List of Tracey Takes On... episodes

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The following is an episode guide for Tracey Takes On....

Each episode's long sketches are written in bold. Those not summarized in bold represent short character monologues.

"Cut sketches" are those sketches that were either filmed but ended up on the cutting room floor, or sketches that were written but ultimately ditched before filming. These "cut sketches" have been confirmed by official web sites, various media outlets, and series scripts.

Series overview[edit]

Season Episodes Originally broadcast
1 10 1996
2 15 1997
3 10 1998
4 12 1999
Character Comedies 15 N/A
Specials 3 1996–98

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (1996)[edit]

Writers: Tracey Ullman. Jerry Belson, Dick Clement, Kim Fuller, Jenji Kohan, Ian LaFrenais, Molly Newman, Gail Parent, Tony Sheehan, Allan J. Zipper.

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Original air date
1 1 "Romance" Thomas Schlamme January 24, 1996 (1996-01-24)

Opening voice-over: Romance... Cupid... arrow... Paris... chocolates... saccharine... sugar rush... sappy... Loveboat... Casablanca... this is a fine romance...

Rayleen talks about her husband Mitch, a little person. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning explains how romance is like doughnuts. Virginia reveals the one great romance of her life. Hope fantasies about a man in a coffee shop. Chic talks about dating in Los Angeles. Fern visits her husband Harry in the hospital. Chris is determined to go public with her relationship with pro-golfer, Midge Dexter (Julie Kavner). Harry (Michael Tucker) agrees to retire and move to Florida with Fern. Linda sings "A Fine Romance."

Guests stars: Julie Kavner, Hugh Laurie, Michael Tucker
2 2 "Charity" Thomas Schlamme January 31, 1996 (1996-01-31)

Opening voice-over: Charity... begins at home... faith, hope, and... donation... panhandler... pledge... all major credit cards... tax-free... Farm Aid... Live Aid... Deaf Aid... We Are The World... Sweet Charity.

Janie talks about feeding the homeless. Hope has been reading to the blind for so long that her voice is shot. Fern and Harry put together a charity benefit. Linda makes her directorial debut. Kay hires a homeless man (Cheech Marin). Ruby's gone to bed with men out of charity.

Guest Stars: Cheech Marin, Michael Tucker
3 3 "Nostalgia" Thomas Schlamme February 7, 1996 (1996-02-07)

Opening voice-over: Nostalgia... déjà vu... Happy Days... sixties... Beatles... yesterday... Woodstock... Baby Boomers... old-fashioned... the wireless... black-and-white tv... LPs... for the record... nostalgia.

Janie attempts to be nostalgic. Kay is nostalgic for the original flavor of Metamucil. Anya tries to keep the past alive. Trevor remembers life as a gay man in the 1970s. Ruby takes part in a documentary about "The Epic That Never Was." Erin remembers recording her first album. Chic is nostalgic for the 1970s.

One-off characters: Anya (Russian Babushka); Laura Demerol; Alicia del Mar

Guest Stars: Sandy Baron, Roddy McDowall, Michael McKean
4 4 "Royalty" Simon Curtis February 14, 1996 (1996-02-14)

Opening voice-over: Royalty... Crown Jewels... privilege... peasants... palaces... inbreeding... Miss America... royal jelly... Prince of Wales... Prince of Tides... Artist Formally Known As... royalty.

Rayleen hated having to learn the names of the Royal family in school. Fern calls Steve and Eydie that king and queen of "good clean music." Kay buys a used car from a salesman (Alfred Molina) who claims to be the son of royalty. Ruby tells the "real story" of Grace Kelly. Sydney's message for Princess Diana. Hope proves that there's royalty in America. Timmy (Hugh Laurie) and Virginia host a dinner party for Her Royal Highness. Trevor talks about having to deal with royalty on a flight once. Linda sings "If I Ruled the World."

First appearance: Her Royal Highness

Notes: in the aftermath of Diana, Princess of Wales's death, the episode was re-cut with the Sydney Kross sketch and Her Royal Highness's mention of "Diana" (re-dubbed "Fergie") omitted for future airings. Her Royal Highness's dinner party anecdotes are heavily inspired by the 1994 novel "Some Hope" by author Edward St Aubyn.

Guest Stars: Hugh Laurie, Alastair Duncan, Alfred Molina
5 5 "Family" Thomas Schlamme February 21, 1996 (1996-02-21)

Opening voice-over: Family... duty... Christmas... Thanksgiving... guilt... Family Ties... family values... family tree... la familia... Cosa Nostra... all in the... keep it in the... Sly and the... family.

Fern tells us that children ruined her life. Virginia approves of her family's discipline. Kay talks about the advice her mother gave her. Rayleen and Mitch discuss contraceptives. Sydney watches a baby. Chic deals with his brother. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning takes her granddaughter ice skating. Ruby talks about her family. A female crew member (Joanna Gleason) wants Trevor to be the father of her child. Fern talks about looking for condos with Harry. Hope shows a student film. Linda talks about her family at Alcoholics Anonymous.

Guest Stars: Julie Brown, Joanna Gleason, and Michael McKean
6 6 "Law" Simon Curtis February 28, 1996 (1996-02-28)

Opening voice-over: Law... order... sheriff... high noon... judge... jury... Twelve Angry Men... sequestered... appeal... constitution... Murphy's Law... Burke's Law... above the law... outside the law... the law according to... me.

Mrs. Noh Nang Ning was once sued over a "bad doughnut." Hope talks about two college students who were caught stealing. Sydney defends a woman who was scalded after sitting on a container of soup. Ruby teaches Buddy how to make money from a lawsuit. Fern and Harry help catch a criminal living in their condo complex. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning says that lawyers are like bagels, "You don't want nothing to do with them."

