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Head of the Class

By Wikipedia

Head of the Class was a sitcom that ran from 1986 to 1991 on the ABC television network. It followed a group of gifted students in the Individualized Honors Program (IHP) at the fictional Millard Fillmore High School in Manhattan, and their history teacher Charlie Moore (Howard Hesseman). Hesseman left the series in 1990 and was replaced by Billy Connolly (in his first major American production) as teacher Billy MacGregor for the 1990-1991 season.

The original ten students in the IHP were Maria, Arvid, Darlene, Simone, Jawarhalal, Alan, Eric, Sarah, Dennis, and Janice. There was some turnover in the cast in the later years of the series.

After the series ended, Connolly appeared in a spinoff entitled Billy.

Characters

Charles P. "Charlie" Moore - Howard Hesseman
Billy MacGregor - Billy Connolly
Dr. Harold Samuels - William G. Schilling
Bernadette Meara - Jeanetta Arnette
Maria Borges - Leslie Bega
Arvid Engen - Dan Frischman
Darlene Merriman - Robin Givens
Simone Foster - Khrystyne Haje
Jawarhalal Choudhury - Jory Husain
Alan Pinkard - Tony O'Dell
Eric Mardian - Brian Robbins
Sarah Nevins - Kimberly Russell
Dennis Blunden - Dan Schneider
Janice Lazarotto - Tannis Vallely
Lori Applebaum - Marcia Christie
Alex Torres - Michael DeLorenzo
Dr. Enric Engen - Bruce Gray
Madeline Mardian - Patricia McCormack
Viki Amory - Lara Piper
Theola June "T.J." Jones - Rain Pryor
Jasper Kwong - Jonathan Ke Quan
Aristotle McKenzie - De'voreaux White

Mission to Moscow

In 1988, Head of the Class broke new ground as it became the first American sitcom to be filmed in the former Soviet Union. The episode was entirely filmed in Moscow, andwithout a laugh track (one was added in when the episode hit syndication).

The IHP is invited to come to the country for a rematch of the academic meet than happened in the first season (which ended in a tie). The class has a lot of experiences while in Moscow: Dennis and Arvid take interest in two beautiful women, until they realize they might be KGB spies; Eric meets up with his relatives in what is a very positive experience for him; Capitalist Alan has an argument with a die hard socialistin a store (who is also on the opposing Russian academic team); Sarah and Darlene decide to record the sights and sounds of Moscow; Simone goes to put flowers on a poet’s grave and meets up with a charming Russian musician; Dr. Samuels believed the Russian’s bugged his room, but just ends up making a fool of himself; and Charlie has a brief romance with a school teacher.

The IHP eventually wins the meet and the respect of the Russian team. The episode concludes with both teams attending a concert in Gorky Park swaying to the song “Faraway Lands” (written and performed by American David Pomeranz and Russian rock star Alexander Manilin).

 

Share Your Memories!

Do you have a favorite episode of Head of the Class? What do you remember about the series? Share your stories with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"Which episode do I start with; they're all so good! I really love the one where Dennis joins the football team or the one where Dennis and Arvid go to Houston."

--Warsaw Dreams

"I liked Head of the Class due to the fact of the drama. I especially liked Dennis. The computer geek. Although you hardly ever saw him use the computer! :( Great show, great memorys."

--Jon

"I just got into the show during my last year in college (which just ended a month ago!). The show made high school seem like it was so cool...and the show had a ton of quirky characters. That's what made it an interesting watch for me."

--realchic1999

"The show is about a "child of the 60s" using his unorthodox teaching methods to get honors students of the Awesome80s to learn that there's more to life than school and grades."

--Anonymous

"Head of the class was a great show. I think that my favorite episode was the one when the fat guy Dennis came back from summer vacation in a fat suit and revealed that he had actually become thin over the summer. I think that the show ended too soon because there were too many changes at the same time. One season, everything was humming along just fine and at the next season premier, half the class was gone ( including the teacher). They replaced the missing characters with others, but it was too much. It was kind of like "Saved By the Bell" after all the main characters graduated. Too bad."

--Anonymous

"Arvid, in Head of The Class, was truly a dork! It's interesting to note that the name "Arvid" is Swedish and is an Old Norse Viking name that means "Eagle of the Woods". Arvid is probably the most admired of all Old Viking names. You would think that the writers of the show would have pointed out this fact at least once. This would have been easy to include in the show since all the characters are smart and have vast cultural knowledge. It would have added depth to the character of Arvid and played against his dorky nature in an interesting way. I wonder what a blonde haired Swede or Viking from the past would think of this black haired, dorky, Arvid!"

--love the 80

"All I remember is the episode where they did HAIR. I was only, like, 9 at the time, but the last scene with the guy playing Claude at the end, trying to get the other tribe people to see him really affected me, even at nine years old. I wish I could find a video of that episode. "

--Liz

"Danny Frishman is and was my friend from high school although he graduated before me. Me and my sister were wondering what ever happend to him we lost touch and we often think about him and wonder how he is doing and what he is doing I hope he is doing well. He was so much fun to be around and was anything but a nerd or may be we were nerds too, what does it matter?"

--Lorraine

"All I remember is the episode where they did HAIR. I was only, like, 9 at the time, but the last scene with the guy playing Claude at the end, trying to get the other tribe people to see him really affected me, even at nine years old. I wish I could find a video of that episode. "

--Liz

"when will head of the class return to cable tv i wish they put it back on so I could record 10 to 20 episodes and have my own personal head of the class compilation tapes. it was my favorite show because it was very diverse. "

--marina

"Danny Frishman is and was my friend from high school although he graduated before me. Me and my sister were wondering what ever happend to him we lost touch and we often think about him and wonder how he is doing and what he is doing I hope he is doing well. He was so much fun to be around and was anything but a geek or may be we were geeks too, what does it matter. "

--Lorraine

"i like the head of the class and I want to get at least 15 to 20 episodes of this show recorded. I like head of the class because it was a diverse character tv show. and I think reel chic is a stupid pathetic bitch for banning me from the head of the class message board just because I posted lots of comments and she did not like the comments posted the comments were of no harm to anyone really just my own opinions and reel chic took the comments too seriously. "

--Anonymous

 

TV TIDBITS

Aired: September 17, 1986 - June 25, 1991

Cast: Howard Hesseman, Billy Connoly, Jeannetta Arnette, Robin Givens, Dan Frischman, Leslie Bega, Khrystyne Haje, Jory Husain

Network: ABC

Genre: Sitcom

Theme song

Spinoffs: Billy

Image courtesy of ABC


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