Parker Lewis was a small-screen Ferris Bueller. He was the the coo-al dude at Santo Domingo High, where he and best buds Mikey and nerdy Jerry (who idolized Parker and even called him “Sir”) ruled the school. They accomplished this feat despite the best efforts of uptight Principal Musso, her butt-kissing assistant Frank and Parker’s own scheming little sister Shelly to see him undone.
But as the title suggests, Parker never lost–not when he helmed an illegal radio station, not when he fell in love with a girl who wanted to break up him and his buds à la Yoko Ono and not even in a first-season episode called “Parker Lewis Can’t Win,” in which, of course, he did.
The show featured guest stars who appeared as their characters from other shows, like David Faustino’s Bud Bundy from Married…with Children and Curtis Armstrong’s Miles from the movie Risky Business. Other guest stars included the cast of Beverly Hills, 90210, Weird Al Yankovic, Donny Osmond, Sonny Bono and a pre-Party of Five Scott Wolf.
Adding to its coolness quotient (as Parker might say) was its use of unusual camera angles and clever pop-culture references–including Parker and pals spoofing The Godfather and Rain Man.
In the end, of course, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, well, did. Fox tampered with a winner by shortening the title to Parker Lewis, adding some uninteresting new characters and axing those camera angles–and the show lost its edge. Parker eventually limped into his third season, but he had thrown in the towel long before that.
Fox – Columbia – Clyde Phillips Prod. / x25 minute episodes / Broadcast 2 September 1990 – 22 August 1993
Executive Producer: Clyde Philips
CORIN NEMEC as Parker Lewis
MELANIE CHARTOFF as Mrs Masso
WILLIAM JAYNE as Mikey Randall
TROY SLATTEN as Jerry Steiner
JENNIFER GUTHRIE as Annie Sloan