Hypertext Program Guide
"Top of the Heap" (0525)

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Last update June 29, 2002

Episode title: Top of the Heap
Episode production code: 0525

Episode # in production code order: 105
Episode # in true US premiere order: 99
Episode # in old US premiere order: 100

US premiere date: April 7, 1991
US premiere time: 9:30 pm

US premiere rating: 11.7
US premiere share: 18

Written by Ron Leavitt & Arthur Silver
Directed by Gerry Cohen

First camera shot: Charlie Verducci throws a cat out of the window.

Synopsis: Vinnie and Charlie Verducci visit Al at the shoe store, but there is actually little more of "Married... with Children" to be found in this episode. Al loses his TV in a bet due to Vinnie's poor boxing ability, so at the end he sneaks into the Verducci's apartment and takes theirs.

Recurring character cast:
Charlie Verducci: Joseph Bologna
Vinnie Verducci: Matt Le Blanc

Guest cast:
Kathleen Morgan: Diana Bellamy
Mona Mullins: Joey Adams (not Renée Zellweger!)
Tyler Cameron: Rebecca Cross
Roger Bonderly: John Mansfield
Nelson: Charles Howerton
Woman: Kathryn O'Reilly
Security Man: Tim Hill
Mary Ann: Jill Pierce
Man #1: Dennis Holahan
Man #2: Harold Harris

General notes: This is a spin-off episode without Peggy, Kelly, Bud, Marcy and Jefferson. Here are some details:
In the spring of 1991, Fox started a new series called "Top of the Heap", based on two characters they introduced first in the Married... with Children episode: "Oldies but Young'Uns" (0518). The series was about Vinnie Verducci (Matt Le Blanc) and his father, Charlie (Joseph Bologna). Other cast members included Joey Adams as jail-bait neighbor Mona who is always chasing Vinnie, and Rita Moreno, as Vinnie's boss. It should be noted that Vinnie is a reasonable approximation of what a male Kelly Bundy would be: handsome and incredibly stupid. Charlie is similar to Al, in that life has not treated him well, but where Al struggles to get by, Charlie is a constant schemer.
The pilot episode of "Top of the Heap" was shown as the second half of a special one-hour Married... with Children episode. The first part was the show "Kids! Wadaya Gonna Do" (0519), in which neither Vinnie nor Charlie makes an appearance. The second half-hour is the "Heap" pilot, and had no connection at all to the "Kids!" story. Al Bundy makes an appearance in a scene where Vinnie and Charlie stop by Gary's Shoes to talk to him. Al, it turns out, had bet on Vinnie's boxing match the night before and lost his T.V. as a result. At the end of the episode, while Vinnie and Charlie sleep, a masked figure enters the Verducci apartment through the window. The mask is lifted to reveal Al, who steals the Verducci's TV. Subsequent episodes would feature cameo appearances by MWC characters Kelly and Bud Bundy. The series was canceled after only a few months.
The Vinnie Verducci character was later reprised for a short appearance in the MWC episode "Kelly Does Hollywood (Part 1)" (0609).
In June 1992, Fox once again tried to reprise the Vinnie character in the short-lived series "Vinnie and Bobby". MWC co-creator Ron Leavitt was partially responsible.

Influences: The episode title is influenced by the movie "Top of the Hill" and a line from the song "New York New York" by Frank Sinatra.

Vinnie and Mary Ann

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© Andreas Carl 2002