"Joker is Mild / First Time Out / Take My Granddaughter, Please"
Original airdate: 10/29/1977
Episode summary: A college-age virgin scours the ship for female companionship. A grandmother sets up her granddaughter with Doc. Julie re-connects with an old comedian friend of her father's who's desperate to perform in her nightly entertainment show.
Recap: Four fraternity brothers board the Pacific Princess, check in with Julie, and ask her if she thinks there'll be enough tail on board so that their virgin friend Danny can get his cherry popped...and Julie assures them that, yep, burying his weasel shouldn't be a problem. Elsewhere, Shirlee Warner boards the ship while bickering with her grandmother about how this cruise is less about her (Shirlee) finding a husband and more about it being a birthday present for the old lady. Julie, meanwhile, is giving a tour of the ship to family friend and washed up comedian Barry Keys when they run into a talent agent named Freddy Stevens. Barry self-importantly bellows at Freddy to not bother him with talk about getting signed 'cause he's strictly here to enjoy his vacation, and Freddy gives him a 'the fuck?' look and says he'd be more than happy to ignore his existence.
Grandma Warner motions Gopher over and tells him she'd like him to arrange for her and her granddaughter to be seated at the singles table for every meal, and Shirlee rolls her eyes in exasperation.
Julie gives Barry the number of his cabin, detailed directions on how to get there, then ushers him over to the elevator, where he babbles nonsensically at the couple who had the misfortune of being inside the elevator at that particular moment.
After the ship sets sail, Julie delivers a bottle of champagne to Barry in his tiny cabin and fibs, "Compliments of the Captain!" Barry happily reminisces about how her father used to bring her backstage before his performances, and Julie credits Barry for being the reason her father remained in showbiz. Barry says she's probably itching to ask him to perform his comedy schtick for the other passengers even though he's here to relax, but then "relents" and says he's willing to throw her a bone by agreeing to a fifteen minute guest spot. Julie's all, "Ack!" and gently says that that isn't, in any way, necessary - but Barry replies that he doesn't want to disappoint the captain, who clearly wants him to perform, as is evidenced by the complimentary bottle of champagne he just sent over.
Danny approaches a woman shooting photographs and tries to flirt with her by standing in front of her camera and inviting her to photograph him. She responds by snarking that he's blocking her light and to get the hell out of her frame. LOL.
Shirlee is reading by the pool when a man emerges from the water, bumps into her, and gets her all wet. She's annoyed until she realizes that the man is Dave King, an old friend of hers from high school. The two quickly catch up and learn that they're both single and available - just as Grandma strolls over to see whassup. Shirlee introduces Dave and reminds her that they briefly dated in high school...and Grandma looks encouraged by the presence of Dave - until she learns that he's an elementary school teacher. She pulls Shirlee aside, complains that teachers make shit money, and urges her to show some cleavage as she mixes and mingles with some higher earning prospects.
Danny's fraternity pals razz him about finding a woman to bone, 'cause apparently they've placed bets on his ability/inability to get his cherry popped.
At dinner, Barry is loudly cracking jokes while the crew and Captain Stubing look on in dismay. Julie tells Doc she has no idea how to break it to Barry that his comedy is too terrible for even a Love Boat variety show - just as Barry butters his hand instead of a slice of bread and cackles at the hilarity of not wanting to eat his buttered hand.
Danny stumbles upon a woman who's laying face-down as she sunbathes topless. He gushes about how attractive she is and propositions her, but then shuffles off dejectedly after she non-responsively grunts in his general direction.
Julie finds Barry at the bar, cackling to Isaac about his comedic geniuses. She pulls Barry aside and stammers about she may not be able juggle the various performers in order to squeeze him into her show, and he breezily snorts, "Details, ah.." and says he's off to rehearse. A dismayed Julie runs into Captain Stubing, who tells her that, yeah, Barry is definitely not running on all cylinders...and that she's going to have to decide whether she wants to function like a professional cruise director or be too much of a cowardly baby to level with Barry about his shittastic performance ability.