Cut sketches: Virginia discusses police (sketch appears in the book Tracey Takes On (1998) in chapter "Crime")

Guest Stars: Joshua Malina, Bruce McGill, Michael Tucker
7 7 "Vanity" Simon Curtis March 6, 1996 (1996-03-06)

Opening voice-over: Vanity... facelifts... toupees... hair plugs... collagen shots... penile implants... diet... thin... trim... lean... mirror, mirror, on the wall... vanity.

Chic reveals his grooming habits. Fern reveals what's on the vanity licence plate that Harry bought for her. Virginia says that Americans are vain. Kay gets a makeover for a wedding. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning likens sprinkles on doughnuts to vanity. Ruby says that men are more vain than women. Sydney debuts a new hairdo for court. Trevor recounts a discussion he had with a plastic surgeon. Janie arrives on the set of a photo shoot. Rayleen is made up as the actress she's doing a stunt for. Linda talks about plastic surgery.

Guest Stars: Stanley DeSantis, Joshua Malina
8 8 "Death" Simon Curtis March 13, 1996 (1996-03-13)

Opening voice-over: Death... black... widows... coffins... cremation... grief... relief... Death of a Salesman... The Grateful Dead... critics... vultures... carcass... tie-dyed... The Day the Music Died... death.

Trevor reveals the procedure for when somebody dies on a plane. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning says that life and death is like a doughnut. Virginia knows what must be done in light of Timmy's (Hugh Laurie) recent scandal. Ruby makes up the body of a woman she fought with years go. Kay has a near-death experience. Death doesn't scare Rayleen.

Guest Stars: Udo Kier, Hugh Laurie, Derrick O'Connor
9 9 "Health" Nicola Pecorini March 20, 1996 (1996-03-20)

Opening voice-over: Health... an apple a day... healthy mind... healthy body... feeling blue... turning green... sugar-free... fat-free... salt-free... taste free... at least you have your... health.

Kay's home remedies. Chic doesn't waste his time working out. Sydney is urged to take a vacation; she visits a health spa where Janie, Rayleen, and Linda are also staying. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning's morning ritual. Fern and Harry are forced to deal with their "unexpressed rage." Ruby has to get a mammogram.

Cut sketches: Virginia discusses the "British diet", or lack thereof. (sketch was reused for "Tracey Takes On... Food")

Guest Stars: Julie Kavner, Joshua Malina, Michael Tucker, Todd Waring
10 10 "Fame" Thomas Schlamme March 27, 1996 (1996-03-27)

Opening voice-over: Fame...Nobel Prize... cover of Time... prima donna... fifteen minutes... Andy Warhol... David Bowie... I'm going to live forever... I'm turning into a monster... where are they now... fame.

Chic talks about all the famous people he's had in his cab. Sydney says that lawyers are now celebrities. Kay remembers dealing with a fugitive at her bank. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning has had a lot of famous people visit her shop. Linda decides that in order to get her career back on track she should hire a stalker to stalk her for publicity. Unfortunately, a real stalker (Jon Favreau) turns up unbeknownst to her. At the end, the show breaks the fourth wall with Rayleen doing Tracey's stunts as Linda for the episode. Tracey comes out of her makeup trailer to watch before leaving for home.

Cut sketches: Virginia recounts a rude rock star that she had to lock in her cellar (reused and then unused sketch for "Tracey Takes On... Music").

Guest Stars: Seymour Cassel, Jon Favreau, Alex Karras

Season 2 (1997)[edit]

Writers: Tracey Ullman, Jerry Belson, Dick Clement, Robert Klane, Jenji Kohan, Ian La Frenais, Molly Newman, Gail Parent, Allen J. Zipper.

Note(s): "Race Relations" was originally promoted as "Black & White"; "Vegas" as "Las Vegas"; "Mothers" as "Mother"; "Supernatural" as "The Supernatural"

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Original air date
12 1 "Sex" Thomas Schlamme January 18, 1997 (1997-01-18)

Tracey has nothing to say about her sex life. Sydney says that men can't see her as a sexual being. Hope knows exactly how she will lose her virginity. Birdie believes that sex education should be taught at home and not in school. Linda falls off the wagon and onto the cable guy. Fern and Jobie discuss sex. Hope continues her virginity story. Kay has never had sex. Ruby arrives on the set of a porn film. Hope is interrupted by her roommate. Chic talks about the first time he had sex.

First appearance: Birdie Godsen

Guest stars: Julie Kavner, Bruce Kirby, Jack Conley
13 2 "Fantasy" Thomas Schlamme January 26, 1997 (1997-01-26)

Tracey reveals her childhood fantasy of meeting Paul McCartney. Fern and Jobie discuss the new pool man. Trevor fantasies about being steward on a space shuttle. Sydney fantasies about killing a priest in order to win a case. Tracey meets Her Royal Highness. Ruby gets abducted by aliens. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning tap dances after she closing her shop. Rayleen talks about writing in to Penthouse.

One-off characters: Sydney's mother

Guest stars: Julie Kavner, Ron Canada, Danny Woodburn
14 3 "Mothers" Michael McKean February 2, 1997 (1997-02-02)

Tracey visits her mother. Ruby talks about her children, Buddy and Desiree. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning takes her granddaughter to a baseball game. Janie fears that her child hate her. Birdie talks about her son's birthday. Ruby meets her great-granddaughter for the first time. Her Royal Highness meets Mother Theresa. Fern and Harry wait for their daughter to give birth to their grandchild. Chic talks about bringing his mother over from the old country. Tracey has second thoughts about the show's opening and revisits her mother.

Guest stars: Melinda Dillon, George Segal
15 4 "Vegas" Don Scardino February 8, 1997 (1997-02-08)

Tracey opens the show as she and her husband pack for a trip to Las Vegas. Fern, Ruby, Hope, Trevor, Virginia and her husband, Timmy, arrive In Vegas (not all of their own choice). After checking into the Old Testament Hotel, they are transported by Chic to the Lapland Lounge, where Linda Granger is preparing for a comeback performance. As Linda belts out "Viva Las Vegas" she is mauled by a tiger from Dieter & Gunther's magic show. Sydney, of course will sue on Linda's behalf.

