The Eighties Club
The Politics and Pop Culture of the 1980s
Featured Series (K)
 Kate & Allie
(CBS, 1984-1989)
Kate McArdle
Susan St. James
Allie Lowell
Jane Curtin
Emma McArdle
Ari Meyers (1984-1988)
Chip Lowell
Frederick Koehler
Jennie Lowell
Allison Smith
Charles Lowell
Gregory Salata (1984-85, 1987-88)
Bob Barsky
Sam Freed (1987-1989)
Lou Carello
Peter Onorati (1988-1989)

Kate and Allie, friends since high school, find they have a lot in common -- they both have children and they're both divorced. To save money, they share an apartment in New York's Greenwich Village. Friends they might be, but Kate and Allie have quite different lifestyles; Kate is glamorous, contemporary, worldly, somewhat flighty while Allie is old-fashioned, plain, proper and serious. The series revolves around the problems they have adjusting to life together, to raising their three children (Kate has one and Allie has two), and living in the big city. Oh, and finding true love. In the latter category, Kate gets engaged to plumber Ted Bartolo, an unlikely match -- the engagement is broken -- while late in the series Allie gets married to sportscaster Bob Barsky.  Allie gets a bachelor's degree and Kate tires of being a travel agent, so in 1987 they start their own catering business. Meanwhile, their older daughters, Emma and Jennie, enroll in Columbia University. In the final season, Allie and Bob move into a highrise apartment, but the girls are soon back together again; Bob commutes to his new job in Washington, DC, so Kate moves in with Allie. The only problem with that arrangement is the superintendent, Lou, who persists in pursuing a completely disinterested Kate. The sitcom lasted five full seasons -- not counting the first six episodes that aired in the Spring of 1984. A total of 122 episodes were filmed.
Born Susan Jane Miller on 14 August 1946 in Los Angeles, CA, Susan St. James attended the Connecticut College for Women, after which she started working as a model.  Before long she had a contract with Universal Studios and immediately landed a recurring role in the NBC drama The Name of the Game (1968-1971) costarring Gene Berry, Robert Stack and Tony Franciosa. She won an Emmy for her role as Peggy Maxwell, a magazine researcher. She also appeared occasionally as jewel thief Chuck Brown in Robert Wagner's series It Takes A Thief. And in 1971 she starred with Rock Hudson in the long-running crime drama McMillan and Wife (1971-77).Following her stint as Kate in Kate and Allie, she abandoned her long and successful entertainment career to pursue other interests. In addition to her TV work, she has starred in numerous made-for-Tv and feature films, the latter including Outlaw Blues (1977) and Love at First Bite (1979). She is the aunt of actress Christa Miller.
Jane Therese Curtin was born 6 September 1947 in Cambridge, MA. She studied drama at Northeastern University before joining an improvisational theater group that toured nationally. She made her television debut in 1975 as a member of the Not-Ready-For-Primetime Players on Saturday Night Live. She remained with SNL for five years, during which time she earned a pair of Emmy nominations. After her success with Kate and Allie, she returned to TV with the short-lived sitcom Working It Out (1990) and starred in the film Coneheads (1993) before signing on as part of the cast of the hit sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun in 1996. She has also provided voices for the animated features Hercules and Antz.
Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico on 6 April 1969, Ari Meyer became a child model at age 5 and made her screen debut at 12 in Al Pacino's Author! Author!  In 1991 she graduated from Yale University with honors and a double major in philosophy and theater arts. Allison Smith was born in New York and made her professional debut on Broadway in Evita before starring for three years as Annie. Since Kate and Allie she has appeared in numerous theater productions, has a recurring role in the TV series The West Wing (as Mallory), and as an accomplished singer has performed at Radio City Music Hall and Carnegie Hall. Frederick Koehler was born in Jackson Heights, NY on 16 June 1975; he graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with a degree in theater arts. Apart from his work in Kate and Allie, Koehler had a recurring role for one season in the daytime soap opera All My Children and has appeared in such films as Mr. Mom (1983), The Pick-up Artist (1987) and A Kiss Before Dying (1991).

