Fridays (TV Series 1980–1982) Poster


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Decent Way To Start The Weekend
jwrowe312 July 2003
Okay, I'll be really honest. I DID NOT see the infamous Andy Kaufman episode. I have heard so much about it, it has become a part of my memory.If I did, I don't remember it, at all. I tried to watch this show, but when it was on, I was usually out on a date, or doing something else.

I DO remember some of the great skits, such as Michael Richards going from Ronald Reagan to Richard Nixon, in a bit called "Altered Statesman", a play on the hit movie of the time "Altered States". I recall the group "Devo" being on, and the great ongoing bit about drugs, "Do we eat it, No-no no-no! Do we smoke it, ya-ya ya-ya!!!"

It WAS edgier than Saturday Night Live ever was, as it had to compete with the concept that SNL was king. But, if you remember, SNL went into a decline with the 80-81 cast, and critics were sure that "Friday's" would live a long life. I think that the show suffered from being shuffled around with it's start times. I don't know if local ABC affiliates would push the show back to show local programs, or the network just kept moving it. I remember seeing it in late '81, starting well after midnight, central time.

A perfect candidate for DVD/VHS release, or being shown on TVLand, or Comedy Central.
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A great early 80's Friday evening show!
vhm_14u2c15 July 2001
This show was always great! I wish it could be brought back as repeats! There are a few skits that come to mind. Mark Blankfield playing a Pharmacist with unusual events happening to him, and his famous line "I can handle it". Or, Michael Richards playing the little boy burning little green plastic army men out on the lawn turned into a dirt pit, making a loud ruckus, and his Mom (played by Maryedith Burrell) having her moments with him. Or, Bruce Mahler dressing up a dancing chicken and playing the piano. Or, Darrow Igus playing the Jamican Man showing what he can do with fish and other items. And Melanie Chartoff, the cutest comedian ever! And the show also had great musical guests, Boomtown rats, J Giels Band, John Cougar, Plasmatics, B52s, ACDC, and many others. A great show. If you have been lucky enough to experience the show, I hope the above comments brought back some great memories. :-)

A devoted Fridays fan
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Despite reputation as a second-rate rate ripoff of Saturday Night Live, it usually was much better.
johnedit-229 December 1999
Created in early 1980s by ABC as an imitation of "Saturday Night Live," it was more extreme, crazier and funnier than "SNL." Besides Andy Kauffman, it featured Larry David and Michael Richards (both later of "Seinfeld").

Richard's violent, war-mongering and ultimately self-destructive boy in the sandbox was a brilliant creation. It broke the rules of physical comedy, going far beyond the predictable smart-alek jokes of "SNL." Richards was the genius of the show, not Kauffman, who by then was sadly running out of ideas.

By the way, the Kauffman episode of "Fridays" depicted in the movie "Man in the Moon" was not a spontaneous outburst. It was planned ahead of time, according to B.K. Momchilov, who runs the Andy Kauffman Home Page.

The Comedy Channel should play "Fridays" re-runs to offset "SNL's" stale re-runs.
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Fridays - Died Under Dubious Circumstances
badbenski20 November 2006
Friday's wasn't always brilliantly written but, unlike SNL, it was consistently funny.

Friday's was what SNL used to be, high energy, edgy and hip. SNL had become tedious and chances are that if you thought the same about Friday's you were just too young to understand the comedic references. SNL had become a media institution at that point (like Rolling Stone, which used to be considered part of The Underground Press) and if you had a media product to peddle it was simply a base that had to be touched by the star or written into the sketches.

Friday's didn't care about any of that; From the announcer's screaming greeting "Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive, from the Los Angeles basin!" to music by that day's hippest bands, Friday's showcased some of the most outrageous comedy to be found on TV. Most folks remember Darrow Igus's Rasta Gourmet - a one trick pony to be sure but a crowd pleaser every time - "Do we bake it?" "No no no no!" "Do we fry it?" "No no no no!" 'til finally "We SMOKE it!" "ya ya ya ya" exclaimed Igus' gourmet, whose only spice was Ganja.

Michael Richard's Battle Boy got sicker and sicker as he developed the character, finally taking his little Sister hostage, burying her in the ground and threatening to torture her Barbie. Most folks remember how he liked to set his Army men on fire, complete with simulated screams of agony.

I also liked Richard's hip biker record reviewer, wherein he sailed rejected albums (I usually agreed with him) into the crowd like so many Frisbees.

