Hello, Larry, starring MacLean Stevenson, is seen by some as a
spin-off of sorts from Diff'rent Strokes
(a three-parter with Stevenson as Larry is featured on disc
3 of the Diff'rent Strokes DVD set). But the show merely followed
Diff'rent Strokes in NBC's Friday night lineup and had cast crossover
appearances between the two shows.
Hello Larry features Larry Alder (MacLean Stevenson), who moves to
Portland, Oregon following the breakup of his marriage. He gets a job as
the host of his own radio call in show called, appropriately enough,
Hello, Larry on KLOW. Larry also has a daughter or two at home and while
he's good at communicating with his callers, he's not so great at it with
his kids. Sort of a poor man's Frasier, I'd say.
The show struggled and the producers, who actually produced Diff'rent
Strokes as well, decided to have Mr. Drummond buy the radio station. This
tie-in did not have the desired effect on the ratings. Nor did adding
Harlem Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemon (playing himself but also the owner
of a sporting goods store).
The series ran for one full season, but was blasted by the critics and
made fun of by just about everybody. The one thing this show did
accomplish was the speed up the impending doom of MacLean Stevenson's TV
career. Instead of third time's the charm in his post-M*A*S*H
sitcom attempts, it's three strikes and you're out!
Before his passing on in February 1996, MacLean was last seen in a
guest spot on The
Golden Girls around '91 or '92 as the brother of Dorothy's ex-husband
Stanley. MacLean was and always will be Lt. Col. Henry Blake of the