Benson title, from the extended opening
|Created by||Susan Harris|
Rene Auberjonois (1980-86)
Ethan Phillips (1980-85)
Jerry Seinfeld (1980-81)
Caroline McWilliams (1979-81)
Didi Conn (1981-85)
Lewis J. Stadlen (1979-80)
Billie Bird (1984-86)
|Country of origin|| United States|
|No. Susan Harris (born Susan Spivak on October 28, 1940 in Mount Vernon New York) is a Television Comedy Writer Robert Guillaume (born November 30, 1927) is an American stage and television Actor, perhaps best known for his role as Benson Du Bois on James Noble (born March 5, 1922 in Dallas Texas) is an American actor best known for his portrayal of the slightly daffy Governor Eugene Inga Swenson (born December 29, 1932 in Omaha Nebraska) is an Emmy award and Golden Globe -nominated American actress Missy Gold (born Melissa Fisher July 14, 1970) is a former American child actress. René Murat Auberjonois (born June 1 1940) is a American actor known for portraying Father Ethan Phillips (born February 8, 1955) is an American Actor, Playwright and Author. Jerome Allen "Jerry" Seinfeld (born on April 29 1954 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American comedian actor and writer Caroline McWilliams (born April 4, 1945) is an American Actress best known for her portrayal of Marcy Hill on the television series Didi Conn (born July 13, 1951) is an American film stage and television Actress. Lewis J Stadlen (born March 7, 1947) is an American Character actor. Billie Bird ( February 28, 1908 – November 27, 2002) was an American Actress and Comedian. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||158 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||24-25 Minutes|
|Original run||September 13, 1979 – April 19, 1986|
Benson is an American television sitcom which aired from September 13, 1979 to April 19, 1986 on ABC. See also Benson (TV series Season One Season Two Season Three Season Four Season Five Season Six The American Broadcasting Company ( ABC) is an American Television network. Events 509 BC - The Temple of Jupiter on Rome 's Capitoline Hill is dedicated on the ides of September Year 1979 ( MCMLXXIX) was a Common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1979 Gregorian calendar) Events 1012 - Martyrdom of Alphege in Greenwich London. 1529 - At the Second Diet of Speyer Year 1986 ( MCMLXXXVI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar) The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Events 509 BC - The Temple of Jupiter on Rome 's Capitoline Hill is dedicated on the ides of September Year 1979 ( MCMLXXIX) was a Common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1979 Gregorian calendar) Events 1012 - Martyrdom of Alphege in Greenwich London. 1529 - At the Second Diet of Speyer Year 1986 ( MCMLXXXVI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar) The American Broadcasting Company ( ABC) is an American Television network. The character of butler Benson DuBois, played by Robert Guillaume, had originally appeared on the soap opera parody Soap. Robert Guillaume (born November 30, 1927) is an American stage and television Actor, perhaps best known for his role as Benson Du Bois on Soap is an American Sitcom that originally ran on ABC from 1977 to 1981
In the show, Benson had been hired to be the head of household affairs for scatterbrained and widowed Governor Eugene Gatling (James Noble), and his daughter Katie (Missy Gold). A governor is a governing official usually the executive (at least nominally to different degrees also politically and administratively of a non-sovereign level of government James Noble (born March 5, 1922 in Dallas Texas) is an American actor best known for his portrayal of the slightly daffy Governor Eugene Missy Gold (born Melissa Fisher July 14, 1970) is a former American child actress. Governor Gatling was cousin to Jessica Tate (Katherine Helmond), a character on Soap. Katherine Marie Helmond (born July 5, 1928, Galveston Texas) is an American Film, Theater and Television The state of which Gatling was governor remained unidentified throughout the series, although Soap had taken place in Connecticut. In spite of his somewhat off center personality, Governor Gatling proved to be a very capable and commanding figure when a crisis arose.
Benson's housekeeping dilemmas, his fights with the German cook Gretchen Kraus (Inga Swenson), and his interactions with the governor's chief of staff, John Taylor (Lewis J. Stadlen, who would be replaced with Rene Auberjonois as Clayton Endicott III after the first season), made up the bulk of the stories each week. Inga Swenson (born December 29, 1932 in Omaha Nebraska) is an Emmy award and Golden Globe -nominated American actress Lewis J Stadlen (born March 7, 1947) is an American Character actor. René Murat Auberjonois (born June 1 1940) is a American actor known for portraying Father In spite of their adversarial relationship, Benson and Kraus eventually became good friends. Benson also had very good friendships with the Governor's secretary, Marcy Hill (Caroline McWilliams), and her successor, Denise (Didi Conn). Caroline McWilliams (born April 4, 1945) is an American Actress best known for her portrayal of Marcy Hill on the television series Didi Conn (born July 13, 1951) is an American film stage and television Actress. Marcy left midway through the series after getting married.