Mark Blankfield's DRUGS R US stoned out pharmacist made me exhausted watching it. He sailed back and forth on that ladder, popping the inventory and getting more crazed by the minute. Funniest bit was when two midgets walked into his store and he screamed MY GOD, I'VE GROWN!!! Bruce Mahler was brilliant in anything he touched, even his stupid dancing chickens was irresistible. He and Blankfiled excelled above the others in a skit called "Men mmmm Who mmmm Say mmmm 'MMMM' between mmmm Every mmmm Word." When they got going fast it was simply insane.

Another brilliant team bit that they repeated several times was The Transfibians, where three of them had "the operation" changing them into ManFishes. Their school-like movements were hysterical.

Chartoff, the show's cutie-pie, was also a brilliant performer. I don't recall any signature pieces of her's, beyond the News bit. I know she always held up her end of the log in skits - quite a feat among such an insane bunch. I do recall her doing a very edgy piece about a relative who was a molester (she played a little girl). SNL had a similar skit but Friday's took it farther.

I don't recall Larry David at all, I guess he didn't impress me. Rich Hall was there as well as on SNL.

Friday's was truncated right in the midst of it's comedic development. It was a long way from becoming stale like SNL and performers like Michael Richards had to finish the development of their characterizations elsewhere. In Richard's case his nervous tic ridden character begun on Friday's ended up giving birth to Seinfeld's Cramer.

When Friday's was canceled I was just leaving "The Biz," where I worked as an Accountant. Many insiders were mystified at the cancellation of a clearly superior show. Did somebody get a big wig's nose out of joint? Was Friday's deep-sixed for some manner of major faux pas ala Aresenio Hall? Surely the rise of Howdy Doody's big brother Ted Koppel and the creation of Nighline wasn't enough to bump a screamingly funny show like Fridays, was it? We probably will never know. I've seen Friday's reruns on some of the more obscure cable channels but I hope to see it on DVD one day, they'd fly off the shelves.

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Basically a California version of SNL
eskovan122 January 2004
"Fridays", which ran for two seasons on ABC, was a live sketch comedy show with a celebrity guest host & famous guest band. It aired at 11:30ET on, duh, Friday nights. So yes, it was ABC's version of Saturday Night Live. But more importantly, it was done from Los Angeles, so it was a West Coast version of SNL. And it showed.

Too many of the sketches were simple, 'one-joke' bits. The Rhasta-man for example, consisted of nothing more than the audience waiting for the jamaican guy to finally say, "ganja!" so they could hoot & holler (picture Married with Children's or Arsenio's audience). The same thing would happen during the Weekend Update-style newscast. Melanie Chartoff, who was the show's sex kitten, served as news anchor and the audience would howl at her thru most of the bit. Mark Blankfield's "I can handle it" pill-popping pharmacist was also little more than that, him acting whacked-out on speed and trying to deal with customers.

The show did have some bright spots:

Michael Richards 'Battle Boy' for instance. He was this psychotic kid who did terrible things to his army men (set them on fire & scream horribly). Plus he had a white trash mother who would just yell at him all the time. Richards also did a great 'Record Critic Guy' where he basically trashed everything (and early 80s music deserved some serious trashing!)

John Roarke was a very good impressionist, though his characters were too sterile and robotic. He had great technique but little flair for personal nuance.

Bruce Mahler not only did the memorable & weird 'dancing chickens' bit but also several good news skits opposite Chartoff such as having removed his brain and holding it in his hands still connected to his spine via a cable. And a simply yet funny bit with the two of them inhaling helium.

Also Rich Hall started out on this show (great trivia question: Who's the only person to be a regular cast member of both Fridays & SNL? Him!)

And I did indeed see the Kaufman show. And it was disappointing to find out the next day that the whole fight thing had been fake.

I also saw one of the last shows on March 5th, 1982 (John Belushi had died earlier that day).

Howard E. Rollins from the "In the Heat of the Night" TV series hosted and did a very funny bit about an insane morgue attendant who made the corpses act out little sketches with him.

And William Shatner, some 5 years before his infamous 'Get a life' bit on SNL, showed his gift for wacky comedy for the first time hosting Fridays.

Overall it was a funny show. Not groundbreaking in the least, and a complete ripoff of SNL, but still funny and worthy of more than just two seasons (I don't remember hearing about its cancellation, it just wasn't on anymore).
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JohnMcClane8814 May 2004
If you was a teenager like myself in the early 80s this was the best show on TV in 1980-82 This was right before MTV hit and it touched on subjects that SNL would not touch. It was truly all about Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll. Remember Mark Blankfield as the Druggist? "Just Take a Pill!!" or Darrow Igus as the Jamaica Ganja man? And then add Michael Richard's and Larry David plus Melanie Chartoff (Who was always Hot!) Not to mention Great Rock & Roll every week!

