Morton & Hayes

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Morton & Hayes
The McGuff Inn where the couple were caught.
Genre Comedy, Mockumentary
Created by Phil Mishkin
Rob Reiner
Directed by Christopher Guest
Michael McKean
Presented by Rob Reiner
Starring Kevin Pollack
Bob Amaral
Country of origin  United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 6
Production
Running time 30 min.
Production company(s) Castle Rock Entertainment
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Original run July 24, 1991 – August 28, 1991

Morton & Hayes was a short-lived comedy television series, shown Wednesday nights at 8:30 on CBS. Only six episodes were shown, from July 24 to August 28, 1991.

This series was centered around the "rediscovered" work of a fictitious comedy duo.

Format[edit]

Each 30-minute episode was presented in the style of a documentary, in which host Rob Reiner introduced another long-lost comedy film short starring Chick Morton (Kevin Pollak) and Eddie Hayes (Bob Amaral). The films on the show were supposed to have been produced by (fictional) producer Max King in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Each black-and-white Morton & Hayes short was played, not as a parody of old-time comedy, but a tribute to it. The films were made to look the way they would have if they'd been authentic, and the comedy was in the style of Abbott and Costello, with lean Morton in the "Abbott" role and plump Hayes as his "Costello."

After each film, Reiner would introduce and interview one or more of the actors from the picture (made-up to look decades older, of course). At the end of the last episode, the "now-elderly" Morton and Hayes were reunited on the show, after years of estrangement.

Guests[edit]

The show used a "rep company" approach to casting, often using the same actors in different roles from episode to episode. Seen frequently in various roles were Christopher Guest (3 episodes), Raye Birk (2 episodes), Hamilton Camp (2 episodes), and Allison Janney (2 episodes). Making one-time appearances were Courteney Cox, Joe Flaherty, Penelope Ann Miller and Michael McKean.

Episodes[edit]

No. Title Directed by: Written by: Airdate
1 "Daffy Dicks" Christopher Guest Phil Mishkin July 24, 1991 (1991-07-24)
Private eyes Morton & Hayes are hired by a rich woman Amelia Von Astor (Catherine O'Hara) who suspects her husband Dr. Von Astor (Christopher Guest) is having an affair.
Introduction: Rob Reiner introduces the viewer to Morton and Hayes, and mentions the recent discovery and restoration of the team's long-lost films.
Closing:' Reiner talks Morton and Hayes' worldwide popularity, including some of the memorabilia distributed during their heyday. He also mentions some of the team's other film titles, such as "Pardon My Puss", "The Case of the Cranky Corpse", "Mr. and Mrs. Murderer", "Dial 'N' For Nincompoops", and the all-star film "Morton and Hayes Meet Sherlock Holmes at Charlie Chan's House".
2 "The Bride of Mummula" Christopher Guest Michael McKean,
Christopher Guest
July 31, 1991 (1991-07-31)
The lads are stranded in a Bavarian village when they are invited by Hunchback Steve (Hamilton Camp) to stay at the nearby castle belonging to Dr. Mummenschvantz (Michael McKean). Once inside they meet the lovely Jody (Penelope Ann Miller).
Introduction: Rob Reiner discusses Max King's creation of the movie monster "Mummla" ("part mummy and mostly Dracula").
Closing: Reiner talks about Edgar Lang, Jr., the actor that portrayed "Dr. Mummenschvantz". Lang was typecast as "Mummla" for most of his film career. In the 1970's, it is explained, he left acting to devote his life to writing cookbooks.
3 "Society Saps" Christopher Guest Dick Blassuci,
Christopher Guest
August 7, 1991 (1991-08-07)
Waiters Eddie and Chick are mistaken for society guests at a gala party and win the affection of the rich, homely hostesses.
Introduction: Reiner explains that audiences living in the Depression often flocked to the movies for films depicting the upper class.
Closing: Reiner interviews a much older Augie Gibbons, the bandleader that appeared in "Society Saps". Gibbons talks about his career as a baseball player, and why he quit show business. Augie then unsuccessfully attempts to dance "The Cold Potato".
4 "Oafs Overboard" Christopher Guest Max Pross,
Tom Gammill
August 14, 1991 (1991-08-14)
Forced to walk the plank, stowaways Chick and Eddie wind up as human sacrifices on a mysterious island.
Introduction: Reiner discusses how "Oafs Overboard" borrows from stories such as "Beauty and the Beast" and "Remembrance of Things Past".
Closing: Reiner talks about Dorothy Dixon (the actress who portrayed Lucy Laka Haka Maka Waka in "Oafs Overboard"). Dixon was involved in a Hollywood scandal with Chick Morton, which damaged her career.
5 "The Vase Shop" Christopher Guest Joe Flaherty August 21, 1991 (1991-08-21)
The lads are inexplicably left in charge of an antique vase shop.
Introduction: Reiner explains that Morton and Hayes would often reuse Vaudeville skits (such as the "Doughnut Bit") in their films.
Closing: Reiner reunites Chick and Eddie, who have not seen each other in over twenty years. They discuss Chick's "adventurous" life, and the team's Vaudeville career.
6 "Home Buddies" Michael McKean Max Pross,
Tom Gammill
August 28, 1991 (1991-08-28)
While their overbearing wives visit their mothers, Chick and Eddie win millions in a radio contest.
Introduction: Reiner talks about Madge Swane and Babe Carol, two Shakespearean trained actresses that usually portrayed the wives of Morton and Hayes in their films.
Closing: Reiner continues his interview with Chick and Eddie. Chick talks about his friend and fellow comedian Red O'Brien, and the many wise investments Eddie made over the years. They discuss their last film (the box office bomb "Sheeps"), and a short-lived second Morton and Hayes (Chick Morton and Helen Hayes).

See also[edit]

External links[edit]