I’m going to dial that number, just to see who answers. Sure, I’d be happy to chat about access with this friendly fella:
But I’d be more excited if the person who answers is the ORIGINAL “Mr. T” from 1976 TV show Mr. T and Tina:
Yes, that’s Pat Morita, who left his role as Arnold on Happy Days to star in a sitcom created by James Komack, who had a few hits under his belt with The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, Chico & The Man and Welcome Back, Kotter.
Here’s the Wikipedia synopsis:
Pat Morita starred as Taro Takahashi, a widowed Japanese inventor who is sent with his family (an uncle and sister-in-law) from Tokyo to set up the Chicago branch of his employer, Moyati Industries. He hires scatterbrained and free-spirited American Tina Kelly (Susan Blanchard) as the live-in governess for his children, Sachi (June Angela) and Aki (Gene Profanato).
Mr. T.’s inventions included underpants with a built-in transistor radio and the “flash in the can”, a coin-operated sunlamp in a restroom.
They had me at “underpants with a built-in transistor radio”…
You might be shocked to discover the show didn’t make it. Even with a great lead-in show:
And a great follow-up show in the lineup.
Not only that, but Mr. T and Tina had a pre-Love Boat Ted Lange in the cast as ” hipster Harvard the Handyman”…
They wound up shooting a mere 9 episodes, and only 5 made it to the air before the plug was pulled.
Plots for the few shows produced focused on Mr T’s inventions and the unintentional Americanisation of the Takahashi children at the hands of Tina, who taught them words and phrases such as “cool,” “the pits,” and “neato,” much to Mr T’s chagrin.
The Japanese-American community complained about the racial stereotyping in the show and the ratings flagged quickly. (Source: https://nostalgiacentral.com/television/tv-by-decade/tv-shows-1970s/mr-t-and-tina/ )
You can’t blame Pat Morita for leaving Happy Days. The show sounded “neato.”
But it wound up being “the pits.” That’s OK, because somehow Pat managed to rebound from his TV bomb.