SNL has always in my opinion depended way too much on political humor and really dumb skits, a lot of people I know find it pretty boring. SNL has not been funny since 1985 and I have always believe that the return of Lorne Michaels in 1986 has made the show worse.

"Fridays" was the best and I know if and when it becomes available on DVD I will be the first to buy it.
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Great Show-Glad To Find Others
julswhippet17 May 2005
Fridays was a great show! Everything that everyone wrote is the absolute truth. I would also love to see re-runs on Comedy Central! I found this web site by trying to find Fridays on video because no one at work has ever heard of the show. How sad for them that they never got to experience this great show on a Friday night. My favorite was Michael Richards acting as the deranged boy picking on his sisters dolls while blowing up his soldiers. It reminded me so much of my brother and how he picked on us girls, lol. Of course the pharmacist pulling and twisting his hair and saying, "I can handle it" keeps popping in front of my mind. I really wish someone would show re-runs or at least put the episodes on video/DVD for purchase!
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would have beaten SNL
james_bader10 February 2007
Fridays was my favorite late night show. They were a different type of humor than SNL, and given the time would have beaten them in the ratings. This show was similar, but more cutting edge than Boys In The Hall, from the same era.

One of my favorite recurring skits was Richards in drag going up an escalator talking gossip to the camera. Because he is more focused on talking to the camera than getting to the top people become impatient. He would always end with "Oh, shut up!".

The pharmacist with Mark Blankfield was also very funny. He would "accidentally" take medications with the signature lines "I can handle it" and "Take a pill".

I too wish they were for sale somewhere online.
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Needs to be released on DVD but doesn't seem likely...
L_Miller4 February 2007
Note to those under 30 - this show dates from a time when most TV stations still went off the air at midnight/1 AM and most adults went to bed after the 10/11 o' clock news. It was hip and edgy in those days largely because no one was watching, so they could get away with more, and most of us were pretty young and this had never been done before so we thought it was pretty cool. If you ever saw it, you would yawn and go back to your YouTube NC-17 stuff, so move along please.

I remember watching it as well, but also I remember it not being so much about sex but about drugs. Lots of drug humor but also some very creative skits, it (and SCTV, and Almost Live) get contrasted with SNL because SNL always lives in that attenuated narrowcast of comedy where they're imitating something or other. These shows couldn't do that because SNL got there first, so they took chances in other directions.

Sounds like Michael Richards and Larry David don't want this released to DVD - too bad. I'd think it might be like The Velvet Underground - not that many people would see it but most people who did would start making their own shows.

Eh, well, maybe Michael will be looking for cash after the N-bomb incident and Larry will feel sorry for him, and maybe it will come out. And then, it will never be as special as our collective memories have made it, so maybe it should stay in the can.
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ABC's show "Fridays" was the best in television comedy
glk611 January 2005
Friday's was one of the best shows I have ever watched. It was well written and superbly performed. I would love to see the show re-runs so they could be enjoyed by a whole new generation of people. The character development was superior to anything on television today. I was trying to tell my 21-year old about this show but words can't describe the superior comedic performances that appeared week after week. I still don't understand how lesser-quality comedy shows survived while this one didn't. The pharmacist and the angry little kid (played by Michael Richards) was side-splitting comedy at its best. I still chuckle when I think of some of those crazy skits. Any ideas out there on how to revive the shows for syndication?
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Friday's was a great show.
xray-201 October 2006
I remember a few skits about Friday's and it was a show extremely funny and creative. I remember the Jamaican guy who smoked anything and everything. The fish guys that kept going UUUGGGLLLLOOOO, UUUGGGLLLLOOOO. Although, I only remember parts of it, there was a skit in which they kept scaring each other for a while, I think it was great, hilarious. As a matter of fact, at that particular time, I dare to say, it was funnier and more creative than Saturday Night Live. It should'nt went off the air. Besides Richard's who later went on to gain fame on Seinfeld, I wonder what happened to the other cast members, who were also great. If there is any DVD's available of this comedic gem or if they have showed the reruns, I would appreciate if someone let me know.
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A very underrated show.
Ken Rocker14 January 2000
Friday's was ridiculed as a poor man's Saturday Night Live and I think that's an unfair assessment. The show had a wealth of talent with a brilliant Mark Blankfield, a very funny Melanie Chartoff and our first look at Michael "Cosmo Kramer" Richards. It displayed inventive, cutting edge comedy and simply awesome musical guests (among which was a must-be-seen-to-be-believed performance by British punkers The Clash and the shock theatrics of The Plasmatics). Unfortunately, Fridays never quite caught on with the masses and died a rather premature death. I'm sure everyone has heard about the brawl involving Andy Kaufman on one episode. Even though it was staged, the hype surrounding it was just as funny and a great stunt. Along with SNL and SCTV Network 90, Fridays gave America in the early 1980s a reason to stay home on weekends. Those of us who remember late night TV back then should consider ourselves very lucky to have had a show to watch of this calibre. I was very disappointed when it was canceled. I think there would be no Kids In The Hall or Mr. Show without the late night comedy TV shows of the late 70s/early 80s. Fridays is certainly on that list.
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It had music
deedwar13 January 2004
I loved Fridays. That's why I had to comment on what I read about it here. Despite what the plot outline says, it had musical performances every week. I remember seeing The Cars perform one time and at the end of the show, Michael Richards stood next to Ric Ocasek (dressed just like him) and he looked like his twin!

