‘St. Elsewhere’ Airs Series Finale On This Day in 1988

by Keeli Parkey

The final episode of “St. Elsewhere,” a popular medical drama that ran on television during the 1980s, aired 33 years ago today (May 25, 2021).

The Twitter account @RetroNewsNow reminded fans of this television event with a tweet. The series finale of ‘St. Elsewhere’ aired 33 years ago, May 25, 1988, on NBC. Along with this message, the account shared a famous clip from the final episode of the show.

This clip from the series finale of “St. Elsewhere” has become famous because it changed the way viewers understood the entire show. Spoiler alert: This television moment implies that all of the drama of the show actually took place inside the head of a boy who has autism.

The clip shows Dr. Donald Westphall talking to another man about his son. The boy’s name is Tommy Westphall and he was played by Chad Allen. Dr. Westphall was played by Ed Flanders in the show. In the scene, Tommy is holding a snowglobe. And, inside the snowglobe is a building that appears to be the St. Eligius hospital that appears in the snow.

It was a shocking ending, indeed.

Denzel Washington Played Role on Show

According to IMDb.com, “St. Elsewhere’s’ finale episode was titled “The Last One.” The show, which began in 1982, followed the lives of the doctors who worked at the St. Eligius hospital. By the time the show took place, the teaching hospital no longer had the respected reputation it once did. Interestingly, the name “St. Elsewhere” is a negative term used for hospitals that lose respect in the medical community.

The cast of “St. Elsewhere” included some pretty names. One of them was Denzel Washington as Dr. Philip Chadler. There was also Ed Begley Jr. as Dr. Victor Ehrlich, Howie Mandel as Dr. Wayne Fiscus, David Morse as Dr. Jack Morrision, Christina Pickles as nurse Helen Rosenthal, William Daniels as Dr. Mark Craig, and Norman Lloyd as Dr. Daniel Auschlander.

Final Episode of ‘St. Elsewhere’ Included Change to MTM Logo During Credits

The @RetroNewsNow Twitter account also pointed out an interesting detail that was spotted in the end credits of the “St. Elsewhere” series finale in 1988. That detail involved a cat name Mimsie.

Mimsie was the official cat of MTM Enterprises. This was the studio that produced the show. Sadly, Mimsie passed away around the time the show’s final episode aired. In the end credits, Mimsie is portrayed as flatlining on a heart monitor and passing away. The cat was 20 years old at the time.