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The Fall Guy was one of the first Action Series that made the genre popular in The Eighties. It grants the people who do the dangerous stuff on set their well-deserved limelight, and while it's at it, it takes the occasional chance to lampoon Hollywood and also allows for loads of Cameos.
The main characters:
- Colt Seavers (The Six Million Dollar Man Lee Majors) is an experienced Hollywood stuntman who discovered that life in Southern California, moreso in Hollywood, is too expensive to afford as just a fall guy, so he moonlights as a bounty hunter. He spends most of the time of an episode hunting criminals who were bailed out, escaped, got back into crime, and defend themselves against whoever wants to take them back to jail with weapon force. Lee Majors also sings the theme song (he also performs it on camera in one episode).
- Jody Banks (Heather Thomas) is probably one of Hollywood's hottest stuntwomen. She was the only other member of Colt's stunt team before Howie showed up.
- Howie Munson (Douglas Barr) is Colt's little cousin. He had about a zillion jobs, none for longer than a year, before he came to Hollywood and try his hand at being a stuntman together with Colt, much to the latter's dismay. He also tries to hit on Jody, much to her dismay.
The Fall Guy provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Jody.
- Awkwardly-Placed Bathtub: Colt has his outside in front of his house.
- Bounty Hunter: Colt's second job.
- The Cameo: Lots. Most notably, Elvira who develops a major crush on Colt.
- Call Back: In one episode, Colt uses a small catapult to jump over a fence in much the same way Lee Majors (or rather his stunt doubles) simulated bionic jumping in The Six Million Dollar Man.
- Chase Scene/Hot Pursuit: At least one, preferably multiple per episode.
- Also, stock footage of chase scenes from various movies is incorporated into the opening credits.
- Chekhov's Gun: At the beginning of an episode, Colt has to do a stunt on set. He'll have to redo the same stunt later on while bounty-hunting.
- Cool Car: Colt's GMC Sierra 4×4 pick-up truck. Two-tone paint job, rollbar, and a 6" bodylift that cost it its ability to corner but made one high jump per episode more credible.
- Distracted by the Sexy: The scene also shown in the intro sequence in which Jody steps through a saloon door in a two-piece swimsuit, promptly ending a bar brawl.
- Every Car Is a Pinto: Yep.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Terri Shannon, Colt's boss during the second through fourth seasons. is played by Markie Post, who would go on to greater '80s fame as Christine Sullivan on Night Court.
- This also applies to people working off camera as well. Theme song co-composer Dave Somerville had previously been lead vocalist with The Diamonds, a late '50s/early '60s vocal quartet from Canada mostly well known for interpreting and and introducing rhythm and blues vocal group music to the wider pop music audience. Their hits include Little Darlin' and The Stroll.
- Ms. Fanservice: Jody.
- Opening Narration: Colt gives one about the hard life of a stuntman in the first season.
- Platonic Life Partners: Colt and Jody are even sharing the same house. The reason might be Hollywood housing costs.
- Ramp Jump: Pretty much required in any Chase Scene involving Colt's truck and the reason for its bodylift. The corresponding ramps appear in the weirdest places, but rarely in the audience's plain view.
- Reset Button: Colt's truck seems to have one, for whenever Colt crashes it (and so he does frequently), it's always back as new in the next episode.
- Running Gag
- Howie's previous jobs.
- When Colt is sitting in his outdoor bathtub, someone calls him on the phone.
- Stunt Double: The show is all about stuntpeople. In one episode, Colt even has to double Lee Majors' real-life wife, Farrah Fawcett.
- Took a Level In Badass: Howie.
- Under Crank: Had to be done in chase scenes because the bodylift on Colt's truck would have caused it to tip over in halfway fast corners.
- Vanity License Plate: FALL GUY on Colt's truck.
- Watch the Paint Job: Colt wrecks any car he borrows, especially whichever one Howie just bought. That is, he usually only borrows a car after having wrecked his truck.