The Official KRESKY Homepage

FREQUENTLY ASKED KRESTIONS

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1. If Kresky was so popular, how come I've never heard of it?
2. If Wade Cantrell was from West Virginia, how come he dressed and behaved like a cowboy?
3. What kind of cars did Kresky and Cantrell drive?
4. What precinct did Kresky work out of? He seemed to be all over the place.
5. Where was Kresky's apartment located?
6. Where did Cantrell live?
7. How did Kresky and Cantrell afford such nice apartments on policemen's salaries?
8. What was the name of Kresky's murdered fiancé? I seem to remember her being referred to on different occasions as Michelle, Shelly and, possibly, Monique. Who was the actress who portrayed her in flashbacks?
9. What was the name of Cantrell's slain sister? Wasn't she played in the flashback by a young Helen Hunt?
10. What was the often alluded to "incident" in Dr. Pibb's and Kresky's past that brought the two men together?
11. What was Kresky's rank while serving in the army? What was his unit? Where did he serve?
12. I don't seem to recall Kresky's "arch-nemesis", Gustav Ozu, ever appearing or even being mentioned before the final two episodes of the series. Did I miss something? And isn't it a kind of amazing coincidence that Ozu killed both Kresky's fiancé and Cantrell's sister? I mean, what are the odds?
13. My friends and I have this theory that Ozu actually survived being shot and is still alive somewhere, hatching his revenge. What do you think?
14. Who wrote the Kresky theme music?
15. Where was Kresky filmed?
16. Is there a Kresky fan club I can join?
17. Is there a Kresky drinking game? How is it played?
18. Have there been any Kresky conventions? What are they like?
19. What's the deal with this Kresky feature film I keep hearing about?
20. I have an 8" Kresky doll that's in pretty good condition. Is it worth anything?
21. There were a lot of pop and disco hits in Kresky that sound as if they were performed by the original artists. How did UBC manage to afford the rights?
22. I want to learn more about Kresky. Can you recommend any good books on the subject?
23. Weren't Kresky and Cantrell gay?
24. Was Dr. Pibb really a doctor? Was Pibb his real name?



1. If Kresky was so popular, how come I've never heard of it?

Sadly, this is a question we're asked far too frequently.

Because Kresky was only briefly in syndication after its initial run and has never been officially released on video, many younger television viewers have never had the opportunity to enjoy the show. Many others missed it the first time around or only have vague memories of "some show about a disco-dancing cop". It's a terrible shame so many people have been denied the chance to become addicted to Kresky. The mission of this web page is to preserve the memory of the show while serving as an educational resource for the Kresky-deprived.

Part of the reason Kresky has been allowed to sink into virtual obscurity revolves around the sticky question of ownership. For years, an on-going battle has raged over who owns the rights to the show, a problem which was hugely compounded when the ailing UBC Network and UBC Studios were absorbed by Turner Broadcasting in the late 1980's. This now epic legal conflict features an enormous cast of characters but the leading players are Terrence Michael Matterly, former UBC President Larry Rubin, Kresky executive producer Matt Jameson and, of course, media mogul Ted Turner. Until these legal wranglings can be brought to a close, it seems unlikely that Kresky will enjoy any further incarnations whether it be syndication, video, a TV reunion or a feature film remake (see Krestion 19).

Yes, there are bootleg Kresky videos for sale on the convention circuit (see Krestion 18), but the creators of this homepage would like to state now for the record that they in no way endorse the illegal production, sale or purchase of copyrighted materials.