Danny approaches a woman named Barbara on the deck and asks her if she lives around here...and she looks implausibly charmed by his inept flirting before he suddenly decides that the effort is a no go and shuffles off dejectedly.
Doc gives Grandma some pills to help with her insomnia, and she explains that she's having problems sleeping 'cause she's so wired about her family problems. She then notices that Doc isn't wearing a wedding ring, asks him if he'd be up to meeting a gorgeous, sexy woman, and talks up Shirlee. As he mumbles about his complete lack of interest in doing that, Grandma asks him to come by the dining room at 7pm tonight, then rushes off to inform Shirlee about her newly scheduled quasi-blind date.
Barry is rehearsing in the lounge when Julie enters the room. As she summons the courage to break the news that he can't be in her show, Barry scrunches his face in faux pain and says he needs to sit down for a minute, catch his breath, and wistfully reflect on how desperately he needs to hear the sound of applause in order for him to feel good about himself. Julie nods sympathetically as he decrees, "But the show must go on!" and she's like 'ah, fuck it' and agrees to indulge him.
Danny is working out with a group of ladies in Doc's exercise group...and when he unwittingly flirts with a married woman, he pulls the plug on his hopeless quest to lose his virginity and collapses onto a lounger beside Barbara. She perks up at the sight of him and chats him up about his college major before proposing a generic toast to their success in life. Danny takes a sip of his drink, for some reason doesn't seem to twig onto the probability that she's totally willing to hit the sheets with him, and says it was nice talking to her before shuffling off dejectedly for the umpteenth time. As Barbara stares despondently into space, Isaac comes over, stares at her incredulously for a few seconds, and asks her if she's actually interested in a moron like Danny who's under extreme pressure by his idiot fraternity friends to get laid. Barbara shrugs unconcernedly and says she finds Danny to be bright, sweet, and nice...and figures that once he gets his rocks off, he'll settle into acting like his normal self. She then frowns and remarks on what a bummer it is that he doesn't seem to acknowledge she exists.
Shirlee is annoyed at Grandma for setting her up with Doc, then says she can't make the date 'cause she has plans to meet up with Dave King at 7pm. Grandma threatens to throw herself overboard if she's willing to give up a doctor for a nobody like Dave, and Shirlee half-heartedly pulls her away from the railing.
Julie tells Isaac she's decided to let Barry perform in the show, then explains that he's very sick and that this could be his last shot at stardom. She carries a tea tray over to Barry's cabin, and is all, "Wha-a-a-a?" when she catches him doing upper body exercises. She angrily accuses him of faking chest pains...and he admits that, yep, he's a phony who only booked himself on this cruise 'cause he knew that Freddy Stevens would be on board. He sheepishly acknowledges to Julie that he shamelessly used her, but then insists that she owes him one 'cause of the time he helped her father remain in showbiz. Julie refrains from pointing out that, by that logic, her father would be the one owing him, then stonily says that after he does tonight's show "the slate is clean".
Doc complains to Isaac that he really doesn't want to be set up with Grandma Warner's granddaughter - just as Grandma enters the lounge to drag him over towards where Shirlee and Dave are sitting. Shirlee gives Dave a heads up that she agreed to have a quick drink with Doc...and a few seconds later, Doc ambles over and looks genuinely smitten with Shirlee. He pumps her hand and ignores Dave, who Grandma quickly ushers to the dance floor. As Doc smarmily coos, "Where have you been all my life?", Shirlee grimaces and then glances helplessly over at Dave.
Danny is combing through the female names on the passenger list, which for some reason has been posted in a public space for all to see. Julie ambles over and asks him if he's having any fun on this cruise, and he sullenly retorts that the sole purpose of him coming aboard this ship was to bone a woman, not enjoy himself. Julie explains that sex is only a small part of a relationship, and suggests that perhaps he's failed thus far at getting a woman in the sack is 'cause he's trying waaaaay too hard.
