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Designing Women S5 E14 - Anthony, Billy Boy Swine, and the Mouse

Updated: Jan 29

Anthony takes on a bully in his building’s laundry room, while a tiny, cute mouse terrorizes Sugarbakers. We’re definitely at the midseason point. Oh, and our new segment “Suzanne Watch” continues. Let us know what you’re observing!

Come back Thursday for an “Extra Sugar” inspired by this week’s Milli Vanilli references. We’re talking: music scandals! 

Come on y’all, let’s get into it! 



Salina: Hey, Nikki.

Nikki: Hey, Salina.

Salina: And hey, everyone.

Salina: And welcome to Sweet Tea and tv.

Salina: Hey, y'all.

Salina: By the next episode, an all string of three episodes, I may have actually remembered what it is I say at the beginning of these, but we'll see.

Salina: Are you ready, Nikki, to deal, duh.

Salina: With a bully?

Nikki: I'm never ready to deal with a bully.

Salina: Yeah, well, today you have to be.

Nikki: So we're going to talk about season five, episode 14, high noon in the laundry room.

Nikki: The IMDb episode description is Anthony is forced to confront Billy boy swine, a bully who has taken over the laundry room in his apartment and disturbed all the other tenants.

Nikki: We're calling this one Anthony Billy boy swine and the mouse.

Nikki: It was written by Dee Laduke and Mark Alton Brown and directed by David Trainor.

Nikki: So general reaction.

Nikki: Salina, what hit you with this one?

Salina: Is this.

Salina: Could this be an actual Anthony episode for mythical Anthony episode about Anthony starring none other than Suzanne?

Salina: Usually, but not this season.

Nikki: Anthony plugged into that.

Salina: I also just wanted to say I was thinking back to season four.

Salina: And this is the episode nightmare from Heehaw.

Salina: Episode four.

Salina: He calls in some friends to help rough up those mountain guys.

Salina: Why didn't he just call his friends to help him this time?

Nikki: Good question.

Nikki: It's a good question.

Salina: It's an unanswerable.

Salina: I guess.

Nikki: I guess he was on his own home turf in this one.

Nikki: So maybe he didn't want those guys to know where his home turf was.

Salina: Or maybe he was willing to call out the big guns because it was standing up for the ladies.

Nikki: Oh, maybe.

Salina: I don't know.

Nikki: That's true.

Nikki: An episode all about Anthony also called for a brand new set because we got Anthony's apartment.

Nikki: This is the first time we've seen this apartment because he had the birthday episode where they went back to his apartment to watch tv.

Nikki: But it didn't look like this one.

Salina: No, it looked different.

Nikki: So we got a new that.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: That's exciting.

Salina: Very nice.

Salina: Or some corner of sugar.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: Slightly rearranged.

Salina: Right.

Nikki: Whatever, man.

Nikki: It looked like a bachelor.

Nikki: Very nice.

Salina: Very nice.

Nikki: On your note of why didn't he call his friends to rough him up, I also wondered, why didn't Anthony just send Charlene down to talk to them?

Nikki: Like, she didn't seem anxious at all.

Nikki: She was ready to go down and talk sense into them.

Nikki: And they don't know where she lives.

Nikki: They don't know who she she have been safe?

Salina: Yeah, I don't know.

Nikki: All of our general reactions are unanswerable.

Salina: Just why the answer of why?

Salina: Well, I did like the way that this one, and sorry, this is a like, but it was also a general reaction, is like this episode kind of pokes at different gender stereotypes in a way that I thought was interesting.

Salina: So it was either kind of leaning into them or maybe to kind of expose them for maybe being kind of ridiculous or turning them on their heads.

Salina: Especially if you consider for 1990.

Salina: So everyone low key expects Anthony to kill the mouse because he's a man.

Salina: And then there's this whole piece about how he's gone soft from hanging around a bunch of women all the time, talking about pms and cup size when he should be revving engines and shooting guns and beating people up.

Salina: But then after sort of laying out those very stereotypical things, the mere fact that the bully is hanging out in a laundry room, this stereotypically feminine room.

