Delta House

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Delta House
Genre Sitcom
Written by John Hughes
Elias Davis
David Pollock
Michael Tolkin
Stephen Tolkin
Directed by Hollingsworth Morse
Joshua White
Carl Gottlieb
Starring Brian Patrick Clarke
Gary Cookson
Susanna Dalton
Peter Fox
Stephen Furst
Wendy Goldman
Peter Kastner
Bruce McGill
Josh Mostel
Richard Seer
John Vernon
James Widdoes
Lee Wilkof
Theme music composer Tony Hendra
Opening theme "Delta House" performed by Michael Simmons
Composer(s) Dick DeBenedictis
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Ivan Reitman
Matty Simmons
Producer(s) Elias Davis
David Pollock
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Matty Simmons-Ivan Reitman Productions
Universal Television
Original network ABC
Audio format Monaural
Original release January 18 (1979-01-18) – April 21, 1979 (1979-04-21)
Preceded by National Lampoon's Animal House

Delta House is an American sitcom that was adapted from the 1978 film National Lampoon's Animal House. The series aired from January 18 to April 21, 1979 on ABC.


Cast members reprising their roles from Animal House included John Vernon (Dean Wormer), Stephen Furst (Flounder), Bruce McGill (D-Day), and James Widdoes (Hoover). Priscilla Lauris, who played Dean Wormer's secretary in the movie, also returned to reprise her role, and her character was given a name (Miss Leonard). Josh Mostel was cast as Jim "Blotto" Blutarsky, brother of Bluto, the character played in the film by John Belushi. Despite Bluto's absence, the scriptwriters made running references to his character. In one episode, Blotto announced that he'd received a letter from his brother Bluto, prompting a Delta brother to respond "I didn't know Bluto could write," and another Delta brother to riposte, "I didn't know Blotto could read."

Delta House also served as an early vehicle for Michelle Pfeiffer, who played "The Bombshell". She referred to the show as good exposure and a foot in the door. The series didn't last, but she was noticed by a lot of Hollywood executives and her career picked up and she became a star soon after.

Production and scheduling problems[edit]

Because of television Standards and Practices, Most of the raunchy humor, sexual references, and foul language featured in Animal House didn't survive the transition to TV. As a result, Delta House suffered in comparison. That it aired during the so-called "family hour" (8:00 PM on Saturday nights) led to even more watering down.

In addition, the other two broadcast networks rushed onto the airwaves their own sitcoms that were "inspired" by Animal House: NBC's Brothers and Sisters and CBS' Co-Ed Fever.

Delta House initially did well in the ratings. However, executive producers Matty Simmons and Ivan Reitman's constant fights with ABC over content led the network to cancel the show after 13 episodes.

Theme song[edit]

The theme song was written by Jim Steinman to lyrics written by Lampoon editors Tony Hendra and Sean Kelly. Steinman later reworked the melody into the song "Dead Ringer for Love", made famous by Meat Loaf and Cher from the album Dead Ringer, and a portion of the lyrics into the song "Tonight Is What It Means to Be Young" from the movie Streets of Fire (incidentally, Meat Loaf had been an alternate choice for the role of Bluto in Animal House had John Belushi dropped out).

In the episode "Campus Fair", the song "Pizza Man" was performed during a beauty pageant talent showcase. It was taken from National Lampoon's Off-Broadway sketch revue Lemmings, a send-up of the Woodstock Festival where it was originally sung by actress Alice Playten.


  • John Vernon - Dean Vernon Wormer, the corrupt dean of Faber College and main rival of the Delta Fraternity.
  • Stephen Furst - Kent 'Flounder' Dorfman, an overweight and dim-witted freshman member of the Delta House.
  • Bruce McGill - Daniel 'D-Day' Simpson Day, a motorcycle riding member of the Delta House.
  • James Widdoes - Robert Hoover, the straight-laced president of the Delta House.
  • Josh Mostel - Jim 'Blotto' Blutarsky, a transfer student and newest member of the Delta House who takes after his older brother Blutto.
  • Richard Seer - Larry 'Pinto' Kroger, a freshman member of the Delta House and close friend of Flounder. The role was originally played by Thomas Hulce in the feature film Animal House.
  • Peter Fox - Eric 'Otter' Stratton, a charismatic ladies man and member of the Delta House. The role was originally played by Tim Matheson in Animal House.
  • Gary Cookson - Doug Neidermeyer, the sergeant-at-arms of the rival Omega House. The role was originally played by Mark Metcalf in Animal House.
  • Susanna Dalton - Mandy Pepperidge, a cheerleader and ally of the Omega House. The role was originally played by Mary Louise Weller in Animal House.
  • Wendy Goldman - Muffy, a friend of the Deltas and girlfriend of Pinto.
  • Brian Patrick Clarke - Greg Marmalard, the president of the rival Omega House. The role was originally played by James Daughton in Animal House.
  • Lee Wilkof - Einswine, a member of the Delta House who deals in fabricated term papers and other shady businesses on behalf of the Deltas.
  • Peter Kastner - Prof. Dave Jennings, a professor at Faber. The role was originally played by Donald Sutherland in Animal House.
  • Michelle Pfeiffer - The Bombshell, an attractive anthropology student and friend of the Deltas.



External links[edit]