Beyond Repairman

Could Gordon Jump really fix your washer?

Jump worried a little about the career repercussions, however. "About a week after it was on the air, I was in the hardware store, and this elderly gentleman said, 'Well, you really screwed up your career. . . . You played that nice guy on WKRP, and you played that horrible role on that kids' show. You'll never work again.' I said, 'You really believe that?' He said, 'I know it!'" His raspy impression of the old man makes me laugh. "And for the first four weeks or so," he says, "I thought maybe he was right, because nobody called."

No permanent damage to Jump's nice-guy image was done, however -- since then, he's had recurring stints on shows ranging from Baywatch to Seinfeld. And, of course, he's become the Maytag Repairman. Between bites of superb chocolate cake -- prepared for the occasion by Kim Cummings of Affordable Catering -- I ask him if he could, in reality, fix a Maytag appliance. He proudly tells me that he was once able to correctly diagnose a minor installation problem with the Maytag dryer of a neighbor who had called him. The guy later asked him to sign the door of his appliance.

Gordon Jump
Gordon Jump

But, like a loyal company man, Jump hastens to add: "I wouldn't want to mess with one, not while it was under warranty. But I would tinker with my own, 'cause they're not that difficult. There's not that much that can go wrong with them."

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