1 9 7 7 (Canada)
13 x 30 minute episodes
This half-hour Candian sitcom had a good start as a pilot but a poor finish as a series. The pilot, produced and directed by Perry Rosemond, was called The Rimshots. It was the story of a group of young people who shared a house and hoped to make the big time as comedians but struggled all the way.
The CBC was counting on Rosemond’s success with King of Kensington to boost the new show.
At first, the CBC was very supportive and offered Rosemond a 13 episode production schedule using the same cast as appeared in the pilot. This included Catherine O’Hara, Andrea Martin and Dave Thomas, who unfortunately couldn’t commit to a series because they were signed to Global TV’s Second City show, SCTV.
The CBC went ahead with a new cast and a new name for the show, Custard Pie, but due to production conflicts and a poor work schedule, the show couldn’t properly develop at a creative pace.
‘Custard Pie’ was the name of a (fictional) four-member comedy team comprising four diverse and talented young performers who lived together in a boarding house that served double duty as a dance studio. The struggling group were forced to jump at bookings ranging from Hadassah Bazaars to a lounge in a bowling alley.
Leo Strauss (Peter Kastner) was the obnoxious manager-performer hooked on variety, stardom, power and “keeping the group alive”. Sheila Ann Murphy (Kate Lynch) was the serious actress of the troupe. Harvey Douglas (Derek McGrath) was the naive, slightly goofy one who owned the group’s van, and Maggie Tuckle (Nancy Dolman) was the hip, heavy rock chick.
Vickie DeMarco (Vivian Reis) was the group’s landlady and booking agent. Aldo Ludwit (Les Carlson) owned a restaurant-cum-gast station where Maggie worked as a part-time waitress.
Each episode was built around the clashes between their showbiz aspirations and their boarding house realities.
The show was cancelled after 13 episodes.
Sheila Ann Murphy