While Fred is searching through a cookbook for more permutations of squid than Bubba had for shrimp, his wife Erma is butchering the latest in a long line of squid served in their squid-only restaurant. Fred is convinced that he will do with squid what Col. Sanders did with chickens.
Drifter / clean-up guy Gaston suggests that maybe the restaurant might just bring in bigger crowds with, oh say, BBQ rather than squid. Fred spends a late night chopping vegetables when his landlord Chumley walks in and demands the 3 months back rent owed to him.
Fred loses his temper just briefly enough to nick Chumley’s hand with the chopping knife, and is witnessed by the stoop-dwellers across the street including Gaston.
Officer Phil comes in for breakfast, but Erma tells him they might have some eggs left. When she looks in the fridge, there are eggs, but also some steaks piled on top of them. Gaston says a friendly BBQ distributor gave him a good deal. Can any human being not predict what the steak is? Especially seconds later when Officer Phil says Chumley has disappeared.
The smell from the steaks starts attracting other customers off of the street. When Fred sees Gaston using Chumley’s handkerchief, he gets suspicious. As business picks up, Gaston must get more steaks from the freezer so he goes in and starts hacking away at Chumley’s fat ass. Fittingly, Chumley is played by Meat Loaf.
At the end of the day, the restaurant takes in $1,500. Gaston convinces Fred to keep quiet since the blame would fall on him and Erma. Soon the Gaston, Fred & Erma Steakhouse opens to lines out the door.
When Officer Phil tells Fred that they might be able to track Chumley’s killer by a residue left by the knife in blood taken from his car, Fred gets worried and Gaston gets busy.
Just an OK episode. What happened to Christopher Reeve is beyond tragic. He is still the definitive Superman, and always seemed like a very nice guy; just not much of an actor. The stiffness actually served him well in Superman (in both roles), but not so much in a comedic episode like this. Judd Nelson and Bess Armstrong delivered, though.
- Title Analysis: Meh.
- This was 3 years before Christopher Reeves’ accident.
- Coincidentally, Director Gilbert Adler was later a producer on the dreadful Superman Returns.
- I can’t believe I almost missed this great gag on Fred ‘n Erma’s sign. Sadly, as frequently happens with the punny titles, there is no relation to the episode.