2. If Wade Cantrell was from West Virginia, how come he dressed and behaved like a cowboy?

Wade Cantrell was Kresky executive producer Matt Jameson's answer to UBC President Larry Rubin's request for a character that crossed McCloud with the Midnight Cowboy. He was supposed to be, in essence, a boyish (and smokeless) Marlboro Man -- an expert in backwoods justice but a big city naïf. The character had been in the planning stages for several months when Jameson stumbled across Ronald Dean Whitney and decided he was perfect for the role. The producer was so taken with Whitney that he impulsively decided that Cantrell should hail from the same part of the country: West Virginia. Never mind that the character wore a Stetson and roped and bustebroncoscs like a Texas rodeo rider -- it was explained that he had grown up on a horse ranch outside of Wheeling -- according to the series, Wade Cantrell had supposedly never set foot west of the Appalachians until he pursued his sister's killer to LA.


3. What kind of cars did Kresky and Cantrell drive?

Kresky just wouldn't have been Kresky without his trusty street machine, that ever-reliable 1970 Mustang Boss 302. In fact, the sleek, sexy muscle car so overflowed with charm and personality that, over time, it evolved into one of the program's most popular supporting characters, even receiving its own fan mail. Although the make and model remained the same over the entire series' run, the car did undergo a facelift in season 4 episode "Countdown to Oblivion", trading its canary yellow paint job for a snazzy orange one following its brush with destruction. Some claim that the change was insisted upon by a jealous Terrence Matterly who was concerned that the Mustang was becoming too popular and stealing the show's focus, but our research suggests that the actor had a quite healthy relationship with the car.

Kresky's 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 ....and in orange!
Kresky car enthusiasts should also note that some Kresky promotionalal materials inexplicably feature black and red Mustang Bosses. These rare "apocryphal" items are greatly valued by collectors (see Krestion 20).

Cantrell, of course, wasn't quite as lucky in the "ride" department. A running joke in the series throughout the Cantrell years was that the West Virginian was cursed when it came to holding onto an automobile. In nearly every episode in which he appeared, the detective lost, at least, one rental, loner or newly bought vehicle to some unforeseeable disaster. The following is a complete catalog of Cantrell's various vehicular misfortunes and the number of cars lost. (Note: many of the following incidents occur off-screen and are only alluded to in passing.)

Totaled in collisions: 6
Irreparable mechanical failures: 4
Destroyed in explosions: 3
Destroyeded by flying debris from explosions: 1
Stolen: 2
Repossesseded: 1
Stripped for parts: 1
Incinerated in brush fire: 1
Irreparably vandalized by motorcycle gang: 1
Crushed by avalanche: 1
Swept away by flood: 1 (motorcycle)
Rolled off pier into Pacific: 1
Crushed in auto salvage yard: 1
Lost in chasm during earthquake: 1
Driven off overpass: 1
Driven off road into canyon: 2
Driven off road into flood channel: 1
Decimated by gunfire: 1
Lost under several tons of garbage: 1
Confiscated by biohazard unit due to exposure to anthrax: 1
Crushed by rampaging circus elephant: 1
Sucked into Hell by Satan*: 1
Dematerialized by master illusionist: 1
Abducted by aliens*: 1
Forgot where parked: 1

Total number of vehicles lost: 36

* Unproven theory proposed by Cantrell

4. What precinct did Kresky work out of? He seemed to be all over the place.

Many Kresky fans familiar with Los Angeles have pointed out that Kresky's jurisdiction seemed to stretch all over the LAPD's 18 geographic divisions and into Orange County -- and occasionally even into entirely different states. Kresky's division was never stated, and the show's writers purposely left it unclear as to what the detective's normal territory was -- although it definitely seemed to include the Hollywood area. While the famed Bradbury Building sometimes served as the exterior of Kresky's HQ, there is no evidence to suggest the fictional building was supposed to share the same location as the actual edifice.

More often than not, Kresky, due to the highly unusual nature of his undercover work, worked on special assignment wherever a case took him. And, in a number of cases, Kresky took it upon himself to handle a case that was well beyond his jurisdiction. Loopholes such as these allowed the writers a great deal of latitude when it came to placing the detective in new and exciting locales and situations.

