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Benson

Season 2 (1980-1981)
Produced by Bob Colleary, Tom Whedon

 cast photo, season 2

Guide to episodes, including episode number and title, production staff, guest cast, original air date, original episode descriptions, and additional commentary.

25. Thick as Thieves
Directed by John Rich
Written by Bob Fraser & Rob Dames
31 October 1980
Benson and Kraus are taken hostage during a convenience store stickup, and it takes all of Benson’s diplomacy to keep her from goading the gunmen into shooting them.

26. Benson in the Hospital
Directed by John Rich
Written by Rich Reinhart
Guest star: James Callahan
7 November 1980
Comical bewilderment grips the executive mansion after Benson is hospitalized--and he proves to be the most hilarious patient ever--with a mysterious malady that has all the doctors stumped. Katie’s new furry friend proves more than Benson can handle.

27. Fool’s Gold
Directed by John Rich
Written by Bob Colleary & Tom Whedon
14 November 1980
Benson discovers a secret compartment in the mansion’s woodwork containing an old letter which infects Governor Gatling and his staff with gold fever. They form groups and try to figure out the cryptic poem in the letter that promises to lead to riches left behind by a former governor. Be prepared for a competition of witless prowess.

28. Masquerade
Directed by John Rich
Written by Rick McCurdy & Jeff Levin
Guest star: Julio Medina
21 November 1980
Benson dresses up as a soldier and finds himself in hilarious trouble at a wild costume party at the executive mansion. It is an affair complicated by the presence of an incredibly ugly priceless gold statue brought to the mansion by foreign dignitaries. Benson and company find out that revolutionaries are after it. Fortunately, the revolutionaries are unable to figure out Benson’s master plan. Benson replaces the statue with a replica. So it’s off to a game of musical statues.

29. First Lady
Directed by John Rich
Written by Kathy Speer & Terry Grossman
Guest star: Barbara Babcock as Lily
28 November 1980
Murphy’s Law is operating full time when Benson tries to organize a reception for an important industrialist and Katie is jealous of her father’s hostess, pretty Lily (Barbara Babcock). Katie fears she is loosing her dad’s affection to the new woman.

30. Citizen Kraus
Directed by John Rich
Written by Bud Slocomb & Len Riley
Guest star: Ray Stewart
12 December 1980
Kraus attends night classes to obtain her American citizenship. Benson agrees to a short truce in his feud with Gretchen Kraus, the cook, in order to help her achieve her dream of American citizenship. With a lot of hard work and achievement she fails the test. It seems that she remembers more when she’s angry, so Benson and Marcy come with her. Benson then uses the anger strategy when she is failing. She gets angry and spews out answers that eventually win her citizenship.

31. Benson’s Groupie
Directed by John Rich
Written by Bob Colleary
Guest star: Beverly Todd
19 December 1980
A summer romance turns into a nightmare for Benson when the lady follows him home. Unfortunately, she appears during a conference of religious leaders at the mansion. She desires Benson’s attention so much, she’ll try anything to “win” his affection. She even threatens to disrupt the religious conference and get Benson fired.

32. In High Places
Directed by John Rich
Written by Bob Fraser & Rob Dames
Guest star: Myron Natwick
9 January 1981
The pilot on the Governor’s chartered plane becomes ill--and there’s no co-pilot. It’s a hair-raising trip for Governor Gatling and Benson but in the end which of the two people left to fly the plane would you trust? Hint: it’s not Benson.

33. Old School Ties
Directed by John Rich
Written by Bob Fraser & Rob Dames
Guest star: Dorothy Green as Libby
16 January 1981
The governor’s disarming sister Libby thinks that Katie should be sent to boarding school. The staff is heartbroken when the governor takes his sister’s advice.

34. The Apartment
Directed by John Rich
Written by Kathy Speer & Terry Grossman
Guest star: Fay Hauser as Rhoda
23 January 1981
Benson rents an apartment to be alone, but everyone manages to find him.

