The Starsky & Hutch Hen Party

AKA Rebelcat and Elizabeth Helena

(with helpful input from the household eight year old)




Bay City’s Black Panther Fundraiser

AKA “Huggy Bear and the Turkey


original air date Saturday, Feb. 19, 1977


According to the DVD Episode Guide: Huggy Bear has hooked up with his friend “Turkey” Turquet to set up a detective agency. While trying to find a missing husband, blah, blah, blah, YAWN.


Now, maybe it’s …


EH: Hey! I thought we agreed that this was the Worst Starsky & Hutch Episode Ever!

RC: Now, now. Just think how richly it deserves us making fun of it. Our review will have more sarcasm than a five hour House marathon.

EH: You’re overlooking one major obstacle.

RC: What?

EH: We’ll have to watch the episode again.

RC: Crap. Er . . . but we wouldn’t have to be sober, would we?


Six beers and fifty some odd minutes of torture later ...


Why some pilots should never be allowed to fly


This infamous attempt to create a spin-off from Starsky & Hutch (AKA Worst!Episode!Evah!) seems to begin innocently enough with a hard-working elderly couple at Caplan’s Dry-Cleaning and Custom Tailoring, and a nice young man waiting outside in his car reading “The Art of Liking Yourself.”  But no! That insecure young man is working out his issues by sending in goons to shake down protection money from hapless shop keepers, who are none other than Starsky and Hutch undercover. While Hutch is rumoured to look good in basic black and pearls, Starsky actually looks rather adorable in blue plaid with a woolly cardigan, and we learn the important canon point that he keeps his cuffs in his bra. Also, for fans of Starsky’s classic “Huuuuutch!,” we counted no fewer than four of these hollers for his beloved… er, we mean partner, while they attempt to bring down “Moose Breath” - a possible record for “Huuuutchs” per second.

Alas, now the actual plot ensues. A scantily clad ‘lady’ by the name of Foxy Baker tries to interrupt Starsky and Hutch’s 1977 Smackdown, begging them to help her find her husband. Hutch, wisely smelling a stinker of a plot hidden under that pretty peach negligee, sends her off to “The Pits” to find newly minted private detectives Huggy Bear and “Turk” AKA J.D. Turquet  AKA “Red Neck Clod Kicker.” How our beloved and sophisticated clotheshorse Huggy linked up with this southern white boy with a “my ol’ grandpappy” accent (that's as consistent as this episode’s humour) is never explained. That's probably for the best, although RC and EH speculate that the closer Huggy Bear stands to the Turkey, the more IQ and Coolness points he loses, but we leave that for the PhD candidates to conduct further research.

Despite Turquet’s reluctance to take on a job of finding Walter T. Baker, AKA the Black Bugs Bunny (we’re not making this up), in a neighbourhood where he considers marriage licenses to be “learner’s permits,” $200 changes his mind. So, we’re off to see “Blind Bessie” (played by Sanford and Son's LaWanda Page) who supplements her income as a psychic by selling horse racing tips to fishes like Walter T. Unfortunately, Bessie is prejudiced against honkies (one of many slang terms from the seventies that died with disco), and other than learning that Huggy does one heck of a Sir Lawrence Olivier impression, we now experience the first of many racist cringe-worthy moments as Turquet attempts to sound “blacker.” Turkey’s “Tell me when do the new Cadillacs come in, or I’m goin’ to cut you sucker” is even worse if you’re aware of the bigoted belief of the era that the real black man’s dream was not for equality but the biggest Cadillac he could buy. EH would go on, but she’s too busy writing a letter to the Black Panther Party apologizing for not supporting them during her youth.

Fortunately, Blind Bessie does strike a blow for her brothers and sisters by pouring piping hot soul food on Turkey, telling him he’s lucky his “Leroy” impression didn’t earn him an extra helping on his lap. However, the blind yet “all-seeing” Bessie tells them to check out Doc Rafferty, the neighbourhood’s false-tooth and fake passport dentist, but neglects to warn them (accidentally, we’re sure) that two hoods, Milo and Sugar, respectively resembling an Advertisement for Hawaiian Punch and a Refugee from West Side Story, are waiting to pound the location of Walter T out of both of their hides.
Huggy saves the day by giving up what little they know before the first punch is thrown - at him, anyway. However, Turquet’s baby-blue anti-Torino fails to save their butts from being caught by mobsters working for “Low Self-Esteem” Sonny and his father “Bad Dad” Watson.

I could have sworn I told the minions to pick up Starsky and Hutch...

Actor Stan Shaw contemplates feeding Whitey's hand to his agent.

She may be Foxy, but would YOU buy a used car from her?

Is it my imagination or is this show never-ending?
Because they’re obviously thinking with their little heads, Huggy and Turquet follow Foxy’s instructions and – gasp - end up almost getting their big heads shot off. A glimpse of a black figure wearing a plaid shirt causes them to assume Walter T is the shooter. The audience, that is if there are any left, are not kept in suspense long.  Not only is Foxy the plaid perp, she’s in cohoots with Smithers – whoops – we mean Sonny Watson to steal the $300,000 from underneath Bad Dad’s oxygen mask and frame everyone else.

