Benson, did I ever tell you… Quiz

By: Maria Trimarchi

Of these sitcoms that premiered in 1977, of which is Benson a spinoff?

"Benson," which premiered in 1979, is a spinoff of the 1977 TV series, "Soap."

What's the link between "Benson's" Gov. Gene Gatling (played by James Noble) and "Soap's" Jessica Tate (played by Katherine Helmond)?

They're cousins. And it's Jessica who sends butler Benson DuBois to help her widowed cousin.

Robert Guillaume plays Benson DuBois on both "Soap" and its spinoff. Actress Inga Swenson also appears on both shows, as Miss Gretchen Wilomena Kraus on "Benson" and as who on "Soap?"

On "Soap," Inga Swenson is the family maid, "Ingrid Swenson," and, after getting pregnant with Randolph Gatling, is Corinne Tate's birth mother.

What state does Gov. Gatling govern?

We never actually find out.

The exterior shots of the governor's mansion is what real-life house?

The governor's mansion is a real house located at 1365 S. Oakland Avenue in Pasadena, California. It's known as The Bundy House, named for the guy who originally owned it, inventor Harlow E. Bundy.

Which senator is a nuisance to the governor's administration.

Sen. Leonard Tyler (played by Bob Fraser) is that nuisance.

What did Gretchen Kraus do before working in the governor's mansion?

Miss Kraus was an actress.

Who replaces the governor's chief of staff, John Taylor (played by Lewis J. Stadlen), when he leaves after the first season?

Beginning in Season 2, Clayton Endicott III joins the team as Gov. Gatling's chief of staff.

Clayton Endicott III suffers from what disorder?

While he does suffer from snobbery, it's not an actual disorder. Clayton's a hypochondriac.

Which "Grease" alum plays the governor's secretary, Denise?

Didi Conn (Frenchie in "Grease") joins the cast as Denise, replacing the governor's personal secretary, Marcy Hill (played by Caroline McWilliams) who got married and moved away.

Benson tries to talk a mayor out of declaring what kind of activity illegal?

Benson tries to convince the mayor not to ban breakdancing.

Who invests (and fails) in a dog breeding business on the side?

Clayton convinces Benson it's a good investment, but the sire is impotent.

Who pretends to be Gretchen Kraus' husband when her mother visits?

Benson pretends to be Arnold, and Gretchen Kraus pretends to be pregnant.

Which actor plays Buzzy Sheridan, Katie's first date?

The governor's daughter Katie goes on her first date with Buzzy Sheridan, played by Billy Jayne.

Who does the governor believe was abducted by aliens while playing golf?

Gov. Gatling, while out golfing with Benson, believes he sees Benson abducted by aliens.

What concert does the governor's daughter, Katie, attend although she's not allowed?

Katie isn't allowed to attend the KISS concert, but she does anyway.

Who is taken hostage by Latin American revolutionaries while at a conference?

Benson and Pete are taken hostage by Latin American revolutionaries.

Because of confusion about his service in the Korean War, Army reps come to the governor's mansion to take who into custody?

Due to some confusion about his service during the Korean War, the Army comes to take Benson into custody.

Who is accused of spying while traveling in Germany?

Benson DuBois and Gretchen Kraus, that's who.

When Denise goes into labor while her husband, Pete, is out of town, Gov. Gatling and Benson take her to the hospital. Where does she deliver the baby?

Benson and the governor get Denise to the hospital before she gives birth, but an unexpected turn of events forces them to deliver her baby in the hospital elevator.

Who accidentally gets married when Benson stands in for one partner who can't be there?

Benson stands in for the groom when Gretchen Kraus is married.

Who does Clayton Endicott III learn he might be related to?

In Season 4, Benson DuBois and Clayton Endicott III spend an episode wondering if they could be related.

When Benson has to make staff cuts, who among those he decides to let go upsets the governor's daughter, Katie?

Katie is upset that Benson's decided to lay off the pastry chef.

What position did Benson not hold at the mansion?

When he first arrives at the mansion, Benson is the temporary director of household affairs before he's hired on permanently. He goes on to become the state's budget director and eventually the lieutenant governor.

Who appeared in three episodes as Frankie, the messenger, before being cut?

Jerry Seinfeld played Frankie the messenger in three episodes in 1980.

Which magazine empire does Benson inherit?

Benson inherits the Playbird magazine empire. And when he's sued by an associate of the departed, he hires Clayton as his lawyer.

When Denise takes a job with NASA and leaves during Season 6, who goes with her?

When Denise leaves to take a job with NASA, Pete goes with her.

What was demonstrated for the very first time on a TV sitcom in an episode called "Scenario" in 1985?

The Internet, in its early ARPANET form, made its debut on a TV network sitcom in February 1985.

Who decides the life of a cowboy is preferable to politics and resigns from his job at the mansion?

After a vacation at a Dude Ranch, the governor decides he'd rather stay than return to politics.

In an epidode called "Too Pooped to Pip," Benson duets with which singer?

In "Too Pooped to Pip," Benson duets with Gladys Knight, of Gladys Knight & the Pips.

Who is passed over as Man of the Year, losing to Benson?

When Benson is chosen as Man of the Year, Clayton, his competition, has a breakdown.

Who does Benson propose to during the same episode he's nominated to run for governor?

Benson proposes to Diane.

Who wins, the night it's Gatling versus DuBois for governor?

The series ends with a cliffhanger, as Gov. Gatling and Benson sit together, waiting for the results.

"Soap" and "Benson" creator Susan Harris created which other popular TV show of the '80s?

Susan Harris wrote and produced for "All in the Family," "Maude" and the "Partridge Family." She produced "Empty Nest," "Nurses" and "The Golden Palace." But she is best known for "The Golden Girls."

Which two series regulars became series regulars on (different) "Star Trek" TV series, after Benson?

Rene Auberjonois, who plays Clayton, went on to play Odo in "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," while Ethan Phillips, who plays Pete, went on to "Star Trek: Voyager" as Neelix.

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About This Quiz

He's well-known for his role as Benson DuBois, but did you know Robert Guillaume won an Emmy award for Best Actor for the role? Or that Missy Gold, who played the governor's daughter, is the sister of another sitcom star, Tracey Gold (as Carol Seaver on "Growing Pains")? See how much you know about "Benson," and the sanest person in the governor's mansion.

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