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"Double Trouble"

(Original air date 10/03/76)


Steve is assigned as bodyguard to a comedian controlled by a brain implant


Writer: Jerry Devine

Director: Phil Bondelli

In a mansion, three men compare two pictures for likeness: one of second-rate comedian Billy Parker and the second of the Prime Minister of a small African nation, who is also a presidential candidate in the next election. (Flip Wilson in dual roles). They aim to slander the PM's name by substituting him with Parker. Dr. Barto (Simon Scott) has convinced Parker of a cyst that needed to be removed and instead, implanted a small device in his brain that will enable them to exercice control over his every thought and movement.


The implant's efficiency is put to the test during one of Parker's performances at a local nightclub. In the middle of a comedy number, he suddenly starts flapping his arms about and cackles like a chicken. Riko (Rick Podell), Barto's associate, is on the phone with his boss describing Parker's every move. The second suggestion has him chewing on his shoe. Both tests are conclusive

Riko follows Parker to his apartment building where the comedian is run down by a cab. Riko offers to drive the unconscious victim to the hospital but the doorman (Boran Silver) insists they wait for the ambulance.

Riko calls Barto to relate the unfortunate accident, which is bound to throw a wrench in their plan when a CT scan reveals the implant.


In the hush of the night at the National Medical Center, Rudy has an exhausted Steve undergo a series of physical exercises to test his strength during nocturnal labor, when Oscar summons them to look at Parker's head scan. The Russians have experimented with similar brainwashing devices in the past and they fear Parker may be their latest test subject. Oscar therefore assigns Steve to act as Parker's personal bodyguard to watch his every move.


Meanwhile, Riko roams the hospital halls to trawl for information. He dons a white smock and goes to the nurses station to ask for Parker's medical file. He studies it for any mention of a CT scan and seeks confirmation from the nurse (Maryanne Kasica), a bold move that arouses suspicion.


Later, Steve drops by Parker's hospital room and fibs about having been assigned as his bouncer by the club's manager who wants him protected against the heavy dealings of a prominent impresario.

In the midst of the conversation with Steve, Parker receives another suggestion from Barto that has him walk over to the window and salute. Puzzled by Parker's odd behavior, Steve zooms in on a building across the street where he spots Riko on the roof.


When Parker is released from the hospital, Steve follows him to the Dipsy-Doo pool room for a friendly game of billiard, where shysters soon badger the comedian for the money he owes. Parker cowers behind Steve who calmly asks the men to leave his client alone. The gang leader smashes a pool stick on Steve's arm, breaking it in two.


Steve shows them that he means business by mashing a ball into dust. His prowess scares the thugs away and leaves Parker awestruck. Steve confesses to a trick ball and suggests Parker to give it a try while he goes make a phone call to Oscar. Without bionic strength however, the results fail to make a splash.


After disclosing to Steve the latest developments regarding the case, Oscar warns him to watch his back around Parker for he may have been programmed to kill him.

When Barto learns that Parker's bodyguard may be a cop, he orders Riko to kill him. After his comedy number, Parker is ordered to go out the back door of the club on a pretence to get some fresh air. In the alley, two men are hiding in the shadows ready to spring on Steve. Parker stoically presses on, leaving Steve to overpower his assailants.


Early in the morning, Parker calls his fiancée Susan (Mira L. Waters) to come meet him. He's confused as to what happened the night before and doesn't trust anyone. He sends a taxi to pick her up and drive her to their rendezvous place, where he gets into the cab disguised as a nun. He's afraid to return to the club after witnessing Steve being attacked by the two men, and sends Susan instead.

Susan catches Steve at the club and explains that for security purposes, Parker's cab will be driving by the club about every five minute or so until he sees him.


When the taxi stops to pick up Steve, Billy is given the suggestion to drive to the Eastside gallery. They make a brief stop on the way to a deserted construction site where Parker pushes Steve into a deep pit. The thirty-something-foot fall knocks him unconscious.

Riko meets with Parker and escorts him to the gallery where they meet with Barto and the Prime Minister who is gagged and bound hand and foot to a chair. Billy believes it's a scheme orchestrated by the talent manager who's being trying to get him under contract.


Meanwhile, Steve slowly regains his senses. He jumps out of the pit and sprints to the gallery where he manages to break in through a back window.


Parker is made to resemble the Prime Minister to perfection and is asked to rehearse a speech that he will deliver at the United Nations. Steve bursts in, wrestles the crooks bionic style and hurls a chair against the main computer to sever the hypnotic link. He then unties the Prime Minister and both explain to a confused Parker what those men wanted to use him for.


The next day, Oscar and Steve drop by the hospital to assure Parker that the implant has been removed and that everything is back to routine as usual. Parker is still reeling over the fact that he missed his chance to perform at the UN. When he gets up to improvise a speech, he stops in mid sentence, reaches for his slipper, sprinkles salt on it and begins chewing it. He's convinced that gag will have his audience rolling on the floor.


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