Meanwhile, Huggy and Turkey are still in the dark, in more ways than one.  They do manage to stumble across Mr. Hawaiian Punch who menaces them with a gun, while the ex-Sharks chorus member menaces them with a … chocolate bar. We do our best to ignore any homoerotic subtext in this scene, mostly due to the fact that we've just noticed that Turquet is a mutant.   Either that, or he has stuffed a tube sock down his pants in a pathetic attempt to compete with Starsky’s natural endowments. Plus, even though it’s kinda nice to see more than just women doing cage dancing in Bay City, neither Sugar nor Milo figured in any of our fantasies.

Due to Huggy’s anti-NRA stance, they abandon the bad guy’s guns, and call for help from Starsky and Hutch. Remember them, the stars of the show? Ah, but it’s worth the wait, for it’s the classic Tyrone and Mr. Marlene undercover hairdressing roles. Hutch is grumpy in his pink unisex overalls and apple sunglasses, while Starsky is positively bubbly in a shirt that shows the horrifying consequences of stuffing a polyester zebra into a blender.
We can’t decide which is funnier, what Starsky is doing to his client’s hair, or that he thinks posing as a male hairdresser is the perfect way to pick up chicks. As for the plot, this scene serves no function other than reminding us that both the private and the real detectives are investigating the Watson family. However, we will always treasure the way Tyrone AKA Hutch contemptuously hangs up on the Turkey.  That, and the way Starsky (again!) reminds Hutch of how gorgeously his baby blues flash when he gets angry.

Actor Fuddle Bagley proves your name really is your destiny.

We're admiring Otis for his large and muscular... mind! His mind!

Action Figure Huggy with Kung Fu Kick!

Tuquet's got a gun! We're all gonna die, die, die!

Rolling always helps... take ten!

Now we know why David Soul was never in Fiddler on the Roof.

Are those handcuffs in your bra, or are you just happy to see me?

Is that love or cracker-cide we see in Huggy's eyes?

Lord, I was wrong to think Sanford & Son was the lowest we could go.

Upside? Interracial couple! Downside? Must. Burn. Slash. Goggles.

The Plot Sickens
Now, all three *cough* plots converge, as we learn that Walter T, along with Sugar and Milo, have stolen $300,000 from the Watsons. Bad Dad’s oxygen mask has a sort of Blue Velvet creepiness, somewhat undermined by his fresh fruit basket, and his son’s resemblance in looks and sycophancy to Mr. Smithers makes their whole relationship rather disturbing. So, if you’re keeping count, Walter T’s wife, his former partners in crime, and a crime family all want Huggy Bear and his Turkey to track down the Black Bugs Bunny. However, displaying their first sign of common sense so far, the Bear and Turkey decide it is definitely not rabbit season, and high tail it back to their office, planning on skipping town.

Finally, we get to meet one of Huggy’s infamous cousins, Leotis. Turquet had sent Otis to get him a heater, which he did, but unfortunately it’s not a gun but an actual water heater. Cue laugh track. However, the crime here is not that Otis was unfamiliar with 1940s pistol slang, but Turquet’s “white man’s burden” attitude towards him. As Turkey comforts Otis by reminding him that he’s an idiot savant with numbers, the teetering on the edge of bankruptcy P.I. warns Otis not to aim for the lofty goal of private detectin’ until he’s taken a course in basic logic. In the background, we can just make out a University of Oklahoma diploma in the name of J.D. Turquet, but not the actual degree he earned. Safe to say, the University of Oklahoma isn’t a charm school. EH meanwhile begins to write out a check to include with her apology letter to the Black Panthers.

Before Turquet can destroy anymore of Otis’ self-esteem, Foxy, Walter T Baker’s wife, returns with an overdue apology for not coming clean about the whole robbery thing. Unfortunately, she also dangles the carrot of Bad Dad Watson’s offer of $30,000 for the recovery of the money, along with the dubious information that she knows where the Black Bugs Bunny is hiding with the loot. The Bear and Turkey’s greed overcomes their prudence, and they decide to head off to the Old Abandoned Amusement Park (turn left at the Old Abandoned Zoo, and continue on just past the Old Abandoned Warehouse District). Before they can leave, however, Otis notices that two big bruisers (the ever popular Sugar and Milo) have staked out their office, and despite Turquet’s scepticism, Huggy asks his cousin to arrange a distraction. What Otis lacks in subtlety, he makes up in effectiveness, as he throws a bus bench into Hawaiian Punch’s car window, and a nameless extra nearly gets squashed by a clothing rack as the baddies spin out of control. Oh well, in Bay City, fashion rules and life is but an accessory.