Guest stars: Seymour Cassel, Tim McInnerny, Bradley Whitford
16 5 "Secrets" Thomas Schlamme February 17, 1997 (1997-02-17)

Tracey reveals her secret bathroom. Kay talks about the time she tried to hide a parrot from her mother. Linda learns that she's going to be a grandmother. Chic reveals the secrets of the customers who tipped badly. Her Royal Highness meets Salmon Rushdie. Fern and Jobie discuss their secrets. Janie reveals her desire to be spanked to her psychiatrist (Ron Pearlman). Rayleen was born with a penis. Birdie's husband tells her what goes on in his "top secret militia meetings."

'Guest stars: Seymour Cassel, Kristin Dattilo, Julie Kavner, Ron Perlman
17 6 "Childhood" Thomas Schlamme February 24, 1997 (1997-02-24)

Tracey opens the show by exhibiting two of her childhood dolls and explains how they were destroyed by her pet dog. Chic remembers arriving in America as a boy. Rayleen reveals that she was raised by dingoes. Her Royal Highness meets her old nanny. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning recounts her flight from a homeland in turmoil and how America and the doughnut were her destiny. Janie's fears that her boring upbringing might be made public. Sydney explains why she sued her mother. Trevor has a flashback to the day he discovered Doris Day was more appealing than sports and his Dad knew he was different. While sorting through old photographs Ruby tells of her start as a Hollywood make-up artist.

Guest stars: Judy Geeson, John Mahoney, Olivia Newton-John
18 7 "1976" Thomas Schlamme March 5, 1997 (1997-03-05)

Tracey experiences deja vu in the opening of the show, when she tries to wear her old seventies platform shoes. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning remembers her first donut machine. Janie's magazine, Manhattan Review, hosts a seventies retro-party at the famous Stage 24 disco. Janie and Hope, who is an intern at the magazine, arrive at the party via Chic's cab. In a flashback Chic tells Hope how he helped a young Janie sneak into the club in 1976, where she spied on Linda Granger's cocaine habit as well as her double dealings with the producers of her hit television show "VIP LOUNGE." Afterward Janie wrote an article, which catapulted her career and destroyed Linda's. Hope discovers the article and exposes Janie to the entire Manhattan Review staff. Ruby caps off the show by claiming she was actually responsible for Linda's demise.

Guest stars: Seymour Cassel
19 8 "Food" Don Scardino March 12, 1997 (1997-03-12)

Tracey opens the show by preparing lunch for the show's crew. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning has eel for lunch. Ruby longs for the old days of chemical filled frozen dinners. Janie's paranoia runs wild when she loses her regular table at a power restaurant. Fern eats gassy foods even though she knows she'll have to pay the price. Chic serves lunch to a busy businessman in his new taxicab cafe. Sydney explains how she prepares for court by eating raw meat. Linda discusses her new cookbook for bulimics. Virginia compares class and food in society. Trevor and his longtime lover, Barry, consider ending their relationship over a casserole that had too much salt. Birdie warns the public of food labels that may contain government propaganda. Her Royal Highness queries Paul Newman on his line of food products.

Guest stars: Michael McKean, Natalija Nogulich, Timothy Busfield, Jim Fyfe
20 9 "Crime" Don Scardino March 19, 1997 (1997-03-19)

Tracey is arrested at the opening of the show for running a gambling pool on the set. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning describes how justice is dispensed in her homeland. Her Royal Highness meets O.J. Simpson. Kay is suspected of being involved in a bank robbery at the branch she works at. Fern measures all crimes by how they affect the Jews. Chic lets it be known that he has certain illegal commodities for sale. Linda visits a prison inmate who once stalked her. Ruby retells the tale of a drug bust on the set of a movie she worked on. Virginia and her husband, Timmy, mistakenly pick up a Mafia boss' suitcase at the airport. Hope relates an urban myth about a dead body found rolled in a carpet. Birdie councils death row inmates to avoid appeals and get it over with.

Guest stars: Jon Favreau, Tim McInnerny, John Spencer
21 10 "Movies" Don Scardino March 26, 1997 (1997-03-26)

Tracey opens the show by reenacting black and white British war movies. Sydney wonders who will play her in the movie of her life. Trevor explains why "Gone With the Wind" has no effect on him. Ruby gets lost at a gigantic megaplex movie theater. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning relates how movies were banned in her homeland. Virginia and her husband, Timmy, rent their home in England to an American film crew and Timmy becomes jealous of Virginia's friendship with the movie's star. Her Royal Highness meets Demi Moore. Fern recalls a high school date to see "An Affair to Remember." Rayleen saves the day at the premiere of a movie in which she was the stunt double. With Kay needing to care for her sick mother she explains why she only watches videos. Chic remembers hitting on Julie Andrews.

Cut sketches: Birdie censors films for her family's viewing.

Guest stars: Tim McInnerny, John Stamos, Alastair Duncan
22 11 "Money" Michael McKean April 2, 1997 (1997-04-02)

Tracey opens the show by informing the audience that she views them as investors in the show. Her Royal Highness tries to sell Shaquille O'Neal a royal title. Chic is audited by an IRS agent. Ruby tries to buy cigarettes and liquor with food stamps. Fern and her husband, Harry, invest in an ostrich farm. Birdie explains the monetary perks of working for the tobacco industry. After overcoming years of substance abuse and personal misfortune, Linda makes an appearance on the "Family Spending Channel" to sell her recovery dolls. Rayleen describes her new line of Australian cosmetics.

