The San Pedro Beach Bums
Title card.
GenreSituation comedy
StarringChristopher Murney
Stuart Pankin
John Mark Robinson
Darryl McCullough
Jeff Druce
Chris DeRose
Louise Hoven
Susan Mullen
Lisa Reeves
Kristoff St. John
Nancy Morgan
Theme music composerMark Snow
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes11 (1 unaired) plus pilot
Executive producersAaron Spelling
Douglas S. Cramer
ProducerE. Duke Vincent (pilot)
Running time60 minutes
Production companyAaron Spelling Productions
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 19 (1977-09-19) –
December 19, 1977 (1977-12-19)
The cast.
Title card for The San Pedro Bums, pilot for The San Pedro Beach Bums.

The San Pedro Beach Bums is a 1977 American sitcom that aired on ABC. It is about five carefree, young men living together on a houseboat in San Pedro, California. The pilot, titled The San Pedro Bums, originally aired on May 13, 1977.[1][2] The main series aired from September 19 to December 19, 1977.



Five carefree, young men in their early 20s who all had been friends since high school discover a derelict boat in the harbor at San Pedro, California. They take possession of it, name it Our Boat, and move aboard to use it as their houseboat. Buddy is smart, tough, streetwise, always confident, and the group's self-proclaimed leader; the shy, nervous, and not very bright Dancer is so nicknamed because he is too fidgety to sit still; Stuf is intellectual and sophisticated and a compulsive eater and gourmand who sees beauty in being overweight; Moose is large, muscled, and stupid, but gentle; and Boychick is a Clark Gable-like ladies man. Headquartered aboard Our Boat, they experience many slapstick, almost cartoonish adventures.[1][2][3][4]

Suzi Camelli, Julie, and Ralphie are friends of the Bums, Margie is a lifeguard, and Louise is the waitress at Tina Teena's Beach Café.[4]


On May 13, 1977, ABC broadcast the pilot for The San Pedro Beach Bums, a 90-minute movie titled The San Pedro Bums, which told the story of the "Bums" finding Our Boat and moving onto it. Although a similar premise had not worked in the unsuccessful comedy-drama It's a Man's World in 1962–1963, ABC believed in the concept, and it picked up the show as a weekly one-hour sitcom for its Fall 1977 schedule. Concerned that the use of the word "bums" in the pilot's title could be construed as negative and drive some viewers away unless softened by a more lighthearted connotation, ABC changed the name of the weekly series to The San Pedro Beach Bums. A cast change also took place, with Jeff Druce, who played Boychick in the pilot, replaced by Christopher DeRose in the weekly series.[5]

To boost viewership for The San Pedro Beach Bums, ABC scheduled it as the lead-in for the 1977 season of the popular ABC Monday Night Football. To garner extra attention for the show's premiere in September 1977, the women who starred as the "Angels" in the hit ABC program Charlie's AngelsKate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith, and Cheryl Ladd – guest-starred as themselves in the episode.

Aaron Spelling and Douglas S. Cramer were the show's executive producers. E. Duke Vincent wrote and produced the pilot, and Barry Shear directed it.[5] Episode directors were Jack Arnold, Allen Baron, Earl Bellamy, Gene Nelson, George Tyne, and Don Weis. Episode writers included Earl Barret, William Raynor, and Myles Wilder.

In popular culture

The second episode featured a character who was a "ringer" the Bums found who could play football well and help them beat a rival team. When the Bums asked him if he wanted to play football, the man said "Football, you bet!" This episode originated that catch phrase, which has been repeated elsewhere for decades.[citation needed]

Broadcast history

The San Pedro Beach Bums aired at 8:00 p.m. on Mondays throughout its run. ABC broadcast new episodes weekly from September 19 to October 31, 1977, followed by one in November 1977 and two in December 1977. Despite heavy promotion, highly favorable scheduling, and cross-marketing with more successful ABC shows, The San Pedro Beach Bums never gained much of an audience, and ABC cancelled the show after the broadcast of its 10th episode on December 19, 1977.[1][2] An 11th episode was made, but did not air.



Pilot (1977)

TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
"The San Pedro Bums"Allen Baron and Barry ShearE. Duke VincentMay 13, 1977 (1977-05-13)
Five carefree young men who have been friends since high school find a derelict boat in the harbor at San Pedro, California. They name it Our Boat and decide to move aboard and use it both as their houseboat and as the headquarters for a fishing business. Before long, a gang of toughs robs one of their friends, and they set about ridding the waterfront of the miscreants. This episode aired as a 90-minute television movie. For the weekly series, the name was changed from The San Pedro Bums to The San Pedro Beach Bums. Jeff Druce, who played Boychick in the pilot, was replaced by Christopher DeRose in the weekly series.

