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Series / Johnny Bago

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Johnny Bago was a short-lived TV series airing on CBS in the summer of 1993, created by Robert Zemeckis and Jeffrey Price & Peter S. Seaman (Zemeckis also executive produced the series and directed the pilot) and starring Peter Dobson.

Small time hood Johnny Tenuti has just been released from prison after a five year sentence for a crime he claims not to have committed. His cousin, a mid-level Mafioso, asks Johnny to cover for him on a date which is on the same day as his wedding anniversary. Johnny does so, only to find himself framed for murdering the Mafia don's son.

So Johnny goes on the lam. He hooks up with an old man named Hick in a Winnebago RV. After Hick dies, Johnny repurposes Hick's RV and hides out in the RV community, travelling the highways and byways of America using the alias "Johnny Bago."

Provides examples of:

  • AB Negative: Johnny's blood type. See Littlest Cancer Patient below.
  • Blackmail: The MO of a ringmaster of a circus Johnny briefly joins. The ringmaster has info on everybody in the circus, making them work for him for free or else he'll turn them in. He also feeds them garbage leftovers from the previous days' crowds.
  • The Don: The father of the man Johnny didn't kill.
  • Elvis Lives: In a trailer park, natch.
  • Every Episode Ending: Johnny's letters home to his mother, giving her updates about his travels. The Mafia intercepts her mail and makes copies, so they also know what he's been up to.
  • Expository Theme Song: from Jimmy Buffett of all people.
  • Fish out of Water: City boy Johnny is unprepared for life on the road and in the rural areas he's travelling through.
  • Girl of the Week: From a doctor to an environmentalist to a circus fat lady, every girl tends to fall for Johnny eventually.
  • Gold Fever: Johnny discovers a gold mine near Mt. Rushmore, but has to let someone else reap the rewards because he's on the run.
  • Got Me Doing It: While at the circus, Johnny picks up the foreign ringmaster's Verbal Tic.
  • Inspector Javert: His ex-wife, who is also his parole officer, and who is trying to bring him in for murder.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Johnny happens upon the alias "Bago" after seeing that on the RV's dashboard.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: Johnny's rare AB- blood type is needed for a bone marrow transplant on a young girl.
  • The Mafia: They want to kill Johnny for killing the Don's son...that is, if his ex-wife doesn't get him first.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: See series description.
  • Poverty Food: In one episode Johnny is forced to join a traveling circus. The ringmaster is a blackmailer who is forcing all the workers to work for him for free, and feeds them leftovers from the previous day's crowd all mixed together. It's served in scoops of brown blech.
  • Psycho Ex-Wife
  • Shoot the Television: When Johnny goes over to complain about the noise from the TV, Elvis shoots it. Johnny decides not to say anything about the barking dog.
  • Voiceover Letter: Johnny's letters home.
  • Walking the Earth: Well, riding in a Winnebago RV, but it's the same principle.

Johnny Bago's gonna have his day/A little further down the lost highway...