Series Highlights
A Weekend to Remember (5.7.84): With Kate on a ski trip with her ex-husband and the kids away from home Allie finds herself all alone, and at loose ends. John Heard guest stars.
Landlady (10.15.84): Kate and Allie's landlady, a lesbian, assumes that they are having a relationship, and they debate whether to pretend that she's right. A landmark episode dealing with homosexuality.
Pirates (11.26.84): Jennie and Emma compete for the same choice role in a school production of Pirates of Penzance and their friendship is severely tested.
Charles Marries Claire (1.14.85): Allie begins to think about reconciliaton when her ex-husband starts showing her a lot of attention after breaking up with his girlfriend.
Author, Author (3.4.85): Kate and Allie both think they are the inspiration for their old college professor's published romantic novel.
General Hospital (10.13.86): Kate's birthday party is postponed when she ends up in the hospital, and Allie checks herself in to keep her friend company.
Reruns (3.2.87): Falling asleep in front of the TV, Allie dreams that she and Kate are in old episodes of Mary Tyler Moore and I Love Lucy.
Allie on Strike (4.6.87): Feeling that she's being taken for granted, Allie goes on strike -- and then starts worrying when it seems everyone can get along quite well without her.
Brother, Can You Spare A Dime? (10.19.87): A commentary on homelessness and poverty as Allie leaves her purse in a cab and finds herself stranded in Manhattan without a nickel to her name.
Hired Wife (11.17.87): A businessman pretending to be married to get a promotion talks Kate into masquerading as his wife at a company party -- where Kate falls for another man.
The Namath of the Game (2.3.88): Sports fan Kate is ecstatic when she lands a job as Joe Namath's personal assistant. Joe Namath guest stars.
Wedding Belle Blues (12.11.88): Bride-to-be Allie is extremely nervous about meeting her fiance's parents.
Moving On (1.23.89): Turning 40, Kate reflects on what she's done with her life, and decides to join the Peace Corps.
Trojan War (3.20.89): Allie finds a condom in Chip's pocket.
My Boyfriend's Back (5.15.89): Allie's old boyfriend, in town for an off-Broadway play, becomes infatuated with Kate.

 Knight Rider
(NBC, 1982-1986)

Michael Knight
David Hasselhoff
Devon Miles
Edward Mulhare
Bonnie Barstow
Patricia McPherson (1982-83, '84-86)
April Curtis
Rebecca Holden (1983-84)
Reginald Cornelius III (RC3)
Peter Parros (1985-86)
Voice of K.I.T.T.
William Daniels

