Looking back at BIG JOHN, LITTLE JOHN

Wil takes a look back at the 70s fantasy sit-com Big John, Little John.

I'm sure it's happened to you? You mention a well loved show from your youth that you remember fondly but the person you're talking to just looks at you blankly. Like you made it up or something! Well that's happened to me several times with Big John, Little John, a US fantasy sit-com that first aired in 1976 on NBC, and several years later on British TV.

Essentially it's a little bit like the Tom Hanks movie Big, except Big John...

...would turn into Little John...


Which, looking back, could've made things awkward if Big John turned into Little John during sexy time with his wife! But as I watched it when I was 6 or 7 that really wasn't a concern for me.

The reason why Big John Martin could not control his changing was because he'd taken just a sip from the fountain of youth whilst in Florida on holiday (or vacationing as they like to say other there). If he'd taken a full drink then his youthful change would've been permanent.

His wife and his son knew of his troubles, and they would explain that Little John was a Nephew who was staying with them. To add to the fun Big John was a school teacher, he'd sometimes change at school and then sit in the lesson as Little John. I clearly remember an episode when Big John was playing Captain Hook in the school play, and Little John was cast as Peter Pan. It was 30 minutes of brilliant madness!

To make the two lead actors resemble each other, Robbie Rist's (Little John) blond hair was dyed brown, while Herbert Edelman (Big John) wore a hairpiece to partially cover his baldness.

Just like many other US sit-com's from that era, Big John, Little John had a fantastically groovy theme tune that accompanied the 'state of the art' titles..

Big John kept trying to find a solution to his problem, but one was never found. However his time spent as Little John often give him insight into what his students are facing, and so made him a better person - ahh.

Only 13 episodes of Big John, Little John were ever produced, I guess it wasn't that popular, but it's a show I've often fondly remembered. I'm sure if I watched it today then it really wouldn't be as magical as it was when I was a kid, or maybe it might just let me relive the days of being Little Wil - and without the need of a sip from the fountain of youth.

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