Platypus Man

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Platypus Man
Created byBarry Fanaro
Mort Nathan
Written byJonathan Aibel
Mary Ann Barnes
Sheila Barnes
Glenn Berger
Robert Bruce
Billiam Coronel
Michael Davidoff
Barry Fanaro
Michael Gannon
Richard Jeni
Mort Nathan
Gail Parent
Bill Rosenthal
Sue Tenney
Marc Sotkin
Directed byDick Brown
Andy Cadiff
StarringRichard Jeni
Ron Orbach
Denise Miller
David Dundara
ComposersRich Eames
Scott Gale
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Executive producersBarry Fanaro
Mort Nathan
ProducersMichael Davidoff
Marica Govons
Bill Rosenthal
Michael Rotenberg
CinematographyFrank Raymond
EditorsRobert Bramwell
Richard Rodono
Running time30 mins. (approx)
Production companiesFanaro-Nathan Productions
Paramount Television
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Original networkUPN
Original releaseJanuary 23 (1995-01-23) –
May 15, 1995 (1995-05-15)

Platypus Man is an American sitcom that aired on UPN from January 23 to May 15, 1995, during the network's troubled first season.[1][2] Starring comedian Richard Jeni, the television series was based on an hour-long HBO special of Jeni's filmed in 1992. The series lasted one season, with a total of thirteen episodes.

Platypus Man premiered January 23, 1995. The concept of a "Platypus Man" (a solitary male, like the male platypus), the concept of a "cooking show for guys" and the scenes involving the main character's social life were drawn from Jeni's stand-up routines.[3]

The show, paired with Pig Sty, followed Star Trek: Voyager on UPN's Monday schedule. Both Pig Sty and Platypus Man were canceled in July 1995.[4]


In the early 1990s, Jeni developed a comedy routine where he watched a National Geographic special on the platypus. In the routine, Jeni went on to describe how he found himself relating to the TV show, and the concept of a "platypus man" was expanded to become the theme behind Jeni's 1992 HBO comedy special.

The HBO special was taped in 1992 at the Park West Theater in Chicago, Illinois and covered topics such as news ("the bad news"), sports (including Jeni's "NFL Football Referee" routine), politics, music and sex. Executive producers on the project were Richard Jeni and Michael Rotenberg, it was produced by Tom Bull and Sandy Chandley, and post-production was handled by Steve Sharp and Juniper Recording Studios.

The set design for the special was created by Norm Dodge and included a checkered tile floor, a backdrop with painted-on palm trees, a refrigerator and microwave at one end of the stage (provided by Aronson Furniture, for a comedic bit entitled "Bill the Belching Gourmet"), and a black sofa at the other end of the stage. This design was reproduced in clay for the opening sequence of Platypus Man, in which art director Rick Toone of D&K Group/Claymagic used the process of claymation to introduce the show with the help of a duck-billed clay version of Richard Jeni and footage from the platypus exhibit at Taronga Zoo in Sydney.

The live-action portions of the opening sequence were shot inside and outside of Jeni's house in the Hollywood Hills (in the bedroom, bathroom, hallway, driveway, balcony and pool area) and on the streets of West Hollywood, California. The song "Platypus Man" that opened and closed the special was created with the combined efforts of Scott May, Richard Jeni, and fellow comedian Rondell Sheridan, and sung in a blues-like voice by Jeni.


In the series, Jeni played himself and was host of a cooking show called Cooking with the Platypus Man. Ron Orbach played Lou, executive producer of his cooking show and his best friend since childhood. Denise Miller played Paige, his sportswriter neighbor. David Dundara played Tommy, his bartending younger brother.



No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Pilot"Andy CadiffBarry Fanaro & Mort NathanJanuary 23, 1995 (1995-01-23)
2"9½ Days"Gary BrownMichael Davidoff & Bill RosenthalJanuary 30, 1995 (1995-01-30)
3"The Apartment Show"Gary BrownMarc SotkinFebruary 6, 1995 (1995-02-06)
4"NYPD Nude"Andy CadiffBarry Fanaro & Mort NathanFebruary 13, 1995 (1995-02-13)
5"Sweet Denial"Gary BrownGail ParentFebruary 20, 1995 (1995-02-20)
6"New York on $2,000 a Day"Gary BrownMichael Davidoff & Bill RosenthalFebruary 27, 1995 (1995-02-27)
7"Lou's the Boss"Gary BrownJonathan Aibel & Glenn BergerMarch 6, 1995 (1995-03-06)
8"The Crush"Gary BrownMary Ann Barnes & Sheila BarnesMarch 13, 1995 (1995-03-13)
9"Both Sides Now"Gary BrownDanny SmithMarch 20, 1995 (1995-03-20)
10"Without a Hitch"Gary BrownJonathan Aibel & Glenn BergerApril 10, 1995 (1995-04-10)
11"Lower East Side Story"Gary BrownBill PradyMay 1, 1995 (1995-05-01)
12"Out of the Mouths of Babes"Gary BrownBilliam Coronel & Robert BruceMay 8, 1995 (1995-05-08)
13"Dying to Live"Gary BrownMarc Sotkin & Gail ParentMay 15, 1995 (1995-05-15)


  1. ^ "Tuned In: UPN announces name change, celebrates ratings". Retrieved 2017-10-31.
  2. ^ Carter, Bill (October 6, 1994). A New Network Hopes To Lure Fox Viewers. New York Times
  3. ^ O'Connor, John J. (January 30, 1995). Television Review; 2 New Sitcoms, 1 New Network. New York Times
  4. ^ Roberts, Johnnie L. (1995-07-03). "Kids Will Be Kids". Retrieved 2009-03-23.

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