B. J. and the Bear

B. J. and the Bear Information

B.J. and the Bear is an American comedy series which aired on NBC from 1979 to 1981. Created by Christopher Crowe and Glen A. Larson, the series stars Greg Evigan and Claude Akins.


Greg Evigan stars as B.J. (Billie Joe) McKay, a professional freelance itinerant trucker who traveled the country's highways in a red and white Kenworth K-100 cab over semi truck with his pet chimpanzee, Bear (named after Bear Bryant, the famed football coach for Alabama, explaining the chimp's choice of headwear). He was constantly harassed by Sheriff Elroy P. Lobo (Claude Akins, who eventually spun off onto his own show, The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo). Ben Cooper appeared in an episode of B.J. and the Bear and continued his "Waverly" character in The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo. Other episodes dealt with B.J. uncovering or getting mixed up with crime in the area and a local resident"?usually, a young, beautiful woman"?appealing to the trucker to help.

In 1981, when the show returned from hiatus, B.J. had settled down to run Bear Enterprises, a trucking company based in Los Angeles. His nemesis was Rutherford T. Grant (Murray Hamilton), the corrupt head of the state's Special Crimes Action Team, who was a silent partner in a competing trucking company. Because of Grant's harassment, B.J. was unable to hire experienced truckers, and he was forced to hire seven beautiful young female truckers, including Grant's daughter Cindy (Sherilyn Wolter), and a busty blonde nicknamed "Stacks" (Judy Landers).

Popular culture

In the 1995 movie Mallrats, Jason Lee's character Brodie makes a reference to the show with: "Why don't they ever bring back or remake good shows, like 'BJ and the Bear.' Now there's a concept I can't get enough of, a man and his monkey".

In an episode of My Name is Earl, Earl's brother Randy asks Joy why a chimp was named "Bear". She obligingly explains that B.J. McKay was a fan of the University of Alabama's football team, hence the moniker.

In the series Breaking Bad a replica of the red and white Kenworth appears in the episode "One Minute."

Seattle Washington indie rock group "Minus the Bear" derives their name from a joke referencing B.J. and the Bear. "A friend of the band had gone on a date," explains singer-guitarist Jake Snider, "and one of us asked him afterwards how the date went. Our friend said, 'You know that TV show from the '70s B.J. and The Bear? It was like that... minus The Bear.' That's the straight truth."

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