Benson worked his way up the ladder during the series, going from head of household affairs, to state budget director, and eventually was elevated to the position of Lieutenant Governor. A Lieutenant Governor is a high officer of state whose precise role and rank vary by jurisdiction During the final episodes of the 1985-1986 season, Benson ran for governor against Gatling. Kraus (who had herself moved up to head of household affairs, then state budget director) proved to be Benson's biggest supporter during this time as well. So much so, that he made her his personal assistant and campaign manager.
The premise was that initially Gatling was prohibited from running for re-election due to term limits. Later it was revealed that he could run again if he did so as an independent candidate, which he decided to do. By this time, Benson had already won the nomination of Gatling's party, setting the stage for the two to go head-to-head in the general election.
At the end of the series' final episode (seventh season finale), it was election night, and with the race still too close to call, Benson and Gatling, who had strained relations due to the race, made their peace with one another and sat down together to watch election returns on television. As the broadcaster began to announce that a winner in the close election (with a third candidate also a potential winner) was at last being projected, the episode - and series - ended with an unresolved cliffhanger. A cliffhanger or cliffhanger ending is a Plot device in which a movie, Novel, or other work of fiction contains an abrupt ending often leaving Coincidentally, Guillaume's previous series Soap was also canceled with unresolved cliffhangers, though Guillaume had moved on to Benson by that point.
According to the Internet Movie Database, three endings were supposedly shot involving either a Gatling win, a win by Benson, or a surprise win by a wildcard candidate in the form of a crooked senator, putting both of them out of a job. None of these endings proved satisfactory to anyone involved, so the decision was made to keep the show's ending unresolved. According to an interview on the first season DVD set, Benson won the race.
1979-1980 Season: #23
On July 24, 2007, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released Season 1 of Benson on DVD in Region 1 for the first time. See also Benson (TV series Season One Season Two Season Three Season Four Season Five Season Six Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the Home video distribution arm of Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation. 
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release Date|
|The Complete First Season||24||July 24, 2007|
Over the course of the show's seven-year run it was nominated for a total of 17 Emmys. Events 1132 - Battle of Nocera between Ranulf II of Alife and Roger II of Sicily. Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. It won two, including Best Actor in a Comedy Series for Guillaume's second-to-last season portraying the title character.
The exterior shots of the governor's mansion are actually of a private home located at 1365 South Oakland Ave. in Pasadena, California. Pasadena ( is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The same house was used briefly in the 1993 movie The Beverly Hillbillies, and was more recently used 2006 in a U. The Beverly Hillbillies is a 1993 20th Century Fox comedy motion picture starring Jim Varney, Diedrich Bader, Erika Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. S. television commercial for the RE/MAX real estate company. A television advertisement or television commercial (often just commercial or advert (US or ad (UK is a span of television programming produced RE/MAX International is an international Real estate company It was founded in 1973 by David and Gail Liniger in Denver Colorado
Although the state in which Benson takes place is never specified and could be fictional, there are multiple clues to its location (similar to The Simpsons, which has featured numerous clues during its run hinting at the location of Springfield):
- States ruled out:
- Dialogue in the show specifically eliminated Idaho (Season 1, episode 1), Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii, Connecticut (which is where Soap was set), California, New Jersey, and Illinois as possible locations. Springfield is the fictional city in which the animated American sitcom The Simpsons is set The State of Idaho ( is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States of America. Florida ( is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States, bordering Alabama to the northwest and Georgia to the The State of Georgia ( is a state in the United States and was one of the original Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule New Mexico ( is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States of America. The State of Arizona ( is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. Texas ( is a state geographically located in the South Central United States and is also known as the Lone Star State. Oregon ( is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. The State of Colorado ( or chiefly by nonresidents) is a state located in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States of America. The State of Hawaii ( or həˈwaɪʔiː Hawaiian: Mokuāina o Hawaii) is a state in the United States located on an Archipelago in the Connecticut ( is a state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. Soap is an American Sitcom that originally ran on ABC from 1977 to 1981 California ( is a US state on the West Coast of the United States, along the Pacific Ocean. New Jersey ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. The State of Illinois ( roughly ill-i-NOY is a state of the United States of America, the 21st to be admitted to the Union.
