Fernwood 2 Night
|Fernwood 2 Night|
|Created by||Norman Lear|
Frank De Vol
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of episodes||65|
|Running time||approx. 0:30 (per episode)|
|Original channel||first-run syndication|
|Original run||July 4, 1977 – September 30, 1977|
Fernwood 2 Night (or Fernwood Tonight) was a comedic television program that ran from July 1977 to September 1977. It was created by Norman Lear and produced by Alan Thicke as a spin-off/summer replacement from Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. It was a parody talk show, hosted by Barth Gimble (Martin Mull) and sidekick/announcer Jerry Hubbard (Fred Willard), complete with a stage band, Happy Kyne and His Mirthmakers (featuring Frank De Vol as the ironically dour "Happy" Kyne, and Tommy Tedesco as one of the guitarists). Barth was the twin brother of Garth Gimble from Mary Hartman.
Like Mary Hartman, Fernwood 2 Night was set in the fictional town of Fernwood, Ohio. The show satirized real talk shows as well as the sort of fare one might expect from locally-produced, small-town, midwestern American television programming. Well-known actors usually appeared playing characters or a contrivance had to be written for the celebrity to appear as themselves. (In one episode, Tom Waits' tour bus happened to break down in Fernwood.)
After one season of Fernwood, the producers revamped the show the following year as America 2-Night. In this second version, Barth and Jerry's show moved to California (actually, they claimed to be broadcasting from "Alta Coma, the unfinished furniture capital of the world!") and was broadcast nationally on the fictional UBS network (presumably a reference to the film Network), whose slogan was "We put U before the BS". This change allowed the show to now have well-known actors on the show as themselves.
In 2001, Mull and Willard reprised their roles in a stage appearance and retrospective at the US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado. The pair also appeared together in the final seasons of Roseanne as a gay couple.
Reruns aired on Nick at Nite from 1990 to 1993, on TV Land in 1996, and again on TV Land sporadically between 2001 and 2003, as part of the TV Land "Kitschen", a weekend block of campy programming hosted by Mull and Willard that aired at midnight.
- Mayor Merle Jeeter (Dabney Coleman)
- William W.D. 'Bud' Prize (Kenneth Mars)
- Tony Rolletti (Bill Kirchenbauer)
- Virgil Simms (Jim Varney)
- Garth Gimble Sr. (Robert Williams)
- Debbie Dunbar (Kathy McCullen)
- Lillian Dunbar (Bobbie Tremain)
- Susan Cloud (Susan Elliott)
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