5. Where was Kresky's apartment located?

Like Kresky's police precinct, the location of his apartment was never expressly stated, but, in this case, a little educated guesswork, yields a likely answer. The real building that provided the exterior for Kresky's fictional digs is located in Santa Monica which also seems to be the implied location in the series. In a number of episodes, Kresky alluded to the fact that he could walk to the beach from his apartment and was often shown, in his free time, strolling along the Santa Monica Pier and Venice boardwalk.

6. Where did Cantrell live?

Cantrell had considerably more luck with housing than he did with cars. The detective lived in a loft apartment above a record store somewhere in Hollywood along Sunset Boulevard. Evidence seems to suggest he was within easy walking distance of the historic Chateau Marmont Hotel.

7. How did Kresky and Cantrell afford such nice apartments on policemen's salaries?

How Kresky afforded his airy rooftop apartment and Cantrell his hanger-like loft will likely forever remain a mystery, considering we can be certain that these were two LA cops who weren't on the take. Our best guess is that they were really, really lucky.

8. What was the name of Kresky's murdered fiancé? I seem to remember her being referred to on different occasions as Michelle, Shelly and, possibly, Monique. Who was the actress who portrayed her in flashbacks?

Actually, the name of Kresky's childhood sweetheart and doomed fiancé was Michellique, a blending of the names of Matt Jameson's wife, Michelle, and daughter, Monique. In the rare instances when Kresky did refer to her by name, he usually used the diminutives Shel or Shelly. Although we were able to find one episode where Captain Marino refers to her as "Monique", this seems to be an error on the character's part.

Five different actresses appeared as Michellique over the series' run: Patricia Waldron, Tracey Daly, Meredith Westcomb, Suzanne Allen and -- believe it or not -- Michellique Hall. Because the viewer was never given a good look at the character (she was forever being shown in shadow or through a variety of gauzy camera filters), the role could readily be cast with different actresses. In fact, Matt Jameson even claims that he actively encouraged the casting changes, saying it lent the character a dream-like everywoman quality and showed how cruelly Kresky had been betrayed by his memory. But, in her autobiography "Signing the Cast" Kresky casting director Mary Godin tells a different story, maintaining she was simply unable to ever get the same actress to play the role more than once.

9. What was the name of Cantrell's slain sister? Wasn't she played in the flashback by a young Helen Hunt?

Cantrell's little sister was named Sarah-Ellen. Contrary to popular myth, she was not portrayed by Helen Hunt (although the Oscar-winning actress would have been approximately the right age to have played her). No, the Helen Hunt look-alike was Prudence Dukane, who now works as an editor for a New York publishing house.

10. What was the often alluded to "incident" in Dr. Pibb's and Kresky's past that brought the two men together?

More than a few times over the course of the series, Dr. Pibb referred to a mysterious "debt" he owed Kresky. The black vigilante may have complained about being beholden to a white "pig", but he was too much of a man of honor to turn his back on a moral obligation -- and, in truth, too smart not to recognize the detective as a "soul brother" under the skin. The nature of this debt was never revealed, but it must have been a whopper, considering Dr. Pibb was constantly swearing he'd done his last favor for Kresky, only to give in and bail out the detective the very next time he came around looking for help. Many fans cite the fact that Dr. Pibb often mentioned his status as an ex-con in connection with his debt to Kresky, postulating that Kresky got him out of prison by turning up evidence of a wrongful conviction. This is an attractive but, ultimately, unproveable theory.

11. What was Kresky's rank while serving in the army? What was his unit? Where did he serve?

Kresky was a lieutenant in some sort of covert special ops team. We know he served somewhere in southeast Asia during the Vietnam War and that his experiences deeply embittered him towards the military. We also know that one of Kresky's missions was to terminate the blood-thirsty warlord Gustav Ozu. Beyond this, Kresky's service record is shrouded in mystery.

12. I don't seem to recall Kresky's "arch-nemesis", Gustav Ozu, ever appearing or even being mentioned before the final two episodes of the series. Did I miss something? And isn't it a kind of amazing coincidence that Ozu killed both Kresky's fiancé and Cantrell's sister? I mean, what are the odds?

