DESIGNING WOMEN "101 Ways to Decorate a Gas Station" (TV episode)

9/14/1987. Monday, 8:30 pm. 1/2 hour.
Season 2 of 7. Episode 22. Season premiere.
CBS.
Comedy.
Code: DWO 9/1987

CREDITS

Writer: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason.
Director: Harry Thomason.

PLOT

The women offer their decorating services as a contest prize, and are faced with a big challenge when the winner, a derelict named Eldon Ashcroft, wants them to redo his dilapidated old gas station. Charlene is upset because her psychic has told her that her future husband is a man with the initials E. A. whom she will find initially repulsive. As Julia struggles to make the project a success, despite the difficult client, Charlene tries to figure a way to find out if the bum has a mole on his butt cheek.

REGULAR CAST

Delta Burke as Suzanne Sugarbaker
Dixie Carter as Julia Sugarbaker
Annie Potts as Mary Jo Shively
Jean Smart as Charlene Frazier
Meshach Taylor as Anthony Bouvier

GUEST CAST

Jonathan Banks as Eldon Ashcroft IV, gas station dweller. Listed 1st.
Terry Burns as Kyle Wellborn

CHARACTER

Eldon is a bit dim, lots of mouth-open business. Dirty, doesn't bathe, drinks when upset. Picks up information from the Trailways newsletter. Wants to own the Encyclopedia Britannica. Goes to the free clinic. He prolongs the make-over process because he likes the four women.

COMMENTS

Recommended: one of the best comic roles. JB has lots of good business with his hands, splayed fingers, clutching hands or coat, pressing palms together. Great scene where he is sleeping open-mouthed on the sofa with a perfectly timed fall to the floor. All that dirty vulnerability is wonderful.

COSTUME

Layers of dirty thrift-store clothing, too-long dark pants with too-long belt, raincoat with missing right sleeve, muffler. Add the script-dictated mole on right cheek, medium long, ruffled up hair, and stubble, and you wouldn’t want to sit next to him on the bus.

LINES

"Oh, sure, I've known a lot of women. I've ridden with 'em on buses, and seen 'em in the park, and in church, in stores, passed 'em on city streets. Yes, sir, I've known a lot of women in my time. And they've all been wonderful."

"I don't like to hear myself walk. It spooks me."

"I don't think of myself as gracious." (How do you like to think of yourself?) "As Attorney General of the United States."

SCREEN TIME

About 15 minutes, in 9 scenes, throughout episode.

WORKED WITH

Delta Burke (MSMH 4/1983; WOH 1/1995; MEL 8/1997)