Salina: But when Anthony goes to confront him, he says he has to go alone and says the laundry room is no place for a bunch of women.

Salina: And then after Billy boy sucker punches Anthony, it's the women who start kicking the tar out of Billy.

Salina: And when they stop, he has the funniest line.

Salina: You bit me.

Salina: Yes, I did.

Salina: I'll get your phone number later.

Salina: And then Suzanne also pops in just to knock around a stereotype.

Salina: So she says she would have brought her whole arsenal if she had known.

Salina: But, you know, she stays clear at laundry rooms.

Salina: So do mine.

Salina: Because my laundry room isn't big enough to count as a room.

Nikki: No.

Salina: Could barely walk inside it.

Nikki: Laundry closet.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: What else stood out for you in this one?

Nikki: That's all I have for generals and some strays.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: Oh, are you ready?

Salina: I can go there?

Salina: Yeah, absolutely.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: Now I'm not ready.

Nikki: I had a guest star alert.

Nikki: Dennis Berkeley or Billy boy swine.

Nikki: Dennis was a Texan whose acting career spanned four decades.

Nikki: He's best known to most people as his role of principal Moss on King of the Hill.

Nikki: But to me, I'll always know him as Theo in the movie son in law.

Nikki: Okay, Polly short.

Salina: Yes.

Nikki: That is my Thanksgiving tradition, is to watch son in law.

Nikki: Over the years, he played a lot of character type roles on tv.

Nikki: He had two bits on evening shade, two, which was another LBT show.

Nikki: He died in LA of a heart attack in 2013.

Salina: Wasn't he also, like in a really big Cher movie that was, like, up for an Academy Award?

Salina: She's like dating the head of a motorcycle, not like a gang.

Salina: But anyways, it's very much.

Salina: You could see him dropped into, like a motorcycle gang.

Salina: Do you believe in life after love?

Nikki: That's the extent of my share knowledge.

Salina: No, we got to work on that.

Salina: This hoot, please.

Salina: While you're looking that up, Julia called us out right there in the first few minutes of the show.

Salina: She says, what are y'all talking about?

Salina: Millie Vanilli, fake hair, and the federal deficit.

Salina: I knew it.

Salina: Why does every conversation around here have to veer off into these wild tangents?

Salina: If we're going to talk, why don't we just select one topic and discuss it thoroughly?

Salina: Because we can't, Julia.

Salina: Because we can't.

Nikki: Because we can't.

Nikki: That describes this entire podcast.

Salina: And then the show calls back to season two, episode four, when Suzanne says, I think the man should have to kill the bug.

Salina: A fan favorite line, except the man.

Salina: That's right.

Nikki: Except my mom says that out of, like, she'll just.

Salina: Yeah, this time, instead it's, I say, the man should have to kill the mouse.

Nikki: I want to help you so bad on this Dennis Berkeley thing.

Nikki: I just can't get there.

Salina: I'll figure it out.

Nikki: Son in law was as far down the list and evening shade as I made it.

Salina: What's his name?

Nikki: Dennis Berkeley.

Nikki: Salina will get back to us.

Salina: I'll get back to what?

Salina: I'm sorry.

Salina: What straight observations do you have?

Salina: I forget.

Nikki: Where was a cut?

Nikki: There was a cut section after Suzanne called Sally ride a jockey.

Nikki: Suzanne, Sally ride is not a jockey.

Nikki: She's the first american woman astronaut.

Nikki: She's a hero.

Nikki: Please.

Nikki: I'm so sick of this astronaut hero thing.

Nikki: I mean, what do they really have to do, strap on a helmet and circle the earth without getting car sick?

Salina: Big.

Nikki: Wow.

Nikki: So Suzanne made her ignorance even more well known.

Salina: Sometimes you just gotta.

Nikki: And then I have a picture.

Nikki: Can you tell I'm refreshing my memory on the fly?

Nikki: I have a picture.

Nikki: Mary Jo was wearing a pantsuit in the scene toward the end where Anthony was telling them about the man's point of view.

Nikki: And to me, it was just a beacon of the.

Nikki: Had very strong shoulders.

Nikki: It was floral or something on the arms, and it had a big old golden belt.