Season 1 (1977)

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"The Angels and the Bums"UnknownSimon MuntnerSeptember 19, 1977 (1977-09-19)
Alternative title: "Beauty and the Bums." The Bums try to recruit the women of Charlie's Angels to judge the Miss Harbor Beauty Contest. The "Angels" – Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith, and Cheryl Ladd – guest-star as themselves, along with Herb Edelman and Jenny Sherman.
2"The Shortest Yard"UnknownRon FriedmanSeptember 26, 1977 (1977-09-26)
The Bums decide to teach a lesson in fair play to a football team that specializes in cheating and cheap shots. Frank Gifford guest-stars as himself. Denny Evans, Martin Kove, Richard X. Slattery, Roger Callard, and Tim Rossovich also guest-star.
3"The Magnificent Moose"UnknownWilliam Raynor and Myles WilderOctober 3, 1977 (1977-10-03)
A bully tries to impress Marge by belittling Moose. Joseph Burke and Ian Tanza guest-star.
4"Godfathers Five"UnknownWilliam Raynor and Myles WilderOctober 10, 1977 (1977-10-10)
Dancer gets a job as an assistant to a private investigator, and his first assignment is to protect a baby that is in danger of being kidnapped. Meanwhile, two confidence men convince Stuf that he has a future as a movie star and swindle him out of $2,000 for a phony screen test. Cliff Norton, Dee Wallace Stone, Joe Bennett, and Theodore Bikel guest-star.
5"The Winner's Circle"UnknownEarl BarretOctober 17, 1977 (1977-10-17)
Marge's uncle is in debt and asks the Bums to hide a Thoroughbred race horse he owns so it cannot be seized before he pays his creditors. Bob Corso, Dick Balduzzi, Parley Baer, Rachel Longaker, and Roger C. Carmel guest-star.
6"The Bums vs. the Reds"UnknownSimon MuntnerOctober 24, 1977 (1977-10-24)
After a lovelorn Soviet sailor jumps ship in San Pedro, the Bums try to help him make a touring professional tennis player his fiancée. Allan Rich, Elya Baskin, Larry Hankin, and Pavla Ustinov guest-star.
7"Sweepstakes Bums"UnknownBen StarrOctober 31, 1977 (1977-10-31)
The Bums search frantically for a winning lottery ticket worth $250,000 that they have misplaced. Arlene Golonka, Keene Curtis, Paulene Myers, and Regis Philbin guest-star.
8"A Bum Thanksgiving"UnknownSimon MuntnerNovember 21, 1977 (1977-11-21)
The Bums help an elderly homeless woman conceal her poverty and put on a Thanksgiving dinner to impress her visiting son. David Knapp guest-stars.
9"Love Boat Bums: Bums Take a Cruise"UnknownEarl BarretDecember 12, 1977 (1977-12-12)
The Bums find adventure on a cruise in an episode that cross-markets with the hit ABC series The Love Boat. Dennis Robertson, Jane Zachary, and Lyle Waggoner guest-star.
10"Lifting is My Life"UnknownWilliam Raynor and Myles WilderDecember 19, 1977 (1977-12-19)
Moose is fired after a beer keg rolls off his truck, explodes, and sprays beer all over the company president. The still relatively unknown Arnold Schwarzenegger guest-stars as "Muscleman". Eileen Barnett and Lloyd Bochner also guest-star.
11"May the Best Bums Win"TBDBruce HowardUnaired
No summary available.


  1. ^ a b c McNeil, Alex, Total Television: The Comprehensive Guide to Programming From 1948 to the Present, New York: Penguin Books, 1996, p. 899.
  2. ^ a b c 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, p. 721.
  3. ^ "Forgotten Shows of My Nonage #32: The San Pedro Beach Bums". 8 April 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  4. ^ a b Staff, (5 February 2015). "The San Pedro Beach Bums - TV Series - 1977". Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "Movie Reviews". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  6. ^ ""The San Pedro Bums" (1977) - Episodes cast". IMDb. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  7. ^ ""The San Pedro Beach Bums" (1977) - Episodes cast". IMDb. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  8. ^ "The San Pedro Beach Bums". Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  9. ^ "The San Pedro Beach Bums (1977) - ArnoldFest". Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  10. ^ "Arnold: 70's-style". CBS News. 7 October 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  11. ^ Online Archive of California: De Forest Research, Inc. collection of television scripts