American Playhouse (1981– )
10 user 3 critic

Who Am I This Time? 

From a short story by Kurt Vonnegut. Christopher Walken is a shy hardware store employee. But whenever he takes a part in a local amateur theater production, he becomes the part completely-... See full summary »



(story), (as Morton Neal Miller)

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Episode cast overview:
Helene Shaw
Harry Nash
George Johnson
Dorothy Patterson ...
Caitlin Hart ...
Les Podewell ...
Aaron Freeman ...
Jerry Vile ...
Paula Frances ...
Stage Manager
Ron Parady ...
Debbi Hopkins ...
Maria Todd ...
Sandy McLeod ...
Flirt #1
Edie Vonnegut ...
Flirt #2


From a short story by Kurt Vonnegut. Christopher Walken is a shy hardware store employee. But whenever he takes a part in a local amateur theater production, he becomes the part completely--while on stage. Susan Sarandon is new in town, a lonely itinerant telephone company employee. On a whim, she auditions for and gets the part of Stella to Walken's Stanley when the theater group does A Streetcar Named Desire. Before anyone realizes the growing affection between Helene and Stanley, she falls deeply in love with the sexy brute, not knowing what the real man is like. Written by Reid Gagle (with corrections by Fiona!)

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TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 February 1982 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The quotations recited by the actors in the various plays, from "Cyrano" to "A Streetcar named Desire" to "The Importance of Being Earnest", are often paraphrased. In the opening act, we watch Harry Nash deliver the final lines of "Cyrano," which were taken not from the well-known translations of the standard texts, but from the film adaptation Cyrano de Bergerac (1950) with translation by Brian Hooker. Edmond Rostand's final two words in the original French were "My panache!" which is usually used in translations. Hooker's version changes it to "My white plume!" Another slight variation occurs in the final lines, when Helene accepts Harry's proposal of marriage and says, "I hope that after we marry, you'll always look at me just like this... especially in front of other people!" In the original play by Oscar Wilde, the line is "I hope you will always look at me just like that, especially when there are other people present." See more »


[after trying to audition, Helene leaves the room, sobs, and then returns]
Helene Shaw: I'm terrible, aren't I?
George Johnson: No! No, you're not, you're fine.
Helene Shaw: [attempting a laugh] No, I'm not. It was awful. I...
George Johnson: You were...
Helene Shaw:
  • It's like I'm a walking ice-box or something.

Doris: Oh, nobody could look at you and say that, dearie.
Helene Shaw: When people get to know me, that's when they *do* say it. I don't want to be the way that I am. I just can't help it. I feel like I'm in... Well, when I get to know somebody nice, you know, like, like in ...
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User Reviews

This one will touch your heart!
30 March 2001 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

One of my all-time favorite Christopher Walken films, this is the story of painfully shy hardware store clerk, Harry Nash. Harry lives his life as a tongue-tied outcast but, once in character on stage, he comes to life. Anyone out there who thinks that the only characters that Walken can play are villians should definitely see this one! Walken is one of the great ones, with a sensitivity and range to prove it! A real gem!

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