The Ultimate Spin City Trivia Quiz

Julie Medina

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About This Quiz

If only running a local government was really this fun -- we all would want to be elected! Remember Mayor Randall Winston, Deputy Mayor Mike Flaherty, Carter Heywood and his suicidal dog, Rags? Relive all the spin in politics without watching today's election coverage with the ultimate Spin City Trivia Quiz!

Who portrayed Deputy Mayor Mike Flaherty?

Micheal J. Fox portrayed Deputy Mayor Mike Flaherty until he departed in 2000 at the conclusion of Season 4 due to his battle with Parkinson's disease.

Who replaced Michael J. Fox when he became too ill to work?

Charlie Sheen replaced Michael J. Fox when Fox's Parkinson’s disease proved too difficult for Fox to continue working. Charlie Sheen assumed the lead role of Charlie Crawford for the remaining two seasons. The show was cancelled in 2002 due to low ratings.

What city was Deputy Major Mike Flahtery in charge of running?

Spin City was based on a fictional local government running New York City. The concept for the show was set in motion after the writers had seen Michael J. Fox in 1995's 'The American President', playing one of the president's political aids. They wanted him to play a similar character for TV.

What is the name of the Mayor?

Barry Bostwick plays Randall Winston, the mayor in Spin City. Bostwick is known for playing Brad Majors in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In fact, as his role as Mayor, Barry Bostwick, is frequently seen wearing an "I Survived Rocky Horror" pin. Bostwick replaced Peter Scolari as Mr. Tyler in the sitcom What I Like About You, as well as the father of the President in the TV series Scandal.

Rags, the suicidal dog, was voiced by who?

Tim Allen, Regis Philbin and David Letterman, all voiced Rags the dog. Allen is the more memorable - while one character contemplates jumping out of a window, the dog talks, saying "Do it. And for God's sake, take me with you!"

What is the character’s name who is the loud-mouthed Press Secretary?

Press secretary Paul Lassiter was played by Richard Kind. The character was the office cheapskate, suck-up, and noted coward, who has a habit of being a loudmouth and is often kept in the dark about things. Richard Kind is an actor and voice actor known for his roles in the sitcoms Mad About You (as Dr. Mark Devanow), Spin City , and more recently, he has received recognition for his role as the voice of Bing Bong in the Pixar film Inside Out.

What was the character’s name who loves the ladies and is the Chief of staff?

Chief of staff Stuart Bondek played by Alan Ruck, is a lecherous, power-hungry member of the mayor's staff. Alan Ruck is a busy actor. His other notable films include Bad Boys (1983), Three Fugitives (1989), Young Guns II (1990), Speed (1994), Twister (1996), and Kickin' It Old Skool (2007). He has also guest-starred in numerous TV series.

What was the name of the character who was the head of minority affairs?

Carter Heywood is portrayed by Michael Boatman as a gay black man with a suicidal dog named Rags. Carter Heywood was seen as a revolution in modern television. As the writer Orville Lloyd Douglas noted on his blog GayBlackCanadianman, "Far too often whenever a character is gay on television it's always a white person. In North America gayness equals whiteness and gay black men are displaced due to race, gender, and sexual orientation. Finally, the writers and producers of Spin City got it right. Carter was a well-adjusted young black man he wasn't on the down low, he also wasn’t confused or conflicted about his homosexuality."

What is the name of the character who is the speech writer?

James Hobert played by Alexander Chaplin, is a character who is a speech writer that is easily led and quite naïve. Early in the show he has a crush on Nikki. While he is first the speech writer, during season four, he is fired in favor of Caitlin being hired as marketing campaigner, and James is hired as Mike's secretary, although he is led to believe his position is as 'Deputy Deputy Mayor. As with the rest of the Spin City main cast, Chaplin has featured in creator Bill Lawrence's subsequent sitcom, Scrubs, playing a drug addict. His character later appeared in "My Scrubs" as a drugs counselor for the hospital, claiming to be reformed.