Nikki: Trying to pull my picture for Salina.

Salina: While you're pulling your picture.

Nikki: Pulling my picture.

Salina: Pulling your picture.

Nikki: Oh, just very eighty s.

Nikki: I mean, ninety s looking to me.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Tiz.

Salina: Tis the movie's mask.

Salina: Oh.

Salina: Well, your description of it was like.

Nikki: She was dating a biker gang guy instead of the guy with the face.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: He has a facial skull deformity that.

Nikki: Would have actually been my touchstone to mask.

Salina: It's totally true.

Salina: The only thing I could connect in my head was the biker part and him looking like a biker.

Nikki: So he plays Cher's boyfriend.

Salina: No.

Salina: Okay, that's Sam Elliott, the boyfriend we all want.

Salina: Yeah, well, maybe not today.

Nikki: I was going to say it's a.

Salina: Little bit of dicey lately, age discrepancy.

Salina: But in 1980 or whatever it was the boyfriend everyone wanted.

Salina: Oh, 85.

Salina: Good year, year of birth.

Nikki: It's an excellent vintage.

Salina: So I also have some Suzanne watch considerations.

Salina: Our second installment.

Salina: First things first.

Salina: The mouse is now our excuse this week to have Suzanne not in the show or only for a short time and then out again.

Nikki: Now, I did notice that in this, the.

Salina: But not off keeping with her.

Salina: Although actually, something in me tells me that she might gone in there and just killed it herself.

Salina: Yeah, it depends on.

Salina: That's the thing, personality.

Salina: You just don't know who you're going to get.

Nikki: Oh, was Consuela away in this episode or something?

Salina: Yes.

Nikki: There was an explanation about her, too.

Nikki: Yeah, she would have had Consuela deal with it.

Salina: And then the laundry room is then used as her excuse, even though it's funny and true, to not be there for the big showdown.

Salina: And I'll just say that her absence from that showdown for me was sorely missed because I was thinking about her reaction to the sexual harassment professor and these different things where she just comes in, just literally, guns ablaze.

Salina: Maybe that would have gotten dangerous in that situation.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: Escalated a little too quickly.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: Or Bernice there, I did think in this episode about how she felt very absent, like you said, sending her away only to come back at the end and be like, is the mouse gone?

Nikki: That was pretty obvious to me.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So do we want to talk about things that we liked in this one?

Nikki: I think you already mentioned two of the three lines that I had written down.

Nikki: One was the throwback all the way to like season two with the man should kill the mouse.

Nikki: What I have to do, I'll do alone.

Nikki: The laundry room's no place for a bunch of women.

Nikki: The third one I had was, sometimes a man's got to do what a man's got to do.

Nikki: Anthony, what are you saying?

Nikki: I'm saying tonight I'm doing my laundry.

Nikki: I like that.

Salina: I thought he had some really cute lines.

Nikki: That was cute.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: What about you?

Salina: Well, I was thinking about that first laundry room scene, which on the whole, I'm not sure worked for me.

Salina: But some of the lines were funny.

Salina: So first, Charlene invents slapplements by telling the girl that she likes her blouse and didn't know they still made halter.

Nikki: Tops even though they were still making those.

Salina: Then at the end, Billy boy Swine says Charlene can stay but she has to put on a halter top.

Salina: And right there and then we had entered a place where I'd heard halter tops more times in one go than I had in a long time.

Salina: I also thought it was funny when Anthony said that he was going to have to stomp his b***.

Salina: There was just some ways that he said stuff and I don't know, it's just really cute.

Salina: This episode we get this line from Charlene.

Salina: Speak.

Salina: Here's to your thing about Consuela.

Salina: Speaking of bullies, with Consuela out of town, Suzanne expects you to wax her legs.

Salina: Obviously talking to Anthony in case that wasn't clear from the context clues.

Salina: And then I did think it was funny that Charlene called Anthony's grandma.

Nikki: Oh yeah.

Salina: When he said that he was going to try and get tough, well, she.

Nikki: Thought maybe grandma could talk some sense into him.

Salina: Well, didn't work.

Salina: Nothing was really working.

