Here’s some more early Tom Hanks weirdness … he starred in ABC’s cross-dressing comedy “Bosom Buddies” between 1980 and 1982. The show ran for just two scant seasons. I’m surprised at that, because I seem to remember it being a much bigger deal in the 1980’s — maybe just because it was a big hit at my house, when I was in second and third grade. I wanted to be like the guys in the show, albeit without the cross-dressing. I wanted to be grow up to live in New York City with my best friend and a beautiful blond girlfriend name “Sunny,” and get into zany hijinks.
I remember thinking that Hanks’ co-star, Peter Scolari, was the cool and funny one. I thought Hanks was annoying, even if he did look like Billy Joel, whose music my older sister had taught me to really like. (Joel’s “Glass Houses” album was stacked vertically with the others beside the living room record player, not far from where I watched this show on the family’s color television.) And that is indeed Billy Joel’s “My Life” playing as the show’s theme song — but it had a different vocalist, for some reason. (No matter how many times I hear it, that song will always take me back to the 80’s.)
Scolari’s career following the short-lived “Bosom Buddies” certainly hasn’t paralleled Hanks, but he’s still done a hell of a lot of television. (Among many other things, he surprisingly starred as Commissoner Loeb in “Gotham” in 2015. I didn’t see that one coming.)
As you can see from the opening credits below, the central plot device for “Bosom Buddies” was that the two guys had to pretend to be women in order to live at an all-women’s apartment building. It only occurs to me now as I’m writing this that the show’s title was a double entendre. I actually asked my Dad what the word “bosom” meant when I was a kid, and he gave me an answer that was accurate, if incomplete. (He explained the colloquial meaning of the expression — a “bosom buddy” was a best friend, who you figuratively held close to you. I subsequently told my best friend next door that he was my “bosom buddy” at one point.)
Yeah, I know it’s strange that I can remember a conversation from 39 years ago about an obscure TV show. It’s weird what people remember.