While it's true that Kresky's archenemy Gustav Ozu didn't make an appearance, in name or body, until the program's finale, if you go back and make careful study of the series in its entirety, you'll discover that Ozu's presence can be sensed almost from the very beginning. There are too many strange coincidences, too many unexplained occurrences and unresolved loose ends in Kresky's life to be explained away as mere chance. It's almost as if some unseen hand was guiding the detective along a prearranged path towards some unknown destiny, drawing him inexorably towards his doom.

Consider: Kresky believed that he had gunned down the Eurasian druglord in Vietnam. He had no reason to suspect that Ozu was still alive -- and that's exactly how Ozu wanted it. After relocating his vast crime syndicate to the U.S., Ozu must have decided that he wanted to exact the most cruel form of revenge on Kresky possible by killing the only woman the detective ever loved. It's easy to imagine the master criminal relishing Kresky's grief from afar. Perhaps it was his love of this sadistic little game that kept him from killing the cop outright or, perhaps, like Sherlock Holmes' Moriarty, he was simply reluctant to eliminate such a worthy opponent.

But whatever his reasons, it seems clear that Ozu was always watching from the shadows, occasionally taking time out from overseeing his sprawling crime network to toy with the detective. Consider all the times appeared Kresky was mere moments from catching his fiancé's killer, only to have it turn into an exasperating dead end. Who do you think was planting these tortuous red herrings? And, upon closer inspection, don't many of the cases Kresky investigated over the program's five year run bear the mark of some an unseen -- and, yet, all-seeing -- criminal mastermind, orchestrating things from behind the scenes? Viewed from this perspective, Ozu's climactic unveiling at the end of the series suddenly seems not only plausible but, indeed, preordained.

As for the Cantrell part of the question, who else but Ozu could have been responsible for the death of his sister? We already know that the murder of his enemies' loved ones was something of a trademark move for the crimelord. What was his motive, you ask? Could it be that Ozu actually wanted Cantrell to trail him to LA and join forces with Kresky?* Perhaps the increased risk and challenge titillated him. Perhaps he was a believer in that old saying: keep your friends close but your enemies closer. Perhaps, like many madmen, he had a secret desire to be caught. But, whatever his role in the teaming of the two detectives, one thing remains clear: in the end, their joining would prove to be his ultimate undoing.

* This brings up another tantalizing possibility never addressed in the series: did the hated Police Commissioner Pratt team up Kresky and Cantrell because he was in Ozu's pocket? Or was he merely another pawn in the villain's game? Tragically, we'll probably never know the truth.

13. My friends and I have this theory that Ozu actually survived being shot and is still alive somewhere, hatching his revenge. What do you think?

He was shot in the head at point blank range, and the series ended. He's a dead fictional character from a canceled television series. You people are thinking about this way too much.

14. Who wrote the Kresky theme music?

Rich Cooper and Steve Mann, the legendary 70's and 80's wunderkind composers, were responsible for the super-funky Kresky theme. In 1977, the tune went to #4 on the charts, making it a close runner-up to the theme from S.W.A.T. for top TV tune of the 70's (Hawaii 5-0 was technically from the 60's). Cooper and Mann were also responsible for the opening themes of Parole Patrol, The Residents, Canyon Rescue and Night Squadron.

The Kresky theme is available on a number of classic TV tune collections.

15. Where was Kresky filmed?

The series was filmed at the now defunct UBC Studios lot in Burbank, California (currently a Callan-Reynolds Aeronautics plant) and on location in and around Los Angeles. Interestingly, Kresky was the first and last hour-long non-soap drama series to be produced by the UBC Network on the UBC lot.

16. Is there a Kresky fan club I can join?

Unfortunately, the Official Kresky Fan Club of America disbanded in 1996 due to the misappropriation of funds by a club president who shall remain nameless. The creators of this fan page are currently attempting to establish an umbrella organization to serve the many regional Kresky clubs across the country. Keep checking this page for details!

