1 9 7 8 – 1 9 7 9 (USA)
11 x 60 minute episodes
Jack Albertson gave up his greasy overalls from Chico & The Man for a three-piece suit in Grandpa Goes To Washington, which debuted on NBC on 20 September 1978.
Albertson played Josephus “Joe” Kelley, a 65-year-old college professor (of political science) who is put out to pasture because of mandatory retirement laws. Incensed by the retirement – and with nothing better to do – he runs for a seat in US Senate and wins (because his two opponents are both exposed as crooks).
Grandpa is certainly not an average senator. He drives a Volkswagen convertible, he plays (and teaches) the drums and is a crusty fighter, albeit stoic and literate.
In Washington, he is reunited with his bumbling milquetoast son, the Pentagon’s General Kevin Kelley (Larry Linville from M*A*S*H), whom Joe fondly refers to as “my son the fathead”.
The fathead and his two children – baseball-loving Kevin Jr (Sparky Marcus) and activist Kathleen (Michelle Tobin) – are glad to have grandpa around.
But Kevin’s health food nut wife (Sue Ane Langdon) withholds unanimous consent, possibly because Joe is honest and outspoken about the food she serves her family, which seems to consist entirely of kiwis, rhubarb, mangoes, zucchini and rutabagas.
Meanwhile, at the office, Joe’s overworked African American secretary Madge (Madge Sinclair) is always threatening to quit.
Senator Josephus ‘Joe’ Kelley
Major General Kevin Kelley
Sue Ane Langdon
Kevin Kelley, Jr