Hey Dude
Created byDee LaDuke
Directed by
Theme music composerDale Jarvis
ComposerLong Run Music
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes65
Executive producerGeoffrey Darby
ProducerStephen Land
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time22–24 minutes
Production company
  • Cinetel Productions
Original release
ReleaseJuly 14, 1989 (1989-07-14) –
August 30, 1991 (1991-08-30)

Hey Dude is an American Western comedy series that aired on Nickelodeon from July 14, 1989, to August 30, 1991, consisting of 65 half-hour episodes produced over five seasons.

The series, aimed primarily towards a teenage audience, is set on the fictional "Bar None Dude Ranch" near the city of Tucson, Arizona. It portrays the lives of the ranch owner, his son, a female ranch hand, and four teenage summer employees.


Ben Ernst, a divorced, good-natured, somewhat bumbling father from New Jersey, bought the Bar None Dude Ranch seeking escape from his high-pressure job as a New York City accountant. His son, Buddy, is displeased with the change of environment, primarily because he is unable to use his skateboard on the desert sand.

In Season 1 of the series, the teenage staff consisted of two boys and two girls: Ted, an enterprising troublemaker; Danny, an easy-going Hopi teenager and Ted's best friend; girl-next-door Melody; and Brad, a rich girl from Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Though Brad often wears dressy designer outfits at work, she is a competent horse rider. Her love-hate relationship with Ted is a plot thread during the first half of the series.

After David Lascher left the show during Season 3 in 1990, Ted was replaced by Ernst's nephew Jake, an eccentric slacker who likes to play the drums. Not long after, Kyle, a somewhat dim but handsome cowboy type, joined the ranch. When Ted returned to the show, he and Kyle became romantic rivals for Brad. The show's only other featured adult is Lucy, a tough, authoritative ranch hand. She is sometimes viewed as a mother figure to the teens and they often ask her for advice.

Each episode begins with a cold open that usually ends with a pun. After that, the show's logo appears over the end of the cold open. Each character is then introduced as a horseshoe flips, followed again by the show's logo, after which the opening sequence fades out. Each episode ends with an instrumental version of the show's theme song while the credits roll over stills from the episode.


A skeptical Buddy (Josh Tygiel, left) tries to ignore Ted (David Lascher) and his scheming in the episode "Suspicion"

David Lascher and Joe Torres were nominated for a 1991 Young Artist Award in the Best Youth Variety or Game Show category for their roles on Hey Dude.[1]


Hey Dude was videotaped on location at the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch in Tucson, Arizona.[2] The show was produced by Cinetel Productions. Casting began in 1988 with local auditions held in Tucson.[2] Josh Tygiel, who was cast as protagonist Buddy Ernst, was one of 120 Tucson-area boys who auditioned for the series.[2] Joe Torres was cast as Danny Lightfoot after auditioning in Tucson for the role.[2]

While most of the show was technically shot on the property of the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch, the familiar "ranch" that was known to television viewers was actually built from scratch roughly a mile away from the main public areas. This was done so ranch guests would not be bothered by the production and to create buildings with a more "western" look, which was not offered by the relatively modern and luxurious Tanque Verde. The main lodge, boys and girls bunks, guest lodge (which doubled as cast dressing rooms) and the stable were all built specifically for the production.

After the show ended production, the buildings were abandoned and several are still standing to this day, albeit in much disrepair.[3] The swimming pool that was frequently used on the show is the main pool for the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch and is still in use by guests. The set is located at 32°14′26″N 110°41′24″W / 32.24056°N 110.69000°W / 32.24056; -110.69000, about fifteen miles east of Tucson, Arizona.


The series ran for 65 episodes over two years from 1989 to 1991. Each season take place over the course of one summer in the lives of ranch staff, with cast members often recalling pranks and colleagues from previous summers.

Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113July 14, 1989October 6, 1989
213October 13, 1989January 26, 1990
313April 6, 1990June 29, 1990
413September 7, 1990December 14, 1990
513June 7, 1991August 30, 1991

Season 1 (1989)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Day One at the Bar None"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Alan GoodmanJuly 14, 1989 (1989-07-14)
The series premiere of Hey Dude introduced us to the show's characters: Ted, Danny, Brad, Lucy, Melody, Mr. Ernst, and his accident-prone son Buddy.
22"Battle of the Sexes"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Michael B. KaplanJuly 21, 1989 (1989-07-21)
It's Ted and Danny vs. Melody and Brad in a battle of boys against girls. Who will win? Who will play dirty? Also, Danny is upset because no one remembers his birthday.
33"Goldilocks"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Alan GoodmanJuly 28, 1989 (1989-07-28)
Buddy becomes fond of a horse at the ranch and is angry when his father decides to sell it.
44"Ted's Saddle"Fred C. KellerJudy SpencerAugust 4, 1989 (1989-08-04)
Ted wants to buy a saddle that was owned by John Wayne, so he starts doing odd jobs for guests. The problem is he neglects his normal duties leaving the rest of the staff to pick up the slack.
55"The Competition"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Graham YostAugust 11, 1989 (1989-08-11)
Brad and Melody compete for a chance to lead overnight camping trips. Unfortunately for them Ted is put in charge of seeing who is the most qualified.
66"Rehearsal for Romance"Fred K. KellerMichael B. KaplanAugust 18, 1989 (1989-08-18)
Melody wants a date with a cute guy she sees at the lodge so she enrolls in "The Ted School of Romance". Mr. Ernst tries to market official Bar None merchandise.
77"Perfect Father"Fred K. KellerGraham YostAugust 25, 1989 (1989-08-25)
Two crooks visit the Bar None with intentions to rob the place.
88"The Good, the Bad, the Obnoxious"Fred K. KellerClifford FaginSeptember 1, 1989 (1989-09-01)
Brad's snobby friend visits the ranch and gives the staff a hard time. Meanwhile, Mr. Ernst tries to make a promotional video for the Bar None.
99"Rainmen"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Mark CerulliSeptember 8, 1989 (1989-09-08)
Danny must choose between his friends and his Native American heritage when a drought hits the Bar None threatening the water supply.
1010"Ted and Brad Get Handcuffed"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Graham YostSeptember 15, 1989 (1989-09-15)
Buddy pretends to be a magician. To teach Brad a lesson, Ted decides to use Buddy's handcuffs to attach himself to Brad. As it turns out, they aren't "trick cuffs" like he thought... they belong to a real-life prisoner!
1111"Suspicion"Fred K. KellerClifford FaginSeptember 22, 1989 (1989-09-22)
Ted thinks one of the guests is a murderer in the mob.
1212"Employee of the Week"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Alan GoodmanSeptember 29, 1989 (1989-09-29)
The staff competes to win Mr. Ernst's "Employee of the Week" contest.
1313"Pain in the Neck"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Judy SpencerOctober 6, 1989 (1989-10-06)
Mr. Ernst decides it's time for some spring cleaning at the ranch. While Ted and Danny are fixing things, Danny falls off the ladder and injures his neck.