What was the name of Mike’s secretary?

Mike's secretary Janelle Cooper is portrayed by Victoria Dillard. Janelle later is promoted to the mayor's secretary. Victoria Dillard stayed on the show for three seasons before leaving in 2000. Her other television credits include Star Trek: The Next Generation, Seinfeld, Roc, L.A. Law, Chicago Hope, Martin, Moesha, Family Law, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and other series as well as numerous film roles.

What was the name of the accountant?

Nikki Faber is an accountant on Spin City and is portrayed by Connie Britton. Connie Britton has come a long way from this role. She received positive reviews from critics for her performance as Tami Taylor on the series Friday Night Lights., nominated for two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. In 2011, she starred as Vivien Harmon in the first season of FX horror-drama series American Horror Story, for which she was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie. Currently %0DBritton plays the leading role of country singer Rayna Jaymes in Nashville, for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama in 2012.

When Janelle is promoted to the Mayor’s secretary, who joins the show as Mike’s secretary?

Stacey Paterno, who is played by Jennifer Esposito, joins the show as Mike's secretary and Paul's arch-enemy. The character is from Brooklyn and is shown to be very outgoing, much like Nikki. When Jennifer Esposito leaves the series, her absence is never explained in the show, although it is pointed out that a new secretary for Mike is needed, and her role is replaced by James, who was once the speech writer.

Heather Locklear is a great addition to any show. What role did she play on Spin City?

Heather Locklear, as Caitlin Moore, is introduced into the show in season four to ease Michael J. Fox's workload after he announced he had Parkinson's disease. She is brought onto the staff as campaign manager, and takes James's old desk, while James becomes Mike's secretary. She becomes romantically involved with both leads by the end of each of their respective tenures on the show.

There were two characters who had a “married couple” relationship. Who were they?

The nature of Carter and Stuart's relationship became a running gag during the series. The two ended up becoming so close, their friendship was mocked by others, and their arguments sounded so much like husband and wife, a whole episode was dedicated to the notion that the two argued like a married couple. In spite of all the jokes and innuendo, they prove to be best friends willing to do anything for both their friends and each other. This, too, was considered an important moment in television history, with Douglas noting, "I love the fact that the writers of Spin City explored the fact that gay men and heterosexual men can be friends. The straight man doesn’t have to worry that the gay man might hit on him."

How did the show write Michael J. Fox out of the series as his Parkinson’s symptoms worsened?

In 2000, as his symptoms worsened, Fox announced he was leaving the show at the end of the season to spend more time with his family and to raise money for awareness of and research into Parkinson's. His character left City Hall at the end of the show's fourth season, taking the blame for an alleged Mafia link the Mayor unknowingly had. He later moved to Washington, D.C. as an environmental lobbyist, there (offscreen) meeting a senator named Alex P. Keaton, the name of the character Fox played on Family Ties.

It was very “homey” on the set for Charlie Sheen, Michael J. Fox’s replacement. Why?

Charlie Sheen as Charlie Crawford, was Mike's replacement for the final two seasons. Charlie Crawford is a womanizer and at first struggles to keep his troubled past from getting in the way of his new job. He eventually becomes romantically involved with Caitlin by the end of the series' run. He is also romantically involved with Jennifer Duncan, played by Sheen's real-life partner at the time, Denise Richards. His father is also played by Sheen's real-life father Martin Sheen.

Which character said this? “Big 3-0, huh? It's the perfect age. You can date college girls *and* their mothers.”

Stuart is shallow and sex-crazed, although he is unsuccessful at maintaining a relationship. Early on in the series, he moves into an apartment with Carter, which generates a clash of personalities as he is homophobic and is generally wary of Carter's dog and his high-strung lifestyle, though they eventually become best friends.

Which character says this? [a woman is making a pass at him] “Your heterosexual powers have no effect on me."

