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1970s / Holmes and Yo-Yo - Sitcom Flop 1976
Holmes & Yo-Yo was a disastrous, far-fetched sitcom that aired on ABC for 13 episodes during the 1976-1977 season. The series followed luckless Detective Alexander Holmes (whose partners always seem to get killed in the line of duty) and his new android partner Yo-Yo, on their adventures and misadventures. Meanwhile Holmes taught Yo-Yo how to be human while trying to keep his quirky partner's true nature a secret. The show was produced by Leonard Stern, a former staff writer for Get Smart--which featured an android character named Hymie who was a prototype for Yo-Yo. Richard B. Shull starred as Detective Holmes. John Schuck starred as his partner Gregory "Yo-Yo" Yoyonivich. Co-stars were Andrea Howard and Bruce Kirby. Jay Leno appeared in the pilot as a gas station attendant! The pilot episode introduced Detective Holmes as a down-on-his-luck veteran cop who constantly injures his partners. The department gives him a new partner, Gregory Yoyonivich. Yo-Yo, as he likes to be called, is good-natured, if a bit clumsy, and also surprisingly strong. During one of their first calls, Yo-Yo is shot and Holmes discovers his new partner is an android--a sophisticated new crime-fighting machine designed by the police department as their secret weapon on crime. "You're not a person!" is Holmes' stunned response. Besides super-strength, Yo-Yo's other abilities were speed reading, and the ability to analyze clues at the scene. Yo-Yo had a built-in Polaroid camera: Each time his nose was pressed, a Polaroid photograph of his view would be taken and ejected from his shirt pocket. Yo-Yo's control panel was built into his chest, which could be opened by pulling his tie. The level of Yo-Yo's batteries was critical, because if they ran down his memory and, effectively, his being would be erased. In one episode his batteries came very close to running down completely, and he was charged by being pushed against an electric fence with his arms extended. Yo-Yo weighed 427 pounds, and his heavy build could absorb the shock of a bomb. Much comedy was derived from Yo-Yo's constant malfunctions. Some of his common problems included uncontrollably spinning head over heels when near an electric garage door that was opening or closing; bullets causing him to break out dancing; magnets flying at him; picking up radio signals from Sweden; and repeating "Bunco Squad, Bunco Squad, Bunco Squad" over and over when his circuits blew. Another running gag involved Yo-Yo's ability to read an entire book by simply fanning its pages; his invariable comment after doing so: "I enjoyed it!" The show premiered in September 1976 and was axed before Christmas.