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Tenspeed and Brown Shoe: The Robin Tucker's Roseland Roof and Ballroom Murder

Over E.L.'s objections, Lionel takes on the case of an anonymous millionaire who wants to find a missing woman. The trail leads to the Robin Tucker Ballroom, where a man is dead and the missing woman has gone missing yet again.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 1x1
Airdate: Sunday February 03rd, 1980

Guest Stars
Elayne HeilveilElayne Heilveil
As Susan Lardner
John PleshetteJohn Pleshette
As Bill Kingman
Lee PaulLee Paul
As Stubby

Co-Guest Stars
Mel AllenMel Allen
As Carrots
Eugene PetersonEugene Peterson
As Chase (Chase Kingman)
David TressDavid Tress
As Korman (Stan Korman)
Pearl ShearPearl Shear
As Ticket Girl
Kathy SheaKathy Shea
As Dance Hall Girl
Main Cast
Ben VereenBen Vereen
As E.L. "Tenspeed" Turner
Jeff GoldblumJeff Goldblum
As Lionel "Brownshoe" Whitney


Lionel is at his cheap office reading a Matt Savage detective novel when the phone rings. A man who refuses to give his name says that he wants to hire the Lionel Whitney Agency, and has left $1,000 in his mail chute. The man insists the case is delicate and he'll reveal himself eventually, and then gives Lionel directions to meet him...

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Episode Notes
Series creator Stephen J. Cannell makes a cameo as Matt Savage's creator on the book cover.

Episode Quotes
Lionel: "My senses were quivering like ten pounds of lime jello on a cracked porcelain plate."

Lionel: Stop treating me like I don't know what I'm doing. I know what I'm doing. This guy's in trouble. We sell a service, he's paying for that service. Okay, he's a little eccentric.
E.L.: Yeah, Jack the Ripper was a little eccentric, my friend.

Lionel: What do you mean a loser? You look at a picture and you say she's a loser? She has sweet eyes. She's sort of trying to smile like things haven't been going quite right.
E.L.: Yeah. Loser.

E.L.: You see, what I'm talking about is a basic philosophical difference. A compendium of evidence seems to support the theory that guns have an inverse rather than direct relationship to life. And a corollary axiom suggests that when one observes a gun in the hands of an unfriendly, one should split to the trenches, hunker down, and be very, very, very quiet.

E.L.: All right. I'm chicken. But I'm a pragmatic chicken, and those are the best kind, you see. Because they never end up swimming with the potatoes and gravy.

Lionel: Bugsy Siegel was tangentially involved.
E.L.: Is he the one with pointy ears and little bushy tail?
Lionel: That's the one.

Susan Lardner: You see, I figure, once the baby is born, well, I'll be okay because, well, I'm studying to be a dental assistant at night school. Well, you can really rake it in with teeth. It's a very lucrative field.

Joe: I mean, I got this kind of thing about broads, you know? I mean, okay, I know I look like the back of a truck. But underneath, I got feelings, well. See, I've been watching what's going on in America, and I'm for this ERW thing.
Lionel: ERA.
Joe: Yeah, that's the one. I mean, I think broads oughta have their rights, you know? I mean, I wouldn't want one flying no aeroplane or nothing, but when it comes to, like, being clerks and stuff, hell's bells, lets get liberal.

Episode References
Savage Novel: The Shattered Bride

Other Episode Crew

CreatorStephen J. Cannell
Executive ProducerStephen J. Cannell
Supervising ProducerAlex Beaton
ProducerChuck Bowman
Unit Production ManagerSheldon M. Hayutin
First Assistant DirectorLeonard S. Smith Jr.
Second Assistant DirectorRobert A. Milford
MusicPete Carpenter  |  Mike Post
Set DecoratorRon Jeschke
Director of PhotographyWilliam Gereghty (1)
Art DirectorStephen Myles Berger
Film EditorChristopher Nelson (1)
WardrobeKen Harvey  |  Winnie Brown
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