epguides.com presents

The Jackie Thomas Show

an Episode Guide
by John Lavalie

Last updated:
Thu 25 Oct 2018 21:00

Cast Photo
aired from: Dec 1992 to: Mar 1993 18 eps ABC 30 min stereo closed captioned


  • Tom Arnold as Jackie Thomas
  • Dennis Boutsikaris as Jerry Harper
  • Alison LaPlaca as Laura Miller
  • Paul Feig as Bobby Wynn
  • Michael Boatman as Grant Watson
  • Maryedith Burrell as Nancy Mincher [ episodes 1-13 ]
  • Breckin Meyer as Chas Walker
  • Jeannetta Arnette as Sophie Ford
  • Martin Mull as Doug Talbot

    reccuring characters:

  • Leah Lail as Debbie
  • Ann Cusack as Stephanie


  • Michael Lessac, director

    One of the best of the show-within-a-show series (along with The Larry Sanders Show and Buffalo Bill) The Jackie Thomas Show is easily the most underrated series of all time. Most critics hated the show, probably because of their hatred for Tom and Roseanne Arnold. It is actually a brilliant parody of network television, the sitcom genre, and Tom and Roseanne's poke at themselves and how they are perceived.

    Jackie Thomas is a stand-up comic who rocketed to fame in his own show, and gained enough power to choose his own writers and creates havoc for the network. Unfortunately, he's a terrible actor and the show isn't much better. But it's a ratings success, so Jackie is a sacred cow.

    The May 1993 issue of TCI (a.k.a. Theatre Crafts International) has a brief article about the Jackie Thomas Show set and reveals that the exterior of Jackie's dressing room is actually a stage door to the Roseanne set.

    The May 22, 1993 issue of TV Guide has an in-depth article on the cancellation of The Jackie Thomas Show.

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      1st Season 1992

    1. "Pilot"
      gs: Ron Orbach [ Hal ], Charles Champion [ Doctor ]

      rc: Debbie

      The new head writer's first job is to find out why Jackie refuses to leave his dressing room. Jackie's demand: fire his costar because he's getting more fan mail.

      b: 1 Dec 92 pc: 455051 w: Roseanne Arnold & Tom Arnold & Brad Isaacs d: Andrew D. Weyman

      NOTE: The final scene of this night's Roseanne showed the Conners watching the premiere of The Jackie Thomas Show. When the episode was repeated 30 Mar 92 (and in syndication) the scene was replaced with bloopers from that episode.
    2. "Charity, Schmarity"
      gs: Lois Bromfield [ Director ], Karen Huie [ Script Supervisor ], Joe Gieb [ Little Person #1 ], Arturo Gil [ Little Person #2 ]

      rc: Stephanie

      After being left off the guest list for Oprah's fund-raiser, Jackie creates his own charity and invites everyone but Oprah. Laura gets recruited to organize the event leaving the writers in chaos.

      b: 8 Dec 92 pc: 455056 w: Sid Youngers
    3. "Jack & the Bean Stalker"
      gs: Roseanne Arnold [ Regina ], Richard Frank [ Otto ], Jake McLaine [ Jake ]

      Jackie seems honored that he's got a stalker. The writers seem less than pleased, especially when she starts pitching story ideas.

      b: 15 Dec 92 pc: 455059 w: David Fury & Elin Hampton
    4. "Ottumwa, 52501"
      gs: Chris Farley [ Chris Thomas ], Philip Charles MacKenzie [ Director ], Marilyn Price [ Mary ], Carole Ita White [ Erin ], Charles Stevenson [ Charlie Stevens ], Emily Kuroda [ Waitress ]

      Jackie's younger brother Chris visits the set hoping Jackie will stop treating him like a kid.