It was also John Roarke that did the perfect Reagan impersonation. In fact, Roarke's impersonations in general were just awesome.

I'd really like to see all the episodes go to DVD. Michael Richard's performances alone merit that. Add to that Blankfield's Pharmacist, Chartoff's news and really all of the performer's characters and you have a very enjoyable show.
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Hippiedreams7 February 2006
There was a skit with Michael Richards playing in a sand box wearing a G.I.Joe outfit. He was playing with a G.I.Joe doll and a Godzilla figurine. His sister and her friend had Barbie dolls. They are called in for lunch and leave. Richards attacks the Barbies with Godzilla and a Bic lighter. Without a doubt the funniest skit I've ever seen. Its been 26 years and I remember it like it was yesterday. If that doesn't deserve to be put out on DVD then what does? Please do not under rate "Fridays" it was brilliant. If it were available on DVD I'd buy it in a heart beat.I hope Michael Richards and Larry David can get past their egos and give their consent to have these episodes released.
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Oh my God! Khomeini Killed Fridays!
TomRMD26 July 2001
Fridays was a wonderful late-night comedy show which filled the void left by SNL after the original cast and crew left. Each show had the potential to be outrageous, side-splitting, and memorable. Michael Richards' Reagan is the most dead-on satire during his presidency.

Remember how every show opened with a musical sketch? Remember Nat E. Dred? Remember Richard's "cool guy". This show deserves to resurface in full and uncut.

The only thing to kill this piece of 80's culture was another icon from the 80s: The Iranian Crisis. Koppel's nightly updates evolved into Nightline, which expanded into five nights a week. *sigh*
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Great show
denis.fournier14 April 2000
I watched every episode from the week it started to the week it ended.They did things SNL would never do and if you liked KRAMER on seinfeld you would have loved him on FRIDAYS.The musical guests were also much better than the ones on SNL.
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Michael Richards playing the man who imagined himself a great lover
bbbot21 November 2006
I agree Fridays was a great show. Funny to see everyone remembering Michael Richards' blowing GI Joes up skits, because I don't remember them at all. I DO remember fantastic work he did in skits where he played the guy who imagined he was a great romeo/lover, and would go through these incredible facial expressions and dialogue to himself of self-reverence and braggadocio, ultimately ending up never succeeding, and/or never even trying for a "score" with the chicks he was expecting to score with.

Amazing theater of unjustified vanity-filled posturing to himself, all delivered with rapid fire vibrating facial nuances. One of the great characters I have seen.
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Bring out the DVD!
thefensk24 May 2005
Given the time-frame of the show, I have a hard time remembering all the bits, but I do remember enjoying it and remember especially that Michael Richards was a standout in the show. One skit that I do remember, that no one else mentioned, was The Transphibians...a group of people who thought they were part fish. They would shuffle into the pet store, zig-zagging across the floor in unison and then splash the top of the water until the store owner made them leave.

Was it a great show? In its time it was good and late night on Fridays, if you were stuck at home doing nothing, it was a great interlude. In the early 1980s there was not the variety of TV, even on cable, that there is today.

Yes, bring out the DVD!
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Decent show
Eric-865 June 1999
I've watched numerous episodes,it was ok,very 80's. Remember when Pac-Man first came out? Fridays will take you back. Many consider it as the bridesmaid to Saturday Night Live.