Doc happily tells Grandma that everything she said about Shirlee has turned out to be true...and a few seconds later, the two run into Shirlee and Dave. Dave is abruptly summoned to the purser's desk, and Doc gleefully tells Shirlee he just arranged the summoning that so they could spend some time alone together...and Grandma cackles with delight while Shirlee scrunches her face in annoyance.
That evening, Danny is brooding on the deck when Barbara comes over and says she'd like to get to know him. When he visibly perks up at that, she suggests they take a walk around the ship and end up in his cabin, and he's like, "Sure!" before the two scamper off together. When they reach his cabin, she invites him to sit on the bed next to her, and he nervously puts on some music, recites a poem, and asks her what in blazes she's doing with a socially inept half-wit such as himself. She replies that she likes him and figured they'd get along well, then hangs her head and apologetically acknowledges what a dog she is. Danny's like, "Knock it off!", assures her she's beautiful, and leans in for a smooch.
Show time! Julie introduces Barry as the cruise's "special performer", then shoots him the stink-eye when he gives her a thank you peck on the cheek. His opening jokes fall so flat that he asks the audience if they're English speaking (LOL), and Julie is so dismayed that she flees to the deck. When Gopher follows her to see whassup, she tells him she regrets letting her personal feelings about Barry get in the way of her job as cruise director...and Gopher agrees that it was a UGE mistake to put him in the show, but says she'll probably be laughing about it in five years. Julie returns to the lounge to see how badly Barry is stinking it up, and is pleasantly surprised to see that the audience has warmed up to his schtick...and as he wraps things up, he gets an enthusiastic round of applause. Freddy Stevens races over to Barry and tells him he'd looooove to book him for some small comedy clubs, but Barry dismissively says, "Later" and pulls Julie aside to beg for her forgiveness. She beams and assures him he hasn't lost her respect, then gives him a congratulatory hug.
Shirlee stops by Doc's cabin to tell him she's in love with Dave King and afraid to disappoint her grandmother about falling for a low earning elementary school teacher. Doc mulls that over for a few seconds, then proposes she come by his office with Grandma tomorrow afternoon...and in the meantime he'll figure out a way to convince the old lady that he's really not that great of a catch [since this clearly wasn't immediately apparent to her].
The following afternoon, Shirlee brings Grandma to Doc's office, and the two find him faux boozing while staggering around and slurring his words. As he grabs at Shirlee and pretends to lecherously paw at her, an appalled Grandma calls him "a degenerate" and smacks him with her purse. Shirlee laughingly admits to Grandma that Doc was merely putting on an act for her 'cause she's in love with Dave and didn't have the guts to point out that since she's a grown woman it's none of her damn business who she hooks up with. Grandma suddenly decides she's A-OK with her granddaughter's choice of a mate and suggests they go find Dave to share the good news.
Danny and Barbara are holding hands and kissing goodbye...and a few seconds after she ambles off, Danny's fraternity brothers rush over and cackle about the towel that Danny had hung over the doorknob last night and leap to the assumption that he got lucky. Danny smiles dreamily into space, but says it was all a ruse 'cause he didn't actually have sex, and two of the guys woot about being on the winning side of that bet.
Barry is signing autographs when Freddy Stevens invites him to call in the morning to discuss reigniting his comedy career, and after that Julie escorts Barry to the ship's exit before giving him a warm goodbye hug. Grandma gushes at Dave about how thrilled she is about him possibly becoming her grandson-in-law, then gives Doc a goodbye kiss and offers to introduce him to her niece. Doc perks up at that prospect - just as Shirlee barks at her grandmother to stop her match-making and disembark with her and Dave.
Thanks for reading! If you are enjoying TVofYore's recaps, consider thanking me by buying me a "coffee"!