The Good Guys (1968 TV series)

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The Good Guys
The Good Guys cast 1968.jpg
From left: Bob Denver, Herb Edelman, Joyce Van Patten
Genre Situation comedy
Created by Jack Rose
Written by Arnold Horwitt
Jack Rose
Mel Tolkin
Directed by Charles R. Rondeau
Starring Bob Denver
Herb Edelman
Joyce Van Patten
Jack Perkins
Theme music composer Ray Evans
Jerry Fielding
Jay Livingston
Opening theme "Two Good Guys"
Composer(s) Jerry Fielding
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 42
Executive producer(s) Leonard B. Stern
Producer(s) Jerry Davis
Jack Rose
Bob Schiller
Bob Weiskopf
Cinematography William T. Cline
Robert Hoffman
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 24 minutes
Production company(s) Talent Associates
Original network CBS
Audio format Monaural
Original release September 25, 1968 (1968-09-25)[1] – January 23, 1970 (1970-01-23)

The Good Guys is an American situation comedy which aired on CBS from September 25, 1968, to January 23, 1970. Forty-two color episodes were filmed in all. As with The Governor & J.J. and Get Smart, it was produced by Talent Associates.[2]


Vincent Price guest-stars as the local health inspector who tells Rufus the diner must be cleaned up for its license to be renewed.

The main character is Rufus Butterworth (Bob Denver), the driver of a customized 1924 Lincoln[3] turned taxi, and his childhood friend Bert Gramus, played by Herb Edelman, owner of a local diner and neighborhood hangout called "Bert's Place", which Butterworth advertised on the taxi's fender-mount spare tire covers.[4] Plots usually revolved around "get rich quick" schemes that invariably backfired.[1] In the second season (1969-1970), Rufus gave up driving the cab and became a partner with Bert in the diner, which moved to a beach location. Other characters included Bert's schoolteacher wife, Claudia (Joyce Van Patten), and diner regulars Mr. Bender, Hal Dawson, and truck driver Big Tom (played by Denver's Gilligan's Island co-star Alan Hale Jr.).

Never a hit with viewers, The Good Guys failed to finish in the Nielsen Top 30 and was canceled after its second season.

Production notes[edit]

Rufus' taxi was created by George Barris. A 1/25-scale model kit was manufactured by MPC Corporation and examples are highly collectible today.

The first several episodes of the first season were filmed before a live studio audience (unusual at the time), with an accompanying laugh track to sweeten the laughs during post-production. Due to production changes, the majority of Season One episodes and all of Season Two were filmed without a studio audience. Episodes were fitted with a laugh track-only afterwards.[5]

Denver later recalled of the show's negative reception: "I still had some animus at how CBS threw us in the dumper. Herb Edelman and I'd done The Good Guys…but sour critics said it should have been just called 'Guys'."[6]


The Good Guys has never been shown in reruns in the United States. In his autobiography, Gilligan, Maynard and Me, Bob Denver related that poor-quality prints of the show were shown for a time in South America. TV Land considered showing episodes of the show in 1998 but opted instead to air episodes of another "lost" sitcom that was also produced by Talent Associates, He & She.


  1. ^ a b "TV Today: Two More Fall Series Make Bows on Big Tube". Chicago Tribune. September 26, 1968. p. B29. Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  2. ^ Witbeck, Charles (September 3, 1968). "Small Town Look For 'Good Guys'". The Toledo Blade. p. 34. Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  3. ^ Kleiner, Dick, "Andrews Still Sans Senses", National Editorial Association, From: The Sumter Daily Item, October 11, 1968. Retrieved April 14, 2016
  4. ^ Gowran, Clay (August 15, 1968). "TV Today: CBS Series to Offer Slapstick in W. C. Fields Tradition". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Television Obscurities - The Good Guys". 2003-10-14. 
  6. ^ KDKA radio interview May 12, 1989

External links[edit]