17. Is there a Kresky drinking game? How is it played?

Thirsty fans have developed a seemingly infinite variety of Kresky drinking games, and it would be futile for us to attempt to offer a comprehensive list of rules here. Instead, we've created a partial fusion of various rules to serve as sort of a jumping off point for fans interested in custom designing their own games. Warning: do not to attempt to play by the full rules presented here; you would almost certainly die of blood-alcohol poisoning.

Also, a few other friendly reminders. Please drink responsibly. Don't drink and drive, and don't drink at all if you're underage. And don't drink alone. That's just sad.

Kresky Drinking Game Rules

Key: S= a sip G= a gulp C= a good old-fashioned chug

While watching an episode, drink accordingly anytime...

...someone refers to Kresky as anything other than just plain "Kresky" (i.e. his full name, Nick, Nicky, baby, man, cat, dude, tiger, sweetheart, hot shot, hot dog, pig, etc.): S
...a scene or episode ends in a freeze frame: S
...an episode ends with a freeze frame of Kresky laughing: C
...Kresky dances: C
...Kresky uses any variation of these trademark phrases: G
"I'm knockin' on your door, baby."
"A hard rain's gonna fall."
"Keep your eyes on the shoes."
"Save some funk for Sunday."
"Not the car!"
"She's the Boss, baby."
"Put some sugar on it."
...anytime anyone uses a slang phrase you can't readily understand: C
...someone repeats a phrase or sentence simply for dramatic effect (i.e. "Don't worry. He'll get his... Oh yes, he'll get his."): S
Commissionerner Pratt berates Kresky: G
...Captain Marino lets Kresky off with a warning: S
...a reference is made to Kresky's dead fiancé: C
...a reference is made to Cantrell's dead sister: C
...Cantrell illustrates a point with an anecdote about a West Virginia relative: C
...a previously unheard of relative of Kresky or Cantrell turns up: C
...a car loses a hub cap during a car chase only to have it mysteriously reappear moments later: G
...Cantrell rides a horse: G
...Kresky rides a horse: C
...Kresky kisses a woman: G
...Cantrell kisses a woman: C
...Dr. Pibb appears: G
...Dr. Pibb swears he's helped Kresky for the last time: C
...Moochie appears: C
...Moochie destroys something in Kresky's apartment: C
...Moochie answers the phone: C
...Moochie screeches a warning to Kresky or Cantrell: C
...Iggy Morton appears: G
...Iggy swears he's going to go straight: C
...Cantrell loses an automobile: G
...someone is wrongly accused of a crime and only Kresky believes in them: G
...Connie Sommers sighs longingly after Kresky leaves the room: G
...a beautiful woman turns up dead: C
...Kresky is drugged: C
...Kresky is knocked out: G
...Kresky chases or is chased in an alley, on a fire escape or on a roof: S
...there's a car chase: S
...Kresky poses as someone else: G
...Cantrell pops a Pez: S
...Kresky appears in a hot tub: C

18. Have there been any Kresky conventions? What are they like?

In October 1997, the Van Nuys Airport Hotel in Van Nuys, California was host to what we hope proves to be the first of many Kresky conventions. Kres-Kon '97 -- as it was called -- was an exciting event-packed weekend specially designed for Kresky fans by Kresky fans (hardcore fans by the way prefer to be called "Kreskins" as opposed to "Kreskites" which is considered to be a derogatory non-fan term). The convention's guests were Richard Ward (Commissioner Douglas Pratt), Erin Lowe (Connie Sommers), Gary Chin (Gustav Ozu) and Kirk McHoul (Moochie's trainer). All guests appeared in Q & A panels and autograph signings. Ward and Lowe also judged the Kresky look-alike contest and participated in the Juvenile Scoliosis Charity Auction on Sunday.