Andy Kaufman was the shows most outrageous guest.He broke character live and got in a brawl with the other castmembers. His next appearance he was unshaven and crying for his behavior the previous week.His next appearance he was a converted Christian gospel singer preaching the good word.
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Regarding Fridays on DVD
rs-803 November 2006
When I was 14, My mother was in the news because she was reunited with her oldest son that she gave up for adoption. It made its way to world News and ended up on the TV show "Fridays" News with Chardoff as the anchor woman. I contacted ABC to see if I could get a copy of this one show. "Archives" department told me there is no set date to release Fridays on DVD. Thats really to bad. they would make a ton of money. I think ABC should consider releasing Fridays on DVD. I think I read somewhere that the shows producers had a really small budget and used some cruddy cameras. The video may have degraded to the point where it wouldn't be usable today. But I don't know if there is any truth to that or not. I still think they should at least try and save what video they have and digitalized it and maybe remaster it so its broadcast quality and save it for future generations to come.
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Fridays was A Great Show
hotmikeoo718 August 2001
I watched every was hilarious!!! It would have been a huge success but got lost in the Saturday Night Live limelight. Does anyone know if re-runs or vhs are available for this great tv show???
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comments on the 1982 Fridays
martysscott30 November 2008
yes it is good to know that others like myself share the same comments as to the late T>V> comedy Fridays, and I always wonder why they never made a CD and marketed it to sell and if it ever does will someone send me an E-mail. My reason to comment on the topic Fridays was because mark Blankfield made a comedy movie in which he played the role of the Druggiest it is a very funny movie called Jeckell and Hyde Together again. and thanks to this web I found it so those who have never seen it check it out. Fridays was very funny to me well it goes with the part of my past and you had to be there,SNL was very funny also there comedy and actors did for their show as the producers aired and Mad TV also great and funny what laughter would last if all sows werethe same TOMATOES POTATOS you know what I am saying.
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Serious war sketch with Mark Hamill ?
mountainattitude9 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I am trying to find out if my memory is correct. I remember a bit on FRIDAYS (?) with Mark Hamill as a soldier that included a large scale replica of a Vietnam era helicopter in it. It had overtones of the coming attempts of the Reagan administration to interfere in Central America(?) It ended with the sounds of the helicopter and Mark Hamill looking up in fear. Anyone else remember this ? I have just stumbled across Fridays again. I have dim but good memories of it. Battle Boy, Gimme Ganja, etc. I hope someone can help flesh out this memory. This was an uneven show with too many drug references that nonetheless took some great chances, unlike Saturday Night Live!, in the early days of the Reagan administration which to most young people then was a scary thing indeed and needed to be laughed at with equal bite to its own edge.
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It's not SNL, but it will due
mozartzbitch10 March 2005
Ever since seeing "Man On The Moon" in theaters when I was sixteen, I have been eager to see an episode of the show "Fridays."

By chance, the episode I saw was Andy Kauffman's infamous visit. It's weird to watch since I know it was in fact staged, and knew that before watching it. IT was still appealing though.

Interestingly, this show tells me the story of one hell of rough back-fire. You see, when ABC originally produced "Fridays" in 1980, they thought this show was the answer to "Saturday Night Live." Now first of all. But worst yet, two of the stars on it were Michael Richards and Larry David. Both stars who would go on to work together on "Seinfeld." This show was how they originally met. So in attempt to compete with NBC, ABC attempted a similar format and not only failed at competing, but they contributed what would lead to the making of Seinfeld; another NBC hit.

Having Watched Fridays, here is my observastion on it. It's funny at times. It's not an ingenious piece of writing and was pretty much what I was expecting. It is actually more like SNL than I was expecting though. The format is almost identical. The special guest star leads off the show to make a few cracks, and then the first skit is underway shortly after. Halfway through the show, a band performs. A few more skits take place before the band comes back. Also in the middle, there is a weekend update. It's called the Friday edition. Like the SNL weekend update, it has a smart allecky commentator who makes a bunch of scripted quirks with some shots for gags too. It's fairly obvious that the writers are of this show are all left-wing, and that at least a couple of the writers are Jewish. The highlight skit I saw was the Social Majority Show. The song was absolutely hilarious. The reverend was mildly comical at moments, but the show as a whole was lacking something. I guess it's just too much of an SNL wanna-be, and not original enough for my taste.
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A nice, edgy show
Bevan - #420 January 2008
I was a fan back in the day (alright, I lusted after Melanie Chartoff) and preferred it to SNL. By that point, the SNL dynasty seemed past its prime and more self-congratulatory than funny, while Fridays had the edge they lacked.

One of the bits I appreciated were the occasional unscripted videos they put on, well ahead of their time -- I still remember a bizarre clip from South America of automotive soccer, where a bunch of demolition derby-worthy vehicles batted about a soccer ball that was twenty feet across.

I'm not sure how well a DVD release would hold up -- it's doubtful many would buy it, and I wonder how dated the show might be now. Even so, it'd be nice to revisit.

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