      b: 22 Dec 92 pc: 455057 w: Joel Madison

      NOTE: This episode featured the premiere of Farley's motivational speaker character, here done as an impersonation of one of Jackie and Chris' friends from Iowa. Chris Thomas has just been released from a fat farm. In real life Tom and Roseanne met Farley in alcohol rehab. Philip Charles MacKenzie is Alison LaPlaca's husband. Emily Kuroda appears but does not have a speaking role.
    5. "The Joke"
      gs: Arsenio Hall [ Himself ], Joe Minjares [ Alphonso ], Lois Bromfield [ Director ], Rob Newkirch [ Man #1 ]

      rc: Debbie

      Jackie insults his writers on The Arsenio Hall Show so they retaliate. Jackie in turn fires the prop guy.

      b: 29 Dec 92 pc: 455053 w: George Beckerman
    6. "Jackie and the Model"
      gs: Jeri Lynn Ryan [ Pauline Yardley ], Lois Bromfield [ Director ], Jerry Hauck [ Stage Manager ]

      rc: Debbie

      Jackie gives a swimsuit model a guest spot, but she only has eyes for Jerry ... and Chas.

      b: 5 Jan 93 pc: 455052 w: Brad Isaacs & Lawrence Broch
    7. "Stand up for Bastards"
      gs: Fred Willard [ Hatfield Walker ], Lois Bromfield [ Director ], Betsy Brantley [ Gail Harper ], Peter Jason [ Banker Bill Mason ], Bernard Hiller [ Sam #1 ], John DeMita [ Sam #2 ], Christopher Darga [ Frank ], Alretha Baker [ Samantha ], Myrna Niles [ Minnie ]

      rc: Debbie

      Jackie insists on using the word "bastard" in this week's episode prompting a visit from the censors. Jerry fears his ex-wife's motives when she asks to meet him.

      b: 12 Jan 93 pc: 455055 w: Lawrence Broch

      NOTE: Fred Willard and Martin Mull previously worked together on Fernwood 2-Night and again as husband and husband when Mull returned to Roseanne.
    8. "The All-Nighter"
      gs: Lois Bromfield [ Director ], Debi Monahan [ Tipper ], Victoria Edwards [ Woman #1 ], Cathy Spears [ Woman #2 ]

      rc: Debbie

      Jackie rejects this week's script forcing the writers to write a new script by the morning.

      b: 19 Jan 93 pc: 455054 w: Steve Pepoon
    9. "Jackie's Family"
      gs: Fred Willard [ Hatfield Walker ], Pam Patrick [ Miss U. of Iowa ], Fielding West [ Jackie Clone ], Cathy Spears [ Secretary ]

      rc: Stephanie

      Jackie's outrageous salary demands force the network to write Jackie out of the show.

      b: 26 Jan 93 pc: 455060 w: Art Everett
    10. "The Forces of Nature"
      gs: Roy Brocksmith [ Chairman ], Steve Jones [ BoBo ], Tom Curley [ Burt ], Ron Orbach [ Hal ], Sam Rubin [ Reporter #1 ], Mark Kriski [ Reporter #2 ], Robin Greer [ Bimbo ]

      rc: Stephanie

      Jackie wins a settlement with the Global Enquirer but is disappointed when they stop writing stories about him.

      b: 2 Feb 93 pc: 455062 w: William Lucas Walker
    11. "The Player"
      gs: J.A. Preston [ Mr. Watson ], Joe Keyes [ Producer ], Emily Kuroda [ Waitress ], Charles Stevenson [ Charlie Stevens ], De Veau Dunn [ Actor Grant ], Tyrone Granderson Jones [ Movie Director ], Leeza Gibbons [ Herself ], John Tesh [ Himself ]

      rc: Stephanie

      Grant sells a screenplay, but Jackie meddles and eventually gets to play Grant's father.

      b: 9 Feb 93 pc: 455058 w: Ken Lazebnik

      NOTE: Leeza Gibbons and John Tesh report on Grant's movie for Entertainment Tonight. Their appearances are not credited.
    12. "Guys and Balls"
      gs: Danton Stone [ Dave Speckler ], David Fury [ Bus Driver ], Edith Varon [ Seamstress ], Mary Morrow [ Mimosa Patron ]

      rc: Stephanie

      Laura's boyfriend Dave decides he wants to become a pro bowler. Laura is less then thrilled after putting him through dental school.

