The Show “Mad About You“, Cast, Pictures, And Trivia!
This series is about a newlywed couple living in the fast-paced city of New York.
Paul and Jamie Buchman (Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt) are recently married and very much in love. Paul is a documentary filmmaker and an incredibly nice man, (sometimes too much for his own good) and Jamie is a public relations specialist who is nice but has a tendency to be more forceful than her husband.
And though a great deal of their time seems to be spent having arguments, either with each other or with other people, together however, they are, if not the perfect couple, than the perfect match for one another!
Like most couples, they do have friends, family members and other assorted people in their lives. Some who pass through now and then, and some who either fortunately or unfortunately, have a more permanent place. There is of course Jamie’s sister Lisa Stemple, (Anne Ramsay) who appears to have a bottomless pit of psychological problems, which according to her therapist, seems to be easily put upon the shoulders of Jamie. Despite this, the two still have a strong bond. Fran Devanow (Leila Kenzle) is Jamie’s best friend and former boss. The two are quite close and get along well. Ira Buchman (John Pankow) is Paul’s cousin and worked for his father at the family business, “Buchman’s Sporting Goods”. He later became owner when Paul’s father died, putting a slight strain on their relationship. But all in all, they are especially close to each other and very loving.
In addition there is also the character of Paul’s mother, Sylvia Buchman (Cynthia Harris). And like so many mother and daughter-in-law relationships, she and Jamie don’t always get along. Most of this is due to Sylvia’s attitude toward her daughter-in-law, although there are times every once in a while, when she does act more kindly towards her. Burt Buchman (Louis Zorich) is Paul’s father and has his own business. And lastly is Dr. Mark Devanow (Richard Kind), the husband of Jamie’s best friend, Fran.
And don’t let us forget their beloved dog and companion, Murray.
This show is enjoyable, funny and at times can remind you of moments in your own marriage. (Especially when you were first together!) It was on for seven seasons, and for the most part it remained an amusing sitcom. I give it 6 out of 10.
Paul Buchman-Paul Reiser
Jamie Buchman-Helen Hunt
Ira Buchman-John Pankow
Lisa Stemple-Anne Ramsay
Murray-Maui the dog
Fran Devanow-Leila Kenzle
Sylvia Buchman-Cynthia Harris
Burt Buchman-Louis Zorich
Dr. Mark Devanow-Richard Kind
Recurring Cast Years
Maggie Conway-Judy Geeson 1992-1999
Debbie Buchman-Robin Bartlett 1994-1999
Lisa Kudrow-Ursula Buffay 1992-1999
Dr. Joan Golfinos-Suzie Plakson 1996-1999
Nat Ostertag-Hank Azaria 1995-1999
Jay Selby-Tommy Hinkley 1992-1993
Marvin-Jeff Garvin 1997-1999
Dr. Sheila Kleinman-Mo Gaffney 1996-1999
Sid-George Petrie 1994-1996
Mr. Wicker-Jerry Adler 1993-1998
Theresa Stemple-Carol Burnett 1996-1999
Hal Conway-Paxton Whitehead & Jim Piddock 1992-1999
Marianne Lugasso-Cyndi Lauper 1993-1999
Warren Mermelman-Steven Wright 1993-1996
Lou Bonaparte-Larry Miller 1993-1998
Doug Berkus-Bradley White 1996
Alan Tofsky-Eric Stoltz 1994-1998
Ryan-Spencer Klein 1992-1997
Henry Vincent-Fred Willard 1998-1999
Uncle Phil-Mel Brooks 1996-1999
Aunt Lolly Stemple-Meg Wyllie 1994-1995
Hollis-David Strickland 1995-1996
Troy-Patrick Bristow 1996-1997
Susannah-Anne Bobby 1995
Remy-Marva Hicks 1993-1995
Lance Brockwell-Alan Ruck 1995-1996
Gus Stemple-Carroll O’Connor 1996-1999
Theresa Stemple-Penny Fuller 1994-1995
Lenny-Lyle Lovett 1995-1999
In one of the Mad About You episodes, someone asks Paul and Jamie if they have seen the movie where aliens burst from people’s chests (a.k.a. the Alien movies)? Paul’s response is, “Only the first one.” The joke of course being that Reiser starred in the second movie of the series, “Aliens” and gets killed.
In one year alone (1998), Helen Hunt (Jamie Buchman) won an Emmy Award, an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award.
Richard Kind’s wife, Dana Stanley, is the executive director of “Project ALS”. A group that raises money to find a cure for ALS or Lou Gherig’s disease. Actor Rob Morrow is on the Board of Directors of this wonderful and much needed organization.
John Pankow (Ira Buchman) is the brother of James Pankow, who is one of the founding members of the amazing rock band “Chicago”.
