In the pilot episode, Ricky Stratton (Ricky Schroder) arrives at the mansion of the father he has never met to introduce himself, move in, and get to know him better. Edward Stratton III (Joel Higgins) epitomizes the phrase “overgrown child”; he has never taken responsibility for anything in his life, including his toy business, Eddie’s Toys. Ricky recognizes that his father needs to grow up; Edward thinks his son is too uptight and needs to have more fun while he’s still young.
Edward’s father is played by John Houseman as the thoughtful, well-to-do patriarch and industrialist whose demeanor starkly contrasts with Edward’s and seems more similar to Ricky’s (at first). Throughout the series, the comic tension arises between Grandfather Stratton’s belief that people with money are obligated to make more money and Edward’s belief that money should be used to make people happy. Ricky is often caught between the two, wishing only for peace and harmony within the family.
Ricky’s mother is Evelyn Bluedhorn (Christine Belford). Edward and Evelyn’s romantic relationship led to a week-long marriage. Now Evelyn has remarried and placed Ricky in a military boarding school. When Ricky arrives at the Stratton residence, Edward is stunned to discover that his long-ago brief marriage produced a son (when he expressed incredulousness because he “wasn’t married that long,” Ricky pointed out, “It doesn’t take that long”). At first he sends Ricky right back to the boarding school; later he dresses up as a swamp monster to take Ricky out of the school and back to the mansion to live with him. The mansion is stocked with arcade games and a scale-model freight train runs through it.
Edward exhibits his childishness and playfulness in many ways, such as performing a little dance while the Pac-Man plays its theme song. Stratton’s personal assistant, Kate Summers (Erin Gray), is often the voice of reason. Kate’s role adds tension to the show and provides incentive for Edward to act more maturely (at least sometimes). Edward and Kate’s will-they-or-won’t-they relationship gives way to a third-season wedding.
Silver Spoons is an American sitcom that aired on NBC from September 25, 1982 to May 11, 1986, and in first-run syndication from September 15, 1986 to March 4, 1987. The series was produced by Embassy Television for the first four seasons, until Embassy Communications moved the series to syndication.
Silver Spoons was created by Martin Cohan, Howard Leeds and Ben Starr.