Home Television Comedy Waverly Wonders, The

Waverly Wonders, The

1 9 7 8 (USA)
9 x 30 minute episodes

Broadway Joe Namath moved out of the locker room and into the classroom for his first TV series acting attempt.

The pride of Beaver Falls – and once the premiere quarterback in football – played Joe Casey, an inept history teacher of reluctant pupils and the basketball coach for a winless team in this short-lived NBC comedy which debuted on 22 September 1978 but quickly folded after it was annihilated in the ratings by Wonder Woman on CBS and Donny and Marie on ABC.

Waverly’s Torpedoes were right out of Welcome Back, Kotter‘s sweathog mould, and there was even a girl on the basketball team.


Tomboy Connie Rafkin (Kim Lankford) was there because she was the best player the school had, which gives an indication of why Waverly High (from Eastfield, Wisconsin) had a record of 0-and-infinity.

Also on his hapless team were “Italian Stallion” Tony Faguzzi (Joshua Grenrock), introverted John Tate (Charles Bloom) and sly and cunning Hasty Parks (Tierre Turner).

That’s only four players – another bad omen for coach Joe Casey.

Among the other faculty members were pretty principal Linda Harris (Gwynne Gilford) and George Benton (Ben Piazza) –  the former coach and Joe’s nemesis who the kids called “old prune- face”.

Episodes included ‘Joe Checks Out the Librarian’ – in which a romance intended to be totally tally clandestine went public, leading the kids to refer to Mr Casey as “lover boy” – and ‘Joe Goes to the Press’ – where Joe used a ghostwriter to send a letter to the editor debating a local sportscaster’s cruel criticism of his team.

Joe Casey
Joe Namath
John Tate
Charles Bloom
Tony Faguzzi
Joshua Grenrock
Connie Rafkin
Kim Lankford
Hasty Parks
Tierre Turner
Linda Harris
Gwynne Gilford
Alan Kerner
James Staley
George Benton
Ben Piazza


Pilot | Pied Piper | Tate vs. Tate | Rafkin’s Victory Dance | Joe Checks Out the Librarian | The Kiss | Joe Goes to Press | The Revolution | Mock Marriage