"Brandon Tartikoff, youthful head of programming at NBC, once gave California magazine this version of the creation of Knight Rider: It seems he and one of his assistants were discussing the problems of casting handsome leading men in series, because of them can't act. Why not have a series, they mused, called "The Man of Six Words", which would begin with the guy getting out of a woman's bed and saying "Thank you." Then he would chase down some villains and say "Freeze!" Finally, the grateful almost-victims would thank him, and he would murmur, "You're welcome." End of show. In between, the car could do the talking." -- Tim Brooks & Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows.
This popular NBC series turned out to be somewhat different than the scenario proposed by Tartikoff & Co. For one thing, the lead, Michael Knight, was played by David Hasselhoff, a very talented actor who managed to upstage K.I.T.T. (the talking car) -- not an easy thing to do. In fact, long after the novelty of such a talented vehicle had worn off, Hasselhoff's star power continued to draw so many viewers that, in its first season, Knight Rider gave the CBS blockbuster Dallas a run for its money, and, beginning with its second season, led off NBC's Friday night primetime schedule. In fact, Hasselhoff was a favorite with female viewers, and the series became a hit with kids, as well. Born in Baltimore (7.17.52),  Hasselhoff knew at the age of seven that he wanted to be a performer. He starred for six years as Snapper Foster on the CBS soap The Young and the Restless before signing on with Knight Rider. His performance as Michael Knight won him a People's Choice Award for most popular actor. When the series ended, he launched a successful career as a recording artist -- his song "Looking For Freedom" was a chart-topper in Germany for eight weeks in 1989. He then starred at Mitch Buchannon in the hugely successful series Baywatch, seen in over 140 countries, with one billion viewers a week. (He was also the show's executive producer.)
In the pilot episode of Knight Rider, an undercover police officer named Michael Knight is shot in the face. A dying millionaire provides him with plastic surgery, a new identity and a new mission -- to fight crime as Michael Knight, aided by a supercar, the Knight Industries Two Thousand, or K.I.T.T.. which could reach a speed of 300 mph, soar 50 feet in the air, and was outfitted with such devices as smoke bombs, infrared sensors and even a flamethrower.  The car could also talk, and even had a personality of its own. (K.I.T.T. was, in fact, a customized Pontiac Trans Am). The millionaire, Wilton Knight (played by Richard Basehart), left behind a well-financed Foundation for Law and Government, run by a suave Englishman named Devon (Edward Mulhare). Bonnie Barstow and, for one season, April Curtis, were curvaceous mechanics who kept K.I.T.T. in tip-top shape. RC3 (short for Reginald Cornelius III), was a streetwise black mechanic who joined the team in the fourth season.
The show was so successful that it spawned Team Knight Rider, which ran for 22 episodes in syndication in 1997-98. Each episode was launched with this voice-over: "Ten years ago all it took was one man and one car. Now, the Foundation for Law and Government has assembled five highly skilled operatives and paired them wit hthe most advanced state-of-the-art vehicles to take on a new breed of outlaw...." The vehicles included an SUV, a Ford F-150 ATV, two motorcycles and a Ford Mustang. One of the five team members, Jenny Andrews (played by Christine Steel), was Michael Long's daughter. There was also a 1991 made-for-TV "reunion" movie, Knight Rider 2000.

Series Highlights
Knight of the Phoenix (2-hr. pilot; 9.26.82): Gunned down in the line of duty, police officer Michael Long is given a new identity and a new, and very special, car, the Knight Industries 2000 (K.I.T.T.); he seeks revenge against the industrial spy responsible for his shooting.
Good Day at White Rock (10.8.82) Michael's vacation is violently interrupted when rival biker gangs use the town of White Rock as a battlefield.
No Big Thing (11.12.82): Arrested for committing a traffic violation by corrupt cops, Devon breaks out of jail, and Michael teams up with a reporter whose husband has disappeared in order to find him before the cops do.
Trust Doesn't Rust (11.19.82): When a couple of thieves accidentally activate K.A.R.R. (Knight Automated Roving Robot), Michael and K.I.T.T. are given the task of tracking down the renegade car.
A Plush Ride (12.10.82): Michael joins a survivalist group to find an assassin whose targets are Third World leaders.
Short Notice (5.6.83): When Michael is falsely accused of murder, the only witness turns out to be a woman on the run from her criminal ex-husband.
Goliath (2-hr. 2nd season premiere, 10.2.83): Wilton Knight's estranged son Garthe steals the formula for K.I.T.T.'s molecular bonded shell and applies it to an eighteen wheeler he christens Goliath, which he intends to use to help mercenaries steal a batch of nuclear weapons. (David Hasselhoff pulled double duty, playing both Michael and Garthe.)
Brother's Keeper (10.9.83): Michael and K.I.T.T. must stage a jailbreak and avoid a police dragnet because the only man who can find a bomb hidden in the city is in police custody.
Merchants of Death (10.16.83): The disappearance of one of Devon's old flames leads Michael and K.I.T.T. to a corrupt official intent on selling a deadly attack helicopter on the black market.
Knightmares (12.11.83): A case of amnesia has Michael remembering his prior identity as a police officer and with K.I.T.T.'s help sets out to solve the case he was on when he was shot.
Goliath Returns (2 hrs., 2.19.84): Garthe Knight escapes from prison and uses a new, invulnerable Goliath to kidnap Devon and April, forcing a showdown with Michael and K.I.T.T.
Knight of the Drones (2 hr. 3rd season premiere, 9.30.84): Tangling with mastercriminal Margo Sheridan, Michael and K.I.T.T. are confronted by radio-controlled robots and a Chinatown crimelord's kung-fu bodyguards.
Knight of the Chameleon (12.30.84): A master of disguise escapes from jail with two goals -- to commit one last robbery, and to kill Michael, the man who put him behind bars.
Junk Yard Dog (2.3.85): K.I.T.T. is destroyed in a raid on a toxic waste dump, and the Foundation tries to assemble the original team to rebuild it.
Knight of the Juggernaut (2 hr. 4th season premiere, 9.20.85): An international terrorist uses a vehicle called the Juggernaut to destroy K.I.T.T. and steal a new isotope, and Michael calls on some friends to build a new and improved K.I.T.T. so that he can retrieve the isotope.
The Scent of Roses (1.3.86): Michael quits the Foundation and makes plans to marry -- plans that are complicated by the fact that there's a contract out on his life.
Hills of Fire (2.14.86): Trying to clear a teenage boy accused of committing arson in a national park, Michael and K.I.T.T. track down the real culprit, who drives a modified ATV.