Season 2 (1989–90)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
141"Loose Lips"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Michael B. KaplanOctober 13, 1989 (1989-10-13)
Melody gives away a big secret of Brad's to Ted. This leads to everyone giving away everyone else's secrets to get revenge.
152"Battle of a Hundred Bucks"Fred K. KellerMichael B. KaplanOctober 20, 1989 (1989-10-20)
The kids compete to see who's worthy of a $100 tip left by a guest.
163"Our Little Champion"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Judy SpencerOctober 27, 1989 (1989-10-27)
Melody decides to start training for the Olympics for swimming. Of course, Mr. Ernst sees a way to make money off this, and begins to exploit Melody to benefit the ranch.
174"Bunkmate Battles"Fred K. KellerAlan GoodmanNovember 3, 1989 (1989-11-03)
While Danny bets Ted that he can't go a week without using Native American items, Brad moves out of the girls bunk and into the lodge after a fight with Melody.
185"Crash Landing"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Graham YostNovember 10, 1989 (1989-11-10)
Ted, Buddy, and Mr. Ernst witness a small Cessna plane crash near the ranch. When they go to find the pilot, they get a little more than they bargained for.
196"Ghost Stories"Fred K. KellerGraham YostNovember 17, 1989 (1989-11-17)
The kids tell ghost stories in attempt to frighten each other. Then Ted challenges the other kids to scare him.
207"Teacher's Pest"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Clifford FaginDecember 1, 1989 (1989-12-01)
Ted's English teacher visits the Bar None and falls for Mr. Ernst. Buddy and Ted plot to get them apart. Brad has to decide whether to stay at the ranch or join her parents in France.
218"Treasure Teens"Fred K. KellerAlan GoodmanDecember 8, 1989 (1989-12-08)
Ted finds a treasure map, and causes a stir on the ranch when the staff tries to find it.
229"Dan the Man"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Lisa MelamedDecember 15, 1989 (1989-12-15)
Danny feels responsible for the near-death of a horse. Mr. Ernst tries to stay on his diet.
2310"Superstar"Fred K. KellerClifford FaginJanuary 5, 1990 (1990-01-05)
Melody falls head over heels for her favorite TV heartthrob who's visiting the ranch.
2411"Bar None Babysitter"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Judy SpencerJanuary 12, 1990 (1990-01-12)
It's a nightmare come true when Ted loses the child he is baby-sitting. Mr. Ernst appoints Danny the answer man.
2512"Cowboy Ernst"Fred K. KellerDean YoungJanuary 19, 1990 (1990-01-19)
The kids find out Mr. Ernst is going to sell the ranch. So the kids set out to make Mr. E think he is a real cowboy.
2613"Take Me to Your Leader"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.David A. LitteralJanuary 26, 1990 (1990-01-26)
Buddy thinks he saw an alien while walking the ranch property, but nobody believes him.

Season 3 (1990)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
271"Inmates Run the Asylum"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Graham YostApril 6, 1990 (1990-04-06)
Senior staffer Ted is put in charge of the ranch and has a power trip when Mr. Ernst is out of town.
282"Hey Cinderella"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Judy SpencerApril 13, 1990 (1990-04-13)
Mr. Ernst wants to impress some important (rich) guests who are coming to the ranch. Melody gets a crush on one of the guests, and pretends to be rich in order to impress him.
293"Datenite"Fred K. KellerClifford FaginApril 20, 1990 (1990-04-20)
Ted convinces Brad to go on a date with him before he leaves the ranch to attend summer school.
304"New Kid on the Block"Fred K. KellerSteve Roth & Deanne RothApril 27, 1990 (1990-04-27)
Jake, Mr. Ernst's trouble making nephew, comes to stay at the Bar None.
315"Sewn at the Hip"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Lisa MelamedMay 4, 1990 (1990-05-04)
When an old friend of Melody's comes to visit, Melody finds that nothing ever stays the same.
326"Superstition"Fred K. KellerGraham YostMay 11, 1990 (1990-05-11)
Jake's superstitious nature prevents him from trying out for a TV game show.
337"Dueling Ranches"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Mark CerulliMay 18, 1990 (1990-05-18)
The owner of the Snake Eyes Ranch challenges Mr. Ernst and the Bar None to a baseball game.
348"Ex-Static"Fred K. KellerLisa MelamedMay 25, 1990 (1990-05-25)
Buddy's mom Sara comes to take him back home to New York after he calls her and tells her how bored he's been. While Sara is there Buddy tries to get her and his dad back together.
359"No More Mr. Nice Guy"Fred K. KellerJudy SpencerJune 1, 1990 (1990-06-01)
When she starts feeling as if everyone takes advantage of her kind, friendly demeanor, Melody decides to go on strike. Buddy tries to hypnotize Jake, but it doesn't go according to plan.
3610"Killer Ernst"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Mark CerulliJune 8, 1990 (1990-06-08)
Mr. Ernst puts on a professional wrestling match at the Bar None, but when one of the wrestler's doesn't show Mr. E takes his place.
3711"Melody's Brother"Fred K. KellerJudy SpencerJune 15, 1990 (1990-06-15)
Melody helps her brother with a drinking problem.
3812"The Bad Seed"Fred K. KellerGraham YostJune 22, 1990 (1990-06-22)
Buddy is put in charge of a troublemaking guest at the ranch who frames him for her misdeeds. Mr. Ernst teaches the staff that the customer is always right.
3913"Stick Around"Fred K. KellerLisa MelamedJune 29, 1990 (1990-06-29)
After meeting Brad, Kyle decides to stay at the Bar None for the first time. Meanwhile, Lucy is thinking about getting married.