      b: 16 Feb 93 pc: 455064 w: Elin Hampton & David Fury

      NOTE: Danton Stone had previously worked with Tom Arnold on Roseanne as the Conner's next door neighbor Jerry Bowman and worked with Arnold and LaPlaca in Tom.
    13. "Strike"
      gs: Charles Stevenson [ Charlie Stevens ], Michael Des Barres [ Documentary Director ], Michael Manasseri [ Gary Stein ], Norm Macdonald [ Jordan ], Phil Leeds [ Abe ], Bill Maher [ Mr. Lorre ], Jennifer Manasseri [ Perrie ], Adam Goldberg [ Larry ]

      rc: Stephanie

      When the writers strike, Jackie makes Nancy the head writer and hires scabs.

      b: 23 Feb 93 pc: 455061 w: Joel Madison

      NOTE: Is this Norm Macdonald's TV debut? Michael Des Barres also appeared on Roseanne as Jerry, Leon's (Martin Mull) lover. After Nancy is fired she gets a job at Sustarsic Animation Co., named after executive story consultant Steve Sustarsic who also wrote for the The Good Life. Bill Maher's character is named after Chuck Lorre who worked on Roseanne. This evening's Roseanne featured the Conners at a taping of the fictitious Jackie Thomas Show. This episode contains one of many jabs at Seinfeld in reponse to the event below :

      Newsweek, March 15, 1993

      Even in perk-conscious L.A., parking spaces don't often cause dust-ups like this. Last Tuesday, "Seinfeld" actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus used the studio space reserved for Roseanne Arnold's hubby, Tom. She later found obscenities scrawled on her car. The next day, she used another spot -- but found more slurs, plus a Polaroid of a man's naked posterior. A "Seinfeld" exec tore up the photo, so it could not be checked for identifying marks. The Arnold camp declined to comment; but an Arnold source said Tom left a salty note but later apologized. A "Seinfeld" source said: "We are shocked, but not surprised, by this behavior."

    14. "Write This Way"
      gs: Philip Charles MacKenzie [ Director ], Charles Stevenson [ Charlie Stevens ], Peter Jason [ Banker Bill Mason ], Roseanne Arnold [ Her Fabulous Self ]

      When an actor dies on the set, Jackie lets his down-and-out friend write a tribute episode.

      b: 2 Mar 93 pc: 455063 w: Bill Bauer & Charles Bliss d: Peter Segal
    15. "Sophie's Choice"
      gs: Philip Charles MacKenzie [ Director ], James Everett Grace [ Crew Guy ], Christopher Darga [ Frank ], Roseanne Arnold [ Herself ]

      rc: Stephanie

      Sophie is fired after a magazine publishes naked pictures of her. Jerry and Laura go on their first date.

      b: 9 Mar 93 pc: 455065 w: Mike Duggan

      NOTE: Doug made reference to the series Stat which starred Dennis Boutsikaris and Alison LaPlaca.
    16. "One Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
      gs: Eddie Albert [ Himself ]

      Jackie tries to get Arnold the pig from Green Acres a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Jerry stays home from the office with the flu.

      b: 16 Mar 93 pc: 455066 w: Sid Youngers
    17. "Poker, Schmoker"
      gs: Kevin Meaney [ Joey Rafferty ], Gary Coleman [ Himself ], Naomi Mitchell [ Wendy ]

      Jackie tries to win back his car from the stand-up comedian to whom he lost it.

      b: 23 Mar 93 pc: 455067 w: David Silverman & Steve Sustarsic
    18. "Aloha, Io-wahu"
      gs: M. Emmet Walsh [ Arlen Thomas ], Sid Melton [ Principal ], Mary Grace Canfield [ Jane ], Alvy Moore [ Mayor ], Bob Odenkirk [ Elmer ], Sid Youngers [ Delmer ]

      The crew follows Jackie to Iowa to tape a special about Jackie's childhood.

      b: 30 Mar 93 pc: 455068 w: William Lucas Walker & Lawrence Broch d: Peter Segal

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