Synopsis of TV Show
Men in drag are historically good comedy fodder. Shakespeare had a few of his characters do it. Some Like It Hot had Jack Lemon and Tony Curtis do it. And early 80’s television saw actors Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari do it. Marilyn Monroe wasn’t around to tempt anybody in this show, but Bosom Buddies had its own bombshell blonde in the cast, so don’t fret.
Buddies and roommates Kip and Henry worked together at an ad agency in the Big Apple. Kip was a junior illustrator and Henry was a junior copyrighter, but big art and big novels were where their dreams really lay. When a wrecking ball laid siege to their apartment, grandiose dreams of being artists took a back seat to finding a new pad.
Ad agency receptionist Amy, who carried a torch for Henry, happened to live at a cheap, cozy, all-female residence (aptly named the Susan B. Anthony Hotel.) An apartment was available at a bargain basement price, and the boys could move in immediately…with one minor catch: they’d have to be girls. As it happens, becoming a transvestite is a far more attractive proposition than giving up a cheap apartment in New York City, and even better than low rent was the prospect of rubbing shoulders with all those ladies—which for Kip was especially exciting. Kip had his own torch to bear for a foxy blonde tenant named Sonny (played by the lovely and talented Donna Dixon.)
A couple of wigs and pairs of pantyhose later, and voilà, the guys became Buffy and Hildegard—Kip and Henry’s mannish “sisters.” When coming in or out of the Susan B., when cavorting in the lobby, or when surprised by a knock on their apartment door from one of the lady residents, the buddies had to slip quickly into a bosom in order to keep their facade and their apartment.
As the show wore on, Kip and Henry revealed their scam, but life went on—as life usually does on a sitcom—and the cross-dressing ceased. Since the drag jokes had run their course and it took so long to get the actors into costume and makeup anyway, the change was just fine. The boys went into business for themselves, opening a commercial production company called 60 Seconds Street. Kip started to date Sonny, and sexy resident Isabel began to manage the Susan B.
The show first debuted in a nice little time slot between Mork & Mindy and Barney Miller, but ABC took it off the air and put into hiatus a few weeks after the premiere. Its ratings were never as high as those first few outings, and after its sophomore season, the show was cancelled. Not even adding Bill Joel’s “My Life” as the theme song seemed to help. But reruns stood very nicely on their own two (high-heeled) feet.
As onscreen brothers and sisters, Hanks and Scolari had great chemistry, and were known to improv their lines wildly. They traded comedic straight man/woman duties and shared the good lines. In drag or out, it was a memorable two years of situation comedy.
Release History of Prime Time Show11/27/80 - 8/12/82 ABC
TV Sub Categoriescomedy
TV CastKip "Buffy" Wilson Tom Hanks
Henry "Hildegard" Desmond Peter Scolari
Amy Cassidy Wendie Jo Sperber
Sonny Lumet Donna Dixon
Isabel Hammond Telma Hopkins
Lilly Sinclair (1980-81) Lucille Benson
Ruth Dunbar Holland Taylor