DC Follies

Watch DC Follies

  • 1987
  • 2 Seasons
  • 7.2  (148)

DC Follies was a satirical television show that aired from 1987 to 1989. Produced by Sid and Marty Krofft, the show took place in a bar in Washington D.C., where celebrities and politicians would gather after hours to joke and comment on current events. The twist was that all of the characters were puppets, operated and voiced by a team of talented puppeteers and voice actors.

The show was hosted by Fred Willard, who played the bartender at the titular DC Follies bar. Each episode began with willard introducing the various puppets who would be appearing, ranging from famous political figures like Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Michael Dukakis to pop culture icons like Madonna, Hulk Hogan, and Pee-wee Herman. There was even a recurring segment in which a gaggle of Sesame Street characters would drop by for a drink and some political banter.

One of the most notable puppet characters on DC Follies was President Reagan, voiced by veteran voice actor Maurice LaMarche. Reagan, who appeared in every episode of the series, was portrayed as a folksy, down-home kind of guy who loved jelly beans and had a penchant for rambling stories. LaMarche's Reagan impression was pitch-perfect, and he captured the essence of the former President's speaking style and mannerisms flawlessly.

Other highlights of the series included a recurring sketch in which Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the journalists who broke the Watergate scandal, would investigate various conspiracies around the bar. The segments were a hilarious send-up of both the journalists themselves and the countless conspiracy theories that were popular in the late 1980s.

Aside from the political satire, DC Follies was also known for its many celebrity appearances. In addition to the aforementioned Madonna and Pee-wee Herman, other famous faces who dropped by the bar included Alex Trebek, Whoopi Goldberg, and Weird Al Yankovic. Many of these guests would perform musical numbers or comedic skits with their puppet counterparts, adding to the overall zaniness of the show.

Despite its success, DC Follies only lasted for two seasons before getting canceled. The show was a victim of declining ratings and increased competition from other sketch comedies such as In Living Color and Saturday Night Live. However, it remains a beloved cult classic among fans of puppetry and political satire.

In retrospect, DC Follies was a unique and daring television series. It tackled hot-button political issues with wit and humor, all while showcasing some of the most impressive puppetry and voice acting of its time. The characters were both absurd and endearing, creating a world that was both surreal and oddly relatable. Even decades after its cancellation, DC Follies remains a shining example of how to do political satire right.

DC Follies is a series that is currently running and has 2 seasons (44 episodes). The series first aired on September 15, 1987.

