Sunday, April 10, 2016

Gimme A Break! (1981-1987)

One of my all-time favorite tv shows.  While never a Neilsens powerhouse, Gimme A Break! did run for six seasons undergoing a few different eras.  After clashing with Nell Carter, new producers were hired after season two, along with cast changes and a revamped theme song (the best one of all time!) with the help of Mr. Mister's Richard Page.  The show is probably remembered most for this timeframe with Nell's best friend/worst enemy Addy, con-artist turned cute kid Joey and accident-prone Jonathan.  After the chief died and the girls approached adulthood, Nell and Joey left Glenlawn, CA and joined Addy in New York for its last season, where Joey discovers he has a little brother.  And no sitcom would be complete without a nosy neighbor, played by pre-fame Rosie O'Donnell.  Despite the massive changes, the ratings continued to decline and the show was quietly canceled in the spring of '87.

Location: The Kanisky House
Address: 515 South Norton Avenue, Los Angeles, CA

Thanks to Chas at It's Filmed There for finding this location...

Season 3,  Episode 17: "The Big Apple: Part 1"

Location: Nell Sings "On Broadway"
Address: W 44th Street, New York, NY

Season 4, Episode 1: "Joey Goes To New Orleans" Part 1

Location: Nell & Joey's Hotel
Address: 444 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA   The InterContinental

Nell & Joey travel to The Big Easy so Nell can reunite with good ol' Charlie Johnson.  Joey gets a surprise of his own when he runs into his irresponsible father.  Amidst the laughter and tears, they recuperated at The InterContinental...

The hotel is seen later when Charlie follows Nell back to the hotel...

Location: Steamboat Natchez
Address: 600 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA

The fourth season opener was filmed when The 1984 World's Fair was held in New Orleans along the Mississippi River...

Location: Maison Bourbon
Address: 641 Bourbon Street, New Orleans, LA

Nell, Charlie and Joey head into Maison Bourbon to hear a jazz band and Joey reunites with his dad...

Season 4, Episode 2: "Joey Goes To New Orleans" Part 2

Location: Joey and Tim Walk To The Fair
Address: Poydras Street & Convention Center Boulevard, New Orleans, LA

Location: Fleur de Paris
Address: 523 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA

Location: Nell & Charlie Break Off Their Engagement
Address: near 621 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA

Location: Nell & Joey's Parade
Address: Peter Street & Royal Street, New Orleans, LA

Set to the tune of When The Saints Go Marching In...

Season 4, Episode 6: "Who Dunnit?"

Location: Nell Meets Ray Parker, Jr.
Address: Hillhurst Avenue & Gainesborough Avenue, Los Feliz, CA

Having hiked up in Griffith Park many times made this location fairly easy to track down.  The road leading up to it is definitely recognizable with the one way roads separated by a grassy divider.

The house seen in the shot is now hidden behind huge shrubbery. 

Season 4, Episode 7: "Breakdance"

Location: Joey Breakdances
Address: 323 Ocean Front Walk & Dudley Street, Venice, CA

The Lands End restaurant made this location pretty easy to track down.

The Cadillac Hotel sign visible on the right made it even easier to track down.

This was also the location of the muse mural in Xanadu (1980)

Season 4, Episode 20: "The Lookalike"

Location: The Car Wash
Address: 6061 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA

Season 5, Episode 4: "The Man From Zoron"

Location: The Bus Stop
Address: 2300 N Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA

This is just down the road from where Nell meets Ray Parker Jr.  The house next door to the bus stop is The Griswold House from Vacation (1983), which was also Greg Brady's House on The Bradys (1990).

Season 5, Episode 10: "Nell's New Car"

Location: Nell's New Car Breaks Down
Address: Beginning at 353 N Griffith Park Drive, Burbank CA

Location: Outside Skipper Dwayne's Restaurant
Address: 1311 Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank CA

I lived in Burbank for many years and for some reason this just looked like it might have been the location.  The 1311 address on the door where the car is parked helped.  I figured the street where the car breaks down would be near that so I looked on Google maps and sure enough it was one block over..

That car was not a lemon...

Season 6, Episode 4: "Joey Meets Matthew"

Location: Central Park Montage
Address: Central Park, New York, NY

The Alice in Wonderland Statue:

The Central Park Carousel:

These rocks are just north of the carousel, looking out toward Sheep Meadow.

The Boat House:

The Water Conservancy.  This shot is seen in the season 6 opening credits:

Season 6, Episode 6: "The Apartment"

Location: Nell & Addy's New Apartment
Address: Grove Street between 6th and 7th Street, New York, NY

I was on a roll locating Nell's car breaking down and Joey breakdancing, so I pressed my luck searching Greenwich Village on Google maps and was able to find this street.

The apartment building is at 96 Grove Street.

Season 6, Episode 15: "The Window, Part 1"

Location: Nell & Addy's Apartment Building
Address: 96 Grove Street, New York, NY

Previously seen in Episode 6, "The Apartment"

Location: Matthew Ditches Joey
Address: 181 Sullivan Street, New York, NY

The 181 address on the building made this location pretty easy to find.

The Washington Square Post sign still looks the same...

Joey heads into 179 Sullivan Street...

Matthew then hears music and runs into The Sullivan Street Playhouse at 181 Sullivan Street, which is no longer as this building has been completely remodeled.

Locations Visited: March 2016, September 2016, October 2016, March 2018, June 2021

Still Need to Locate:

Addy's NY Basement Apartment


  1. Wow thank you I love looking at these.Im always looking for before and now's. I looked up All in the family and the tree in front of the house is full grown now and the house looks the same.

    1. You're welcome, Pcat. Glad you enjoyed them. I hope to get to the All in the Family house in the future.

  2. I am still looking for the Gimme A Break! House from Seasons 1 and 2; the white house with the black shutters and door and the two trees side by side at the front black door.

    1. It's definitely not on a studio backlot. I was wondering if it was in the Hancock Park area. They taped at Metromedia Square so I've been looking around that area as well.

  3. If anyone locates the Gimme A Break! exterior home location, please let me know! I'm grateful for the location information which you've already provided!

    1. Thanks, Justin. I hope to track it down at some point.