Stir Crazy (TV series)

For the 1980 film, see Stir Crazy (film).
Stir Crazy
Genre Comedy / Adventure
Written by Michael Russnow
Directed by Peter H. Hunt
Christian I. Nyby II
Starring Joe Guzaldo
Larry Riley
Marc Silver
Jeannie Wilson
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 9
Producer(s) David J. Latt
Running time 60 min.
Production company(s) Columbia Pictures Television
Distributor Sony Pictures Television
Original network CBS
Picture format 35 mm film
Audio format Mono
Original release September 18, 1985 (1985-09-18) – January 7, 1986 (1986-01-07)

Stir Crazy is an American sitcom that aired on CBS as part of its 1985 fall lineup. Stir Crazy was based on the 1980 film of the same name. The theme song was "Stir It Up" by Patti LaBelle.


It tells the story of two bumbling friends, Harry Fletcher (Larry Riley) and Skip Harrington (Joseph Guzaldo), who were wrongfully convicted and sentenced to 132 years in prison. While working on a chain gang they escaped and set out after Crawford (Marc Silver), the man who had actually committed the crime for which they had been sentenced. Pursuing them was the tough, relentless, and humorless Captain Betty Phillips (Jeannie Wilson), a female prison guard. "Captain Betty" was an amalgam of "Warden Beatty", the prison guard character played by Barry Corbin in the feature film, whom the boys were on the run from (the movie character's name, in itself, being a spoof of Warren Beatty).

Critical reception

While the movie upon which it was based had been a hit, the television version of Stir Crazy was anything but. None of the people involved in the film had a major role in this series. It was pulled from the CBS fall lineup in October 1985, the month after its premiere, and put on hiatus. It returned in a new time slot in December 1985 and a few more episodes were aired, also to low ratings. The program was permanently cancelled after the January 7, 1986 broadcast.


The pilot for the TV series, which aired on September 18, 1985, had Polly Holliday in the role of Captain Betty and Royce D. Applegate as Crawford. Both were promptly dismissed from the roles, ostensibly because of poor testing when CBS executives screened the pilot. The sixtyish Betty turned into the much younger and curvaceous version of the character played by Jeannie Wilson, while Marc Silver's Crawford was also younger and physically different from the version played by Applegate.

Episode list

Title Airdate
1 "Pilot" 1985 September 18
2 "The Ping Pong Caper" 1985 September 25
3 "Welcome to the Tribe" 1985 October 2
4 "Magnificent Repossession" 1985 October 9
5 "The Football Story" 1985 October 16
6 "The Sulky Race" 1985 October 23
7 "The Love Affair" 1985 December 24
8 "Where's Mary?" 1985 December 31
9 "Basic Straining" 1986 January 7


Brooks, Tim and Marsh, Earle, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows

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