The Fall Guy
|The Fall Guy|
The Fall Guy opening title
|Created by||Glen A. Larson|
Jo Ann Pflug (1981–1982)
Markie Post (1982–1985)
Nedra Volz (1985–1986)
|Theme music composer||Gail Jensen
Glen A. Larson
|Opening theme||"Unknown Stuntman"
performed by Lee Majors
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||113 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Glen A. Larson|
|Running time||45–48 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Glen A. Larson Productions
20th Century Fox Television
|Original run||November 4, 1981– May 2, 1986|
The Fall Guy is an American action/adventure television program produced for ABC and originally broadcast from November 4, 1981 to May 2, 1986. It stars Lee Majors, Douglas Barr, and Heather Thomas. Majors and Barr are the only two actors to appear in all 112 episodes of the series. Thomas appeared in every episode of the show except for one in the first season.
Lee Majors plays Colt Seavers, a Hollywood stunt man who moonlights as a bounty hunter. He uses his physical skills and knowledge of stunt effects (especially stunts involving cars or his large GMC pickup truck) to capture fugitives and criminals. He is accompanied by his cousin and stuntman-in-training Howie Munson (Barr), whom Colt frequently calls "Kid", and occasionally by fellow stunt performer Jody Banks (Thomas).
Typically, an episode begins with a voice-over introduction from Majors (as Seavers) explaining the precarious life of a Hollywood stuntman, and how he, Colt, is unable to make a full-time living from stunt work and must moonlight as a bounty hunter. This is intercut with actual Hollywood stock footage, from various eras, of dangerous movie stunts, such as an exploding plane plunging straight into the ground, or a motorcycle jumping through a flaming hoop. After the voice-over introduction, the crew is seen performing a stunt for a film or TV series when Seavers is then assigned to finding, for example, a man who has skipped bail. His case turns out to be more complicated than it first seemed. In the course of dealing with the villains, Seavers performs a stunt similar to the one shown at the beginning of the show. Colt's voice-over narration was dropped from the second season onward.
The series is known for its frequent cameos by Hollywood celebrities and the occasional in-joke referring to Majors' previous starring role in the series The Six Million Dollar Man (the pilot featured a cameo appearance by his ex-wife Farrah Fawcett).
Colt's truck was a Rounded-Line 1982 GMC K-2500 Wideside with the Sierra Grande equipment level package. A Rounded-Line 1980 GMC K-25 Wideside with the High Sierra equipment level package was also used. It had a 4-inch lift (Burbank Suspension seven leaf front and nine leaf rear) and 36x16.5x15 inch Dick Cepek Fun Country off-road tires mounted on a 15x10-inch chrome wagon style wheel. The truck also had a custom-made chrome roll bar mounted with 4 off-road lights, and a custom chrome grille guard mounted with 2 off-road lights and a Warn winch. One unusual characteristic was a secret compartment in the truck's bed, which was used to stash away villains or to hide weapons.
The vehicle was painted brown and tan two-tone; it had an eagle painted on the hood with the phrase "Fall Guy Stuntman Association" underneath. The truck was very often involved in high-speed chases and huge jumps. As a result, it became very popular, especially with children, and numerous toy and model versions were produced.
During the show's run, the stunts took their toll on the trucks (for example, one clip that appears in the opening credits clearly shows an axle breaking after a jump), so several different years, make (Chevy/GMC) and model trucks are used during the show's initial run. As a result, there are some inconsistencies in the episodes. For instance, in the pilot episode the truck (a 1980 model) has two square headlights and a light tan interior. For the remainder of the series, it almost always had the quad headlight configuration of the 1981-1987 models, with a dark brown interior. The truck usually appeared to be a long bed model, but sometimes a short bed model was used. The truck was powered by a stock 350 V8 and Turbo 350 automatic transmission. After destroying several trucks due to the huge jumps, a custom built jump truck was built as a solution. It had a reinforced frame and heavy duty axle trusses, dual shocks all around, suspension limiting straps, lift blocks, and a steel weight box in the bed (which was loaded with up to 800 lbs of lead for a jump) and a mid-mounted engine that actually sat in the middle of the cab. This greatly reduced the number of trucks scrapped during the show's production.
- Colt Seavers – Lee Majors
- Howie Munson – Douglas Barr
- Jody Banks – Heather Thomas
- Samantha "Big Jack" Jack – Jo Ann Pflug (1981–82)
- Terri Shannon / Michaels – Markie Post (1982–85)
- Pearl Sperling – Nedra Volz (1985–86)
The show's theme song, "Unknown Stuntman", was written by Glen A. Larson, Gail Jensen, and David Somerville, and performed by Lee Majors. The lyrics include a reference to Majors' then-estranged wife, Farrah Fawcett and bemoan the fact that while he takes all the risks it is the stars like Robert Redford or Clint Eastwood who get the glory and the girls.
On June 5, 2007, 20th Century Fox released the first season of The Fall Guy on DVD in Region 1. As with a number of other TV shows of the era released on DVD, the 6-disc set contains extensive music substitutions due to copyright reasons (as well as completely editing out the sequences with actor/singer Paul Williams, in the Pilot). Due to poor sales it is unknown if the remaining seasons will be released.
Season 1 was released on DVD in Region 2 in Germany and the UK. Season 2 has also been released in Region 2, in Germany on November 28, 2008 and in the UK on February 16, 2009.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release dates|
|Region 1||Region 2 (UK)||Region 2 (Germany)|
|The Complete First Season||23||June 5, 2007||June 25, 2007||January 14, 2008|
|The Complete Second Season||23||N/A||February 16, 2009||November 28, 2008|
The opening titles that accompany the theme song are notable for the fact that in between footage from the show there are clips of real stunts from real movies. In it can be seen scenes from The Poseidon Adventure, Sky Riders (1976 film), Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, and Silver Streak, among others.
The highest rating is in bold text.
In July 2010, the Los Angeles Times reported that a film based on the series was in development. DreamWorks Studios has teamed up with producer Walter F. Parkes on the project. Martin Campbell is in talks to direct the film. DreamWorks, through Disney's Touchstone distribution label, will release the film in North America, Latin America, Russia, Australia and Asia, while Mister Smith Entertainment will handle sales in the remaining territories. As of September 2013, Dwayne Johnson is in negotiations to play the title role.
- "Fall Guy GMC". 73-87.com. Retrieved 2012-05-04.
- "1982 GMC K-2500 Wideside". www.imcdb.org. Retrieved 2012-05-04.
- "1980 GMC K-25 Wideside". www.imcdb.org. Retrieved 2012-05-04.
- "Hollywood falls for 'The Fall Guy': Lee Majors series is latest reboot candidate | 24 Frames |". Los Angeles Times. 2010-05-20. Retrieved 2010-07-02.
- "Martin Campbell Eyeing ‘The Fall Guy’". Deadline Hollywood. 2011-10-31. Retrieved 2011-10-31.