In addition to the celebrity events, there were screenings Kresky episodes and the infamous Kresky blooper reel. Diehard "Kreskins" had a chance to test their knowledge of Kresky minutiae with the Kresky Trivia Challenge, and pundits were on hand to debate the pros and cons of a possible Kresky feature film (see Krestion 19) during the Fan Forum. There was also a large dealers' room where vendors from across the country got together to showcase a wide variety of Kresky wares and related (Starsky and Hutch, CHiPs, etc.) collectibles.

Best of all, Kres-Kon '97 offered Kreskins from across the globe an unparalleled opportunity to meet and socialize. The Disco Saturday Night Party gave fans a chance to mingle and get funky Kresky-style. It was an occasion for many fans to discover just how diverse a group they belong to, a fact no more readily apparent than when a lively debate broke out on the dance floor between the Kreskins for Christ and the Kresky-Cantrell Gay and Lesbian Coalition. But, all in all, the event was a feel-good success and served as a wonderful reminder of how a simple 70's cop show has brought so many people together. Refer to this page for updates on future Kresky conventions!

19. What's the deal with this Kresky feature film I keep hearing about?

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like a Kresky feature is in the cards-at least, not in the near future. Yes, a number of big name Hollywood directors, including Oliver Stone, Quentin Tarantino, Bryan Singer, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson and Kevin Smith, have allegedly expressed interest in reviving the 70's television detective on the big screen, but the rights to the property have become so tied up in legal battles (see Krestion 1), it seems unlikely the project will ever see the light of day. But that cold, hard fact hasn't stopped the press, agents and publicists, not to mention celebrities themselves from attaching just about every actor in Hollywood to rumors of a Kresky remake.

Nicolas Cage has been suggested for both the Kresky and Cantrell roles as has Brad Pitt. Some of the other alleged Kresky candidates: Matthew McConaughey , Sean Penn, Tom Cruise, George Clooney, Johnny Depp and Val Kilmer. The supposed Cantrell roster is every bit as head-spinningl: Leonardo DiCaprio, Edward Norton, Noah Wyle, Billy Crudup and (our personal fave) Owen Wilson.

One of the most tantalizing rumor we've heard recently is that Kevin Smith is eager to do an adaptation with Ben Affleck as Kresky and Matt Damon as Cantrell. Unfortunately, our sources indicate this rumor may have originated from Harry Knowles' "Ain't It Cool" website - leaving its veracity doubtful. But we can dream, can't we?

By far the most disturbing bit of rumored stunt casting we've heard came from the Hollywood casting agent who proposed the nightmare team of Will Smith as Kresky and Uma Thurman as Cantrell. No offense meant to these talented and attractive thesps, but it almost makes one glad that the film's chances of happening are slim to none.

And just for the record, neither Terrence Michael Matterly nor Ronald Dean Whitney have expressed any desire to participate in a Kresky feature or TV reunion. (Sigh.)

20. I have an 8" Kresky doll that's in pretty good condition. Is it worth anything?

We're constantly inundatedted with e-mail from people asking what their old Kresky collectibles are worth. Unfortunately, it's usually impossible for us to give a definitive answer. The value of any collectible is largely dependent on what the collector or collectibles dealer is willing to pay, and that can vary widely. Here in southern California, we've seen Kresky and Cantrell 8" dolls in their original packaging on sale for anywhere from $75 to $120 per doll (although Cantrell dolls tend to be pricier, as there were fewer of them made). A well-preserved Kresky lunchbox (with thermos) can fetch anywhere from $90 to $150. Clearly, there's quite a market for Kresky collectibles -- and it's growing all the time.

Keep an eye out for our Kresky Kollectible Korner -- coming to these pages soon!

21. There were a lot of pop and disco hits in Kresky that sound as if they were performed by the original artists. How did UBC manage to afford the rights?