Carter’s character was met with positive reaction because of his portrayal as a prominent gay black character in a TV series. Carter owns a suicidal old dog named Rags. Near the end of the show, Rags dies, and in the same season, Carter decides he will adopt a baby, which he does in the final episode, a boy, named Sam.

Which character is talking to Mike? “Mike, believe it or not, the whole universe does not revolve around you.” Mike: “Are you calling my mom a liar?”

Caitlin Moore, the campaign manager hired when Mayor Randall Winston decides to run for senator, is speaking to Mike. Heather Locklear who plays Caitlin Moore is well known not just for this role, but also for playing Amanda Woodward on Melrose Place, for which she received four consecutive Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress – Television Series Drama. Her other notable television roles include Sammy Jo Carrington on Dynasty, Officer Stacy Sheridan on T.J. Hooker, and Caitlin Moore on Spin City, for which she earned a further two Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy.

Who is Mike talking to? [Mike is on TV] Mike: “I can't believe that's me.” %0D“Oh, I know ALL about that. You're here talking, but you're there talking... tricky.”

Mike is talking to Mayor Randall Winston, the dim-witted Mayor of New York City. At the beginning of the show, he is married, although he gets divorced during the show's run and his now ex-wife writes a tell-all book about life with the Mayor. He develops a relationship with his secretary Janelle during season three. During the final season, he develops a relationship with Judge Claire Simmons, played by Farrah Fawcett, but she dumps him when she reveals she does not want to live life in the public eye like the mayor.

Which character said this? [on the phone] “No, mom, I'm not a lesbian. What? No, mom! I'm not a lesbian! I sleep with men. I sleep with lots of men. I'm a slut for God's sake!”

Nikki Farber, portrayed by Connie Britton, is the character who is on the phone with her mom. Nikki is a co-worker at City Hall. She is promiscuous and outgoing and often dates unreliable men. She develops an on-again-off-again relationship with Mike. She leaves after season four for unknown reasons.

Which character is talking to Mike? [James has been told to look after the Mayor's daughter]“Hey Mike. I'm free. Why don't you let me look after the Mayor's daughter?” Mike: “The same reason they don't give guns to monkeys.”

Stuart is talking to Mike. Stuart is played by Alan Ruck, who made his breakthrough role in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. To pay homage to that movie, in an episode where Stuart goes to a hockey game, Stuart wears a jersey that Alan Ruck wore in that movie.

Which of these characters responds to Paul? %0DPaul: “You know, I've been allergic to cats all my life, but at the pet morgue, nothing. Turns out I'm not allergic to dead cats.” “Then you should definitely get one.

Carter had many great one-liners in the show, including this one, as well as many others about his sexuality. Speaking of pets, Rags, Carter’s pet, suddenly turns into a shaggier breed in a later season episode with no explanation.

Carter tires of giving dating advice, in this scene who is Carter talking to? “Nikki asked me to get her a drink. What should I bring her?” Carter: “I don't know... a drink?” “She said to surprise her.” Carter: “Serve it to her naked.”

James, the speech writer who is now the deputy, deputy mayor is talking to Carter. James is a very funny character. He is a naive young man who can be very charming because of his innocence. He was born in Wisconsin, where he was a Pig Contest winner. He likes to shout Wisconsin rules! from time to time.

Who is talking to Nikki? “Why don't you like me anymore?” Nikki: “I don't want to talk to you about this. You're just going to confuse me. You're too charming, you're too smart, you're too clever.” “I can change.

Mike is talking to Nikki. One of the most heart-warming moments in Spin City is the episode 'Not in The Line of Fire'. Mike is shown to be running away from the Mayor when some shots are heard and The Mayor (and the audience at this point) believes Mike ran away to save himself. We see the rest of the tape and realize that Mike went to protect Nikki. Nikki sees this and is convinced of Mike's feelings towards her, and they get together.