Salina: What did we not like about this one, Nikki?

Nikki: I didn't have anything in this episode.

Salina: So I'm really grateful for an Anthony episode and I don't want to poo poo on it.

Salina: I just think that this one felt really low stakes and I wasn't really that interested in the bully situation.

Salina: I also thought it was just really weird that they were hanging out in the laundry room.

Salina: Like can't go to a bar.

Salina: I don't understand.

Salina: Kicked out.

Nikki: I think we had that, like you said, that season.

Nikki: Whatever season it was season four where they were in the tavern or whatever with the other men.

Nikki: And the other men tried to hit on the like that line.

Nikki: Maybe they felt like they'd already exploited because it feels like that's the obvious.

Nikki: Like Anthony needs to rescue the women or something.

Nikki: He's not hanging out in bars on his own.

Nikki: Maybe there wasn't another storyline they could give him.

Salina: Yeah, put him in that situation.

Salina: Get over grown people hanging out in the laundry room and trying to also act like tough and cool.

Salina: I'm like, you're in a laundry room.

Salina: Take a seat.

Salina: So there was that.

Salina: For me, this is again where I just can't stop thinking about how some of these are feeling quickly thrown together.

Salina: And then there's this idea like of a midseason slump.

Salina: 22 26 2000 episodes or whatever used to be the standard.

Salina: I think you would get to this range and you would feel things slow down.

Salina: But as Delta is basically on the way out, it's just making that midseason slump more of a slog.

Salina: I also wonder if I'm feeling in some instances, just this idea that if things really are that uncomfortable there, then that means people don't want to be there.

Salina: And when people don't want to be there, I feel like that shows in a performance, especially since these were live and I think live to tape or whatever, and when you have an audience, or at least I assume they were with the laugh track.

Salina: When you have that and you don't have that high energy, then I think your performance is not going to sing in quite the same way.

Nikki: It's funny.

Nikki: I think they're performing really well.

Nikki: We laughed a lot at some of the lines and some of the delivery.

Nikki: I just think you're hitting on something important, which is that maybe the storylines are a little bit.

Nikki: What was the word you used to describe the Pam Norris.

Nikki: The last episode Pam Norris wrote?

Nikki: Sloppy.

Nikki: Maybe it's a little bit like, yeah, maybe there's a little.

Nikki: For me, they're so haphazard and random that it's sort of funny to me.

Nikki: These are episodes that I'll watch again.

Nikki: It's kind of funny.

Nikki: But when you break it down to brass tax that they did spend an entire episode in the laundry room, I guess it's probably not the best or.

Salina: Just like how much work it was to get Charlene there.

Salina: Taxes and.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: It's just making it feel a little stilted.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: You want to rate this sucker?

Nikki: Sure.

Nikki: My rating scale was laundry room halter top.

Nikki: Is that what yours was, too?

Salina: It was.

Nikki: I gave it a 4.25 out of five, which is feeling really unfair because I didn't put any dislikes.

Nikki: I thought it was rewatchable, which is sort of like my number one criteria for anything above a four.

Nikki: Like, if I'm happy to rewatch it, I wouldn't make this, like a number one favorite of mine, but it was fine.

Salina: It's fine.

Nikki: Funny things.

Salina: I agree.

Salina: There's some really funny bits sprinkled throughout.

Salina: Some of it, for me was not as well constructed.

Nikki: If you had done it yourself, you would have constructed it better.

Salina: Oh, yeah.

Salina: That's what I'm always saying.

Salina: Just put it in these safe hands.

Salina: Let me pilot you to a better place.

Salina: I don't know how these people do what they do from week to week.

Nikki: It seems so hard.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Making changes on the fly, trying to make things funny.

Salina: I mean, the other thing is, I don't think these operated like the way that 30 rock is presented.

Salina: And there are places like this with, like, a writer's room, the office, more modern day comedies.

Salina: Like modern.

Salina: It's been off the air for like a decade.

Salina: But you know what I'm saying?

Salina: There's these things where they have the ability to bounce stuff off of each other at best.

Salina: We're seeing writing teams, I think once or like a handful of times we've seen three writers.

Nikki: It's amazing to me.