An Interview with K.I.T.T.
(from Universal's 1982 Knight Rider press kit)
Since NBC-TV's popular Knight Rider series premiered in September, a number of questions have been posed about the fabulous car....
To get serious have to turn to K.I.T.T. (Knight Industries Two Thousand), a talking computer which controls the snazzy Pontiac Trans-Am.
What makes you so special? What can you do on the highway?
I can jump, charge, eject my driver, Michael Knight (series star David Hasselhoff), through the use of his jump seat. I can drive the most difficult terrain at whatever speed I choose. However, I do not advocate exceeding the speed limit except for the most demanding situation. I cannot have an accident, so speeding it a bit different for me than for you. I have retro-rockets, which can boost me over roadblocks, and I have a grappling hook which comes in handy in sticky situations. I have a powerhouse which defies description.
Describe your interior. It looks like the inside of a spaceship.
It is quite remarkable. It contains scores of digital read-outs on every aspect of my physical state. And much more. For example, my displays can monitor situations totally outside my dimensions. Once, when Michael had been injured, I could detect and display his falling vital signs.
There are two monitors on your dash. What are they for?
Many things. I am equipped with a surveillance scanner on my nose. I can detect activity, interiors of structures -- with my x-ray capabilities -- persons in the area, etc. I can literally warn Michael of any danger.
Just what is your purpose?
To protect Michael Knight, and to aid in his pursuit of justice....
It sounds like you have a good rapport with Michael.
He is quite an impatient young man, and does have a tendency to push my systems to their maximum capabilities. I am programmed to obey, although I can voice my objections, and can, under the most extreme circumstances, override Michael's decisions in order to protect him.
Are you really indestructible?
I'm the most expensive car in the world because my exterior finish is bonded in the molecular structure of a new substance. I wouldn't want to take a direct hit of a powerful explosive to find out just how well I could endure it, however.
Is life, or whatever it is you experience, any fun. Are you programmed to work all the time?
Michael and I have a very special relationship. Of course, I amuse Michael, and he, with his compulsiveness often forces me into funny situations. Once, Michael parked me in an illegal zone, and I had a good time staying one jump ahead of the towtruck.
Your voice sounds familiar.
I've been told many times that it has a great resemblance to that wonderful actor William Daniels, who's on NBC's St. Elsewhere. If I had human emotions, I would be quite flattered.