Monday, August 1, 2011

Gay in 1981: Tony Randall in Love, Sidney

NBC's Love, Sidney starred Tony Randall.

Yesterday someone commented on the Fourth Grade Nothing Facebook page that they'd love to see reruns of  NBC's Love, Sidney. Surprised someone else in the world even remembered this TV show starring Tony Randall -- I decided to revisit episodes on YouTube and feature Love, Sidney in today's post.

Love, Sidney was unique in that it was one of the first television sitcoms centered around a gay man. The show began with a two-hour pilot which first aired in October, 1981. Tony Randall portrays Sidney Shorr, an advertising industry illustrator from New York City. 

Swoosie Kurtz as Laurie in Love, Sidney.

Sidney and his soap opera actress friend, Laurie (Swoosie Kurtz) lived together as friends in New York City. Laurie moves to California but after her marriage fails, returns to New York with her adorable young daughter Patti (Kaleena Kiff). The three live together and the show follows their trials and tribulations in typical '80s sitcom style.

Love, Sidney aired from 1981-1983 and was considered controversial because of the homosexual nature of the show. During the first year, producers kept Sidney's sexuality vague relying on hints and gay innuendos. However, by the final season, thanks to a new production team, story lines acknowledged Sidney's homosexuality giving viewers a closer look at the character's history and lost love, a man named Martin.

Tune in and watch the premier of Love, Sidney starring Tony Randall, Swoosie Kurtz and Kaleena Kiff.


Oilfield Trash said...

I have no memory of that show at all.

Pat Tillett said...

I do remember this one! you are right about it being ahead of it's time... Hope you are doing well Ally.

Cheeseboy said...

I don't remember this show, probably because there is no way my parents would have let me watch it. I'd love to watch an episode or two to see how norms have changed though.

LL Cool Joe said...

Looks good, I've never heard of it, but I enjoyed the link you showed.

Martin Maenza said...

I do remember the show, I do remember it being controversial - even though Billy Crystal's character Jody on Soap a few years earlier paved the way for an openly gay character on network TV. I also remember being in high school when it aired and watching it with my grandmother. She was always an Odd Couple fan. Ironically, the show did not phase her. After all, this was a woman who always watched the ground-breaking Norman Lear shows of the 70's (All In the Family, Maude, the Jeffersons, One Day At a Time, etc.). Good memories of watching TV with her.

HeatherW said...

How horrifically 80's, from the overly long, back story filled intro song, to the canned audience laughter. I was only about 3 when this aired, so I don't really remember it. But I do love Tony Randall!

Chelly said...

Wow, that's a blast from the past. Ahead of its time indeed. I do recall watching this show!

What a theme song. :)


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