- In the episode Old School Ties, it is mentioned that the "other side of the state" is 300 miles away from the capital. This disqualifies Maryland, Iowa, South Carolina, West Virginia, and all of the states in the Northeast with the exception of New York and Pennsylvania. The State of Iowa ( is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States of America. South Carolina ( is a state in the southern region ( Deep South) of the United States of America. West Virginia ( is a state in the Appalachian Upland South, and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, bordered by New York ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ( often colloquially referred to as PA (its abbreviation by natives and Northeasterners is a state located in the Northeastern
- Benson has a map of Western Connecticut, Eastern New York, Long Island and Long Island Sound on his office's wall. Connecticut ( is a state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. New York ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous Long Island is an island located in southeastern New York, USA, its western shores directly across from Manhattan, from which the island stretches Long Island Sound is an Estuary of the Atlantic Ocean and various Rivers in the United States that lies between the coast of Connecticut He also has a map of the Chesapeake Bay area. The Chesapeake Bay is the largest Estuary in the United States. This may indicate that it takes place in the Northeastern United States, although should not be taken as conclusive. The Northeast is a region of the United States. As defined by the U
- In the episode Homework, Benson, Governor Gatling and Pete are talking about a proposed "State Heritage Day". In the discussion, Governor Gatling remarks that the state's most important moment was a locust attack on all the state's agriculture in 1832. Year 1832 ( MDCCCXXXII) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian This would seem to limit the possible states to those formed before 1832. Pete also brings up the fact that pioneer Johnny Appleseed planted trees in the state with some degree of importance. Johnny Appleseed, born John Chapman (September 26 1774 – February 18 1845 was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apples to large parts of Ohio The latter would suggest the states of Ohio or Indiana. Ohio ( is a Midwestern state of the United States. As part of the Great Lakes region, Ohio has long been a cultural and geographical crossroads The State of Indiana ( was the 19th US state admitted into the union
- In the episode All Shook Up, a major earthquake rocks the state capital. An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth 's crust that creates Seismic waves Earthquakes are recorded with a Seismometer While it's possible for the Northeastern United States to be rattled by an earthquake, the jolt depicted in the episode is more common in California or the Pacific Northwest. The Northeast is a region of the United States. As defined by the U The Pacific Northwest is a region in the northwest of North America (the term refers to the land not the ocean However, in this episode, Benson says "This isn't California. "
- An interesting Simpsons/Benson coincidence: It is mentioned several times-as early as the third-season (April 2, 1982), episode Teed Off-that the show is set in "Capital City," also the name of the capital of The Simpsons' state. Events 68 - Galba, Governor of Hispania, names himself legatus senatus populique Romani, breaking the line of Year 1982 ( MCMLXXXII) was a Common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar) Capital City was a Television show produced by Euston Films which focused on the lives of Investment bankers in London living
- In the episode "Mary and her Lambs" (17 December 1982 (Season 4, Episode 10), An officer of the court is pursuing Mary and her two non-biological children to place them in foster homes. Events 546 - Gothic War (535–554: The Ostrogoths of King Totila Year 1982 ( MCMLXXXII) was a Common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar) Benson reveals that the warrant issued for the children is from Clark County, while the capital is in Lawrence County. Clark County is the name of twelve counties in the United States of America Lawrence County is the name of eleven counties in the United States: Lawrence County Alabama Lawrence County Arkansas
- States— not otherwise ruled out— with a Clark County are: Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin. Arkansas ( is a state located in the southern region of the United States. The State of Indiana ( was the 19th US state admitted into the union Kansas ( is a Midwestern state in the central region of the United States of America, an area often referred to as the American " The Commonwealth of Kentucky ( is a state located in the East Central United States of America. Missouri ( or) is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee Nevada ( is a state located in the western region of the United States of America. Ohio ( is a Midwestern state of the United States. As part of the Great Lakes region, Ohio has long been a cultural and geographical crossroads South Dakota ( is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America. Washington ( is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Wisconsin ( or wɪˈskɑnsɨn (French Ouisconsin) is one of the fifty United States of America, located in the north central part of the United States
- States- not otherwise ruled out- with a Lawrence County are: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Tennessee. Alabama (formally the State of Alabama;) is a State located in the southern region of the United States of America. Mississippi ( is a state located in the Deep South of the United States The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ( often colloquially referred to as PA (its abbreviation by natives and Northeasterners is a state located in the Northeastern Tennessee ( is a state located in the Southern United States.
- Therefore, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, and South Dakota meet the criteria based on this information.
- Also, the state motto is mentioned - "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" - in Latin.