Nikki: I can't imagine sitting down with a blank page writing an entire tv episode and then making it funny and doing all of that under the gun when there's, like, chaos happening with the cast and some of the production team.

Salina: So I gave it a 3.5, but I probably should have given it a six based on everything we're just saying.

Salina: So there's that.

Salina: Did you have any 90s things?

Nikki: I did not.

Salina: So the Jerry Lee Lewis and MDA telethons gets like a shout out at some point, and that just feels very of that era.

Salina: I think this went on for, like three decades, maybe four.

Salina: Millie Vanilli.

Salina: This was a big scandal in 90, and I'm going to stop there.

Nikki: I was going to say.

Salina: The hot palpitation.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: No, Nikki's going to explore that.

Salina: I believe in this week's extra sugar.

Nikki: We'll see.

Salina: Maybe if I'm good.

Salina: Right?

Salina: Madonna.

Salina: She hasn't gone anywhere, but this is arguably peak.

Salina: Madonna.

Salina: Madonna at the height of her powers.

Salina: Maybe Sally ride.

Salina: I'm only putting her here because Mary Jo goes to purposely find a poster of Sally ride.

Salina: And I am not trying to undercut her achievements, but I just don't know.

Salina: In 2024, first time I think I've said that.

Salina: I just don't know that that would be the first thought that someone had in terms of to go get a poster of Sally.

Nikki: That's right.

Salina: Of like, a female role model.

Nikki: But you all go out and get some.

Salina: She's a good human.

Salina: She did some good things.

Salina: Southern things.

Salina: I don't have anything riled up.

Salina: That's all.

Nikki: There's one.

Salina: I always stay riled.

Salina: References we need to talk about.

Nikki: I had to look up the 17 year locust.

Salina: Yes.

Salina: What's creepy?

Salina: Yes.

Nikki: Did you look it up, too?

Nikki: Okay, so these are the things that Charlene said the bully at her high school ate.

Nikki: They are just as they sound.

Nikki: They're bugs that only come out on a 17 year cycle.

Nikki: They're cicada bugs.

Nikki: I found that only four broods of these periodic cicadas exist in Missouri.

Nikki: This is fascinating.

Nikki: Two come out every 13 years and two come out every 17 years.

Nikki: Two broods, most recently came out in 2015.

Nikki: One of the 13 year broods and one of the 17 year broods.

Nikki: The 13 year brood is the one that's going to come out next this year.

Nikki: It is the largest brood.

Nikki: It's called brood 19.

Nikki: It's the biggest one.

Nikki: It will take over the state of Missouri.

Nikki: Apparently.

Nikki: They're crazy.

Nikki: They live underground for years for those 13 to 17 years, and they're just growing underground, sucking off the SAP of trees.

Nikki: Isn't that crazy?

Salina: And they look so prehistoric.

Salina: They do.

Nikki: They're gigantic.

Salina: You know how they talk about, like.

Salina: Anyways, it's bugs that look like that and they were like 6ft long and stuff like in the prehistoric days or whatever.

Nikki: We hear them cicadas, we hear them a lot.

Nikki: But you don't usually actually see them.

Nikki: They're very large.

Salina: We have one chase us around last night.

Salina: I mean, last night, one night a couple of summers ago.

Salina: And it was so scary.

Nikki: I found one on the back porch.

Nikki: I guess it either hit the wall and died or something, but I found it.

Nikki: It took me a minute to place what it was because it's that big.

Nikki: You don't even really know what you're looking at.

Nikki: So I realized in that moment I hadn't seen that many.

Salina: Yeah, they're very scary.

Salina: Very scary for me.

Nikki: The other reference I wanted to talk about.

Nikki: You have more to add?

Salina: No, I'm just wondering if it's going to be the same one going, topo gi Joe.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: You know what's funny?

Salina: I was like, is that a drink?

Nikki: The Santa Claus is one of my favorite Christmas movies.

Salina: And he says.

Nikki: I always thought he.

Salina: Said popo gi Joe.

Nikki: I never knew this was the same reference.

Nikki: So Topo Gijo is how somebody referred to the mouse.

