3x16 "Southern Comforts"

Leap Date:

August 4, 1961

Episode adopted by: Rebekka E.
Additional info provided by: Brian Greene


In a New Orleans brothel as the head honcho, Sam leaps in to keep one of the girls who doesn't seem to belong there from vanishing. Al has the time of his life during this leap.


Audio from this episode
Video from this episode


TV Guide Synopsis
Leap Date

Name of the Person Leaped Into
Broadcast Date
Synopsis & Review

Project Trivia
Al's Women
Al's Outfits Worn in the Episode

Miscellaneous Trivia
Guest Stars
Guest Cast Notes
Guests who appeared in other Quantum Leap episodes
Say What?
Quotable Quotes
Best Scene
Production Credits


Production # 64422

TV Guide Synopsis:
It's a fine trick when Sam leaps into a pimp running a New Orleans bordello, and he's called on to save one of the women from an unseemly demise. Rita Taggart. Gina: Georgia Emelin. Jake: Dan Butler. Sophie: Lauren Tom. Sam: Scott Bakula.


New Orleans, Louisiana

Leap Date:
August 4, 1961

Name of the Person Leaped Into:
Gilbert LaBonte

Broadcast Date:
April 3, 1991 - Wednesday

Synopsis & Review:

Sam leaps into Gilbert LaBonte, the owner of a popular New Orleans brothel, during the man's birthday celebration with his girls. Al is very excited about this leap but Sam is annoyed by the voyeurism. A man makes trouble when one of the girls, Gina (played by Georgia Emelin), does not want to go upstairs with him and the man has to be threatened with a shotgun before he will go and take his friends with him. Gina apologizes but will not elaborate. Shortly afterwards, a man who runs a school shows up looking for one of his missing students and Gina claims illness and retreats to the kitchen.

Al reports that Gina goes missing that night and a month later she's found beaten to death. Sam tries to solve the problem by giving everyone at the brothel the night off and most of the girls go to the French Quarter. Gina is revealed to be the cousin of Marsha (played by Rita Taggart), one of the older prostitutes, and not a prostitute at all. Gina and Marsha are worried that LaBonte will find out that Marsha is essentially giving her free board and throw them both out. Marsha tries to understand what Gina is doing there and explains how very unglamorous that lifestyle is but Gina will only say that there's nothing for her back home and she had to get away.

Sam tries to focus on Gina but Gina won't admit to being scared of anything and asks Sam to leave so she can go to sleep. Sam is distracted by Marsha who LaBonte is apparently engaged to but Marsha doesn't love him and only seems him as her ticket out of the life of a prostitute. Al reports that LaBonte marries someone who isn't Marsha and when Sam resists Marsha's advances, she is devastated and accuses him of being in love with Gina who she confesses is her cousin. Sam encourages her that it is never too late for a second chance and that she should move on to a new life...just not necessarily with him.

They hear screaming as Gina is being beaten by the school head who wants Gina to come back with him. It turns out that she was a student of his and when her mother died, he let her stay on for free. He was very nice to her and her friends and they quickly married before she could see that he would be an abusive husband. Sam arrives to save the day and beats the man up before sending him packing. Gina refuses to press charges and the sheriff (played by David Graf) points out that Gina's husband appears to be a pillar of the community while LaBonte owns a brothel so Sam's word against the husband's won't go well.

Al reports that Gina is pregnant and she left her husband after finding this out for fear of hurting the baby. She reluctantly agrees to go back and hopes that knowing of the baby will soften her husband's rage but Al reports she'll die anyway. There is no legal way of dealing with the husband with Gina refusing to press charges and so Sam takes matters into his own hands.

The husband shows up to take Gina home as Sam is taking a ‘graduation picture’ of the girls (the brothel dates back to the time when such establishments were given innocuous names and this is apparently a quilting academy) so the husband will have to wait for Gina to get down. One of the girls is late to the picture and stumbles while stripping and Sam takes a picture of what appears to be the husband soliciting a prostitute. The girls all swear to tell everyone that the husband tried to solicit them and Gina refuses to go with him

Al tells Sam that the husband is so paranoid of his picture being leaked to the newspaper like Sam threatened that he never goes back to the school and his rage eventually lands him in an institution where he can't hurt anybody else. Marsha leaves with Gina who, gets a waitressing job and names her son after LaBonte. Source

Personal Review by Rebekka E.:

This episode is ok. It is very funny. The episode deals with something very serious, wife beating. They have tried to lighten the mood with a little humor. The episode shows how bad things can happen to any person no matter who they are or what they do.

"Amazing Grace" (piano instrumental)
"Oh When the Saints Go Marching In"
"Bottles of Beer on the Wall"

Project Trivia:
Sam says that Ziggy always gives bad news. 

Ziggy is referred to as male in this episode.

Sam can sense he is about to leap. This also happened in "Another Mother."

Al’s Outfits Worn in the Episode:
The first outfit Al wears is a purple suit with a striped tie and tie clip, with a white shirt, and a shark pin. 

The second outfit Al wears is red pants, a red jacket with black sleeves and black stripe down the back, a shiny grey tie, and a white shirt with different spots of color.

Al's Women:
Al goes crazy over all the women in the brothel.

Miscellaneous Trivia:
The alternate title of this episode is Love for Sale.

Southern Comfort is the name of a whiskey developed in New Orleans.

This episode was originally intended as a comedy, but later became a much deeper story.

Lauren Tom (Sophie) was born on August 4th 1961, the date of this episode!

There are  two actors in this episode with the same name. David Graf as Sheriff Nolan, and David Alan Graf as Carl.

Jake Dorléac is named for the Quantum Leap costume designer Jean-Pierre Dorléac.

