Big Guy

WKRP radio station personnel referred to their pudgy, station manager, Arthur C. Carlson (Gordon Jump) as the “Big Guy” on the sitcom WKRP IN CINCINNATI/CBS/1978-82.


Arthur’s nickname was more of an ego booster, reaffirming that he actually was in charge of the rock and roll station, rather than just an inept, momma’s boy appointed by his strong-willed mother, Lillian Carlson (Carol Bruce), the station owner.

Once, Arthur Carlson ran for city council with the slogan: “A Big Guy For a Big Job.” His son, Arthur Jr. (Lightfoot Lewis) known as “Little Big Guy” surfaced on the syndicated revival of the series in 1991.

WKRP’s Arthur “Big Guy” Carlson also inspired a board game called “The Big Guy Game.”


Note: On the sitcom MR BELVEDERE/ABC/1985-90, the portly family servant, Mr. Belvedere (Christopher Hewett) was often called “Big Guy” by George Owens (Bob Uecker), his employer.

“Big Guy” was also the term of endearment used by Steve Urkel (Jaleel White) to describe Carl Winslow (Reginald Veljohnson), the portly Chicago police officer on the sitcom FAMILY MATTERS/ABC/1988-98.

“Big Guy” was what Jim Walsh (James Eckhouse) called his teenage son, Brandon (Jason Priestley) on the drama BEVERLY HILLS 90210/FOX/1990-99.

On the animated cartoon THE BIG GUY & RUSTY THE BOY ROBOT/FOX/1999-2001,”Big Guy” (voice of Jonathan Cook) was  a 12′ 10″ tall robotic exo-skeleton controlled by ex-test-pilot Lt. Dwayne Hunter.


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Workplace Nickname

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