Family Ties

Season 2 Episode 14

Say Uncle

Aired Unknown Jan 26, 1984 on NBC

Episode Recap

Elyse's kid brother Ned visits the Keaton household after losing yet another job. Alex discovers that his Uncle Ned, whom he has always looked up to, has become an alcoholic since they last saw him. Elyse begs her brother to stop drinking, but Ned only pretends to swear off booze.

Steven tries to help Ned get a job at the local TV station, where he himself works, but an inebriated Ned botches the interview by acting stupid and crazy. Steven and Elyse struggle to talk sense into Ned, without success. Alex makes an attempt as well by showing Ned his collection of newspaper clippings detailing Ned's past successes. Alex explains how the clippings have inspired him to be his best in all ways. However, this serves only to remind Ned of the failure he has become recently (in his own eyes). He destroys the clippings, and when Alex tries to prevent this Ned decks him with a punch.

Steven demands that Ned get on the wagon and stay on it, or else leave the house and take his problem with him. Realizing at last that he has a problem and needs help, Ned calls Alcoholics Anonymous.