Take another listen. More often than not, what you're hearing is not the original hit but an amazing facsimile arranged and performed by those Kresky theme miracle men Rich Cooper and Steve Mann (see Krestion 14). In addition to their prodigious composing talents, Cooper and Mann both boasted an unearthly ability to mimic almost any pop musical artist from Buddy Holly to Barry White. And, when they required a flawless impression of a great soul or disco diva like Arethra Franklin or Donna Summer, they usually turned to Patrice Rose, a session vocalist with UBC Records (who, in sharp contrast to her rich, bluesy vocals, was a bird-like white woman from Hartford, Connecticut.) For five seasons, Cooper, Mann and Rose churned out astonishing counterfeits of beloved oldies and then current top 40 hits, enabling UBC to purchase the tunes at greatly reduced fees.

Occasionally, when an artist or record company would deny UBC permission to use a song, Cooper and Mann would retreat to their studio only to emerge a short time later with their own sound-alike version of the tune, different enough to protect the network from accusations of copyright infringement but similar enough to evoke the required mood for a scene. These musical homages -- little gems in and of themselves -- were usually used as ambient music in scenes set in a discotheque or bar, often too softly to appreciate their note-perfect nuance and finesse.

Now, we are aware that some musical purists complain that Cooper and Mann were nothing more than hacks, pop-culture cannibals who were merely accomplished technicians rather than inspired musicians -- but we scoff at these allegations. To our minds, Cooper and Mann have yet receive the artistic recognition they so richly deserve. Kresky's use of contemporary and classic -- albeit re-recorded -- pop songs most certainly paved the way for later music-driven cop shows like Miami Vice whose $1.2 million per episode budget could better afford them the real thing.

Amazingly, a Kresky musical collection was never released. Fans hungry for Cooper and Mann music must make do with the dozen or so of their TV themes, available on various compilation albums.

22. I want to learn more about Kresky. Can you recommend any good books on the subject?

There have been quite a few interesting books published on Kresky. Unfortunately, most of them are currently out of print. We recommend referring to your local library, used book store or collector to find any of the following titles.

The Complete Kresky Companion By Scott Wallace (Mediawide Publications, 1985) The Bible for the Kresky enthusiast, this 350-page tome is jam-packed with informative text and lush, full color photographs. The "complete" of the title is not an exaggeration. It's all here: the episodes, the spin-offs, an engrossing production history, cast and crew bios and much, much more. There's even a rare post-cancellation interview with Terrence Michael Matterly! If you buy only one Kresky resource, make it this!

Looking for Kresky: In Search of a 70's Icon By Buster Parks (American University Press, 1991) A scholarly but highly readable examination of the Kresky phenomenon from its infancy as a trend-setting television hit to its current status as an enduring cult legend. The author explores what Kresky meant to us -- as individuals and as a culture -- both then and now. But what makes the book truly riveting is its structure and central conceit: a Citizen Kane-style search for the reclusive Terrence Michael Matterly. Essential reading for anyone fascinated by Kresky or pop culture.

Signing the Cast: My Life as a Hollywood Casting Director By Mary Godin with Herman Innes (Metro Books, 1987) A fast-paced autobiography by Kresky's long-suffering casting director, Mary Godin. The appeal of the extensive, absorbing Kresky section is somewhat off-set by accounts of Godin's unexceptional early life and work on other UBC series, but the breezy, conversational tone of the book never lets the reader stay bored for long. Definitely worthwhile.

No Laughing Matterly: An Autobiography in Verse By Terrence Michael Matterly (Universe Publications, 1978) Title aside, this slim volume of poetry is certainly laughable -- the Jonathan Livingston Seagull-style verse is painfully cloying and dated -- but it constitutes the closest thing to an autobiography that Terrence Michael Matterly ever produced, and that alone makes it worth a look, if you can manage to locate a copy.

