Before ER, House and Grey's Anatomy, just to name a few, there was St. Elsewhere.

If you grew up in the 80's here in New England, you probably watched St. Elsewhere for other reasons besides the plot.  It was filmed in South Boston and many people from the area were extras on the show.  It was also the first time that we set our eyes upon Denzel Washington and Howie Mandell.  Howie had a full head of curly locks back then.

According to Wikipedia and my memory, the fictional hospital was St. Eligius, a teaching hospital in Boston's South End.  The name, St. Elsewhere, is a slang term used for hospitals that are not as well equipped as other hospitals.  The opening sequence of the show used scenes from apartment buildings and hotels from the South End neighborhood where it was filmed.

St. Elsewhere took on some really controversial topics for the times.  Check these out from the Washington Post:

  • A surgeon sexually harasses a nurse.
  • A small boy's episodes of shortness of breath turned out to be panic attacks caused by his fear of nuclear war.
  • Dr. Donald Westphall the widowed chief of medicine, struggles to care for his autistic son.
  • Dr. Daniel Auschlander continues to work despite his own liver cancer.

Speaking of Dr. Daniel Auschlander, the actor who portrayed him, Norman Lloyd, just passed away at 106 years old!  WHAT?!  The 80's, when St. Elsewhere was on, doesn't seem that long ago, but... he must have been in his late 60's, early 70's during its filming.  God love him.  Norman also got a role in 2015 in Amy Schumer's film, Trainwreck, as himself where he was, if my math is correct, 101 years old.

Remember the theme song to St. Elsewhere?

There was an episode of St. Elsewhere where the doctors went to Cheers, also filmed in Boston.  The mash-up doesn't work for me.  Check it out:

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