Guest stars: Richard Dimitri, Steve Landsberg, Jo Ann Harris, George Segal
23 12 "Race Relations" Michael McKean April 9, 1997 (1997-04-09)

Tracey opens this show by declaring that she is an equal opportunity offender. Virginia recalls the time she rented her country home to the Blacks. Fern explains the relations between Blacks and Jews. Linda Granger stars in 'Driving Miss Daisy' with an African-American actor who is nothing like the affable character he plays on stage. Kay is the forewoman of a multi-racial jury that has a hard time finding common ground or coming to a verdict. Rayleen is forced to hide from a group of activists because she is made up in black face. Trevor recalls the day Nelson Mandela made the cabin truly "first class." Fern's husband Harry gets offered a part in a Rap music video. Chic recounts the time he picked up Johnnie Cochran in his taxi. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning explains her guns-for-doughnuts exchange program. Sydney reveals her problems hiring minorities.

Guest stars: Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, George Segal
24 13 "Supernatural" Michael McKean April 16, 1997 (1997-04-16)

Tracey opens the show by admitting that she would like to be abducted by aliens. Trevor recalls a "Twilight Zone" like episode aboard a plane. Janie believes that she is a successful magazine editor because she can predict trends. Chris Warner makes a deal with the Devil to help her lover, golf pro Midge Dexter, overcome a slump. Fern's maid, Betina, puts a curse on Harry when they try to take taxes out of her paycheck. Chic declares that he doesn't believe in the supernatural.

Cut sketches: Sydney dreams that Tyrone Power's ghost wants her to take on a lawsuit for him. Linda does a television commercial for her new project "The Psychic Buddies Network."

Guest stars: Matt Frewer, Marga Gomez, Julie Kavner, George Segal, Amy Alcott
25 14 "Politics" Michael McKean April 23, 1997 (1997-04-23)

Tracey opens the show by introducing her all girl staff and how they make policy on the show. Chic sympathizes with politicians who need sex. Virginia misses Margaret Thatcher. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning explains voting procedures in her homeland. Trevor agrees to play the role of escort to a female friend so that she can carry on a secret affair with a senator. Ruby discusses the bridge between showbiz and politics. Fern runs for condominium President, a position held by her friend Jobie, but her campaign is derailed by a sex scandal involving her husband, Harry. Birdie and her daughter are off to attend the "We Hate Hillary (Clinton) Club." Sydney's glad there are politicians to look down on.

Cut sketches: HRH meets Bill Clinton (sketch appears in Tracey Takes On... "Politics")

Guest stars: Nicolas Coster, Julie Kavner, George Segal, Marcia Strassman
26 15 "Music" Don Scardino April 30, 1997 (1997-04-30)

Tracey opens the show by discovering that the gold record awarded her for "They Don't Know" is not actually her recording. Her Royal Highness tries to hire Bob Dylan for a palace party. Sydney defends a client by singing to the jury. Chic goes onstage at a production of the opera "'Carmen" to collect a cab fare. Linda goes to a juvenile detention center and sings show tunes to the "Kids." Erin McColl, a sixties - seventies music icon, attempts a reunion with her old band "Wise Child."

Cut sketches: Virginia recounts a rude rock star that she had to lock in her cellar (previously unused sketch for "Tracey Takes On... Fame"). Hope remembers meeting singers from the lollapalooza tour.

Guest stars: Mo Gaffney, Calvin Remsberg, Gloria Gifford, The Roches

Season 3 (1998)[edit]

Writers: Tracey Ullman, Jerry Belson, Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, George McGrath, Allen J. Zipper ("Marriage," "Religion," "Culture," "Sports"), Molly Newman, Gail Parent.

Notes(s): "Hollywood" was originally scheduled as the season opener.

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Original air date
28 1 "Marriage" Michael Lange January 4, 1998 (1998-01-04)

Tracey discusses her wedding day. Chic discusses his thoughts on same-sex marriage. Hope reveals the pact she made with her best friend. Sydney Kross convinces Kay to marry her prison pen pal. Erin talks about marriage and rock and roll. Ruby meets her new daughter-in-law. Sheneesha gives advice to a newlywed couple. Trevor talks about marrying Barry in Hawaii.

First appearance: Sheneesha Turner

Cut sketches: Fern, understandably, does not want to talk about marriage.

Guest stars: Maury Chaykin, Paul Dooley, Mo Gaffney, Adele Givens, Hiep Thi Le
29 2 "Hollywood" Don Scardino January 11, 1998 (1998-01-11)

Tracey discusses her thoughts on Hollywood. Chic finds a script in his cab left by Penny Marshall. Fern becomes as extra on "Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman" after winning a contest. Ruby is interviewed as part of a documentary by Huell Howser. Chic tries to sell his "hot property" in Hollywood. He encounters Syndney and Mrs. Noh Nang Ning. Chic gets a ticket to the Ladies Legends of Hollywood Awards, where Linda Granger acts as a presenter. A bomb threat is called into the ceremony with Chic becoming the main suspect. Sydney announces that she's taking on Chic's case.

Cut sketches: Mrs. Noh Nang Ning recounts being yelled at by a film director. (monologue restored in the "Mrs. Noh Nang Ning" Character Comedies episode)

Guest stars: Seymour Cassel, Erik Estrada, Huell Howser, Joseph Lando, Kelly Lange, Penny Marshall, Melissa Rivers, Joan van Ark, Adam Biesk
30 3 "Smoking" Don Scardino January 18, 1998 (1998-01-18)

Tracey talks about smoking as a teenager and why she eventually quit. Hope is caught smoking. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning puts nicotine in her doughnuts. Kay tries to score some marijuana for her invalid mother. Linda recalls how smoking nearly destroyed her life. Ruby can't find a place to smoke. Chic won't allow passengers to smoke in his cab.

Cut sketches: Trevor discusses his chain-smoking Uncle Stan, and his deathbed request.

Guest stars: Cheech Marin, Marissa Ribisi, Nick Scotti
31 4 "Loss" Don Scardino January 25, 1998 (1998-01-25)

Tracey talks about losing her daughter, Mabel's umbilical cord. Ruby talks about losing her television remote control. HRH meets The Rolling Stones. Janie experienced the sexual side effects of antidepressants. Fern discovers that Harry's been eaten by an alligator. Trevor discusses losing his hair after getting his hair dyed. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning reveals how to lose weight. Sheneesha can still have children despite standing next to the airport x-ray machine. Rayleen learns the awful truth at Mitch's funeral. Chic's lost and found policy. Hope discusses losing her virginity. Sydney loses her first case. Kay lost her youth by looking after her mother.

