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Bosom Buddies


Bosom Buddies

Format: Comedy

Created by: Chris Thompson

Starring: Tom Hanks, Peter Scolari, Wendie Jo Sperber, Donna Dixon, Holland Taylor Country of origin: United States No. of seasons: 2 No. of episodes: 37 Production

Running time 24-25 Minutes


Original run: November 27, 1980-June 24, 1982(ABC) July 7, 1984 (NBC)-September 15, 1984 (NBC)

Bosom Buddies is an American sitcom starring Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari created by Robert L. Boyett, Thomas L. Miller and Chris Thompson. It ran from 1980 to 1982 on ABC and in reruns in the summer of 1984 on NBC.

The series was originally conceived by Miller and Boyett as both a takeoff on the movie Some Like It Hot and a male counterpart to their hit farce show Laverne and Shirley. After the cast had been chosen, Miller and Boyett asked Chris Thompson, one of the writer-producers of Laverne and Shirley, to write the pilot and be the series showrunner. Thompson (who would go on to executive-produce such shows as The Larry Sanders Show), said later that he took the job purely for the money, but unexpectedly found it to be "my completely favorite experience in show business," because the network left him and his young cast free to experiment. "We were left alone," he recalled. "Nobody was paying attention to us. We were all really young, but it was like we had daddy's Porsche. We had $500,000 to play with every week." The show became known for its quirky humor and its frequent use of improvisation, especially between stars Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari. Though the show started out with good ratings, it failed to hold the public's interest and was canceled after two seasons.


Bosom Buddies


After their own apartment is demolished, two men disguise themselves as women in order to live in the women-only Susan B. Anthony Hotel because of the dirt cheap rent. Kip Wilson (Tom Hanks) is originally skeptical of the plan, but after meeting knock-out resident model/dancer/nurse Sonny Lumet (Donna Dixon), he ends up convincing aspiring writer Henry Desmond (Peter Scolari) that the experience will make a great book. Their co-worker, Amy Cassidy, (Wendie Jo Sperber) is the only resident in on the plan because she's attracted to Henry. In the first season, Kip, Henry, and Amy work for Ruth Dunbar (Holland Taylor) at the advertising firm of Livingston, Gentry & Mishkin, where Kip is a graphic artist, Henry is a copy writer, and Amy is the receptionist. Ruth often takes credit for the boys' work when reporting to her (unseen) boss, Mr. Rubinowitz.

The boys' deception includes outwitting the hotel manager, Lily Sinclair (Lucille Benson), and fellow resident, Isabelle Hammond (Telma Hopkins), an aspiring singer.

In the second season, Kip, Henry and Amy leave Livingston, Gentry & Mishkin to start their own advertising firm, Sixty Seconds Street, with Ruth serving as a not-quite silent partner.

In the first episode of the second season, the male characters' ruse of living in drag is revealed, although they are allowed to continue living at the women-only hotel anyway. Sonny forgives Kip for the deception, and as the new hotel manager replacing Lily, Isabelle agrees to go along with the ruse rather than admit it to the other residents.

Bosom Buddies


Tom Hanks - Kip Wilson/Buffy (when in drag)

Peter Scolari - Henry Desmond/Hildegarde "Hildy" (when in drag)

Wendie Jo Sperber- Amy Cassidy, co-worker and friend who knows their secret

Holland Taylor - Ruth Dunbar, their boss

Donna Dixon - Sonny Lumet, Kip's love interest and hotel resident

Telma Hopkins - Isabelle Hammond, hotel resident (hotel manager in the second season)

Lucille Benson - Lilly Sinclair, hotel manager (first season only)

Bosom Buddies

Episode Guide

Season 1


My Brother, My Sister, Myself

Loathe They Neighbor

Macho Man

What Price Glory?

Kip and Sonny's Date

Beauty and the Beasts


Amy's Career

Gotta Dance

Sonny Boy

How Great Thou Art

Kip Quits

Only the Lonely

The Re-Write

The Show Must Go On

The Hospital

Best Friends



Bosom Buddies

Season 2

The Truths and Other Lies

There's No Business ..."

The Reunion

One For You, One For Me

Road to Monte Carlo

Water Balloon Gate

All You Need is Love

Other Than That, She's a Wonderful Person

The Slightly Illustrated Man

Two Percent Solution


The Grandfather

Hildy's Dirt Nap

Kip Off the Old Block

The Way Kip and Henry Were

Who's On Thirst?

Not With My Sister, You Pig

Not the Last Picture Show

Bosom Buddies


The theme song for the opening credits was "My Life" by Billy Joel, although Joel's version was not used on the air. Some reruns shown in syndication(such as when USA Network aired reruns) and all home video and DVD releases use a vocal version of the show's end credits instrumental theme, performed by Stephanie Mills, used for the front Credits, with "My Life" removed altogether.


Note: The ABC-TV versions of the opening were indeed My Life and not the cast singing the song. However, the original pilot episode, it sounded as though someone else was singing the theme instead of Billy Joel, because the end was slightly different from the original piece that Joel sang. But later episodes were Joel. Other syndicated versions use the replacement singer on "My Life".

Although the series was produced on videotape, the pilot episode was shot on film.

Notice the palm trees in the opening credit as Kip and Henry were walking in the park. Very odd for New York! Kip and Henry were named after two popular bars in Berkeley, California.

Click here for a great Bosom Buddies video clip.

Bosom Buddies

Trivia continued

Edie Adams plays the hotel manager in the pilot, and when Kip and Henry name each other's alter egos, they say Buffy and Hildy are sisters. Lucille Benson is introduced as the new hotel manager in the series, and she is told that Kip and Henry are Buffy and Hildy's brothers, respectively. Buffy and Hildy are allegedly from Saskatchewan, but Kip and Henry somehow attended high school in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

Edie Adams in the pilot episode stated that the girls were "Nice Girls...probably virgins!" This was edited out of the syndication episodes. The DVD version did not edit out that phrase.

Peter Scolari appeared in the Tom Hanks directed feature film That Thing You Do! as an Ed Sullivan-style announcer. He also appeared as astronaut Pete Conrad in an episode of the Tom Hanks produced HBO series From the Earth to the Moon and co-starred with Hanks in The Polar Express.

Bosom Buddies was taped on Stage 25 at Paramount Pictures. Stage 25 was also the home of The Lucy Show, Cheers, and Frasier. Bosom Buddies reruns also aired briefly on NBC in the summer of 1984. Ratings were respectable and talks to bring the show back were mentioned; but by that time, Peter Scolari was on Newhart and Tom Hanks was just starting his film career.

Bosom Buddies

DVD Releases

CBS Home Entertainment has released both seasons of Bosom Buddies on Region 1 DVD for the very first time. The original theme song My Life by Billy Joel was replaced with the more generic Shake Me Loose, a song penned by show creator Chris Thompson, which was used during the show's syndication run. Many of the musical numbers featured during the show's run are edited or eliminated altogether from the DVD releases. Notable in this vein are the songs "Yakkity Yak" (from the episode "Call Me Irresponsible") and "Rock and Roll Heaven" (from "Hildy's Dirt Nap").

DVD Name Ep # Release Date

The First Season 19 March 13, 2007

The Second Season 18 September 4, 2007


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