and Peter Scolari as "Buffy" and "Hildy."
Our friend Amy said there was a great apartment in her building... Kip:
Dirt cheap! But it's a hotel for women. Okay, we made one adjustment
Now these other ladies know us as Buffy and Hildegarde. Kip:
But they also know us as Kip and Henry, Buffy and Hildy's brothers. I am crazy about the blonde. Henry:
This experience is gonna make a great book. Kip:
See? It's all perfectly normal!
— Opening Narration
starring Tom Hanks
and Peter Scolari
that ran on ABC
from 1980 to 1982.
The series premise has struggling NYC ad men Kip and Henry
trying to move into the Susan B. Anthony Hotel due to its dirt-cheap rent. But since it's a women-only hotel, they disguise themselves as "Buffy and Hildegarde," supposedly Kip and Henry's sisters.
As the show went on, this Disguised in Drag
premise moved increasingly into the background. In the second season, the entire recurring cast knows Kip and Henry's secret (though they continue to live in the hotel and pose as women for the other residents.) There was also a shift to focus more on the Work Com
aspects of Kip and Henry in the advertising business, and in general on Hanks and Scolari's chemistry as a (conventionally-dressed) comedic duo.
Hanks and Scolari were the only male members of the regular cast, which included Wendie Jo Sperber as friend and Secret Keeper
Amy, Donna Dixon as Kip's love interest Sonny, Telma Hopkins as hotel manager Isabelle, and Holland Taylor as Ruth, Kip and Henry's overbearing boss.
This series contains examples of:
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Used occasionally, but less frequently than you might think.
- The Cast Show Off: Isabelle the most often to demonstrate Telma Hopkins's singing voice.
- During the telethon episode, Hanks and Scolari demonstrated their juggling talents.
- Dating Service Disaster A "video dating" service provided an example in one episode.
- Different for Girls: A frequent source of comedy, especially in earlier episodes.
- Disguised in Drag: Series premise.
- Most Writers Are Writers: Henry is writing a book about his crossdressing experiences.
- New Job Episode: A few examples:
- "Kip Quits": Kip quits his advertising job and winds up selling hot dogs
- "The Show Must Go On": Kip and Henry take jobs as busboys as part of a scheme to get Isabelle a singing gig at a night club.
- "The Hospital": Kip and Henry, in their female identities, work at a hospital as candy stripers.
- Put on a Bus: Lilly (the hotel manager in Season 1).
- Real Song Theme Tune: Billy Joel's "My Life", albeit a re-recorded version with a different vocalist.
- For the show's syndication package and all home video releases, "My Life" is replaced with Stephanie Mills' "Shake Me Loose" (an instrumental version of which is also used for the closing theme).
- Re Tool: In the second season, apart from playing down the Disguised in Drag element, Kip and Henry left their jobs at the advertising agency and opened their own agency (with Ruth as their partner).
- Secret Keeper: Amy, in the first season. Later, all of the main characters.
- Shout-Out: In the pilot after Henry names Kip's alter ego "Buffy", Kip mumbles something about Jodie and Mr French.
- Snowed-In: In one episode, Kip and Henry find themselves trapped in a mountain cabin during a blizzard, with no food save half a container of non-dairy creamer.
- The Fun in Funeral: "Hildy's Dirt Nap" features a put-on funeral that includes a reenactment of her death ("she took a comet to the neck") through Hand Puppets.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Kip and Henry.