Guest stars: Julie Kavner, Kevin Cooney, Maddie Corman, Nada Despotovich
32 5 "Agents" Don Scardino February 1, 1998 (1998-02-01)

Tracey talks about her crazy agent. HRH meets Pierce Brosnan. Birdie is an agent for Militial M'Lady. Fern discovers what really happened to Harry. Trevor talks about being a travel agent. Linda decides to become her own agent. Ruby reveals that she was once a secret agent for the FBI.

Cut sketches: Chic tries to get into the adult entertainment industry as Johnny Deep.

Guest stars: Seymour Cassel, Julie Kavner, Jack Kehler, Michael Tucker, Kristin Datillo, and Stanley DeSantis
33 6 "Age" Don Scardino February 8, 1998 (1998-02-08)

Tracey talks about ageing. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning reveals how ageing is a lucrative for business. Rayleen doesn't know how old she is. Sheneesha and Hellura discuss how black women age better than white women. Hope dates her professor. Sydney freezes her eggs. Birdie reveals her theory of thirty-three. Fern receives a marriage proposal. HRH meets Macaulay Culkin. Trevor feels that Barry has settled into middle age. Ruby talks about Buddy's pig.

Cut sketches: Linda goes to an underground license renewal shop.

Guest stars: Judy Geeson, Joanna Gleason, Michael McKean, Austin Pendleton, Al Ruscio, Adele Givens
34 7 "Religion" Michael Lange February 15, 1998 (1998-02-15)

Tracey loves religious television. Hope recalls college discussions about religion. Ruby reveals being kicked off the set of The Greatest Story ever told. Sydney reveals her favorite Bible passage. Birdie kidnaps her niece, Chris Warner and puts her into a homosexual deprogramming compound run by her brother, Sandy. Fern is elated that Madeleine Albright is Jewish. Linda finds god after meeting a writer who wants to cast her in a television pilot. Kay recalls going with her mother to see Benny Hinn. HRH meets the Pope.

One-off characters: Sandy (Birdie's preacher twin brother)

Cut sketches: Rayleen explains why she crosses herself before every stunt and how she admires Jesus doing his own stunts. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning discusses religion in her home country and their religious burial rites.

Guest stars: Dan Butler, Seymour Cassel, Julie Kavner, Scott Thompson, George McGrath, Brent Briscoe
35 8 "Man's Best Friend" Michael Lange February 22, 1996 (1996-02-22)

Tracey talks about her dogs. Birdie lets the family dog loose. Trevor helps Linda smuggle her dog into London. Fern says that Jews and pets don't mix. Ruby is attacked by her neighbor's dog. Erin writes a song. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning doesn't understand why Americans will eat doughnuts but not dogs. Tracey's children talk her into keeping the dog.

Cut sketches: Kay would like to adopt the lost dog but Mother's allergic.

Guest stars: Mo Gaffney, Bruce Kirby
36 9 "Culture" Michael Lange March 1, 1998 (1998-03-01)

Tracey gives viewers a tour of London. Ruby recalls seeing Miss Saigon with Buddy. Birdie homeschools her children. Fern talks about her pearls. Hope tries to lose her virginity to a Scottish poet. Sydney Riverdances. Chic makes art with the items left behind by passengers. Linda tries to secure funding for the arts. Sheneesha gets her book published. Trevor gossips about the cabin crews from different airlines. Rayleen is tired about people not knowing enough about Australian culture. Kay talks about her mother's various cultures.

Cut sketches: Mrs. Noh Nang Ning describes Asian opera.

Guest stars: Rene Auberjonois, Billy Connolly, Helen Mirren, Adele Givens
37 10 "Sports" Michael Lange March 8, 1998 (1998-03-08)

Tracey reveals her exercise routine. Chic reveals his homeland's national sport. Linda reveals the source of her phobia about organized sports. Ruby meets an old flame at the race track. Fern reveals how she got out of taking part in gym class. Janie competes for a fashion award with an old rival. Eric has a flashback. HRH meets Pete Sampras. Trevor cheated in a school sports competition.

Cut sketches: Sheneesha invites herself to a famous basketball player's house to discuss her son's career ('He's kind of a cross between Shaquille O'Neal and Batman'). Mrs. Noh Nang Ning tells us about her champion racing cricket - the 'Exterminator'.

Guest stars: Mo Gaffney, Jennifer Jason Leigh, M. Emmet Walsh, Jack Conley, Todd Oldham

Season 4 (1999)[edit]

Writers: Tracey Ullman, Jerry Belson, Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, George McGrath, Jenji Kohan, Gail Parent.

Note(s): First two weeks featured two new episodes back-to-back.

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Original air date
39 1 "Dating" Dennie Gordon January 13, 1999 (1999-01-13)

Tracey explains why she didn't go on a lot of dates growing up. Janie dictates her idea of the perfect date. Kay explains post-dated cheques. Sydney tries a dating service. Rayleen accepts a date from a co-worker. Ruby recalls her daughter dating an African-American man. Erin tries to convince Dusty not to go out on a date. Trevor talks about dating in the 1970s. Madam Nadja remembers when she starting dating. Chic describes the perfect date. Linda meets an old flame.

First appearance: Madam Nadja

Cut sketches: Fern goes on her first date in 30 years, with an ex-mobster.

