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Trivia / Punky Brewster

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  • Celebrity Paradox: Andy Gibb guest starred twice. First as himself, then as Punky's music teacher.
  • Channel Hop: From NBC to first-run syndication in the final two seasons, similar to the track of Silver Spoons, which David W. Duclon co-developed and executive produced before coming up with Punky Brewster.
  • Contest Winner Story Pitch: The CPR episode ("Cherie Lifesaver").
  • The Danza: Cherie Johnson as... Cherie Johnson. This came about as Cherie's uncle, David W. Duclon, who created the show and served as executive producer, was going to name a character on the show after his niece, while the real Cherie thought she was actually going to be on the show. After she understood what happened, she tried out for the role anyway... and won it.
    • And there's Eddie Deezen as Eddie Malvin.note 
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  • Fan Nickname: Soleil Moon Frye's high school years were painful for her because of the one given to her by jealous classmates: Chunky Boobster.
  • I Am Not Spock: Anytime someone mentions Soleil Moon Frye, she's always referred to as "Punky Brewster". Probably either because they can't pronounce her real name or because "Punky Brewster" is much easier to remember. It just flows off the tongue.
    • If you were wondering, her first name is pronounced "soul-eh". It's French for 'sun.' People have gotten a bit more comfortable with it since Cirque du Soleil has become more famous.
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  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Shout! Factory released all of the live action episodes with the Animated version as extras, except one segment which they just plain skipped over supposed music rights. That episode, "The Shoe Must Go On," contained the theme from Beverly Hills Cop. Several Ruby-Spears series seem to have music cues that require new payments. Given that the fans have most of the episodes many still feel disappointed it is still one short over one song. Some would have perhaps preferred a small edit to having one episode completely gone.
    • ', and they were unable to secure the rights to reuse it for home video.
  • Name's the Same: "The Perils of Punky" was the title of both an episode of the live action series and the cartoon.
  • Real-Life Relative: Both Soleil Moon Frye's real life half-brother, Meeno Peluce, and George Gaynes' real life wife, Allyn Ann McLerie, made guest appearances. In addition, as mentioned above, Cherie Johnson's uncle, David W. Duclon, was the program's creator and executive producer.
  • Reality Subtext:
    • The episode concerning the Challenger explosion was based on Soleil Moon Frye's own reaction to the explosion.
    • Also the episode where she had to buy a bra. Soleil Fry suffered from gigantomastia which she eventually had surgery for.
  • The Other Darrin: The Brazilian dub has one when it re-broadcasted on Rede Bandeirantes, but the rebroadcast didn't last as long as the old dub did which it aired on SBT.
  • Screwed by the Network: Worked around after a while. Much like what would later plague FOX shows King of the Hill and Malcolm in the Middle, the time slot for the show was impacted by overruns of NFL coverage. Anticipating this, NBC commissioned a handful of 15-minute episodes as insurance by way of a handful of episodes involving separate segments that were later shown as full 30-minute episodes in reruns.
    • At least one non-O&O local NBC station (WPTZ, Plattsburgh, NY) regularly ran a local news show that preempted it.
      • WXIA, the NBC affiliate in Atlanta, GA, ran it regularly, but no station in the area ran the syndicated seasons. In late 1986 when NBC moved the cartoon to 11:30 AM, WXIA bumped it on the last Saturday of each month for a local kids' informational program.
      • Zig-zagged: During NBC's first set of replays of season 2 of the cartoon, episodes were trimmed to accommodate bumpers featuring the casts of some of NBC's family-friendly primetime sitcoms.
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  • Suppressed Mammaries: Soleil Moon Frye discussed this in an interview on a Canadian talk show for teens only a couple of months after the show was cancelled. She suffered from gigantomastia and had breast reduction surgery before her 16th birthday.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Melissa Joan Hart originally auditioned to play Punky. Amusingly, Soleil Moon Frye would later join the cast of Hart's sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch. In addition, Beth Broderick, who co-starred in the latter show as Sabrina's Aunt Zelda, briefly worked with George Gaynes on Hearts Afire.
    • Fred Gwynne was originally considered to play Henry, but he backed out of the audition when a casting agent referred to him as Herman Munster, his role on The Munsters. Interestingly, Gwynne would die just a few years after Punky Brewster was cancelled, while George Gaynes lived decades more.
    • Originally, T.K. Carter was supposed to star in a spinoff show, Fenster Hall, named after the orphanage Punky was trying to avoid before meeting Henry. The premise would have been that Mike was working for Fenster as the chief boys' counselor after staying there at age seven due to being orphaned since birth and being shuffled around various foster homes. The other regulars would have been Mike's charges: tough street kid T.C. Finestra (Billy Lombardo), aspiring heavyweight boxer Lester "Sugar" Thompson (Martin Davis), huge, hulking Conan (B.J. Barie), sweet little Dash (Benji Gregory), and nerdy intellectual Lyle (Gabriel Damon); as well as Mike's boss, orphanage administrator Rita J. Sanchez (Rosana DeSoto). However, NBC passed on the spinoff and Carter was instead made a regular.
    • In a 2016 Mental Floss interview pertaining to the series, Cherie Johnson noted that "Wedding Bells for Brandon" was not intended as the series finale, ending up becoming that due to the 1988 Writer's Strike; with staff writer Cheryl Alu adding that when the episode had been produced, it had not yet been determined whether Punky would be renewed or not.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Punky Brewster Wiki, and another Punky Brewster Wiki.


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