What a Country!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
What a Country!
Based onMind Your Language by Vince Powell
Developed byMartin Rips
Joseph Staretski
Written byFrank Mula
Martin Rips
Leonard Ripps
Mike Scully
Joseph Staretski
Directed byPeter Baldwin
Robert Claver
Linda Day
Dolores Ferraro
Russ Petranto
StarringGarrett M. Brown
Yakov Smirnoff
George Murdock
Vijay Amritraj
Harry Waters, Jr.
Ada Maris
Julian Reyes
Leila Hee Olsen
Gail Strickland
Gregory Sierra
Theme music composerRichard DeBenedictis
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes26
Executive producer(s)Martin Rips
Joseph Staretski
Producer(s)Wendy Blair
Eric Cohen
Leonard Ripps
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)Ripstar Productions
Primetime Entertainment
Tribune Entertainment
Viacom Enterprises
DistributorViacom Enterprises
Original networkSyndicated
Original releaseSeptember 27, 1986 (1986-09-27) –
May 23, 1987 (1987-05-23)
Related showsMind Your Language

What a Country! is an American sitcom that aired in syndication from September 27, 1986 to May 23, 1987. It was based on the 1977-1979 British sitcom Mind Your Language. The series was intended as somewhat of a showcase for comedian Yakov Smirnoff, whose catchphrase provided the show's title.


What a Country! is set in a class of recent immigrants to the United States who are trying to pass the citizenship test. Their teacher, Taylor Brown (played by Garrett M. Brown) is an American English language teacher, while the students include Nikolai (a Russian taxi driver), Laszlo (a retired Hungarian doctor), Ali (a Pakistani), Robert (the son of a deposed African king), Maria (a housekeeper working for a rich Beverly Hills family), Victor (a Hispanic in love with Maria), Yung Hi (a shy Japanese woman) and Sheikh El Hamid (an Arabian sheikh). Gail Strickland initially played the character of Principal Joan Courtney, though she was replaced by Don Knotts during the series' run.[1]

The series aired a total of 26 episodes before being canceled.



No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"The First Class"TBATBASeptember 27, 1986 (1986-09-27)
2"The Soul Man"TBATBAOctober 4, 1986 (1986-10-04)
3"A Busboy Named Desire"TBATBAOctober 11, 1986 (1986-10-11)
4"Don't Leave Home Without It"TBATBAOctober 18, 1986 (1986-10-18)
5"My Fair Yung Hi"TBATBAOctober 25, 1986 (1986-10-25)
6"Holiday on Ice"TBATBANovember 1, 1986 (1986-11-01)
7"The Best Laid Plans"TBATBANovember 8, 1986 (1986-11-08)
8"Chicken a la Prince"TBATBANovember 15, 1986 (1986-11-15)
9"A Birthday With Class"TBATBANovember 22, 1986 (1986-11-22)
10"Ali's Arrangement"TBATBADecember 20, 1986 (1986-12-20)
11"Taylor Loses His Cool"Russ PetrantoBernie WestJanuary 10, 1987 (1987-01-10)
12"The Road From Morocco"Dolores FerraroMike Scully & Frank MulaJanuary 17, 1987 (1987-01-17)
13"Nikolai Speaks"TBATBAJanuary 24, 1987 (1987-01-24)
14"California Dreamin'"TBATBAFebruary 7, 1987 (1987-02-07)
15"Moonlighting"TBATBAFebruary 14, 1987 (1987-02-14)
16"Play it Again, F"TBATBAFebruary 21, 1987 (1987-02-21)
17"Citizen Pain"TBATBAFebruary 28, 1987 (1987-02-28)
18"Educating Inga"TBATBAMarch 7, 1987 (1987-03-07)
19"Victor at an Exhibition"TBATBAMarch 14, 1987 (1987-03-14)
20"What a Tangled Web We Weave"TBATBAMarch 28, 1987 (1987-03-28)
21"Love Finds Nikolai"TBATBAApril 4, 1987 (1987-04-04)
22"We're in the Muboto's"TBATBAApril 11, 1987 (1987-04-11)
23"What Are Friends For?"TBATBAMay 2, 1987 (1987-05-02)
24"The Candidate"TBATBAMay 9, 1987 (1987-05-09)
25"The Apartment"TBATBAMay 16, 1987 (1987-05-16)
26"Old World Charmer"TBATBAMay 23, 1987 (1987-05-23)


  1. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (2007-10-17). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present (9 ed.). Ballantine Books. pp. 1502–1503. ISBN 0-345-49773-2.

External links[edit]