Home Television Comedy No Soap, Radio

No Soap, Radio

1 9 8 2 (USA)
5 x 30 minute episodes

Seemingly an American attempt to cross Fawlty Towers with Monty Python’s Flying Circus, this deliberately zany series was set (loosely) around the seedy Pelican Hotel in Atlantic City.

Visual gags abounded, usually unconnected to the storyline – the hotel elevator opened its doors to various different locations; Miami Beach, a student protest in San Francisco, and so on, and when people walked into rooms they found themselves in woods and other strange places.

All of these phenomena went seemingly unnoticed by the hotel staff, led by the manager Roger (Steve Guttenberg) and including his assistant Karen and the house detective, Tuttle.

The series ran on ABC’s Thursday night schedule from mid-April to mid-May of 1982. The title comes from an old anti-joke about two elephants in a bathtub and one, after being asked to pass the soap, replies “No soap, radio.”

The idea is to tell the nonsensical joke to someone in front of friends who are in on the gag, then see if the victim pretends to get it. Unfortunately for those involved in this series, not enough of the TV audience got it, so the show was yanked after just five outings before it ever really got started.

Although only five episodes aired, 13 were made.

Roger 
Steve Guttenberg
Karen 

Hillary Bailey
Mr Plitzky 

Bill Dana
Mrs Belmont 

Fran Ryan
Morris 

Jerry Maren
Tuttle 

Stuart Pankin
Sharon 

Brianne Leary