Twelve of the characters have the last names of musicians, singers or arrangers who worked for Duke Ellington: Louis Metcalf ( Gene Nelson ) and his wife ( Mary Jo Catlett ), Kay Davis ( Robin Dearden ), Sonny Greer ( Kate Mulgrew ), Fred Jenkins ( Andrew Parks ), Dr. Clint Strayhorn ( John S. Ragin ), Captain Whetsel ( Chris Robinson ), Otto Hardwick ( Robert Walker Jr. ), Leon Bigard ( Mark Venturini ), Carney ( Charles Hoyes ), Mr. Miley ( Don Maharry ) and his wife ( Crystal Jenious ). Some (Louis Metcalf, Kay Davis, Sonny Greer, Fred Jenkins and Otto Hardwick) also have the same first names as their Ellingtonian counterparts, though the Sonny Greer who worked for Ellington, his first drummer, was a man.
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Clips from the on-flight movie shown during the episode are from the 1980 John Landis movie The Blues Brothers.
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