Nikki: It must have been Mary Jo referred to the mouse in the kitchen when she told Suzanne it was, quote, lying in state, which also, incidentally, was another line that really made me laugh.

Nikki: She's lying in state in the kitchen.

Nikki: Topo Gigio was a cartoon mouse from Italy in the 1960s.

Nikki: Like, started in the 1960s.

Nikki: He made an appearance on the Ed Sullivan show in 1963 and then made recurring appearances over the years until he performed on the final show in 1971.

Nikki: He's still popular in Italy, but it seems like maybe the Ed Sullivan thing was really his exposure in the US.

Nikki: So I think it's kind of an obscure old reference today.

Nikki: For sure.

Nikki: But maybe even for Mary Jo a little.

Nikki: Why the Santa Claus?

Salina: Why would he say that in the line of Santa Claus's?

Nikki: So he's talking about a list of Santa Claus's.

Nikki: Shoot, I looked this up, so I.

Salina: Just always thought it was like italian Santa Claus or something.

Salina: What?

Salina: I thought, yeah, I think I thought it was Popo Gizio too.

Salina: I felt like my whole childhood was alive.

Nikki: Hold on.

Nikki: I have an answer for this because I googled it because I thought, oh my gosh.

Salina: And this is what you can count on here.

Salina: You can count on me being distracted while I look up the movie, the 1985 movie the Mask.

Nikki: So this is a Reddit post from two years ago.

Nikki: I never knew what the Topo gi Joe bit in the Santa Claus was referring to.

Nikki: And it turns out it's way weirder than I thought it was.

Nikki: Somebody says, up until a few years ago, I thought he was saying popo gijo, which I assumed was a name for Santa in another language.

Nikki: But it's a much more tortured reference than that.

Nikki: It's a reference to at least one episode of the Ed Sullivan show.

Nikki: Sorry, hold on.

Nikki: Where Gi Joe dresses as and imitates Santa.

Salina: Oh, these are just some real deep cuts.

Nikki: There are several deep cuts in the Santa Claus.

Nikki: Actually, if you end up like digging down into the Easter eggs of it, there are several.

Salina: You're just really getting in that Santa Claus minutiae.

Nikki: God, I love the Santa Claus.

Nikki: You think about it.

Nikki: I've seen it in years I've watched that movie.

Nikki: More of my life I've spent watching that movie than time I haven't spent watching it.

Nikki: I'll say it that way.

Nikki: It's been part of my Christmas tradition for almost my entire life.

Salina: Was least since 1994.

Salina: Yeah, well, all out of references.

Nikki: Well, now you know.

Salina: Topo, Topo.

Nikki: I think that might have been the way Ed Sullivan said it too, or something.

Salina: Oh, yeah, maybe.

Nikki: Anyway, next episode, season five, episode 50.

Nikki: Today might be our record for the fastest episode ever.

Salina: Oh, where are we at?

Nikki: 23 minutes?

Salina: Do you want me to.

Salina: No, I don't prolong it.

Nikki: I don't know what's happening.

Nikki: I guess that really speaks to how this episode really resonated with both of us.

Nikki: Sorry, Anthony.

Nikki: Season five, episode 15.

Nikki: How long has this been going on?

Nikki: We'd love everyone to follow along with us and engage Instagram and Facebook at sweettv.

Nikki: TikTok at sweettvpod.

Nikki: We're on YouTube, Sweettv 7371.

Nikki: Our email address is, and our website is

Nikki: There are also several ways to support the show.

Nikki: Tell your family and friends about us, rate and review the podcast wherever you listen.

Nikki: And then there are some additional ways available from the website on our support Us page.

Nikki: Then come back Thursday for extra sugar.

Nikki: Salina referenced this earlier.

Nikki: We're going to go backstage on two big scandals in the music industry, including Millie Vanilli.

Salina: What if I just.

Nikki: Thought were going?

Salina: That's where I was going.

Nikki: Okay?

Salina: And you know what that means.

Nikki: What does it mean, Salina?

Salina: It means I finally remembered what I'm supposed to say.

Salina: And it means we'll see you around the bend.

Salina: Bye, Samuel.


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