Guest stars: Corbin Bernsen, Mo Gaffney, Mark DeCarlo, Joanne Belson Harris
40 2 "Drugs" Dennie Gordon January 13, 1999 (1999-01-13)

Tracey discusses hiring actors who have been rumored to be on drugs. Ruby talks about her botched hip replacement. Erin discovers her drug dealer's new enterprise. Chic reveals the drug policy in his native homeland. Sheneesha forgets her blood pressure medication. Chris discovers that Midge is taking steroids. Madam Nadja talks about drugs ruining her girls. Kay gets addicted to swing dancing. Linda comes up with a creative way to list all the drugs she's been addicted to over the years.

Cut sketches: Sydney hates downers. Birdie consults the Bible for drug problem solutions. Fern gives her view on the over-availability of drugs.

Guest stars: Howard Hessman, Julie Kavner, Adele Givens, Marissa Ribisi
41 3 "Scandal" Dennie Gordon January 20, 1999 (1999-01-20)

Tracey discusses a scandal involving an ex-boyfriend. Fern gets touched by a dentist (Sam McMurray). Hope turned in two student who were selling past exams. Sydney finds a hair in her bed. Madam Nadja talks about her black book. Janie has an affair with one of her daughter's classmates (Tim Osawa). Linda talks about paparazzi.

Cut sketches: Chic reminisces on his "almost" wedding.

Guest stars: Julie Kavner, Natalija Nogulich, Bruce McGill, Sam McMurray, Liz Torres, Tim Osawa
42 4 "Hair" Dennie Gordon January 20, 1999 (1999-01-20)

Tracey talks about Elton John's hair. Kay talks about the time when she considered getting a new hairdo. Linda get a part in Hair. Ruby's talks about dying her hair and the stories behind each color. Trevor remembers getting a Beetles-style haircut. Madam Nadja talks about waxing. Fern learns that her hairstylist has died. Erin gets stuck.

Cut sketches: Chic makes a discovery. Birdie has an enlightening. Sheneesha arrives at work suffering terribly from a "too tight" hair-do.

Guest stars: Seymour Cassel, Richard Dimitri, Mo Gaffney, Judy Geeson, Gary Oldman, W. Morgan Sheppard
43 5 "Lies" Todd Holland January 27, 1999 (1999-01-27)

Tracey talks about plastic surgery and lying on the internet. Hope remembers the lies she believed as a kid. Fern finds out that Harry had an affair. Sheneesha gives Hellura some advice. Madam Nadja talks about the Beverly Hills police department. Chic lies to get out of a speeding ticket. Sydney never lies. Ruby calls her daughter to discuss about a story printed in a tabloid. Trevor remembers a Pinocchio-inspired adult porn film. Linda sings about her age.

Guest stars: Jerry Alder, Paul Dooley, Michael Tucker, Adele Givens, Julio Oscar Mechoso, Liz Torres, Kevin Cooney, Mary Lynn Rajskub
44 6 "Erotica" Todd Holland February 3, 1999 (1999-02-03)

Tracey reveals the most erotic thing she's ever done, as well as reading erotic literature. Madam Nadja knows that the most erotic part of a woman. Hope reveals why she chose to learn Spanish. Janie accepts a sculpture from an artist. Fern takes a closer look at a statue. Chic uses a hidden camera in his cab. Linda accepts an invitation from a sultan. Ruby doesn't have erotic dreams. Trevor discusses the Mile High Club.

Cut sketches: Shopping for a present leaves Kay flustered.

Guest stars: Seymour Cassel, Richard Dimitri, Natalija Nogulich, Marissa Ribisi, Rusty Schwimmer, Carrie Otis, Victoria Principal, Steve Jones
45 7 "Books" Dennie Gordon February 10, 1999 (1999-02-10)

Tracey talks about writing a book. Trevor reads "The Royals" by author Kitty Kelly. Linda records a book on tape. Janie talks about a poet she once lived with. Kay finds love at the library. Madam Nadja predicts what would happen if she published a book. Fern tries to retrieve a book that she lent to a friend who's died. Birdie's book burning barbecue. Rayleen knows how to get respect from fellow stunt people.

Cut sketches: Sydney keeps a journal. Literature expert, Hellura suggests Della Reese's new book, "Angels Along The Way", for good reading.

Guest stars: Stanley DeSantis, Chris Elliot, Len Lesser, Liz Torres
46 8 "Road Rage" Todd Holland February 17, 1999 (1999-02-17)

Tracey opens the show by admitting old drivers can give her a case of road rage. A police car chase and hijacking has everyone involved. Ruby, Linda, Fern and Jobie, Sydney, Chris and Midge, and Hope get road rage.

Cut sketches: Erin gets caught in a traffic jam, and writes a song.

Guest stars: Julie Kavner, Clea Lewis, Charles Rocket, Maulik Pancholy, Wayne Pere, Jack Conley
47 9 "America" Todd Holland February 24, 1999 (1999-02-24)

Tracey shows her green card and reveals her thoughts on America. Kay was changed by America. Ruby recalls having an affair with Joe McCarthy. Erin hates America. Fern is reunited with a mobster she knew back on Long Island. Birdie remembers winning a pageant. Sheneesha and Hellura discuss carry-on luggage.

Cut sketches: Rayleen tells the story of how she came to America. Sydney explains why America's a great country. A campaign speech for Hope. Janie explains why she has no intention of becoming an American citizen, even though she's lived here for years. Linda describes her proudest moment as an American.

Guest stars: Mo Gaffney, Jeffrey Tambor, Michael Tucker, Adele Givens, Robert Sacchi, Liz Torres, Adam Biesk
48 10 "Hype" Todd Holland March 3, 1999 (1999-03-03)

Tracey remembers Fox hyping her image. HRH has an appointment with a spin doctor. Ruby has Buddy compete in a truck contest. Madam Nanja talks about what she doesn't like about America. Fern invests in caskets. Sheneesha and Hellura remember the airport trying to hype up its new design. Linda takes part in reverse marketing for the new film adaptation of her television series "V.I.P. Lounge."

Cut sketches: Erin gives a twist on self-promotion. Chic tells why the "Disneying" of Times Square is bad for the city. Trevor discusses his grooming wand.