Season 4 (1990)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
401"They're Back"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Mark CerulliSeptember 7, 1990 (1990-09-07)
The Vlecks stay at the Bar None while the Snake Eyes Ranch is being repaired.
412"Ride, She Said"Fred K. KellerClifford FaginSeptember 14, 1990 (1990-09-14)
Brad learns the true meaning of Christmas from her friendship with a disabled boy.
423"Magnum Ernst"Fred K. KellerClifford FaginSeptember 21, 1990 (1990-09-21)
Mr. Ernst poses himself as a sheriff, and Danny and Buddy work on the first living-desert museum.
434"Dudesbury"Fred K. KellerLisa MelamedSeptember 28, 1990 (1990-09-28)
Danny becomes a cartoonist for the local paper.
445"Fear"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Graham YostOctober 5, 1990 (1990-10-05)
The pool at the Bar None will close unless the staff becomes certified. The problem is Brad is afraid of the water.
456"Secret Admirer"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Patrick MaguireOctober 12, 1990 (1990-10-12)
Brad and Mel try to cheer up Mr. Ernst when he is down about getting older.
467"Lost in the Desert"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Judy SpencerOctober 19, 1990 (1990-10-19)
Brad and Kyle are tied up and left in the desert during a camping trip with young buckaroos.
478"Return of Ted"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Graham YostOctober 26, 1990 (1990-10-26)
Ted runs away from summer school and returns to the ranch. Mr. E tries to win $10,000 on "Hilarious Home Videos". (This is David Lascher's return appearance to the show)
489"Do the Right Thing"Fred K. KellerSteve Roth & Deanne RothNovember 2, 1990 (1990-11-02)
An archaeologist discovers a sacred Indian burial ground at the Bar None.
4910"Doghouse Blues"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Mark CerulliNovember 9, 1990 (1990-11-09)
The Vlecks have a fight causing Mrs. Vleck to flee to the Bar None and it is up to Jake to solve their problem.
5011"Some Like It Hot"Fred K. KellerSteve Roth & Deanne RothNovember 16, 1990 (1990-11-16)
Danny and Jake's impersonations of visiting travel writers fool Mr. Ernst.
5112"Mr. Moneybags"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Graham YostDecember 7, 1990 (1990-12-07)
Because of financial difficulties, Mr. Ernst considers selling the Bar None. Ted returns with good news. Foreigners visit the Bar None.
5213"Murder, He Wrote"Fred K. KellerPatrick MaguireDecember 14, 1990 (1990-12-14)
Mr. Ernst and the staff plan a murder-mystery night to raise money for the ranch. Ted and Melody are away sick and when they return to the ranch they think the kids are planning a real murder.

Season 5 (1991)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
531"Miss Tucson"Fred K. KellerLisa MelamedJune 7, 1991 (1991-06-07)
Melody becomes obsessed with winning a beauty pageant.
542"The Legend of Jed"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Paul BudraJune 14, 1991 (1991-06-14)
To keep Jake from being fired, the staff invents an imaginary worker to blame for his mistakes.
553"Incredible Shrinking Ted"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Patrick MaguireJune 21, 1991 (1991-06-21)
The staff plays a joke on Ted by making him think he is shrinking.
564"Rest in Pieces"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Laura Innes & David BrisbinJune 28, 1991 (1991-06-28)
The kids, under the misconception that Mr. Ernst is dying, try to keep him awake. The kids bet Melody that she go a whole day without being nice.
575"Baby"Fred K. KellerClifford FaginJuly 5, 1991 (1991-07-05)
The kids try to take care of a baby left behind at the ranch until the mother returns.
586"Jealous Guy"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Graham YostJuly 12, 1991 (1991-07-12)
Ted and Kyle must rely on each other to escape the danger of the desert.
597"Amnesia"Fred K. KellerPaul BudraJuly 19, 1991 (1991-07-19)
Mr. Ernst develops amnesia and thinks he is a 17-year-old kid again just as the juvenile work inspector shows up.
608"Presumed Stupid"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Judy SpencerJuly 26, 1991 (1991-07-26)
When Brad's birthday money goes missing it looks like Ted is the prime suspect.
619"Crush"Fred K. KellerLisa MelamedAugust 2, 1991 (1991-08-02)
Buddy falls in love with Melody. Brad and Ted try to go the longest without caring about their appearance.
6210"Low Budget Brad"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Story by : Grant Dobbins
Teleplay by : Lisa Melamed
August 9, 1991 (1991-08-09)
Brad's father loses his job and she is forced to sell some of her items.
6311"Jake's Fight"Ross K. Bagwell Jr.Judy SpencerAugust 16, 1991 (1991-08-16)
A guest threatens to beat up Jake.
6412"Double Date"Fred K. KellerStephen LandAugust 23, 1991 (1991-08-23)
Ted asks Melody out to make Brad jealous.
6513"War"Fred K. KellerGraham YostAugust 30, 1991 (1991-08-30)
It's the new kids vs. the veterans in a game of capture the flag.