Who is Mike talking to? Mike: “I know you think you have all the answers, but believe me, you need what I have up here.” “What, half a bottle of mousse?”

Although his charm and smarts worked on Nikki, it took a bit longer for Caitlin to fall for Mike. Caitlin Moore becomes a romantic interest of Mike’s by the end of the fourth season. Until then, they exchange barbs and witty one-liners.

What character is relaying this story? “My grandmother thought that a homosexual was a person who slept with one person their whole life. We were gonna let it slide but she kept telling the mailman she was a homosexual.”

Mike would make fun of his family but also of himself. For instance, after the Mayor chews out the press in "Meet Tommy Dugan", Mike tries to play damage control. However, the podium had been raised to make it seem like the 6'1 Mayor isn't as tall as he usually is, making 5'4 Mike impossible to see. It was a very funny sight gag.

In 'Deaf Becomes Her', Mike tackles the bogus sign language interpreter after a full minute of pantomime and robot dance. Who is Mike talking to in this conversation? Mike: “You can speak!” %0D(sarcastic) “No. You're hearing things.”

In the episode, “Deaf Becomes Her”, Mike and his crew accidentally hire an interpreter for deaf people, who fakes his sign language, angering the deaf community. In this conversation, Mike talks to Marlee Matlin, who uses this opportunity to gain more exposure for her non-profit organization. Of the other choices, all were guest stars on Spin City. What is interesting is the hiring of a fake interpreter actually happened in real Life at Nelson Mandela's funeral in 2013 .

Who is talking to Regis on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Regis: (after contestant answers the $500,000 question correctly) “You're on fire! What's your secret?” %0D”I'M GUESSING!”

In "How to Bury a Millionaire", Paul, the Press Secretary, wins the top prize on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? What is a weird coincidence is that three days after the episode's original air date, John Carpenter became the first top prize winner on the real show. Life imitating art, instead of art imitating life.

There were plenty of great guest stars that came onto the show. Who played Mike’s mentor on Spin City?

The same man who played Mike’s mentor in Back to the Future, plays Mike’s mentor in Spin City: Christopher Lloyd. There were plenty of references to Michael J. Fox’s previous roles in Spin City. For instance, Meredith Baxter starred as his mother in Spin City, she also was his mother in Family Ties (1982).

Who was Mike’s therapist in Spin City?

In Mike's last episode (a two-parter), he begins seeing a new therapist. Just before walking into the office, he says to his old therapist (on the phone) that he doubts that this guy could ever be the father to him that his last doctor was. He opens the door, and it's Michael Gross, Fox's father on Family Ties. Tracy Pollan, Michael J. Fox’s wife in real life, played an old girlfriend on Spin City. Both Larry King and Patrick Ewing guest starred on Spin City.

When did the series air?

The program aired between September 17, 1996 and April 30, 2002. The first four seasons of the series were filmed in New York. When Michael J Fox left the show and was replaced by Charlie Sheen, production for the remainder of the series moved to Los Angeles.

Why was the show cancelled?

Low rating that began after Michael J. Fox’s departure from the show was the culprit. The ratings were strong the first season (#17), then dipped in season two (#47) but recovered in season three (#25) and season four (#33). However it fell quickly to number 53 in season five and after a rating of 72 for the sixth season, the show was cancelled.

How many awards did Michael J. Fox win for the Golden Globes?

The show won four Golden Globes and Fox received three of them. Charlie Sheen won one as well, out of its nine nominations.. Michael J. Fox stated once that after he announced he had Parkinson's Disease, many critics, as well as fans, commented that the Parkinson's symptoms he displayed in the show seemed to help his performance as they made Mike appear more flustered and stressed out.

Michael J. Fox had four nominations for a Primetime Emmy, how many times did he win?

Michael J. Fox won one Primetime Emmy, out of four nominations. For his role he also won three Golden Globes, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. Fox is also an Author, Producer and Activist on funding research to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

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