Guest stars: Noel Harrison, Michael McKean, Adele Givens, Finola Hughes
49 11 "Obsession" Todd Holland March 10, 1999 (1999-03-10)

Tracey talks about being obsessed with the World Cup. Chic has a cheaper alternative to the perfume Obsession. Sydney gets revenge on her high school classmates. Trevor and Barry compete in a dance competition. Ruby reveals the plot to the film "Magnificent Obsession." HRH says that obsession is not an emotion that the Royal family indulges in. Sheneesha and Hellura talk about Steven Spielberg's stalker. Kay's obsession with Beanie Babies.

One-off characters: Marigold (Trevor and Barry's dance instructor)

Cut sketches: More on how to get on the road to riches from Madam Nadja. Fern and her resemblance to Sandra Bullock. Linda describes her bout with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Guest stars: Caroline Aaron, Seymour Cassel, James Gammon, Adele Givens, Michael Milhoan
50 12 "The End of the World" Dennie Gordon March 17, 1999 (1999-03-17)

Tracey opens the show by telling us her husband won't talk about the end of the world. A meteor is coming and the end of the world is nigh. Linda and Candy, Trevor and Barry, Fern and Jobie, Kay, Hope, Janie, Chic, Birdie, and Sydney get involved.

Guest stars: Seymour Cassel, Julie Kavner, Michael McKean, Adele Givens, Katherine Joosten, Bob Costas, Maulik Pancholy

Character Comedies[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title
51 1 "Fern: The Early Years"

Fern's daughter gets married. Fern is faced with Harry's illness. Fern tells her daughter that children ruined her life. Fern and Harry host a Wild West charity event which ends up being cancelled when a cure for the disease if found. Fern refuses to put vanity plates on her Lincoln.

Guest stars: Michael Tucker
52 2 "Fern & Harry"

Fern and her friend Jobie discuss how not to have sex. Fern is enjoying being a grandmother when she finds out that an alligator has eaten Harry. Fern gets a visit from Agent La Salle, finds her husband and then loses him again - this time to a shark. Fern recalls a high school date to see "An Affair to Remember".

Guest stars: Julie Kavner, Jack Kehler, Michael Tucker
53 3 "Ruby"

Ruby recounts her start as a Hollywood make-up artist while sorting out though old photographs. Ruby is surprised to find out that her great-granddaughter is African-American. Ruby mistakenly gets a job as a make-up artist on a porno movie. Ruby is kidnapped by aliens and has a tête-à-tête aboard a space ship. Ruby discussed child rearing.

Guest stars: Melinda Dillon, Bruce Kirby
54 4 "Janie"

Janie's school years. Janie tells us how she benefits from charities. Janie admits her most secret desires to her psychiatrist and it involves a paddle. Janie believes that she is a successful magazine editor, because she can predict trends.

Guest stars: Michael Palin, Ron Perlman
55 5 "Linda"

Linda and Candy hire a stalker to boost her image in the public eye but it backfires. Linda visits a prison inmate who once stalked her. Linda, a recovering sexaholic, falls off the wagon. Linda talks about marriage(s) but only gets to her husbands pre-1981. Linda sings.

Restored sketches: Linda rehearses a song during ending credits. (monologue originally from unknown episode)

Guest stars: Seymour Cassel, Jack Conley, Jon Favreau
56 6 "Kay"

Kay buys a car from an exiled Albanian prince who is in dire need of a loan to restore his monarchy. Kay takes a beggar at his word when his sign says "Will Work for Food." Kay is convinced by Sydney Kross to marry a client of hers on death row so that she can plead leniency it doesn't work. Kay remembers smuggling a cockatiel home that wreaked havoc on her bed-ridden mother.

Guest stars: Maury Chaykin, Cheech Marin, Alfred Molina
57 7 "Chic"

Chic confesses that when you're a chick magnet like him, you've got to look good. Chic recalls his first time, at the age of twelve, a "rite of passage" in the desert. Chic serves lunch to a busy businessman in his new taxicab cafe. Chic does the 'Hollywood' thing. Chic recalls the 70s complete with platform shoes, pooka beads and mood rings.

Guest stars: Timothy Busfield, Jim Fyfe
58 8 "Hope"

Hope expresses her feelings on charity using charts. Hope fantasizes over a college student. Hope plans to lose her virginity. Hope in Las Vegas. Hope elopes to her dormitory with her quadriplegic professor, only to find it's too much. Hope's smoking is a "monkey on her back." Hope realizes that the only difference between believing in God and 'A' god is the 'A." Hope envisages the perfect wedding.

Guest stars: Joanna Gleeson, Tim McInnerny, Austin Pendleton, Bradley Whitford
59 9 "Virginia"

Virginia is interviewed (Class Act). Virginia and Timmy host a luncheon for Her Royal Highness. Virginia's husband, Timmy, gets in trouble and she feels the only way out is death. Virginia and Timmy rent their home in England to an American film crew and Timmy becomes jealous of Virginia's friendship with the movie's star. Virginia tells of her one great romance, her horse.

Guest stars: Hugh Laurie, Tim McInnerny, Michael Palin, John Stamos
60 10 "Rayleen"

Rayleen reveals that she was raised by dingoes. Rayleen does Linda's stunt scene. Rayleen's "Aged Animal Actors' Home" is the subject of Linda Granger's documentary. Rayleen attends Mitch's funeral and loses more than a husband. Rayleen is pissed off that no one knows anything about Australian culture. Rayleen is pissed off that royals don't have names that reflect their real character.

Guest stars: Danny Woodburn
61 11 "Trevor"

Trevor has a flashback to the day he discovered Doris Day was more appealing than sports and his Dad knew he was different. Trevor is approached by a co-worker and asked to father her child Barry is not happy. Trevor and Barry notice how they've aged differently. Trevor remembers the day when Nelson Mandela made the cabin truly "first class."