DC Follies
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The Contras Help Out on Ollie North's Telethon
20. The Contras Help Out on Ollie North's Telethon
January 26, 1989
Spielberg is living proof that once a director...always a director when Fred asks him to take a snapshot for him. Hollywood's top names toast Yassir for being the hardest working man in terrorism. Contrary to popular belief, Dan believes he makes a difference after his guardian angel shows him how it would've been without him. Could Ron's venture into a political puppet show confuse him as to whom Nancy really is? As a thanks for defending the Iranian Way, the contras help out Ollie's telethon. Nancy and Ron think about what they can get from Bush in exchange for "the football." Yassir contemplates taking Kissinger hostage after Yassir loses on the $50,000 question.
Political Love Connection Profiles Arafat and Joan River's Dream Date
19. Political Love Connection Profiles Arafat and Joan River's Dream Date
January 19, 1989
While visiting D.C. Follies, Yackov Smirnoff makes amends with Gorbi and they perform a segment from the "Yaki and Miki Show." The ex-presidents reminisce "how it used to be" during a chauffeured trip by Fred to see Nixon accept an award. Political Love Connection shares the inside story of Arafat's and Joan River's dream date. Due to budget problems, Bush is forced to inform Barbara that they will not be able to afford her eating habits any longer. The Ayatollah and Yassir land a segment on the TBS...Terrorist Broadcasting System.
Dolly Parton gives Makeup Tips to Barbara Bush
18. Dolly Parton gives Makeup Tips to Barbara Bush
January 12, 1989
Ford's plan to go back to school to play football comes to an end when his agent, Nixon, is caught with foul play. Dolly's make-up tips for Barbara Bush cause George's eyes to pop out. Nixon tells Quayle horror stories of how the presidency used to be. Cable finally becomes all that it can be with the creation of the Elvis Channel. International Relations may fall into the hands of God when Quayle appoints the wrong Jim Bakker as Secretary of State. Weird Al drops in to return Fred's accordion so that he can once again sleep at night. Bush turns to Mr. Rogers for a lesson on how to be an educational president. Like everything else, Nixon's concept of three wishes is distorted. Even soup can't ease Charles' and Di's marital problems.
Nixon Has Romantic Fantasies About Bo Derek
17. Nixon Has Romantic Fantasies About Bo Derek
January 5, 1989
Nixon fantasizes a romantic weekend on the Riviera with Bo Derek, when in actuality he robbed her hotel room. Arafat has solved the problem of having to decide where to live by making his car a mobile home. Decorating the White House has been made easy for Barbara Bush since the Reagans took everything...except the ghost of Lincoln. Unable to comprehend the importance of his job, Quayle continues to search for a job. During the first social gathering between the Bushes and Gorbachevs, Mikhail takes a liking to Barbara's "wholesome" figure. Whoopi and Geraldo discover the advantages of a video newsstand. Nixon reveals how he inspired the movie "10."
National Rambo Association Allows Criminally Insane to Possess Guns
16. National Rambo Association Allows Criminally Insane to Possess Guns
December 29, 1988
Khomeni's scheme to kidnap Vice-President Quayle backfires when he finds himself begging the U.S. to take Dan back. Nixon's deep concern for the preservation of mankind causes him a headache when his warm hearted clone, Millhouse, breaks the Nixon stereotype by being generous. Joan Rivers and Mort review the latest movies on their all new puke scale. One might say that Bush and Gorbi have gone a step too far with their disarmament treaty when their trust for one another redefines the open door policy. Elvis's new job with the Post Office is a singing reminder to use zip codes. The National Rambo Association serves as an equal opportunity for the criminally insane to possess guns.
Nixon Contemplates a Parallel Universe Without Watergate
15. Nixon Contemplates a Parallel Universe Without Watergate
December 22, 1988
Thanks to Fred, Leslie Nielsen stops by the bar to tell the story of his big break and picks up gifts from all. In search of a new profession, Ronnie disregards acting because it wouldn't allow him time to nap. Due to his ethical ways, Geraldo takes on the life of a lawyer...but he refuses to represent Ollie and the Bakkers. Nixon confesses that he was responsible for Watergate while contemplating the possibility of a parallel universe. In the absence of Dr. Ruth, Mort subs in to give his tactful "great sex" tips. Bob Hope dreams of the great actor that he could've been. Nixon tells Danny the story of Cinderella before he gets a little shut eye. In memory of the concept of a Democrat being president, Ted Kennedy starts an endangered species fund.
Joan Rivers Debates Gorbi and Thatcher
14. Joan Rivers Debates Gorbi and Thatcher
December 15, 1988
