In this episode, Jessica is in the small town of Cooperville, New York. I looked it up: the town doesn’t exist. However, there are two hamlets called Coopersville (with an ‘s’) in New York state.
Anyways, Cooperville is home to the Hiawatha Lodge, which in turn is owned by the husband of Jessica’s dear old college friend (now deceased).
This friend’s husband is a retired comedian, and his daughter is marrying
George Clooney the son of his former comedy partner / current nemesis.
Jessica has been invited to an engagement party and reunion of the two families as a stand-in mother-figure for her deceased friend’s daughter.
Just the facts ma’am:
Spoilers are in white font, so highlight the text below to reveal the answers.
- The victim was… an agent for the comedy duo!
- killed by… the comedy duo’s investment advisor!
- in… well, he was found in the store-room, but it’s never actually confirmed whether he died there!
- with… a rope that was used to hang him, but again it’s never actually confirmed whether that was the murder weapon or whether it was done after the fact!
- because… he knew too much! (He had the figures to prove that the killer was scamming the comedy duo!
- vital clues: people constantly bringing up the VHS tapes; plus the lightbulbs in the storeroom.
All repeat actors on this show have always played different characters.
Richardson Morse (playing Dr. Worth), seen here in the foreground, made the most appearances out of all the actors here. This episode is his first of six appearances in total.
- This is also George Furth’s first of three appearances on the show. (He plays Farley Pressman, the investment advisor.)
- And Paul Ganus’s first of two appearances. (He has minor roles in both cases. In this episode he plays a Personal Assistant.)
Other big names/repeat offenders/honourable mentions:
To be honest, I recognize a lot of people in this episode:
I put a collage together to highlight the jammy-fest/dressing-gown fest going on in this episode.
- At the very left of the collage, we’ve got Sheree North (playing Norma Lewis), who you might recognize as Kramer’s mom on Seinfeld.
- Next is Steve Lawrence (playing Mack Howard) and Pat Crowley (playing Trudy Howard), who were both pretty big stars in the 60s. Steve Lawrence may be better known as a singer, whereas Pat Crowley had a solid run as the mom on Please don’t eat the daisies.
- This episode also features George Clooney (playing Kip Howard) before he was famous!
- Then we have Arte Johnson (playing agent Phil Rinker) — Arte Johnson was a big entertainer in the 60s as well and a regular performer on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. Nowadays he mostly does voice acting in cartoons.
- At the very right is George Furth (playing Farley Pressman, the investment advisor).
Kudos to David Knell for doing a fantastic job as the incompetent Acting Police Chief Wylie Ledbetter. I love when there’s a good reason for Jessica to take over the investigation!
- It should be noted that there’s a dummy crime before the real crime takes place: the crime first seems to be a superficial knife wound in the back, but the true crime doesn’t happen until half-way into the show.
- Following up on the previous two episodes, Cupid Jessica strikes again! The episode is not only centred around an engagement party, but it also ends with a marriage proposal between two other characters.
And that’s it! That’s all she wrote!