Guest stars: Judy Geeson, Joanna Gleason, John Mahoney, Michael McKean
62 12 "Sydney"

Sydney defends a client by singing to the jury. Sydney dreams that she goes to jail for murdering a priest. Sydney is sent to a health spa against her will only to persuade the clientele to sue for personal damages and injuries. Sydney reveals a surprising passion for "Riverdancing." Sydney explains how she prepares for court by eating raw meat.

Guest stars: Ron Canada, Joe Malone, Todd Waring
63 13 "Chris"

Chris and her lover, Midge, are having problems because Midge won't show her affections publicly. Chris makes a deal with the devil to help Midge, a professional golfer, overcome a slump.

Guest stars: Julie Kavner, Matt Frewer
64 14 "Mrs. Noh Nang Ning"

Mrs. Noh Nang Ning recounts her flight from a homeland in turmoil and how America and the donut were her destiny. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning remembers her first donut machine. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning explains how the donut is appreciated by all ages. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning has eel for lunch. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning shares with us the secret of her health, deep breathing and donuts. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning has a novel weight loss program. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning takes her granddaughter to the ice rink and wants her to win. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning compares vanity to a rainbow sprinkled donut. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning and Chic trade insults. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning wants to cook a wandering dog. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning admits that she always wanted to tap dance in a big Hollywood musical.

Restored sketches: Mrs. Noh Nang Ning recounts being yelled at by a film director. (monologue originally cut from "Tracey Takes On... Hollywood")

Guest stars: Julie Brown
65 15 "Ruby: Part 2"

Ruby gets lost in a giant megaplex movie theater. Ruby gets a surprise in the mail Buddy's wife to be. Ruby gets involved with an old flamee but this time he gets burnt. Ruby tells us how she was a secret agent in the McCarthy era. Fern's daughter gets married. Fern is faced with Harry's illness. Fern tells her daughter that children ruined her life. Fern and Harry host a Wild West charity event which ends up being cancelled when a cure for the disease if found. Fern refuses to put vanity plates on her Lincoln.

Guest stars: Michael Tucker

Specials (1996–98)[edit]

No. in
series
Title Original air date
11 "The Best of Tracey Takes On..." April 3, 1996 (1996-04-03)

Linda's car crash. Rayleen acts as Linda's stunt double. Midge has problems showing her affections for Chris publicly. Mrs. Noh Ning compares romance to the donut. Chic recalls the 70's complete with platform shoes, pooka beads and mood rings. Fern and Harry host a Wild West charity event, which ends up being canceled when a cure for the disease is found. Hope expresses her feelings on charity using charts. Kay recalls a meeting with a notorious Colombian drug lord. Virginia and Timmy host a luncheon for Her Royal Highness. Fern's idea of royalty is Steve and Edie, the King and Queen of good, clean music. Sydney compares lawyers past to lawyers present and tells us how fame has come to the legal profession. Trevor is approached by a coworker and asked to father her child... Barry is not happy. Ruby talks about getting a mammogram. Hope fantasizes over a college student.

Guest stars: Michael Tucker, Julie Kavner, Michael McKean, Joanna Gleason, Hugh Laurie
27 "Best of II" May 28, 1997 (1997-05-28)

Her Royal Highness meets Tracey Ullman and fulfills both their fantasies when they each tell what they think of the other. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning has eel for lunch. Ruby is surprised to find out that her great-granddaughter is African-American. . Chic lets it be known that he has certain illegal commodities for sale. Trevor recalls the day Nelson Mandela made the cabin truly "first class." Fern's husband Harry gets offered a part in a Rap music video. Rayleen reveals that she was raised by dingoes. Fern and her friend, Jobie, discuss how not to have sex. Trevor has a flashback to the day he discovered Doris Day was more appealing than sports and his Dad knew he was different. Birdie and her daughter are off to attend the "We Hate Hillary (Clinton) Club." Linda Granger, a recovering sexaholic, falls of the wagon. Sydney admits that she is a sexual being as well a workaholic lawyer. Ruby's is kidnapped by aliens and has a tête-à-tête aboard a space ship or did she just imagine it? With Kay needing to care for her sick mother she explains why she only watches videos. Fern and her husband, Harry, invest in an ostrich farm. Janie believes that she is a successful magazine editor because she can predict trends. Ruby is surprised to find out that her great-granddaughter is African-American. Sydney defends a client by singing to the jury. Mrs. Noh Nang Ning admits that she always wanted to tap dance in a big Hollywood musical. Linda dances to "VIP Vicki" at the club "Stage 24."

Guest stars: Melinda Dillon, Richard Dimitri, Judy Geeson, Julie Kavner, John Mahoney, George Segal, Jack Conley, Mitchell Whitfield
38 "Best of III" June 4, 1998 (1998-06-04)

Chic discusses his national sport - bladder ball. Ruby gets involved with an old flame... but this time he's the one that gets burnt. Trevor loses some hair but improves his sex life. Janie tells us how anti-depressants gave her a sexual root canal. Kay smokes her Mother's dope and then goes south of the border. Hope's smoking is a "monkey on her back." Janie is up against her childhood nemesis, and this time she's gonna win. Sheneesha tells us how a black woman ages better than a white woman does. Sydney reveals a surprising passion for 'Riverdancing'. Birdie 'loses' the family dog for letting loose a stream of 'Satan's lemonade' one too many times. Fern receives a fatal marriage proposal. Linda blames that first cigarette for the dysfunction and excesses that have plagued her life... her audience is not amused. Her Royal Highness is introduced to the now 'uninteresting' McCauley Culkin. Sydney convinces Kay to marry a client of hers on death row, so that she can plead leniency... It doesn't work. Ruby tells us how she was a secret agent in the McCarthy era. Linda talks about marriage(s) but only gets up to her husbands pre-1981.

Guest stars: Maury Chaykin, Adele Givens, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Cheech Marin, M. Emmet Walsh, Nick Scotti, Marissa Ribisi

External links[edit]