Home media

The first season of Hey Dude became available for download from the iTunes Store on July 29, 2008. The second season of Hey Dude became available for download from the iTunes Store in August 2010. The third season of Hey Dude became available for download from the iTunes Store on November 29, 2011 (only containing 12 out of 13 episodes). All five seasons of the series are available for purchase as DVD or streaming episodes through Amazon.com.

On April 11, 2011, it was announced that Shout! Factory had acquired the rights to the series. They subsequently released the entire series on DVD in Region 1.[4][5][6][7] The fourth season was released on DVD as a Shout Select title, available exclusively through Shout Factory's website and select Amazon.com sellers.[8] The fifth and final season was released on July 16, 2013, also as a Shout Select title.[9]

On March 10, 2015, Shout! released Hey Dude: The Complete Series on DVD as a Walmart exclusive in full screen format.[10] It is also available through Amazon.com.[11]

On May 9, 2017, the complete series was re-released as a general retail release.[12]

On March 24, 2021, the series (with the exception of "They're Back" from Season 4) was added to Paramount+.[13]

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
Season 1 13 July 19, 2011
Season 2 13 January 31, 2012
Season 3 13 June 19, 2012
Season 4 13 April 9, 2013♦
Season 5 13 July 16, 2013♦
Complete Series 65 March 10, 2015
May 9, 2017 (re-release)

♦—Shout! Factory Exclusives title, sold exclusively through Shout's online store


  1. ^ "Hey Dude Awards". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2017-03-04.
  2. ^ a b c d Raines, Elaine (March 11, 2009). "Local talent was featured in 'Hey Dude'". Arizona Daily Star. Archived from the original on September 1, 2015. Retrieved December 29, 2009.
  3. ^ Blevins, Joseph (April 14, 2014). "The ranch from Hey Dude is still out in the desert, gathering dust". A.V. Club.
  4. ^ Lambert, David (April 11, 2011). "Hey Dude – Are You Sitting Down for This?". TV shows on DVD. Archived from the original on September 14, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
  5. ^ McCutcheon, David (June 8, 2011). "Hey Dude Strolls In – DVD Preview". dvd.ign.com. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
  6. ^ Lambert, David. "Hey Dude - 'Season 2' of Nickelodeon's Live-Action Classic Scheduled for DVD". TV shows on DVD. Archived from the original on 2011-10-17. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
  7. ^ Lambert, David. "Hey Dude - In-Store Release of 'Season 3' DVDs is Announced by Shout!". TV shows on DVD. Archived from the original on 2012-03-13. Retrieved 2012-03-14.
  8. ^ "Hey Dude: Season 4 | Shout!Factory". Archived from the original on 2013-09-26. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
  9. ^ "Hey Dude DVD news: Press Release for Hey Dude - Season 5: The Final Season". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on 2016-06-25. Retrieved 2017-03-04.
  10. ^ "Hey Dude: The Complete Series (Walmart Exclusive) (Full Frame)". Walmart.com. Retrieved 2017-03-04.
  11. ^ "Hey Dude: The Complete Series: HEY DUDE: THE COMPLETE SERIES: Amazon Video". Amazon.com. 10 March 2015. Retrieved 2017-03-04.
  12. ^ A 'Wide' General Release for 'The Complete Series' from Nick/Shout! Archived 2017-06-15 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Hey Dude". Paramount+. June 1996. Retrieved March 24, 2021.