Bosom Buddies helped Peter Scolari be known as a funny man

Image credit: The Everett Collection

Bosom Buddies aired on ABC and premiered in 1980. The series sparked controversy, as it follows the story of two cross-dressing men and was reviewed negatively by some critics.

However, the die-hard Bosom Buddies fans and the cast had more faith in the series than the critics did. The Bosom Buddies cast knew that the series was more than it seemed, and it was much more than just Tom Hanks in a dress.

The series plot follows the story of Kip Wilson (Tom Hanks) and Henry Desmond (Peter Scolari) as they dress up in women's clothing in order to live in the only apartment they can afford.

According to a 1981 interview with Richmond Times-Dispatch, many critics who had struggled with the plotline of Bosom Buddies couldn't deny how much of a dynamic duo Hanks and Scolari were. 

Scolari was the type of actor who could take a simple bit of nonsense and enhance it for the cameras. While Tom Hanks, is well, Tom Hanks.

Many fans felt that Scolari had emerged as the star of the show during the two seasons it was on air. In such a short time in the TV world, he created a dedicated fan base for one underdog of a show.

In the interview, Scolari said the producers didn't think of him while casting for Bosom Buddies. In fact, another actor had been signed, along with Tom Hanks, to play the leading roles. Scolari received a phone call for the part last minute.

"When I arrived on the set to start working, everyone looked at me as if I were the one who was going to make some sense out of the chaos," Scolari said. "It was scary. But Tom and I hit it off right from the start. The chemistry was there, and we had the necessary rapport."

Scolari had a few opinions on Bosom Buddies, but overall, he felt it was a well-written, well-produced and well-acted sitcom. Only one of those opinions is biased. The critics may have felt a different way about the show itself, but Scolari's comedic talent was well-respected among many, even the critics.

Even if Scolari had some critiques for the show, in a 1981 interview with Times-Advocate, he said when he did get frustrated with certain aspects, he would take time away to realize that those feelings weren't worthwhile. But being a good actor was.

"It's important to be supportive of your writers," Scolari said. "A mistake a lot of actors make, when their material isn't what they would like it to be, is in thinking 'They're doing it to ME,' as if there was something deliberate being done. You can't come in complaining and expect to keep a spirit of collaboration."