Frequently Asked Questions
- What is "Ally McBeal"?
- When and where does it air?
- Where is the show set?
- Who plays Ally?
- What else can you tell me about Calista Flockhart?
- Where can I get tapes of the episodes?
- Who is the singer in the bar Ally always goes to?
- Is there a soundtrack of all the wonderful music that's been on the show?
- In the episode "Drawing the Lines," Vonda sings a song called "The Only Love I Had." Where can I find that song?
- In the episode "I Know Him by Heart," Vonda sings a song by that same title. What do you know about that song?
- Why is John Cage called "The Biscuit"?
- What is the name of the firm?
- What is a "wattle"?
- What does it mean when someone says "poughkeepsie"?
- What is the name of Ally's favorite book?
- Where does Ally buy her suits?
- Where can I find pajamas like the sheep or cloud flannel one's that Ally wears?
- I heard there was a different line of Ally McBeal pajamas. Where can I find those?
- Where can I download the dancing baby?
- Who are the dancing twins?
- What happened to Renee?
- In the episode "Worlds Without Love," was that Dyan Cannon's body or was a body double used?
- I have a script idea I'd like to give to someone with the show. Do you know how I go about that?
- What is that woman in a rocking chair saying in the David E. Kelley Productions closer?
- Is there a newsgroup for "Ally McBeal"?
- What about an "Ally McBeal" mailing list?
- How can I get a photo of one of the cast members?
- Is there a mailing address for the show?
What is "Ally McBeal"?
It is a TV series from David E. Kelley, the creator of "Picket Fences" and "Chicago Hope." It follows the trials and tribulations of Ally McBeal, an attorney and single woman.
When and where does it air?
It airs Mondays at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on FOX.
Where is the show set?
The show is set in Boston. That's also where Kelley's other legal show, "The Practice," is set.
Who plays Ally?
Calista Flockhart. You may have seen her in "The Birdcage" as Robin Williams' son's fiance.
What else can you tell me about Calista Flockhart?
Calista was born in Illinois and named after her Greek great-grandmother. The Greek meaning of "Calista" is 'most beautiful.' There is some confusion regarding Calista's actual birthdate. According to most published sources, she was born on November 11, 1964. However, Calista has repeatedly said that the published sources have the year wrong, and thus, no one knows how old she really is. On A&E's "Biography" in December of 1998, it was reported that Calista's birthday is November 11, 1965. I have not been able to confirm whether A&E was correct.
Calista's family moved a lot while she was growing up, but they eventually moved to Medford, NJ, where Calista went to high school at Shawnee High School. After that, she attended Rutgers University where she studied acting. Following her graduation in 1987, she moved to New York to act full-time. For more on Calista's acting career, read Mr. Showbiz's biography.
Where can I get tapes of the episodes?
First of all, I do not have copies of tapes that I can send to people or loan out. The best advice I can give to someone looking for episodes is to post a request in the rec.arts.tv and/or alt.tv.ally-mcbeal newsgroups and see if someone there can help you.
Who is the singer in the bar Ally always goes to?
She is Vonda Shepard, and she's a former backup singer for Jackson Browne. You can find links to web pages about her on my links page.
Is there a soundtrack of all the wonderful music that's been on the show?
Actually, there are two! "Songs from Ally McBeal" and "Heart and Soul New Songs From Ally McBeal Featuring Vonda Shepard." You can see track listings, finds links to the lyrics and purchase the albums on my "Show Soundtracks" page.
In the episode "Drawing the Lines," Vonda sings a song called "The Only Love I Had." Where can I find that song?
Many years ago, Vonda toured with a Los-Angeles band named Venice and "The Only Love I Had" is one of their songs. You can find the lyrics to the song at their web site. Vonda has not recorded this song. Venice DID record it, however, the album it is on (Garage Demos Part I) is not available in stores. You can only purchase it at Venice shows, or through mail order from Venice's web site. In addition, Venice's version of "Charm You," which Vonda Shepard sang on the first season episode, "Happy Birthday, Baby," is also on this album.
In the episode "I Know Him by Heart," Vonda sings a song by that same title. What do you know about that song?
The song was written by Paul Williams and Jon Vezner. It is on the second soundtrack.
Why is John Cage called "The Biscuit"?
Here is what David E. Kelley and Peter MacNicol had to say about this question. It is from the January 13, 1998 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Kelley says it's how he pictured Cage as a kid, a Pillsbury Doughboy who was "poked and prodded" by his friends. (An ex-hockey player, Kelley denies the name is a takeoff on a puck, known as a "biscuit" in jock slang.)
MacNicol's take: "A biscuit is something doughy, warm, not sharply defined. Something rounded and smooth and inviting. Actually, I have no earthly idea. I don't want to know."
© Philadelphia Inquirer, January 13, 1998
What is the name of the firm?
Cage/Fish & Associates
What is a "wattle"?
According to the dictionary, Fish's fetish, a "wattle", is a fleshy fold of skin hanging from the neck or throat. Note: It is NOT spelled "waddle".
What does it mean when someone says "poughkeepsie"?
John Cage's therapist suggested he try something besides humming to deal with his stuttering when he gets nervous, so he decided to use the word "poughkeepsie." Ally has a habit of picking up things from Cage and she has started saying it, too.
