This webpage was protected by HTMLProtector

"Emergency!" The Boys Are Back in Town
Cast Question & Answer Session
October 10, 1998

Who’s Who:

AM: Audience Member
TD: Tim Donnelly (Chet)
RF: Robert Fuller (Dr. Kelly Brackett)
ML: Marco Lopez (Marco Lopez)
JM: Johnny Miller (Stunt Man)
RM: Randolph Mantooth (John Gage)
RP: Ron Pinkard (Dr. Mike Morton)
MS: Mike Stoker (Mike Stoker)
KT: Kevin Tighe (Roy DeSoto)
BT: Bobby Troup (Dr. Joe Early)
RD: LACoFD Rick Dominguez, Master of Ceremonies

**Please note, where necessary, certain liberties have been taken with this transcription in order to provide clarification for those who did not attend the convention in person. Additionally, as the cast members like to tease each other, the comments below should be taken in their proper perspective.

RD: These questions were e-mailed in or written down by some of the people here. The  first question is kind of funny. There’s two questions that relate to the same. The first  one’s for Randy Mantooth, "So, what’s the real story-why didn’t Johnny get to drive  the squad?" and the other one’s "Why did Roy almost always drive?"

RM: Kevin, you want to answer that? That was the biggest bone of contention that I had for 7 years-why can’t I drive?? The one year they let me & I ran the squad straight into a brick wall! I still have the scar here {pointing to his left eyebrow}. I was trying to save Kevin when we went through the windshield. I turned to Kevin & said, "Are you ok?" I was spurting blood {motioning down his face} and he said, "Yeah, but you’re not!" {with a giggle} In reality, why I didn’t drive, & I thought that they  could have easily fixed it. When we were originally shooting all the stock  footage-every time you see us pulling out of the station, we don’t do that every week;  we’d do that once at the beginning of the year & we’d have the squad turn right, the  squad turn left, engine goes right, squad goes left, squad goes right, engine goes  left-for any situation that would arise. Well, nobody thought to have me drive out  once! So, all the stock footage shows him {pointing at Kevin} driving all the time.  So, they’d go "we can’t because of stock footage"-well, the hell with stock footage!  Let’s shoot some more! "Well, we can’t-that’s a lot of money, it’s a whole day’s  work" So I don’t drive for 7 years?? That’s the story.

RD: Here’s one from Sylvia & Nadine from Germany for Tim Donnelly. "What does Tim Donnelly do now?"

RM: Oh, I can’t wait to hear this!

TD: Hi. Who was that from again?

RD: This was from Sylvia & Nadine from Germany.

TD: Now, listen to this-bear with me here. Sylvia is the president of Randy Mantooth’s fan club-why is she asking me anything? {LOL} No, I’m just saying…isn’t that right,Randy? Actually, I just finished a script in June. It’s film noir, it’s pretty dark, the dark side of..

RM: Your trunk.

TD: Yeah, it’s out in my trunk if anyone would like to take a look at it. {LOL} I’m thinking about asking Randy to commit to it, or maybe just having Randy committed! {LOL} So, anyway, that’s what I’m up to now, Sylvia.

RD: Hold on to the mic, Tim, there’s another question from Vickie Beck from Pittsburgh, PA. "To Tim Donnelly-I understand that you were single-handedly responsible for saving a certain four-legged cast member from being fired. Tell us about that."

TD: Who was that from?

RD: Vickie Beck.

TD: Oh yeah, that’s Randy Mantooth’s niece. {LOL} Well, actually, I’ll tell you the story on that. That dog, that basset hound Henry, shed a lot & we wore the dark blue pants. Randy, of course, was originally, was the dog’s best friend. He really did shed a lot. One day, Randy just got tired of wiping it off his pants & said "Get the dog out of here, I’m not working with him anymore". {LOL} He told them "I won’t work with the dog"; Ed Self can attest to it. Well, the trainer said "Well, if Henry can’t work on this show, we’re going to have to put him away" {LOL} Randy said, "Well, I can’t work with that dog" & I said "I’ll work with the dog!" Actually, I knew that if I worked with the dog I’d get a lot more scenes! Well, I think that’s close to what happened. Randy should tell his side…

RM: I remember it a little differently.

RD: Ok, Kevin, here’s one; this doesn’t say who it’s from, but "I have heard you have a fear of heights & yet you had several scenes where you had to be way up in the air. How did you deal with that?"

