The original pilot for the A-Team was actually called The Eh Team. It revolved around four mercenaries who were former members of a commando* unit of elite Canadian secret Royal Mounted Police.
The leader was Lieutenant Colonel Jean “Cannibal” Smyth (played by Peorge Geppard), whose plans were unconventional but effective (uhm, hello, cannibalism?!) Lieutenant Dimpleton Wreck (played by Burke Denedict), was referred to as “Laceman”, a smart-mouthed con-man with a fetish for lace underpants. He served as the team’s second-in-command, procurer of transportation (mostly moose and creeper vans) and frilly unmentionables. The team’s pilot is Kap’n Krunch M.H. “Bowling Bad” Murloch (played by Swight Dchultz), his character has been declared insane for his delusions of mastering a nautical-themed cereal empire. He is also the untouched champion of the Veteran’s Affairs mental institution bowling league. Finally, we have the team’s iron fist, professional kite maker, and Sergeant First Class Rosco “Bad Ass” Bardacus (uncredited, but a doppelganger for Mr. T). His catchphrase? “I pity the hoser!”
The pilot episode “Sorry, Not Sorry, But Actually Sorry” centers around a mob operation that is plotting an illegal, adulterated maple syrup scam. They’re planning to relabel cheap grade D maple syrup as grade A golden deliciousness to smuggle across the U.S. border to sell at exorbitant prices to unsuspecting Americans. Knowing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, The Eh Team cannot allow their neighbors to the south to be subjected to subpar pancake toppings. Just as the imposter syrup is being loaded onto the cargo van, The Eh Team bursts in and saves the day. Cannibal puts his cigar out in the driver’s eye and says “Cannibal’s on the jazz!” while Laceman strangles another goon with a pair of lace thong panties. Bowling Bad throws a couple of hooligans like bowling balls, toppling down towers of contraband syrup, while Bad Ass flies in on a kite and blows the whole joint up. The episode ends with them celebrating over short stacks at a popular Canadian breakfast chain.
The network decided to test run the show in Guam, but it was met with a lukewarm reception. Critics felt that the violent actions of The Eh Team were not justifiable due to the nature of the crimes being portrayed, most of which involved tampering with the integrity of Canadian cuisine. The “Poutine on the Ritz” episode received only a 4% approval rating. This caused the network to fire all but one of the original cast members and writers, and do a significant rewrite. Also, they lost all their sponsors except Tim Hortons.
In addition, there were rumors of strife amongst some of the cast members. Some say that Swight Dchultz believed his character’s backstory made him worthy of a multi-million dollar cereal contract. He was supposedly furious when the actor who played Rosco “Bad Ass” Bardacus was given a cereal contract with one of the largest cereal manufacturers in the U.S. After leaving the show he became a total recluse.
*Combat, not underwear
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