- In one episode where Benson and Gov. Gatling are summoned to Washington, D.C. to meet with the President, the meeting is cancelled leaving Benson to exclaim that "we came 1,800 miles for nothing. Washington DC ( formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, the District, or simply D " Among the states with capitals approximately that distance from Washington (and not already ruled out by dialogue) are Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota (all admitted to the U. Montana ( is a state in the Western United States. One-third of the state in the western part contains numerous mountain ranges (approximately 77 named of the northern North Dakota ( is a state located in the Midwestern and Western regions of the United States of America. South Dakota ( is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America. S. in 1889), and Wyoming (admitted in 1890). The State of Wyoming ( is a sparsely populated state in the western region of the United States.
- However, another episode had a local radio stations call sign begin with a W, which rules out all of those states since they are well west of the Mississippi River. Many countries have specific conventions for classifying Call signs by transmitter characteristics and location The Mississippi River is the second longest River in the United States, with a length of from its source in Lake Itasca in Minnesota to It is possible the station call sign had been grandfathered by the FCC. A grandfather clause is a term used in US English for an exception that allows an old rule to continue to apply to some existing situations when a new rule will apply to all future situations
- In the episode "Thick as Thieves" (Season 1), Marcie says that the state budget hasn't been balanced since the Civil War. A civil war is a War between a State and domestic political actors that are in control of some part of the territory claimed by the state This indicates that it cannot be any state that was not a state during the Civil War.
- In the episode " The Army Wants You" (Season 1), Benson is called to Fort Kincaid for medical tests. The only Fort Kincaid is in Missouri. Missouri ( or) is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee
- Jerry Seinfeld's first television appearance was in 1980, playing the recurring role of the delivery man/aspiring comic, Frankie. Jerome Allen "Jerry" Seinfeld (born on April 29 1954 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American comedian actor and writer Year 1980 ( MCMLXXX) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar) Shortly afterwards, he was abruptly fired. He has claimed in several interviews that he was not told that he would be fired. Rather, he came to the studio for a table read, only to discover that he did not have a script.
- Ted Danson played the character Dan, who married Benson's secretary, Marcy. Edward Bridge “Ted” Danson III (born December 29, 1947) is an American Actor best known for his role as central character " The following year, Danson would star in the eventual hit program Cheers. Cheers is an American Situation comedy television series that ran eleven seasons from 1982 to 1993
- Lewis J. Stadlen's character, John Taylor, was written out of the show after the first season. Lewis J Stadlen (born March 7, 1947) is an American Character actor. The storyline ended with Taylor quitting to run for political office, even going so far as snubbing an endorsement from his former boss.
- An episode airing February 22, 1985 ("Scenario") marked the first reference to the Internet on American network television. Events 1495 - King Charles VIII of France enters Naples to claim the city's throne Year 1985 ( MCMLXXXV) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link displays 1985 Gregorian calendar) The Internet is a global system of interconnected Computer networks In the episode, they were accessing the ARPANET, the progenitor of the Internet, which was used by the US government to communicate with the military. The ARPANET ( Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) developed by ARPA of the United States Department of Defense, was the world's first operational The United States of America —commonly referred to as the
- Two actors from this series, Ethan Phillips and Rene Auberjonois, appeared later as regular characters in the Star Trek universe (as Neelix in Star Trek: Voyager and Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, respectively). Ethan Phillips (born February 8, 1955) is an American Actor, Playwright and Author. René Murat Auberjonois (born June 1 1940) is a American actor known for portraying Father This article lists characters in the various canonical incarnations of Star Trek. Neelix is a character in the television series Star Trek Voyager. Odo, played by René Auberjonois, is a main character on the science fiction television series Star Trek Deep Space Nine. Robert Picardo, who played the Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager, appears in the two-part Benson seventh season episode "Reel Murder". Robert Picardo (born October 27, 1953) is an Emmy Award -nominated American Actor. The Emergency Medical Hologram, better known as The Doctor, is a fictional character on the television series Star Trek Voyager.
- Swenson and McWilliams appeared as recurring characters on Soap prior to joining the Benson cast. Soap is an American Sitcom that originally ran on ABC from 1977 to 1981 Although Benson is a cross-over character from Soap, both Swenson and McWilliams play new characters, albeit with personalities near identical to their Soap characters.
- Gold and McWilliams are both left-handed.
- The theme song to Benson is a popular sound clip on the Preston and Steve morning radio show. The Preston and Steve show is a morning radio comedy and variety broadcast on Philadelphia Active Rock station 93 Broadcasting on 93. 3 WMMR and based primarily in Philadelphia, the theme is mostly used for when the hosts can't remember a certain actor or show.
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