Glad You Asked Dept. 1/27/14
Today’s question is about THE FALL GUY, an ABC action series (I think the network referred to it as drama, but…c’mon!) starring Lee Majors, Doug Barr, Heather Thomas, and Markie Post. Another actress played Markie’s part the first season, but I didn’t like her very much so why even mention her name?
I enjoyed my time producing the show – I must have, I served two separate stints there, executive producing the short-lived AUTOMAN in between. After years of writing “serious” drama like POLICE STORY, MEDICAL STORY, MEDICAL CENTER, and the like, THE FALL GUY was a terrific change of pace, filled with mindless action and humor.
Lee’s character, Colt Seavers, was a stunt man who moonlighted as a bounty hunter, and he never – I mean never – rang a doorbell or knocked when he went to anyone’s house. Instead, he and his trusty sidekick, Doug Barr’s Howie Munson, would rappel up to the most out-of-the-way top story balcony or window they could find. Because…stuntmen, you know?
Markie Post was the bail bondswoman who gave Colt his assignments. As for Heather Thomas’s Jody Banks, we never knew what the hell she was there for but Heather was so beautiful everyone on the show was very glad she was on the set everyday.
THE FALL GUY lasted 5 seasons. I was there for 3 of them. I’d like to be able to say that I’ve stayed in touch with the stars and fill you in on what they’re doing now, but the only cast member I’m friends with is Janet Curtis, who wasn’t a regular but a Frequent Guest Star. No, I can’t give the name of her character; she never played the same person twice. But if you’re a Janet Curtis fan, rest assured that she does more writing now than acting and is by her own admission “happy as a clam.”
Now about that question, from John S:
Hi Mr. Brody,
I am an artist who grew up watching the Fall Guy. I’m curious, was Colt’s cabin a real cabin or a set on a movie lot? The mountainous topography leads me to believe it was a real cabin in the woods, and not a backlot in Burbank.
It reminds me of a place a professor friend from UCLA has up in Topanga, complete with the clawfoot tub looking down the mountain! Very cool.
Sorry for the oddball question, but I’m having a bout of insomnia, and I have always been curious to know.
And here’s my amazingly well-informed answer:
Dear John S,
As a matter of fact, Colt’s cabin was a real cabin. In fact, it was a cabin in the hills of Topanga Canyon (why do we call it Topanga Canyon if it’s hilly, John S? Anybody?) with a clawfoot tub looking down at the terrain below.
At the time we shot the show, the cabin belonged to singer-songwriter David Somerville. I remember David as a great guy, and when it came to music he was The Real Deal – a member of the seminal ’50s rock group The Diamonds, a later group called The Four Preps, and the tall half of the folk duo, Belland and Somerville.
Glen Larson, the creator-Executive Producer of THE FALL GUY, had also been a member of The Four Preps, and he and David co-wrote a number of TV series theme songs together, including the theme for THE FALL GUY. For awhile, the in-hip-and-trendy party place in “Hollywood” was David’s house, and, as Glen told it, he spent many an hour in the clawfoot tub doing, um, well, whatever it was he was doing. Glen had always wanted to include that in a series, and the style of THE FALL GUY lent itself perfectly to that environment.
If you ever see your professor again, ask him if he’d like to sell his place. I definitely could be interested. And if you get the chance, take a listen to David Somerville’s classic Diamonds recording, Little Darlin’. It’s been one of my favorites for over 50 years.
That’s it, gang. I love addressing these issues, but I can’t answer if you don’t ask. So send your questions and make everyone’s day!