{Randy, who was taking a drink of water while this was being read, started choking with laughter}

RD: I just read the jokes, ah, I mean questions.

KT: Well, actually I never had a problem with it until one episode, I think it was the third season, where we were trying to get a crazy guy off a ledge. I wasn’t tied off &we just sort of did it on the ledge; it seemed relatively safe, it was controlled, & we had stunt men watching us…

RM: Yeah, watching

KT: Well, you know, supervising…

RM: "You’re not far enough out; take a few more steps towards the edge" {LOL}

KT: Well, what happened was, we finished the stunt & the director yelled cut & I just froze. I don’t know why, I just was scared to death. {RM is giggling} They had to come out & lead me by the hand back in. {LOL} Since that time, it’s always been a little difficult doing the high stuff. You know what’s kind of funny about that?  Years later, after the show ended, I was helping a friend paint a house & I had to get on the roof & I still had this fear. I got up on the roof & I could feel like waves of  fear in me & what was kind of strange about it, & I don’t know whether any of you have had this experience, but it seemed like all the other fears I had got dumped into this funnel of a fear of heights. When I cracked it, I haven’t really had a problem with it since. I do want to say one thing, though, because we haven’t brought it up yet. We had fabulous stunt men on our show! {Applause & nods of agreement from other cast members} In each show, as you know, we had extraordinary special effects; ah, stunts all the time, every week. But not one injury, out of all the things that we did for that entire time, not one injury. Really, it was extraordinary & I don’t know what we would have done without them.

RM: We would have died is what we would have done! {LOL}

KT: Thank you.

RM: Wait a minute. I’d like to tell a little story about Kevin up high that you’ll enjoy. Well, I think you’ll enjoy. We were up on a crane in, I guess it was the second year. I knew Kevin had this, ah, terrible respect for heights. I was always tied off & he was always tied off, so I knew, well I was always respectful of heights, but I wasn’t terribly afraid of heights. Well, we got up there & we were so high & so exposed, everyone looked like ants down below. We had handi-talkies on our sides so they could call up & say, "Ok, action" & then we would do our routine. Well, I looked over at Kevin & Kevin was…I was kind of like this little monkey climbing around on the bars, but I looked over at Kevin & I could see white on his knuckles! And he said "Will you quit moving around!" and so right away I went {evil little grin}. He wouldn’t look down, he wouldn’t look up, he was just holding on & said, "God, when are they going to say go?" & I’m thinking… {even more evil grin} So, I said, "Kevin…hey, Kevin…" & he said, "No, don’t fool around, just don’t".   I said, "Come on Kevin, just look at me" & he said "Stop it! I mean it, just knock it off!" Then I said, "Come on Kevin, I’m not going to do anything, just look at me".  Slowly he raised his eyes to me & then I went "aaaggghhh....." {motioned like he was falling backwards} {LOL}

RD: Just like real firemen. You find a weakness & then you go for it! {LOL}

RD: A lot of these questions that came over on the e-mail were for Mike Stoker. One of them is "To Mike Stoker-your character on the show seemed real shy & quiet. Is the real Mike Stoker like the character?"

MS: Absolutely. {LOL}

RD: Very good, very good. Here’s another one for you Mike. Just give me a yes or no answer. "Were there any other acting opportunities offered to you after  "Emergency!"? If so, why didn’t you take them? What show would you have liked to have been on?"

{Robert Fuller, sitting beside Mike, threw back his head & laughed out loud!}

MS: If you saw the show, then you know there weren’t any! {LOL}

RD: Ok, one more then. "When they needed a new captain, why didn’t they just write in a promotion for Stoker & hire another engineer to drive the truck?"

MS: Couldn’t find another guy who could drive as well as me.

TD: That’s right! {LOL & Applause}

RD: Marco, you do have a question. "Can you really make good chili?"

TD: Don’t flub it!

ML: If it’s Mexican chili! {LOL}

RD: Ok, let’s see. "To any of the cast members who want to answer. How much, if at all, were you able to do any ad-libbing?"