35. Big Buddy
Directed by John Rich
Written by Bob Colleary, Tom Whedon
Guest stars: Shawar Ross, Paul Regina
6 February 1981
The press secretary, Pete, convinces a reluctant Benson to become part of the “Big Buddy” program.

36. Fireside Chat
Directed by John Rich
Written by Tom Whedon
Guest stars: Ted Danson as Dan,
Hilton Smack as Stage Manager
13 February 1981
When the Governor goes on the air live for a fireside chat, a lover’s quarrel erupts in the studio between Marcy and the program producer who she has fallen madly in love with. Even Benson gets into the act when the cameras roll.

37. Marcy’s Wedding
Directed by John Rich
Written by Bob Colleary
Guest star: Ted Danson as Dan, Allyn Ann McLerie
20 February 1981
Marcy is marrying Dan, a TV producer, and she asks Benson to be responsible for the wedding plans. Marcy’s mother shows a talent for disrupting Benson’s wedding plans.

38. Rivals
Directed by John Rich
Written by Kathy Speer & Terry Grossman
27 February 1981
Kraus has been writing home over the years to tell her friend about her wonderful life in America. Maybe she wasn’t entirely truthful. Benson and Marcy turn the governor’s mansion into the scene of a riotous charade in order to help Kraus save face with a childhood rival who decides to visit from Germany and expects to find Kraus married to the governor.

39. No Sad Songs
Directed by John Rich
Written by Bob Fraser & Rob Dames
Guest star: Beah Richards
6 March 1981
When Benson’s mother comes to visit, the Governor and his staff do their best to make her feel welcome, but no one expects the tragedy which follows. Unfortunately Benson’s mom passes away, which leaves Benson very upset. The only thing that gives comfort to Benson is the faith his mother had in Jesus and when he asks the Lord to give him a sign, a taxicab driver that she ordered before her death comes to the door for her and when he finds out that she is gone recites the same words Benson’s mother taught him for so long. “You’ve got to have faith.”

40. Clayton, Go Home
Directed by John Rich
Written by Tom Whedon, Bob Colleary
Guest star: Ed Peck
13 March 1981
Clayton moves into the mansion after receiving death threats. His constant demands for attention have Benson and the rest of the staff ready to kill him themselves.

41. Easy Kid Stuff
Directed by John Rich
Written by Bob Fraser & Rob Dames
Guest star: Shawar Ross
20 March 1981
As a surrogate father to his young friend Mike, Benson has mixed feelings, particularly after the boy falls out of a tree and breaks his arm.

42. Homework
Directed by John Rich
Written by Kathy Speer & Terry Grossman
3 April 1981
Katie recalls outrageously funny, behind-the-scenes action in the executive mansion as she writes a heartwarming essay about her father, Benson and the other members of “her family.”

43. Handwriting on the Wall
Directed by John Rich
Written by Rich Reinhart
10 April 1981
Someone is breaking into the mansion and scrawling messages on the wall with green crayon. No, it’s not Katie leaving environmental threats, but no one is actually breaking into the house.

44. The Governor’s House Call Gov. Gatling and Clayton

Directed by John Rich
Written by Bob Colleary, Tom Whedon
8 May 1981
Police trap the governor, Benson, and Clayton in a palace of pleasures where they’ve gone to help a sick friend. It is a hilarious story that is true, but hard to sell to the vice squad and TV news teams gathered outside the brothel during a bust.

45. All Shook Up
Directed by John Rich
Written by Bob Fraser & Rob Dames
15 May 1981
Benson and Clayton are arguing in a storeroom when an earthquake hits the state, damaging the executive mansion. The rest of the staff quickly notice that Benson and Clayton are missing, but learn it will take time to get a rescue team to them. Meanwhile, Governor Gatling sets up a command center in the kitchen to deal with the regional emergency. While trapped and isolated, Benson and Clayton learn a lot about each other.

46. Lifesaver
Directed by John Rich
Written by Kathy Speer & Terry Grossman
22 May 1981 Benson is afraid he’s going to go crazy with all the love and attention lavished on him by Kraus in a hilarious change in their relationship that occurs after the quick-thinking Benson saves her life.

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