Gimme A Break! – A TV Show That Reminds Me Of My Childhood!

Gimme a Break! was an American television sitcom created by Mort Lachman and Sy Rosen, that aired on NBC for six seasons from October 29, 1981, to May 12, 1987. The series starred Nell Carter as the housekeeper for a widowed police chief (Dolph Sweet) and his three daughters. Gimme a Break! is an American television sitcom created by Mort Lachman and Sy Rosen, that aired on NBC for six seasons from October 29, 1981, to May 12, 1987. The series starred Nell Carter as the housekeeper for a widowed police chief (Dolph Sweet) and his three daughters -Katie (Kathleen), Julie & tom boyish Samantha (Sam) played by Kari Michaelsen, Lauri Hendler & Lara Jill Miller respectively.

Singer / actress Telma Hopkins played Nell’s best friend Addie and Howard Morton played dim-witted police officer Ralph Waldo Simpson for five seasons. A very young Joey Lawrence was introduced in season 3 and stayed on till the end of the show. Johnathan Silverman appeared in a recurring role, except for season 5 where he was part of the main cast, as first the boyfriend and then husband of Julie. Nell is a former colleague and friend of chief Carl Kanisky’s wife, who made her promise to take care of her daughter on her deathbed. As a result, Nell came to lie with the Kanisky family and be the housekeeper and took care of the girls.

Looking back it as a bit more of an innocent comedy for back then, even if you had seriousness scattered all over the episodes. Taking care of 3 young girls until they are old enough to move out on their own has their moments, as are the funny clashes between Nell & the chief who clearly isn’t very comfortable at having Nell there but is nonetheless grateful and dependent on her. In the final of season 4 Julie & Johnathan elope and get married in Vegas and Dolph Sweet died just 3 days before it aired. The show producers wrote his death into the show and season 5’s opener was dedicated to him, with the characters and the cast in real life, still mourning his death.

It was good show and a young impressionable me, who was probably 7 when the show started airing late in Kuwait, had my first real crush in Kari Michaelsen. I love the show and the actors. Perhaps this show and Mind Your Language are the two sitcoms that remind me of my childhood.

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