KT: Well, it was an interesting show for this reason. We’d have copious writing & we’d go through the white’s, the blue’s, and the pink’s & try to tighten it up so that when we got to the location we knew what we were doing. But the nature of the show was that we’d get out there & overturn a truck or start a fire burning & you just couldn’t always follow the script. We tried to adhere to the script where ever possible, but  there were lots of occasions when you just had to just make it happen using the Jaws of Life or whatever we were using at the time. So, there was a lot of improvisation in terms of dialog. But I also want to say the scripts & the script writers, Bob Cinader in particular who officiated through all of the re-writes & trying to hone things down, gave us a real nice fabric from which we were allowed the freedom to do that & still give a good show. I also want to mention the paramedic advisors on our show. To give you an example of where we were when we first started, I remember a scene where I was reading a BP. I had the stethoscope & I’m getting it {Randy starts giggling}. I loosen the cuff & give it to the radio {motioning towards Randy} & they yell, "Cut!"; I thought everything went perfectly. Then I see the advisor come over to the director. Then I went over to them & the advisor, kind of timidly, says, "Well, it was a good scene, but it’s just that if you’re going to do a reading, it’s better to have the stethoscope in your ears". {LOL} So, needless to say, they did serve a function! Also, when we first started the show, Dale Cauble & Rocky, who were two paramedics I went out with because we went out & rode with the paramedics before the pilot, helped me draw the character & that’s how I found who I was going to be. I mean, we depended upon  them for who we were on the show. They also served such an extraordinary function on the show day after day. They had to see every single scene & if it wasn’t right, it was shot again. We wanted as much technical expertise & wanted to make it as honest as we could & yet still make it entertaining & it looks to me like we succeeded.

RD: Ron Pinkard, I’ve got a multiple question here. "Your character softened quite a bit over time-did you have any say in how your character developed? I also noticed that sometimes you had some very funny lines-do you prefer playing more serious or more comic roles?"

RP: Yes to both of them! The character softened after a few years, but when we first began…I want to share a secret with you. This is an example of what can happen to any young actor who’s given the chance to do a television show. I was brought on to work with Bob Fuller & Bobby Troup in the pilot to do a one  day shoot. That one day turned into 8 years! That was fantastic! It took a little while, but after a fashion, you become comfortable with your character. You  identify with what he or she is to be doing, and you do it better and better. The more you do it, the better you get at it. So, it was an excellent opportunity for me and any young actor who does a one day role can always look optimistically forward, hopeful that it will turn into a better gig. And, it did!

RD: Ok, I’m going to open it up to the audience. Young lady, tell us your name &where you’re from.

AM: I’m Janet from Marblehead, Massachusetts. For Randy, I’d like to know what is your favorite memory of the show & why? A favorite scene, maybe?

RM: You know, I really don’t have a favorite. I find that there are things I remember about the show & there are others that people will say, "hey, remember this?" & I haven’t a clue.

JM: Wrap parties!

RM: Yeah, the wrap parties were really a lot of fun! {LOL} There are just so many scenes that I just loved doing. I know there are scenes I prefer to watch rather  than remember how it was I did it, because it was hell getting that scene, but I saw that it was well worth it once I saw it on the screen. Otherwise, I would have to say, & I hate to do it, but I would have to say all 7 years were pretty special.

AM: My name is Peter from Chicago & I’m with the Chicago Fire Department. A question for you, Mr. Fuller. Being a little old cowboy myself, how did it feel to go from ‘shooting ‘em up’ to ‘fixing ‘em up’?

RF: Well, I’ll tell you, it was a heck of a lot harder than saying "They went that away!"


AM: Oh, hi there. Um…could you give me some for instances as to who played Debbie Taylor in episode 5, second season?

RM: Ah, I can’t remember the first 3 years of the show! {LOL} You know who could tell you is just about everyone in this room. I think they know more about us than we do!

AM: That particular episode, was that done with blue screen?

RM: Are you a plant? {LOL} No, we didn’t use blue screens back then. So, when ever you saw something back there, it was either burning or crashing. We did it all.

AM: When was blue screen invented?

RD: Ok, thank you sir. Next? Ok, come on up young lady & give us your name & where you’re from.

AM: I’m Erin & I’m from Seattle, Washington. My question is for Kevin Tighe. Did Joanne ever appear on the show? {At Kevin’s somewhat blank look multiple cast members said, "Joanne was your wife!" LOL}

RM: She appeared in blue screen! {LOL}

KT: She appeared, we had a young lady & I can’t remember her name. She was a lovely young lady & she was a contract player at Universal. She was the first, and I think, only lady who played Joanne. I think there was one scene where she came to the fire station (a resounding chorus of "No’s" erupted from the audience!). It was basically just a part of the character that he was married & had kids, but the relationship was basically by phone.