As Chief U.S. Delegate, Joan Rivers displays her sharp tongue with Gorbi and Thatcher. Arafat offers a new outlook on children's toys when he introduces G.I. Joe and Jane. The world of relaxation is in for a big surprise with the new Club Mort. The ex-presidents get stranded while on a fishing trip. Could Burns be put in jail for statutory rape for going to bed with the youngest woman he knows? In honor of his eight years in office, Fred presents Ronnie with a segment of "This is Your Life." Feeling down about the Soviet economy, Gorbi is tricked into a scorching bowl of soup from Mort.
Nixon Hawks the Watergate Tapes for $29.99
13. Nixon Hawks the Watergate Tapes for $29.99
December 8, 1988
Gorbi gives King Kong a run for his money with his performance atop the Empire State Building. Harry Anderson's quick wit outsmarts the gang at D.C. Follies. For a mere $29.95, Tricky Rat Nixon's "educational" Racketeers tape speaks for itself. Just when Barbara Walters thought there was nobody left to sing with, Arafat saves the day with a love song. After watching Mary Tyler Moore, Quayle is convinced that he should have been a newsman.
The Pope Walks On Water at the Boston Harbor
12. The Pope Walks On Water at the Boston Harbor
December 1, 1988
While out on Dingy I, Bush is saved from sharks that are afraid to have Quayle as president. Arafat joins the homeless when we learn that he has no visa. Mort's talk show topic of gene splicing fails to interest callers. The return of Open Mic Night offers the premier of the Dick and Dickey act. The Pope proves that he is a man of God when he displays his ability to walk on the Boston Harbor. Ford's surprise inauguration party cures his feelings of being an outcast. Reagan sings Farewell to 'ole D.C. Cosby saves the day for Cher's first annual telethon. The crowd comes out for Spielberg's open call.
Nixon Schemes to Make Money by Becoming a Surrogate Mother
11. Nixon Schemes to Make Money by Becoming a Surrogate Mother
November 24, 1988
Dan Quayle takes a joy ride in the presidential limo while Bush is out of town. Mort translates Bush's speech for the average American. Reagan accidentally sells Gorbachev the nuclear football during a yard sale. Quayle takes precautions to insure perfect medical health for Bush to insure that he isn't left with the presidency. Michael Jackson reveals the real "Bad" boy that he is as he grows tired of being a wimp. Surrogacy on Donahue sets the scene for Nixon's scheme to make money as a surrogate mother. George Burns and Quayle's new comedy act premiers at D.C. Follies. Nixon's fascination with the wonderful world of steroids becomes the object of his dreams.
Reagan Gets an Acting Job on eightysomething
10. Reagan Gets an Acting Job on eightysomething
November 17, 1988
Mort takes on the role of Professor Higgins as he tries to tame Margaret Thatcher. Ted Kennedy's life as a bachelor is made easy with the "Singles to English Dictionary." Thanks to the sweeps week, a heart transplant lands a spot on Donahue. Bush gets a head start in developing a cleaner America when he starts the Toxic Waste of the Month. Nixon, Cher, and Geraldo ease Quayle's conscience about being teased as they sing him into a thicker skin. Nixon's Aunt Gertrude tries to capitalize on his fake death. In response to the debt left by Reagan, Bush develops the Emergency Taxation System. Bush and Quayle's Bartles and James imitation takes us back to basics...taxes will go up. Reagan's job on eightysomething allows him to act his age. Cher defines the word dizzy when she tries to relive a date.
Castro and Arafat's New Show,
9. Castro and Arafat's New Show, "Terrorists at the Movies," Gives Bambi Two Guns Down
November 10, 1988
Geraldo's evidence from home movies of famous people proves that they were indeed once babies. Quayle's homemade autobiography-picture book attempts to capture "the real Dan." Castro and Arafat give Bambi a two guns down rating on "Terrorists at the Movies." Reagan anxiously awaits the release of his memoirs in order to remember his life. The free world becomes the winner on "Win, Lose or Die" when they guess Quayle as their worst nightmare. Ford and Quayle go head to head when Gerry gets a new job with the Department of Transportation. During an exclusive interview with Barbara Walters, Mrs. Reagan and Mrs. Bush reveal their untold, but not necessarily unnoticed differences.
Fred Plays Chess with Yassir Arafat
8. Fred Plays Chess with Yassir Arafat
November 3, 1988
Nixon's benevolent disposition becomes evident when he decides to give profits from his book to charity. Chess has never been as appetizing as with the new Elvis edition. Mr. Downey's Neighborhood sheds new light on politics. The Supreme Court Shuffle clues us in on what would've happened if Quayle appointed the judges. "Fred is with us" when Spielberg and Lucas produce a commercial for D.C. Follies. The "Glasnost to English Dictionary" comes in handy when Gorbi comes to the bar. Fred learns that playing chess with Arafat is a no win situation. Crazy Yassir's electronic sale is one you can't refuse.
Reagan Auditions for a Part on
7. Reagan Auditions for a Part on "Dynasty"
October 27, 1988