Foxy would have more luck, if he wasn't so obviously a virgin.

Poster children for equal opportunity employment in cage dancing?

Starsky! You're supposed to tease the girl, not the hair!

Oh God, make the pain stop!
On their own, Huggy and Turquet finally remember Blind Bessie’s advice to check out Doc Rafferty and his vaguely familiar dental assistant (did we see her in Debbie Does Dallas?), and they learn that Walter T never picked up his fake passport to Brazil. The reason why is soon apparent, as the Bear and Turkey discover the Black Bugs Bunny tied up in their office’s closet. While the bad guy’s logic for doing so remains mysterious, this plot hole is nowhere near as reprehensible as Walter T’s most offensive portrayal of a black man since the 19th century minstrel shows. Foxy’s husband has two modes: grinning inanely while drinking himself into a stupor and hysterically shrieking, “we’re gonna die, die, die!” We could go on, but EH is on her way to the basement, muttering something about building a time machine and shooting Whitey from a water tower.

Though RC agrees with the sentiment, we are both distracted from our plans of retroactively joining the militant wing of the Black Panthers, by the reappearance of Otis in a form-fitting pistachio muscle shirt and skin tight, burnt sienna pants that show off all of his - oh my - considerable assets. We’re also beginning to suspect he’s the smartest guy there, as Huggy and Turquet are shocked when Walter T tells them that Foxy has set them up all to die, a fact he neglects to mention before Sonny’s hitmen arrive. Furthermore, Otis saves their butts by telling them about the short cut over the rooftops, and his earlier mistake with the “heater” proves even more effective (and amusing) than a gun, when it’s tossed down the stairs onto Sonny and his thugs.

Their escape is slowed by Mr. “Die, Die, Die” when he sees the steel I-beam they’re expected to cross between tall buildings and utters his one truly, funny line: “I get dizzy when I put on platform shoes!” Sonny, after being raised by someone called “Bad Dad,” has no such fears, and leads his gun-toting goons after them. They almost catch them too, until Huggy displays hitherto unsuspected and unused martial arts skills to disarm Sonny, and our ‘heroes’ take cover behind what we can only assume is bullet-proof glass. Meanwhile, the real heroes finally drive up, and use their real detective super powers to figure out that the Bear and Turkey are in a fight for their lives on top of a nearby building.

While the suspense of whether Starsky and Hutch will get there … oh, who are we kidding, while we wait for the detectives to arrive in the nick of time, Turquet whines that he could save them if only he had a gun. Once again, Cousin Otis proves Turquet’s earlier condescension was unjustified, as he reveals a real ‘heater’ stuck in his sock. While the Bear threatens the bad guys that Turquet can “shoot the warts off a kosher pickle at 50 yards,” the Turkey proves that he can both shoot underwear off a clothesline at 100 yards and ruin their advantage by shooting off his mouth about running out of bullets.

Fortunately - you guessed it - Starsky and Hutch arrive on the rooftop to save the day, the latter using a roll that Captain Kirk would envy. EH is convinced that they arrest Sonny only because they swore an oath to serve and protect everyone, especially after Huggy brags they didn’t really need help. RC reminds her that they also wanted to arrest Sonny Watson anyway, and besides Starsky doesn’t seem to be holding a grudge against them. After all, he practically hands them their next case after taking their statements down at the precinct. Although. . . his disappointment that Huggy and the Turkey couldn’t stay for an after-case drink was rather unconvincing, especially with that smirk.  Oh well, it all works out as a happy ending with the case closed, the pilot consigned to TV limbo, and hopefully, Otis getting to read Sonny Watson’s book on self-esteem building and starting his own detective agency. Or modelling agency. His choice.

Good questions to ask yourselves:

1.  Which would have been the worst case scenario if this pilot had been turned into a tv show:
a) Huggy Bear and the Turkey
b) Huggy Bear and Cousin Otis
c) The Turquette and Walter T Variety Show
d) All of the above

2.  The Pits makes its first appearance in the series, but in a generic building and seemingly owned by a woman with dubious taste in muu muu’s and plastic beads - dreadful even for the seventies. So, how did Huggy come to own it by season three and why did it move?
a) Franchising
b) Heck, if the continuity editors can't keep either the interiors of Starsky's apartments, or the exteriors of Hutch's leather jackets consistent, why should they worry about the address of a single bar?
c) Bay City is in a constant state of temporal/spacial flux, and possibly situated on a Hell Mouth.  Whoops, wrong show. 

3.  So, do you agree that “Huggy Bear and the Turkey” was not only a turkey of an episode, but the Worst!Episode!Evah!? The Set-Up sucked pretty badly, but hey who can forget the Black Baron and Starsky with a grenade in his mouth?  Discuss.

4.  Where does Starsky keep his cuffs when he’s not wearing a bra … oh sorry, that's not a question, that's a plot bunny.

Because after suffering through this review, we ALL deserve some eye-candy.



July 27, 2006