AM: Hi, I’m Jamie from Salt Lake. I would like to ask Mr. Fuller & Mr. Troup what they did or what little tricks they might have employed to learn all the techno-babble, medical-babble?

BT: They always put a face mask on me! {LOL}

RF: As far as I was concerned, I was very lucky & I’ll go back to that question the cowboy asked me earlier. When we started "Emergency!" everything went so fast from the day I walked into Jack Webb’s office & walked out with 12 pages of the world-premiere with 13 episodes to follow, we were to start shooting in 10 days. I had just taken my cowboy boots off, put a white coat on, & Jack handed me a 12 lb. Dolan medical dictionary & that’s what helped me.

AM: This is a question for Tim. Are you still eating dried toast & figs? {LOL}

TD: Who is it who asked that?

AM: Dodie.

TD: Dodie Mantooth? {LOL} All right, Dodie. That was a great episode; I remember it well. Ron really straightened me out in that one. I am a healthy eater & I do watch what I eat & I’ve changed my life around pretty drastically in that department. That’s not a bad idea, really.

RP: As soon as we could get Tim to stop eating fried chicken every day, all day long!

TD: Right, Ron!

RD: Ok, we’ll take one more. Let’s see, how about that lady in the black sweater.

AM: Hi, my name is Amy from Virginia. First of all, I’d like you to know I’m a school  teacher & I teach second-graders. Not only have you had an impact on the paramedics  & everybody in this room, but these children, these second-graders who are 7 & 8 years old, talk about you so you’ll be living on for a long, long, long time. It looked like you guys must have had a lot of fun, but was there a notorious cast prankster or did you all get into the act? {All cast members turned & looked pointedly at Randy-LOL}

RM: Tim, do you want to come over here & stand next to me? {LOL} We all did our pranks. Maybe I did a couple{LOL} Tim pulled them, and believe it or not Kevin,  here, can be a prankster & I’m sure that the hospital had their own stuff going.  Fuller got a few pulled on him; we all know he’s afraid of spiders & gosh, if I’d only remembered that, I could have gotten him today! {LOL} Seven years-it’s just like a fire station; there’s always pranks going on & maybe one person does a little more than another, but nonetheless, after seven years of doing the show & working with everybody, you just get a little goofy & do some funny stuff, but nothing ever really dangerous, I guarantee you. So, don’t tell your second-graders…

AM: I’ll make sure they know it was completely safe.

BT: I guess I was quite a prankster because I would always swear a lot.

RM: But Bobby, none of us ever thought you were pranking. We thought that was your second language! {LOL} Ah, Tim Donnelly has a story…

TD: This is just a clever story, not really a prank. One day when we were up on location, up in Glendale before they finished that freeway, we used to use it quite a bit. It was a cold, cold morning & when it was cold, we used to have soup at the location, big fifty-gallon keg of soup. Well, we didn’t one day. So, Randy went over to the caterers & said "Where’s the soup?" They said, "We don’t have any soup." He said, "What do you mean ‘we don’t have any soup’? It’s cold, we should have soup!" The guy said, "The assistant director didn’t order any soup." Well, the assistant director was Jack Duran. What a guy! His day was watching the end of his cigar light up! {LOL}  Beautiful guy, though. So, the caterer said to Randy "You have to talk to Jack Duran to get an ok on it." Well, Jack was 50 yards down the road, but Randy said "No problem". So, Randy goes up to Jack & said, "Jack, what the hell did you say to that caterer?" Jack said, "What do you mean, Randy?" Randy said, "Well, he thinks you’re real mad at him". Jack then said, "Well, I’m not mad at him; I didn’t say anything to him." So Randy said, "Well, then wave to him". Jack turned around, waved to the caterer, & the caterer ordered the soup! {LOL & Applause}

RM: {On his feet & waving his arms saying No!} Thank you very much, but I did not do that! I swear to you, I did not do that! Tim Donnelly did that!! I swear to you, I did  not do that! I wish I could take credit for that, but that was Tim Donnelly & his brilliance!!

RD: Ok, thank you very much. We’re going to give the actors a break right now while we have the memorabilia auction…


Our deepest appreciation to Laura Aguiar for taking on the monumental task of transcribing this!