Much to his surprise, Bush signs a nuclear freeze treaty with the Soviets when Gorbachev pretends to be a talking car device. John Forsythe auditions Reagan for a role in Dynasty only to realize that the part calls for a conniving woman...could Nancy be cast? As Donaldson steps down from the White House, his "Political Bloopers, Blunders, and Practical Jokes" takes us back to when Bush and Quayle decide to trick the country by running on the same ticket. The Reagans come close to going to bed with Ford and Nixon when they return home to burglars in the White House. Nixon's plan to auction off his extensive wardrobe of navy suits turns out to be a disappointment for him. Bush suggests Siskel and Ebert as an alternative to the judicial process.
Nixon Impersonates Dangerfield, Dolly Parton and Bette Midler
6. Nixon Impersonates Dangerfield, Dolly Parton and Bette Midler
October 20, 1988
Quayle heads to D.C. Follies after trying to play hooky from work. Reagan's failing memory serves as an obstacle when he tries to recount his years in office. Whoopi meets her evil counterpart at the bar. Open Mic Night is a hit with the Great Reaganini, Nancy's premier and Ford's hand shadows. In an attempt to bring glory to Mt. Rushmore, the ex-presidents imagine themselves immortalized on the mountain. Nixon impersonates Dangerfield, Dolly, and Bette Midler.
Nixon Impersonates Elvis in a Moneymaking Scheme
5. Nixon Impersonates Elvis in a Moneymaking Scheme
October 13, 1988
In an attempt to tackle the high national debt left by the Reagan administration, Bush turns to the "Cozfather" to ask for a loan. Nixon impersonates Elvis in a conniving scheme to raise money. Fred takes on a teacher role for Danny when he explains the succession of the presidency to him. The Bakkers rescue Nancy from a land of no manicures, as they perform an exorcism on her. Donahue's meaningful dialogue with Barbara from Cincinnati becomes a disaster when her feedback indicates that her husband has returned home early.
Freddy Krueger's Nightmare - Dan Quayle Elected President
4. Freddy Krueger's Nightmare - Dan Quayle Elected President
October 6, 1988
Just when Dukakis thought that his White House career would never become a reality, he lands a job as Bush's chauffeur. During Freddy Krueger's visit to D.C. Follies, he awakes from a nightmare in which Quayle almost became president. Freddy also has a heart to heart talk with Fred about Freddy's concern of being remembered as evil incarnate. Arafat's terrorist mind is faced with a dilemma about finding property to bomb that he doesn't already own. As Ronnie's plans to leave the White House get closer, he once again considers a career as an actor when he reads for the "Ronnie-mooners." Fred's "Cars to English Dictionary" saves the day for Bette Midler's car search. Reagan becomes sentimental about leaving office when he decides to run again....this time as Governor of Massachusetts.
Ollie North and Nixon Plan to Take Over the Western Hemisphere
3. Ollie North and Nixon Plan to Take Over the Western Hemisphere
September 29, 1988
Bush learns how to charge away the deficit problems after watching Gorbi abuse his Russian Express Card. Nixon tries to market himself as the Shroud of Turin to make money. Fred's lessons to Danny about the branches of government help him to better understand his role in the world of politics. Fred's "Actors to English Dictionary" helps Kissinger to understand Cher's Oscar acceptance speech. Reagan scares Bush out of the presidency during a supposed prep talk about the office. Ford goes undercover in Ollie and Nixon's plan to take over the Western Hemisphere. Mort takes on the role of U.S. delegate to the Soviet Union when left unattended near the red phone in the White House.
Carter, Nixon and Ford Perform
2. Carter, Nixon and Ford Perform "Ex-President Doo-Wop Blues"
September 22, 1988
The old "Nixon wit" helps keep him occupied when he gets locked in the basement with the missing Watergate tapes. Mother Mort's version of "Jack and Jill" sheds a new light on children's nursery rhymes. The truth is revealed about Elvis's supposed death when he appears as E.P. the new bar boy at D.C. Follies. Siskel and Ebert give a whopping "10" to Greg Louganis's and Ford's tap dancing duet. With the hope of becoming rich and famous, the dynamic trio of Carter, Nixon, and Ford become street performers with their "Ex-President Doo-Wop Blues." Pat Robertson's caption to "send money" seems to be a permanent appendage to his wardrobe.
Mike Tyson Gives Words of Wisdom to Reagan and Gorbochov for World Peace
1. Mike Tyson Gives Words of Wisdom to Reagan and Gorbochov for World Peace
September 15, 1988
Reluctant to go to school, Danny Quayle wishes he was "BIG" and pals around with George Bush and his running mate. Anticipating a fourth ex-president, Nixon, Ford, and Carter act as bookies for the upcoming election to make some extra cash. When Dukakis is unable to attend his boxing match with George Bush, Mike Tyson, subs in and gets beaten when his promoter, Don King, awakes from a national nightmare of the thought of Dan Quayle becoming President. Tyson offers his words of wisdom to Ron and Gorbi in regard to peace and the superpowers. Fred brings peace to the world of politics by convincing Bush and Dukakis to say nice things to each other.
Where to Watch DC Follies
DC Follies is available for streaming on the MGM website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch DC Follies on demand at Amazon.
  • Premiere Date
    September 15, 1987
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (148)