Tanner '88

HBO (ended 2004)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 2 : Ep 4

    The Awful Truth

    Aired 10/26/04

  • S 2 : Ep 3

    Alex in Wonderland

    Aired 10/19/04

  • S 2 : Ep 2

    Boston or Bust

    Aired 10/12/04

  • S 2 : Ep 1

    Dinner at Elaine's

    Aired 10/5/04

  • S 1 : Ep 12

    The Reality Check

    Aired 8/22/88

  • Cast & Crew
  • Veronica Cartwright

    Molly Hark

  • Michael Murphy

    Rep. John Quentin "Jack "Tanner

  • Wendy Crewson

    Joanna Buckley

  • Cynthia Nixon

    Alex Tanner

  • Matt Malloy

    Deke Connors

  • show Description
  • Welcome to the Tanner '88 guide at TV.com. Director Robert Altman and cartoonist G.B. Trudeau combined forces for this ground breaking satire following the campaign of fictional Democratic presidential candidate Jack Tanner, mixing real life politicians and celebrities with the fictional characters. In the first season, we meet Tanner as basically a nice guy who doesn't have the killer instinct of his competitors, but nevertheless forges ahead with the help of his campaign manager T.J. Cavanaugh (Pamela Reed), youthful aide Stringer Kincaid (Daniel Jenkins), ditzy assistant Andrea Spinelli (Ilana Levine), Emile the pollster (Jim Fyfe) and teenage daughter Alex (Cynthia Nixon). Other regulars include kindhearted newspaper columnist Hayes Taggerty (Kevin J. O'Connor), filmmaker Deke Connors (Matt Molloy), and Dukakis campaign head Joanna Buckley (Wendy Crewson), Tanner's secret love interest. In the second season, set sixteen years later, Alex is now a documentary maker following the Bush and Kerry campaigns, utilizing Jack, Andrea, and TJ for funds and support. The original working title of this show was Tanner: A Political Fable.moreless

  • Top Contributor
  • HelloStuart

    User Score: 206

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (13)

    • Emile: What (the people) want is a white Jesse Jackson. Andrea: Or a black Bruce Babbitt. (everybody stares at Andrea)

    • Taggerty: If (Jack) were here, what would you tell him? General Tanner: I would tell him... that I voted for Al Haig.

    • Tanner: I am somebody. (pause) I am somebody?

    • Linda Ellerbee: I want you fresh for the debate- I don't want Jennifer to wear you down. Tanner: Jennifer? Jennifer: It's a family name- I was named after my father.

    • Tanner: Do you ever get tired of this view? Park Ranger: Yeah, sometimes.

    • (The general is making a toast at his son's wedding rehearsal dinner) General Tanner: One hundred years ago, William Gladstone, after a particularly acrimonious debate in Parliament, bellowed across the floor at his arch-rival Benjamin Disraeli, "You, sir," he said, "will one day end your days on the gallows or of venereal disease." Disraeli raised himself up and replied, "That, sir, would depend on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Alex: (shocked) Grandpa... General Tanner: I tell this humorous story because it hasn't been altogether clear to me this past year exactly what my son is embracing. Jack Tanner: Dad!

    • Tanner: Look at this, troops- (points at a hamburger stain on his jacket near his heart) my last indignity as a candidate. (walks out) TJ: (to the staff) Not necessarily.

    • Robert Redford: There's no crying in independent film!

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    Notes (10)

    • Robert Gerringer and Patty Falkenhein (The Bobs) were married in real life. They enjoyed 39 years of wedded bliss before Robert's passing in 1989.

    • When the first two episodes first aired on the Sundance Channel in 2003, it was combined into an hour-long broadcast with an introduction by Michael Murphy (in character as Jack Tanner).

    • Chris Matthews would later host the cable news program "Hardball."

    • Bruce Babbitt later became Secretary of the Interior under President Bill Clinton.

    • David Alan Grier would later play a Secret Service agent on the short-lived NBC sitcom "DAG."

    • This is Kevin O'Connor's last episode. Due to a prior commitment, he could not appear in the last four episodes of the series.

    • Actor Jeff Daniels was originally uncredited for his guest appearance in this episode, but his name was inserted into the credits when the series was released on home video in 1990.

    • Robert Altman won an Emmy award for Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series for this episode.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (2)

    • When Joanna and the General are conversing on the highway, it appears that the car is a convertable. But when they arrive at the house, however, they are clearly in a limosuine.

    • Studs Terkel's name is misspelled in the closing credits.

  • Fan Reviews (2)
  • "Exercise your right to vote..."

    By HelloStuart, Jun 28, 2005

  • "Tanner 88" proves itself as hilarious satire over 10 years later.

    By nero29, Jul 05, 2005

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