The final episode in this comedy anthology series that offers a humorous look at life's "trying times." This comedy, written by Terrence McNally, stars Robert Klein as Buddy Amber, a man for whom smoking is a friend and a passion, a habit inextricably bound to the important moments and people in his life. After seven years of not smoking -- having quit to please everyone but himself -- middle-aged Buddy has decided to start smoking again. As he moves his reading chair into the garage, where he has been relegated by his wife, who keeps a smoke-free home, Buddy reflects on his lifelong relationship with cigarettes, and various periods of his life are seen is flashback: Buddy learns how to smoke in the boys' room of his grade school in the 1950s; his own small children, little anti-smoking terrorists, withhold respect and affection until he gives up his beloved vice; deciding to quit, he suffers acupuncture treatment, a support group, and analysis; his sexual interest in his wife diminishes because of hidden anger; he is reawakened to the joys of smoking by a woman with whom he's having an affair; he is driven (due to an unfortunate suggestion while under hypnosis treatment) to run naked through the streets of his neighborhood in search of a smoke; and he has a moving visit with his father, who is dying of emphysema.

Cataloging of this program was made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.


  • NETWORK: PBS KCET Los Angeles, CA
  • DATE: November 19, 1989 Sunday 8:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:26:45
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:18075
  • GENRE: Comedy
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Ciagarette smokers - Comedy
  • SERIES RUN: PBS - TV series, 1987, 1989


  • Phylis Geller … Executive Producer
  • Stephen Faigenbaum … Coordinating Producer
  • Roberto Gerhard … Coordinating Producer
  • Jon S. Denny … Producer, Developed by
  • Sheldon Larry … Director
  • Terrence McNally … Writer
  • Eric Allaman … Music by
  • James Newton Howard … Theme Music by
  • Robert Klein … Cast, Buddy Amber
  • Sheila McCarthy … Cast, Jenny Amber
  • Eric Ayala … Cast, Young Benjie
  • Dondee Spencer … Cast, Clarissa
  • Anne Desalvo … Cast, Nancy
  • Max Perlich … Cast, Older Benjie
  • Al Ruscio … Cast, the Father
  • David Alden … Cast
  • Ahn, Ikson Suh (Ikson Suh Ahn) … Cast
  • Roger Cudney … Cast
  • Josephine Claudio … Cast
  • John Sabol … Cast