1 9 8 7 – 1 9 8 8 (USA)
22 x 30 minute episodes
Slap Maxwell (Dabney Coleman) is a crusty, egocentric and abrasive sportswriter who has been working for a second-rate newspaper (The Ledger) in the Southwest for fifteen years.
He smokes cigars, writes his column (“Slap Shots”) on a typewriter, not a computer, and has a marriage that failed years ago.
“Why would you divorce me after 25 years?” he asks his estranged wife, Annie (Susan Anspach) in one episode. “Because we haven’t lived together for 15,” she replies.
The rumours and innuendo in Slap’s column often draw lawsuits, giving editor Nelson Kruger (Brian Smiar) fits. This often gets Slap fired, though he always comes crawling back.
Despite his monumental insensitivity to everyone around him, Slap has an on-again, off-again girlfriend in Judy Ralston (Megan Gallagher), the newspaper’s secretary.
Other characters include Dutchman the friendly bartender (Bill Cobbs); Slap’s former girlfriend Kitty Noland (Shirley Jones); his father Stan Maxwell (John McIntire); his son, Elliott (Joseph Brutsman); and Office Boy Charlie Wilson (Bill Calvert).
Coleman and producer Jay Tarses last worked together on NBC’s wonderfully acidic Buffalo Bill, in which Coleman played a talk show host who growled and groused his way across landscapes professional and personal.
Tarses was quick to point out that Maxwell was “a much more decent human being than Bill was. He has friends”.