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002: The Life of the Party
StarStarStar Half
November 28, 1987

Craig is a funny kid that makes people laugh. But he is having problems at home and takes it out on the kids at Whit's End.


Characters
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Character
Actor
App.
# 2
# 1
# 1
# 1
# 1
# 2
# 2


Production Team
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Paul McCusker   Phil Lollar   Steve Harris   Male Missing
Paul McCusker   Phil Lollar   Steve Harris   Bob Luttrell
Writer   Director   Director   Sound Designer


Review
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Written By: Chandler

In the intro of this show, Chris says that we'll hear some really funny jokes. My tape must be defective. Well, not really, but the jokes are rather stale. In fact the most humorous line was by Tom: "I thought you liked my dog!" ;o)

That "cute little bell" above the door at Whit's End is noticeably absent in early shows. You simply hear door opening and closing sound effects. But there is either a window in it or windows by it because people are readily aware of what's happening out there and who's coming in.

The show focuses on Craig Moorhead, a kid who likes to tell jokes (albeit stale jokes). Most kids think he's pretty funny, but Freddy, whose parents are getting a divorce, doesn't take kindly to Craig's jokes. One thing that really surprises me is Freddy and Craig's use of "shut up" repeatedly. Some parents out there don't mind the language, but most families I knew growing up did not allow their kids to say that.

Craig doesn't understand Freddy's feelings until he goes home and his parents get into a big fight. Their arguing, in my opinion, is a little distressing for younger listeners. When Craig hears that his family may move back to Columbus, he runs out the door and races back to Whit's End.

One cute little exchange was the length of time the Moorheads had been in Odyssey. Whit asks Bill if they've been in Odyssey for three weeks and Bill responds that it is actually three and a half weeks. Later, Bill tells Joan that they've been in Odyssey for three weeks and she corrects him by saying it's been three and a half weeks.

On his way to Whit's End, Craig runs into some of the "friends" he has made in his brief stay in Odyssey. Instead of being sympathetic about Craig's plight, however, the kids only want Craig to entertain them with more jokes. Angrily, Craig continues on to Whit's End.

At Whit's End, Craig pours out his feelings to Whit who explains true friendship. The Complete Guide says that Whit's original quote of Galatians 6:7 was erroneously stated as, "What you reap you shall also sow." The producers had to rearrange the word order to get it to correctly say, "What you sow you shall also reap." The Guide suggests that you listen carefully and see if you can detect the fix when listening to that line. The answer is yes. But since the producers did such a good job, no one would ever suspect the reason for the difference. It almost sounds as if Whit is just being extra deliberate.

I always wonder about Craig's calling home from Whit's End. He simply informs Whit that he should call home and walks off. Doesn't he need to ask permission to use Whit's phone? Does he even know where the phone is? In the three (and a half) weeks that he's been here, has he already used the phone enough to just "borrow" it any time? Also, there is no indication that Craig went outside thus eliminating the possibility of a pay phone. Anyway, the show ends on a happy note when Craig learns his family won't be moving and he gets the opportunity to be a real friend to Freddy.

The best thing about this episode is the debut of Will Ryan (Eugene, Harlow, etc.) as Craig's father. Beyond that, it's average in all respects.


Trivia
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This show features the debut of Will Ryan, later of Officer Harley, Eugene Meltsner, and Harlow Doyle fame. :-)
- Chandler

The original script for this episode contained the line, "What you reap you shall also sow." The line should have read, "What you sow you shall also reap." This was corrected without any re-recording.
- noname

This is also the debut of David Griffin as Freddy who later became the well-known and well-liked character of Jimmy Barclay.
- anonymous

The parts as originally assigned had Chad Reisser playing Freddy and David Griffin as Craig. After some initial read-throughs, the parts were reversed. This occurred again with the same actors years later for episode #186: The Conscientious Cross-Guard.
- Darcie


Goofs
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Allusions
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"The life of the party" is an idiomatic phrase referring to someone who is the center of attention.
- Chandler


Quotes
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Albums

The Adventure Begins Front Cover
"The Adventure Begins"

Odyssey USA Front Cover
"Odyssey USA"

 
             

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