Actor Steve Buscemi is in an episode during the first season, playing a role inspired by an actual life event of his own with Paul Reiser. When Buscemi was trying to be a stand-up comedian, before his leap into acting, he was performing somewhere one night, and completely and totally bombed. He was so bad that another one of the comics had to take his place, that comic was Paul Reiser.
Judy Geeson (Maggie Conway) was the manager of an antiques store in Beverly Hills called “Blanche & Co.”, while at the same time still acting occasionally.
The role of Jamie Buchman was almost played by actress Teri Hatcher, (of Desperate Housewives fame) but she lost to Helen Hunt at the final auditions.
Paul and Jamie’s daughter’s name is Mabel. It stands for Mother’s Always Bring Extra Love (M.A.B.E.L).
Anne Ramsay (Lisa Stemple) got her big break into entertainment through “The Continuum”, an acting group featuring many alumni from UCLA (where Ramsay got her degree).
There is an episode in the series when Paul and Jamie see the waitress Ursula (played by Lisa Kudrow), after a long time of not being seen on the show. They then ask her where she’d been and she responds with “I’ve been hanging out with friends”. This is because Kudrow started starring on the series, “Friends” as Phoebe Buffay, who later turns out to have a twin sister, Ursula. This is only one of many crossovers that Mad About You was popular for. There was also another episode of “Friends” where Paul and Jamie go to Central Perk and see Phoebe, but assume she is Ursula. In one episode of Mad About You, Jamie causes a blackout on the show, and it is then crossed over to shows “Friends” and “Madman of the People”. It has crossed over with “Seinfeld” as well.
Helen Hunt spends the Thanksgiving holiday with Anthony Edwards every year.
George Clooney was best man at the wedding of Richard Kind in 1999. He and Kind are close friends.
Louis Zorich (Burt Buchman) has been married to well-known actress Olympia Dukakis since 1962.
Musical legend and actress Barbara Streisand, is a cousin of Richard Kind.
Leila Kenzle (Fran Devanow) went back to school after Mad About You ended, and graduated with a degree in Clinical Psychology. She is now working as a Marriage and Family therapist in Los Angeles.
John Pankow has been married to his wife Kristine Sutherland, for 28 years and they have one child, a daughter.
Helen Hunt married fellow actor Hank Azaria in 1999, after dating for five years. However, they were divorced only seventeen months later.
Paul Reiser (Paul Buchman) was the co-creator of the Mad About You series. He also played the piano for the recording of the theme song as well as co-composed it with Don Was. It was called, “The Final Frontier”.
Both Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser were paid $1 million per episode in the series’ final season.
Paul Reiser worked with singer Julia Fordham to make a CD in 2010. It was called “Unusual Suspects” and included the song “Unsung Hero”. The song was in dedication to all of the American soldiers who were serving their country in Afghanistan.
Cynthia Harris (Sylvia Buchman) portrayed the character “Mrs. B.” in TV advertisements for the department store, “Bradlees” (which no longer exists) for nearly two decades.
Paul Reiser is the author of three books. They are entitled “Couplehood”, “Babyhood” and “Familyhood”.
Richard Kind (Dr. Mark Devanow) actually received his first big break on television with the show “Carol and Company” starring actress Carol Burnett. This of course is noteworthy because Carol Burnett had a recurring role on Mad About You as Jamie Buchman’s mother, Theresa Stemple.
Anne Ramsay was in the movie “A League of Their Own” in 1992. This is a quote from Ramsay about something that happened with co-star Madonna while filming it. “She’s sweet and vulnerable and she could be caustic and self-protecting.” “She was so kind to me and I’m really grateful for it.” “My birthday happened to fall in the middle of shooting and she found out about it and she made sure that I had a cake, she gave me a Dolce and Gabbana outfit.”
From 1993-1999, Helen Hunt was nominated for an Emmy Award for lead actress in a comedy series. Out of the seven years, she won the last four.
Paul Reiser was considered for the role of single dad, “Danny Tanner”, on the popular series “Full House”. Instead, he chose to take the role of “Michael Taylor” on the series “My Two Dads”, with fellow actor Greg Evigan.
John Pankow was on the final episode of the daytime soap opera, “Search for Tomorrow”. It lasted for thirty-five years.
Helen Hunt had a brand new apartment in New York City when the World Trade Center attacks occurred. She watched it all from the roof of her building and wanted to leave the city immediately. Due to all that was going on, she of course could not get a flight out. Three days later, when private jets were first allowed to fly again, she booked one and flew both herself and her staff out of the city.
Louis Zorich’s nephew is former lineman for the Chicago Bears’ football team, Chris Zorich.
Richard Kind is one of only two actors (Michael Boatman is the other), who were in every single episode of the series “Spin City”.