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Season 1 Episode 5

Big Day

Aired Tuesday 8:30 PM Apr 18, 1995 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
330 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Bonus day. Mr. James makes Dave decide who gets the "big bonus" and who gets the shaft.

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  • It’s the “Big Day” and Dave gets to have the pleasure of handing out the yearly bonuses.

    This episode introduces the hilarious long running joke of ‘the shaft’. Which can always bring a laugh to loyal fans. This episode really displays just how conniving and unfriendly these people are. Since they are all competing for the Big Bonus they are all willing to do anything to get Dave to give it to them. Joe even tries to threaten Dave. In the end it isn’t Bill who usually gets the big bonus but Catherine who knows how to play Dave better than anyone.

    It is very add when you watch these old sitcoms now to think that it was filmed in front of a live audience, since now I doubt there are any sitcoms filmed in front of live audiences, and it shows how much better the quality of actors and shows we used to have and now take for granted.


Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Matthew is worried he's going to get "The Shaft". Bill and Joe are talking near Matthew's desk.

      Bill: Say Joe, who's the black private dick that's a sex machine for all the chicks?
      Joe: Bill, I think that would be Shaft.
      (Matthew notices and looks up)
      Bill: And who's the cat that won't cop out when there's danger all about?
      Joe: Again Bill, we're talkin' 'bout Shaft.
      Bill: Damn right.
      Joe: You know, they say that cat Shaft is one bad mother-
      Matthew: Shut up you guys!
      Mr. James: (entering) Hey what's goin' on?
      Bill: We're just talking about Shaft.
      Mr. James: I can dig it.

    • Dave suggests giving everyone the same bonus.

      Bill: This idea is both fair and democratic.
      Dave: Yes, it is.
      Bill: And I want no part of it. It reeks of communism. It's penalizes the person who deserves the bonus and speaking as that person, I cannot support it.

    • Lisa: I am getting "The Big Bonus" right Dave?
      Dave: Lisa, considering the fact that we are dating. We do have to be aware of how it would look.
      Lisa: Dave, nobody knows we're dating.
      Dave: Beth knows.
      Lisa: Well Beth can be dealt with.
      Dave: So what? Eventually we'll have to whack the entire staff.

    • Beth: Who don't you just give me "The Big Bonus", Dave? I'll get ya a cup of coffee.
      Dave: Okay you've got a deal.
      Beth: You called my bluff, Dave.

    • Mr. James: I'd like to give everyone a bonus of $400.
      Dave: $400? That shouldn't be too hard.
      Mr. James: Except for one person who gets a bonus of $3,000.
      Dave: $3,000?
      Mr. James: Yeah, three fat Louies or as I call it, "The Big Bonus." It's a great motivator, Dave.
      Dave: Yeah your very generous, sir.
      Mr. James: Yeah thanks. I'd also like to give one person a bonus of zero dollars.
      Dave: Zero?
      Mr. James: Yeah zero dollars or as I call it, "The Shaft." It's an even better motivator, Dave.

    • Bill: Whose food is this? This desk is not a steam table! Whose food is this?
      Delivery Guy: Bill McNeal?
      Bill: Oh, right.

    • Jimmy: This used to be the hardest part of my job.
      Dave: Oh, what changed it?
      Jimmy: I made it the hardest part of your job.

  • NOTES (2)


    • Bill: Say Joe, who's the black private dick that's a sex machine for all the chicks?
      Joe: Bill, I think that would be Shaft.

      While teasing Matthew about getting "the shaft" (a bonus of zero dollars) for three years in a row, Bill and Joe recite the theme to the Richard Roundtree Shaft films. Jimmy casually joins in by giving the capper line -- "I can dig it."

    • Episode Title: The Big Day
      This is an inside joke between Paul Simms and Joe Furey from their days at the Letterman show. There was a homeless man that hung around the outside of the building always shouting "Big Day."