The Dumplings (TV series)

The Dumplings is an American sitcom starring James Coco and Geraldine Brooks that aired on NBC from January 28 to March 31, 1976.[2][3] The series was based on a syndicated comic strip of the same name by Fred Lucky, which ran in newspapers from 1975 to 1977.[4]

The Dumplings
James Coco as Joe Dumpling and Geraldine Brooks as Angela Dumpling in The Dumplings.
GenreSituation comedy
Created byDon Nicholl
Michael Ross
Bernie West
Based onThe Dumplings
by Fred Lucky
Developed byNorman Lear
StarringJames Coco
Geraldine Brooks
Opening theme"Two By Two, Side by Side", performed by Steve Lawrence
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes11 (1 unaired) (list of episodes)
Producer(s)Don Nicholl
Michael Ross
Bernie West
George Sunga
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)T.A.T Communications Company[1]
DistributorSony Pictures Television
Original networkNBC
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseJanuary 28 (1976-01-28) 
March 31, 1976 (1976-03-31)



Joe and Angela Dumpling are a very happily married and overweight couple who are very much in love with each other and with life, never have a bad thing to say about one another, and exude good cheer and enthusiasm. They operate Dudley's Take-Out, a luncheonette on the ground floor of a Manhattan skyscraper owned by the Bristol Oil Company. Charles Sweetzer, who works upstairs as executive vice president of Bristol Oil, is a regular customer, as are New York city councilman Frederic Steele, Mr. Sweetzer's secretary Bridget McKenna[3][5][6] (or Norah McKenna, according to some sources[1][2][7]), and Angela's sister Stephanie. Cully is the Dumplings' employee at the luncheonette and works as the cashier. The Dumplings' obesity is a source of much humor as they interact with customers, friends, and family.[1][2][3][5][8]


The show originated as a syndicated comic strip created by Fred Lucky.[9] Norman Lear developed the series for television and Don Nicholl, Michael Ross, and Bernie West created and produced it, with George Sunga also serving as a producer.[1][2][5][6] Episode directors were Paul Bogart, Hal Cooper, and Dennis Steinmetz.[6] Nicholl, Ross, and West all wrote for the show, as did Joseph Bonaduce, Bill Davenport, Fred S. Fox, Gary David Goldberg, Seaman Jacobs, Fred Lucky, Barry Sand, and Alan Uger.[5][6]

Angela Dumpling was the final role of Geraldine Brooks' career; she died the following year.

Steve Lawrence sang the show's theme song, "Two By Two, Side By Side."[10]

Broadcast history

NBC broadcast the pilot episode of The Dumplings on October 4, 1975. The Dumplings joined NBC's regular lineup on January 28, 1976, with a rebroadcast of the pilot in the show's regular time slot at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. Its tenth and final episode aired on March 31, 1976.[2][3] An eleventh episode was never broadcast.[5]


No.TitleOriginal air date
1"Pilot"October 4, 1975 (1975-10-04)
Joe and Angela try to celebrate the anniversary of their first meeting. NBC rebroadcast this episode on January 28, 1976, as the first episode of the weekly series in its regular time slot.
2"The Ultimatum"February 4, 1976 (1976-02-04)
The Dumplings' landlord orders them to move their luncheonette out of the building after Joe calls Mr. Steele a thief.
3"To Drink or Not to Drink"February 11, 1976 (1976-02-11)
The Dumplings inherit a $900 bottle of wine and must decide whether or not to drink it.
4"The Parting"February 18, 1976 (1976-02-18)
Joe and Angela must be apart for the first time in their 15-year marriage.
5"Gourmet's Delight"February 25, 1976 (1976-02-25)
A newspaper columnist praises Angela's soup.
6"Sweetzer's Image"March 3, 1976 (1976-03-03)
Mr. Sweetzer seeks refuge with the Dumplings after a fight with his wife.
7"Cully's Sister"March 10, 1976 (1976-03-10)
Cully's twin sister makes a surprise visit and reveals an even bigger surprise.
8"The Other Woman"March 17, 1976 (1976-03-17)
Stephanie becomes hysterical when she sees her boyfriend, Mr. Steele, with another woman.
9"The Foundling"March 24, 1976 (1976-03-24)
Angela talks a woman out of committing suicide.
10"Joe Takes a Fall"March 31, 1976 (1976-03-31)
Joe is injured in a fall from a broken apartment step. Vernon Weddle guest-stars.
11"Joe Gets Jugged"Unaired (Unaired)
Joe is arrested after he accidentally knocks out a policeman.

See also


Mike & Molly


  1. The Classic TV Archive: The Dumplings (1976)
  2. McNeil, Alex, Total Television: The Comprehensive Guide to Programming From 1948 to the Present, New York: Penguin Books, 1996, p. 242.
  3. Brooks, Tim, and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime-Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present, Sixth Edition, New York: Ballantine Books, 1995, ISBN 0-345-39736-3, pp. 296-297.
  4. Holtz, Allan. "Obscurity of the Day: The Dumplings". Stripper's Guide. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  5. The TV Historian: 70s Sitcom #158 The Dumplings - 1976
  6. IMDb Full Cast and Crew
  7. Terrace, Vincent, Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010, 2d ed., Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co., 2008, p. 292.
  8. IMDb The Dumplimgs
  9. Holtz, Allan. "Obscurity of the Day: The Dumplings". Stripper's Guide. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  10. Terrace, Vincent, Television Introductions: Narrated TV Program Openings since 1949, Scarecrow Press, 2013, p. 314.
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