What do cheesecake, witty banter, and Burt Reynolds have in common? They were all essential parts of The Golden Girls.
Any Golden Girls fan knows that the women of the show loved Burt Reynolds. Any chance they had to declare their lust for the dark-haired, mustached man, they took. Usually, the girls were referencing his real-life Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre in Jupiter, Florida. The show was located about 90 miles from their hometown of Miami. But the references were added to the dialogue for more than just laughs.
The entire concept behind The Golden Girls was to show that women are active, vibrant people at any age. By referencing one of the biggest sex symbols of the time, the show broke stereotypes about women, especially mature women. During an interview, Jim Colucci, author of Golden Girls Forever, talked about the deeper meaning behind the Burt Reynolds references.
“I think that [Burt Reynolds] was shorthand for a virile, masculine sex symbol,” he said. “These were women that the writers were always trying to show were still active in every way, including sexually, and having vibrancy in every way, including sexually. And so, what better shorthand to show they were interested in a hunk than to name the hunk of the day, who was Burt.”
Burt Reynolds Makes an Appearance On The Golden Girls
All the ladies of the show, along with viewers all over the world melted when Burt Reynolds finally became more than just a reference on The Golden Girls. During the second episode of the second season titled, “Ladies of the Evening,” Burt Reynolds made an appearance on the show.
During the episode, Blanche wins three tickets to attend a movie premiere and meet Reynolds. Because she only won three tickets poor Sophia is left out. Blanche, Rose, and Dorothy get dressed up and are making their way to the show when they are mistaken for prostitutes. The girls end up in jail and Sophia nabs their tickets. Sophia quickly becomes friends with Reynolds. However, he doesn’t actually make an appearance on the show until the final few seconds of the episode. Reynolds shows up at the women’s house to pick up Sophia for lunch. Blanche, Rose, and Dorothy are shocked to see Reynolds standing at their door. As Sophia casually walks into the room to greet Reynolds, he asks “Which one’s the slut?” And in one of the most memorable moments of the show, Blanche, Rose, and Dorothy all eagerly raise their hands and say “I am.”
Not only was the moment one of the funniest on the show. But it was also significant because Burt Reynolds’s appearance marked the first major cameo on The Golden Girls. The show went on to feature countless heartthrobs and superstars including Mario Lopez, Alex Trebek, and George Clooney.