In the episode "Alone Again," this was Ally's explanation when Cage tried to use "poughkeepsie" but settled on "New York.":
"He used to have a stutter, but he corrected it, or well I should say he controlled it but with a song, da da ta da da, and then he picked poughkeepsie to preempt the da da ta da, but Poughkeepsie is actually a town in upstate New York so he seized upon New York instead of Poughkeepsee because it's phonetically less jarring."
What is the name of Ally's favorite book?
In the episode "The Kiss," Ally says her favorite book is "Henderson the Rain King." You can purchase it from Amazon.com through my Books and Videos.
Where does Ally buy her suits?
According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, the most frequently worn suit labels are Bebe; Parallel; Tahari; Emporio Armani; Christian Frances Roth; DKNY; INC. at Macy's; Laundry; and Claudio, from the store of the same name in the Beverly Center. The shoes are from Charles David and Kenneth Cole. Ally's suits retail between $300 and $800.
In a story published in the Chicago Sun-Times, reporter Lisa Lenoir writes about the second season's wardrobe for "Ally McBeal." She quotes Rachael Stanley, the show's costume designer, as saying that Calista's skirts will remain short, while "the rest of the cast is going longer." Calista, who is 5-foot-5 and a size 0, will be wearing custom-made designs by Stanley, as well as clothes off-the-rack from lines like Bebe, Giorgio Armani and Kenar. In the second season, we can expect to see shorter jackets, skirts above or at the knee (on all women except Calista), pleated skirts, dresses under jackets, and suits made of wool, wool crepe and cashmere. Stanley says the clunky, chunky high heel shoes of last year will not be back this season. Look for a "sleeker, thinner narrow heel with a pointed toe." Jewelry will be platinum and silver, but you won't see much of it. Stanley says the cast isn't into jewelry.
Where can I find pajamas like the sheep or cloud flannel one's that Ally wears?
The pajamas are designed by "Nick & Nora". Victoria's Secret sells them through their catalogue (800-888-8200). Nordstrom's sells them in their stores and through their catalogue (800-285-5800). Streetwear in Century City Mall (L.A., CA) has the pajamas for kids & adults, as well as matching robes and blankets. Their phone number is (310) 843-9515. They will ship in the U.S. for free. You can also call "Nick & Nora" directly (212-629-9500). They do not sell to consumers, but they will tell you where you can find them in your area.
I heard there was a different line of Ally McBeal pajamas. Where can I find those?
These pajamas, called '..isms*,' are sold at select Bloomingdale's stores. The following information is from a Fox press release:
Since "Good news should never go uncelebrated," women in "quarter-life crisis" or with "double standards to live up to," will now have loungewear apparel that reflects their sensibilities. Twentieth Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising debuts an upscale, ALLY McBEAL-inspired loungewear apparel line at select Bloomingdale's stores.
The loungewear is inspired by, and bears, the often-hilarious lines commonly called "McBealisms" or "Fishisms" that Ally McBeal and others on the show say, such as "Ex-boyfriends don't have rights" and "Everything's my business." Branded as "...isms*," the playful and useful apparel captures the true essence of the show and its witty dialogue and characters. Designed for consumers who usually don't buy licensed merchandise, the exclusive line-up of loungewear includes pajamas, nightshirts, camisole tops and "legal" briefs.
The merchandise ranges in price from $28 to $76 (suggested retail) and will be specially wrapped in "Ally-inspired" packaging such as briefcases.
Where can I download the dancing baby?
I have links to several sites on my "Links" page. Look under the Dancing Baby section.
Who are the dancing twins?
The Dancing Twins are Steve and Eric Cohen. They are graduates of Stanford University. They are actually known in Hollywood for their excellent juggling skills, and can be found in the movies "Batman Forever" and "Batman and Robin". They also did work in the upcoming movie "Baby Geniuses". As for their work on television, they have been on "Baywatch", "Mad About You", and "Seinfeld". They even have their own web page!
What happened to Renee?
The fifth season started and Renee had just magically disappeared, with no explanation. No one on the show has ever mentioned her since.
In the episode "Worlds Without Love," was that Dyan Cannon's body or was a body double used?
It was a body double.
I have a script idea I'd like to give to someone with the show. Do you know how I go about that?
Here is the answer from Fox's web site: "Do not send in ideas or scripts to FOX or to the show unless it is through an accredited agent. ALL unsolicited ideas and scripts are left unopened and are THROWN AWAY. This is for YOUR protection."
You can get a list of agents who are willing to look at new writers from the Writers Guild of America West (located in LA).
What is that woman in a rocking chair saying in the David E. Kelley Productions closer?
According to an article published in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the woman is David E. Kelley's grandmother Mildred, 97, and she's saying "You stinker!" It was one of her favorite phrases. Kelley lived with Mildred while he attended law school, and he remains close to her.
© Minneapolis Star-Tribune, December 16, 1998
Is there a newsgroup for Ally McBeal?
Yes. It's alt.tv.ally-mcbeal.
What about an "Ally McBeal" mailing list?
There are numerous Ally McBeal mailing lists -- far too many for me to keep track of all of them. However, one does appear to be the most popular. To subscribe to it, write "subscribe ally" in the BODY of an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I get a photo of one of the cast members?
Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:
Is there a mailing address for the show?
Attn: (Cast member's name)
1600 Rosecrans Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Manhattan Beach Studios
1600 Rosecrans Ave
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
A special thanks to Rob Hall and Jocy for additions to the Ally McBeal FAQ.