Top of the Heap

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Top of the Heap
GenreSitcom
Created by
Starring
Opening theme"Puttin' On the Ritz" performed by Kenny Yarbrough[1]
Composer(s)Michael Andreas
Kelly Brown
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6 (7 including Pilot) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Arthur Silver
Ron Leavitt
Running time22 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor
Release
Original networkFox
Original releaseApril 7 (1991-04-07) –
May 19, 1991 (1991-05-19)
Chronology
Followed byVinnie & Bobby
Related showsMarried... with Children

Top of the Heap is an American sitcom that ran for seven episodes on Fox from April 7 until May 19, 1991, the most successful of three attempted spin-offs of Married... with Children (the other two being Radio Free Trumaine[2] and Enemies[3]). The pilot was episode 20 of the fifth season of Married... with Children.[4] The series aired Sunday at 9:30 pm.

Synopsis[edit]

Top of the Heap focused on the attempts of two minor Married... with Children characters—Charlie Verducci (Joseph Bologna) and his son Vinnie (Matt LeBlanc)—to get rich. Charlie's "master plan" is for Vinnie to marry into a wealthy family; to this end, the two Chicago slum residents try to get into high society. Vinnie also owns a cat, Mr. Fluffy, who is despised by Charlie. Mona Mullins (Joey Lauren Adams) is a girl from the Verduccis' neighborhood who has a crush on Vinnie, who tries to fend her off.[5] Alixandra Stone (Rita Moreno) is the manager of a country club, and the object of Charlie's affections. Vinnie gets a job at a country club, which also employs a security guard, Emmet Lefebvre.

In some episodes actors from Married... with Children made guest appearances as their characters from the show, thus reinforcing the connection between the two series. Al Bundy (Ed O'Neill) appeared in the pilot (which itself was an episode of Married... with Children), Bud Bundy (David Faustino) made an appearance in an episode in the country club, and Kelly Bundy (Christina Applegate) appeared twice on the show in cameo appearances. However, none of the three Bundys made an appearance together.

In 1992, there was a continuation of this series entitled Vinnie & Bobby; it also lasted for only seven episodes.[6] The only characters returning in this version were the eponymous Vinnie (Matt LeBlanc), Mona Mullins (Joey Lauren Adams) and Bobby Grazzo (Robert Torti), who only appeared in the last episode of this version of the show.

Characters[edit]

Actor Role Appearances in other shows Episodes appeared Total episode count
Joseph Bologna Charlie Verducci 2, Two episodes of Married... with Children 1–7 7
Matt LeBlanc Vinnie Verducci 10, Three episodes of Married... with Children,
all of Vinnie & Bobby
1–7 7
Joey Lauren Adams Mona Mullins 8, Three episodes of Married... with Children,
all of Vinnie & Bobby
1–7 7
Mr. Fluffy the Cat Mr. Fluffy the Cat 1 episode of Married... with Children 1–7 7
Rita Moreno Alixandra Stone 0, no reference or appearance 2, 4–7 5
Leslie Jordan Emmet Lefebvre 0, no reference or appearance 2, 4–7 5
Christina Applegate Kelly Bundy 255, most of Married... with Children 3, 5 2
David Faustino Bud Bundy 257, most of Married... with Children 2 1
Ed O'Neill Al Bundy 259, all of Married... with Children 1 1
Robert Torti Bobby Grazzo 7, all of Vinnie & Bobby 7 1
Note: This table counts the backdoor pilot on Married... with Children as both the first episode and as an appearance on another show.

Episodes[edit]

Backdoor pilot[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
10020"Top of the Heap"Gerry CohenRon Leavitt & Arthur SilverApril 7, 1991 (1991-04-07)

Pilot episode: After Vinnie loses his last boxing match (and Charlie wins Al's TV in a bet), Charlie comes up with a plan to get Vinnie to marry a rich woman, so they crash a high society party.
Guest appearance by Ed O'Neill as Al Bundy.

Originally an episode of Married... With Children, and retains the opening theme of that show (Love and Marriage by Frank Sinatra) rather than Puttin' on the Ritz
No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"The Agony and the Agony"Linda DayMike Scully & Lenny RippsApril 14, 1991 (1991-04-14)

Vinnie gets a job working at a country club as an assistant to the manager, and Charlie gets the hots for her.
Guest appearance by David Faustino as Bud Bundy.

First appearance of both Alixandra and Emmet, as well as the show's theme song and opening credits, Puttin' on the Ritz
2"Behind the Eight Ball"Linda DayKimberly YoungApril 21, 1991 (1991-04-21)

Charlie overhears that a guy he is hustling at pool is a godfather.
Guest appearance by Christina Applegate as Kelly Bundy.

Both Alixandra and Emmet are absent from this episode
3"Stocks and Bondages"Linda DayJonathan CollierApril 28, 1991 (1991-04-28)

A hot stock tip sends Charlie to a loan shark, where he gets $10,000, but Vinnie doesn't get the money invested.

Alixandra and Emmet return for the rest of the show
4"The Last Temptation of Charlie"Gerry CohenLenny Ripps & Arthur SilverMay 5, 1991 (1991-05-05)

Charlie has a hard time convincing Vinnie that he didn't sell their cat, Mr. Fluffy, to pay for the television he claims to have won.

Guest appearance by Christina Applegate as Kelly Bundy.
5"The Marrying Guy"Tony SingletaryJonathan Collier & Wayne Kline & Mike Scully & Kimberly YoungMay 12, 1991 (1991-05-12)
Vinnie meets his first girlfriend on her wedding day, but Vinnie catches the groom with another woman.
6"Mona by Moonlight"Tony SingletaryKimberly Young & Mike Scully & Wayne Kline & Jonathan CollierMay 19, 1991 (1991-05-19)

Vinnie must take the owner's stepdaughter (a high fashion model) to a prom held at the club, but Mona also wants Vinnie to take her. Guest appearance by Robert Torti as Bobby Grazzo.

Last Appearances of Charlie, Alixandra, Emmet and Fluffy. The series would continue in Vinnie & Bobby.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Top of the Heap at TV Tango.com
  2. ^ "Radio Free Trumaine" on IMDb
  3. ^ "Enemies" on IMDb
  4. ^ "Married with Children: Top of the Heap" on IMDb
  5. ^ Top of the heap, Mona shows her infatuation for Vinnie EVERY scene, updated!, retrieved 2019-11-05
  6. ^ Vinnie & Bobby on IMDb

External links[edit]