leto ) is the charming, smooth and letter-perfect office co-worker who intentionally annoys Patrick Bateman a lot but then vanishes mysteriously after his enraged rival kills him with an axe in his apartment.
8. Gwendolyn ( Jennifer Runyon ) is the beautiful sexy coed who becomes the steady girlfriend of Charles during the program’s first season until they decide to break off their romantic engagement in the two-part episode ”Twice Upon A Time”.
Christie ( Cara Seymour ) is the unlucky street hooker who becomes the favorite prostitute of Patrick Bateman and lives to regret it especially when he goes after her with a chainsaw and divides her body into two parts.
9. Charles tries to uncover the hidden truth locked inside his own subconscious brain that provides the key answer for resolving the Powell family’s grave dilemna about saving their house in the episode ”Dutiful Dreamer” wherein he meets with the quirky imaginary characters of his nocturnal dream realm as Don Charlso, a jocular parody of Vito Corleone played by Marlon Brando in the venerated crime saga “The Godfather”.
Patrick Bateman tries to hide the ugly truth about his serial killer occupation by falsely excusing himself from answering more questions during Police Detective Kimball’s judicious interrogation so that he can attend a bogus meeting with a fictional gentleman named Cliff Huxtable, a sly reference to the lead character played by Bill Cosby in the vanguard 1980s family sitcom “The Cosby Show”.
10. Charles experiences a surprising turn-of-events when he and Buddy gladly return to the Pembroke home after their vacation junket, only to learn unexpectedly that a new and completely different family, the Powells, had already bought the house and quickly moved in without their prior knowledge during the start of the show’s second season.
Patrick Bateman experiences a shocking twist-of-events when he gradually returns to Paul Allen’s apartment suite after committing numerous violent murders there, only to discover unexpectedly that a mysterious female real estate agent is showing off the newly-painted empty residential unit to her clients where the multiple dead bodies are completely gone without a trace, leaving the possibility that he may have just dreamt it all in the film’s quizzical ending.
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by Ellen Robena Field
One cold morning, Maurice awoke from his dreams, sat up in bed and listened. He thought he heard a knock at his window; but though the moon was shining brightly, Jack Frost had been so busily at work that Maurice could not see through the thickly painted panes. So he crept sleepily out of bed, opened the window and whispered, “Who is there?”
“I am,” replied a tinkling voice. “I am the little New Year, ho! ho! And I’ve promised to bring a blessing to everyone. But I am such a little fellow. I need somebody to help me distribute them. Won’t you please come out and help?”
“Oh, it’s so cold!” said Maurice. “I’d rather go back to my warm bed.” And he shivered as Jack Frost, who was passing, tickled him under the chin with one of the frosty paint brushes.
“Never mind the cold,” urged the New Year. “Please help me.”
So Maurice hurried into his clothes and was soon out in the yard. There he found a rosy-cheeked boy a little smaller than himself, pulling a large cart which seemed to be loaded with good things. On one side of this cart was painted the word “LOVE” and on the other “KINDNESS”.
As soon as the New Year saw Maurice, he said, “Now please take hold and help me pull.” Down the driveway and up the hill they traveled until they came to an old shanty.
“Here is where I make my first call,” said the New Year. Maurice looked wonderingly at him. “Why, nobody lives here but an old man who works for us. And he hasn’t any children.”
“He needs my help,” said the New Year. “For grown people like to be thought of just as much as children do. You shovel out a path to his door while I unload some of my blessings.”
And the little hands went busily at work, piling up warm clothing, wood and a new year’s dinner, the New Year singing as he worked: “Oh, I am the little New Year; ho! ho! Here I come tripping it over the snow. Shaking my bells with a merry din. So open your door and let me in!”
Old Joe, hearing some noise outside, came to the door. And when he saw all the nice gifts, tears ran down his cheeks for gladness. And as he carried them into the house, he whispered, “The dear Lord has been here tonight.”
“Where are we going now?” asked Maurice as they ran down the hill.
“To take some flowers to a poor sick girl,” answered the New Year.
Soon they came to a small white house where the New Year stopped. “Why, Bessie our sewing girl lives here,” said Maurice. “I did not know she was sick.”
“See,” said the New Year, “this window is open a little. Let us throw this bunch of pinks into the room. They will please her when she wakes and will make her happy for several days.”
Then they hurried to other places, leaving some more blessings behind them.
“What a wonderful cart you have,” said Maurice. “Though you have taken so much out, it never seems to get empty.”
“You are right, Maurice. There is never any end to love and kindness. As long as I find people to love and be kind to, my cart is full of blessings for them. And it will never grow empty until I can no longer find people to help. If you will go with me every day and help me scatter my blessings, you will see how happy you will be all the year long.”
“A happy New Year!” called someone. And Maurice found himself in bed with his sister standing in the doorway smiling at him.
“Have you had a pleasant dream, dear?” she asked.
“Why, where is the little New Year?” said Maurice. “He was just here with me.”
“Come into Mamma’s room and see what he has brought you,” answered his sister.
There in the snowy white cradle he found a tiny baby brother, the gift of the New Year.
How happy Maurice was then! But he did not forget his dream. Old Joe and Bessie had their gifts, too. And Maurice tried so hard to be helpful that he made all his friends glad because the happy New Year had come.
( Buttercup Gold and Other Stories, Bangor : C. H. Glass, 1894 )
ALWAYS KEEP WATCHING SCOTT BAIO IN HIS NEW HIT NICK-AT-NITE FAMILY SITCOM ON NICKELODEON !