The Kresky novels: Showdown at Los Huevos, Kresky's Last Stand, Kresky in the Orient and Run, Kresky, Run By Rick Matlin (Universe Publications, 1979, 1979, 1980, 1981) A series of clumsily written, quickie action novels based on the series by Rick Matlin, the man responsible for the apparently unending "Ham Brokker, Silent Man" espionage series. The first, Showdown at Los Huevos, is a slap-dash novelization of the third season episode of the same name. The other three take Kresky and Cantrell on all-new adventures to exotic locales and implausible situations. The author utterly fails to capture the tone of the show or the voices of the characters. One even wonders at times if he ever saw an episode. Only two things redeem these pedestrian potboilers and make them worthwhile collectibles: the magnificent pulp-era style cover art by renowned fantasy/sci-fi artist Channing Wolfhauer and the photo sections inside. For the Kresky completist only.

23. Weren't Kresky and Cantrell gay?

No.

The mistaken impression that Kresky and Cantrell were gay seems to stem from a couple of basic misinterpretations of the series. The first most obvious one is a misreading of the fifth season (or, as some disgruntled fans have taken to calling it, "the season that never happened") episode "With Love From Cantrell" wherein Cantrell is brainwashed by a swishy ex-KGB operative into believing that he must kill Kresky to fulfill a non-existent gay suicide pact. Apparently, some viewers have interpreted this to mean that the detectives had been suppressing the true nature of their relationship up till that point. This is a fairly ludicrous theory when one considers that in the opening of the episode the Russian also hypnotizes a woman into believing she's a sea lion. Are we supposed to then believe that the subject was suppressing her true nature as an aquatic mammal?

But perhaps the most fundamental misunderstanding about the Kresky/Cantrell relationship grows out of some viewer's inability-or unwillingness-to accept a close, caring and yet platonic friendship between two men. Yes, in their own non-sexual way, Kresky and Cantrell may have loved each other, but were they lovers or in love? If they were, then they were doing the most phenomenal jobs of over-compensating that we've ever witnessed. In fact, in a few short seasons, they managed to overcompensate with half of the female population of southern California.

Now we know that some on the other side of this debate point to the fact that the detective's female love interests were superficial, fleeting and out of the picture by the next episode, but if that alone makes Kresky and Cantrell gay, then episodic television must be one of the most overcrowded closets in the entertainment industry. Were Kirk and Spock gay? Starsky and Hutch? Crockett and Tubbs? (We're assuming you're answering "no" here.)

Yet despite all the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, a small but vocal minority of "Kresky" fans persists in championing the duo's alleged gayness. Known as KC (Kresky-Cantrell) fans, these misguided folk celebrate the detective's nonexistent closeted love affair with song, newsletters and fan fiction. Foremost among these diehards is Annabelle Pfeiffer, editor of the newsletter "KC and the Rainbow Band".

As Kresky himself might have said, "I guess we're just livin' in different scenes, man."

24. Was Dr. Pibb really a doctor? Was Pibb his real name?

Dr. Pibb held no formal degree in medicine. The "Dr. Pibb" moniker was merely an alias chosen to hide the ex-con's true identity from the law while, at the same time, advertising his self-proclaimed mission as a healer of the streets. For as Pibb once stated himself, "The Man spreads his disease through the ghetto. They call me the Doctor because that's what I do. I cure the disease. One street at a time." Contrary to the popular misconception, Dr. Pibb was neither a drug dealer nor a pimp. In fact, the black street avenger reserved some of his worst venom for brothers who had gone bad.

As for the "Pibb" part of his name-that was a darkly ironic joke. Officer Pibb was a corrupt white beat cop who had terrorized Dr. Pibb's neighborhood when he was a child. Dr. Pibb said on more than one occasion that if he ever ran into the cop again, he'd be happy to give him his name back. Written on a bullet.

The name change was apparently also provoked by Pibb's dislike of his real name, which, as we learn in the third season episode "Curse of the Serpent's Kiss", was Eustace J. Cornell. As he says (jokingly?) to Cantrell, "I got tired of killing people who smiled at it. So, I changed it."

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