The exterior of the LaBonte Brothel is more well know as 1313 Mockingbird Lane (from the Munsters TV series) and also featured in The 'Burbs (1989) and later (following some major renovations) as the Applewhite House as part of the Wisteria Lane set for Desperate Housewives.


Regular Cast:
Scott Bakula
Dean Stockwell

Guest Stars: 
Rita Taggart as Marsha Fourcade
David Graf as Sheriff Nolan
Georgia Emelin as Gina
Dan Butler as Jake Dorléac
Lauren Tom as Sophie
Minnie Summers Lindsey as Prostitute #1
Diane Delano as Prostiture #2
David Powledge as Luther
Walter Sylvest as Warren
J. Marvin Campbell as Sailor
Stacey Cortez as Paulette
Monica McMurty as Abby
Jeffrey Concklin as Reese
David Alan Graf as Carl
William Winckler as Whorehouse John
Richard White as Gilbert LaBonte (Mirror image)

Guest Cast Notes:

Rita Taggart as Marsha Fourcade: Rita Taggart was born on December 19, 1947 in Salinas, California, USA. She is an actress and cinematographer, known for Mulholland Drive (2001), The China Syndrome (1979) and 1941 (1979). She was previously married to Haskell Wexler.

David Graf as Sheriff Nolan
: David Graf was a Lancaster, Ohio native. He was a graduate of Lancaster High School in 1968. He went on to attend college at Otterbein University where he graduated in 1972 as a theater major. He attended Ohio State University grad school until 1975 when he dropped out to pursue an acting career in New York City. He broke into the movies with Four Friends (1981). David never forgot his roots. He always returned to Lancaster each year in October for the Fairfield County Fair. It was his way of keeping in touch. In a tragic coincidence, David passed away at the same age and condition that his father did. David is survived by his wife of 17 years, Kathryn Graf, two sons, Daniel and Sean; mother and brother who reside in Zanesville, Ohio. As a struggling actor in 1979, he won $10,000 on The $10,000 Pyramid (1973) (then renamed "The $20,000 Pyramid"). with the help of celebrity player Patty Duke. As a celebrity, he played on The $100,000 Pyramid (1985), competing against Patty Duke twice during the weeks of October 21-25, 1985 and February 1-5, 1988. He was best know for his portrayal as Tackleberry in the Police Academy movies. His funeral was attended by all the main cast members from the Police Academy movies. Died on April 7, 2001 in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

Georgia Emelin as Gina Dorléac: Georgia Emelin was born on July 13, 1969 in New York City, New York, USA. She is an actress, known for Fire in the Sky (1993), Space Cowboys (2000) and Quantum Leap (1989).

Dan Butler as Jake Dorléac: Dan Butler was born on December 2, 1954 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA. He is an actor and writer, known for Frasier (1993), The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011). He has been married to Richard Waterhouse since September 12, 2010. Is one of only two actors to have appeared in the original Hannibal Lecter film, Manhunter (1986), as well as The Silence of the Lambs (1991). The other is Frankie Faison. In 1995, he and Candace Gingrich served as spokespersons for the National Coming Out Day Project. Butler appeared in public service announcements that included the gently humorous statement, "I'm not a straight man, but I play one on television". Butler disclosed his homosexuality on Entertainment Tonight (1981) in 1994 during his run as a swaggering heterosexual on Frasier (1993). Best known for his role as Robert "Bulldog" Briscoe in Frasier (1993). Initially, he was a recurring guest actor, but in 1996, he became a member of the main cast. His character was written out of the show in 1999, but returned to guest star in five episodes of the series' last three seasons. Openly gay, he starred in Terrence McNally's 1989 play "The Lisbon Traviata" and wrote a one-man off-Broadway play about his life, "The Only Thing Worse You Could Have Told Me...", which derives its title from a comment Butler's father allegedly made when Dan came out to him. In the play, he plays 14 different gay characters.

Lauren Tom as Sophie: Lauren Tom is an Obie Award-winning actress, known for her roles as a dutiful daughter in the film The Joy Luck Club, as Ross's girlfriend, Julie, on the classic NBC sitcom Friends, and most recently as Mrs. Tran on Supernatural. Lauren also lent her voice talents on the animated series Futurama as the much loved character of Amy. Recently, Lauren starred as a series regular in Andi Mack on The Disney Channel from 2016-2019. She also can be seen in the series, Guillermo Del Toro's Trollhunters and 3Below. Next up, Lauren can be seen in a recurring role in the Amazon series, Goliath, alongside Billy Bob Thornton. She has also appeared in the films, Grandma with Lily Tomlin, Bad Santa, In Good Company, When a Man Loves a Woman, Mr. Jones, With Friends Like These, Catfish in Black Bean Sauce, and Manhood. On television, Lauren was a series regular as Mai on the ABC series Men in Trees, NBC's DAG as Delta Burke's secretary, Ginger Chin and on ABC's Grace Under Fire with Brett Butler. She also did a recurring stint on Showtime's series Barbershop. On Broadway, she has appeared in A Chorus Line, Hurlyburly and Doonesbury, and has worked with directors such as Peter Sellars and Joanne Akalaitis at the Goodman and Guthrie Theaters, the La Jolla Playhouse and the Kennedy Center. Her one-woman show, 25 Psychics, an engaging, humorous look at her quest for inner peace premiered at HBO'S U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. The show received Dramalogue Awards for Best Performance and Best Direction. Lauren's other voice work can be heard in the animated series King of the Hill, Codename: Kids Next Door, Teacher's Pet, Rocket Power, Max Steel, Batman, Superman, Kim Possible, Baby Clifford, American Dragon and the animated home video Mulan II... She has also published personal essays in Brain, Child Magazine, East West Woman, Strut, Freshyarn.com, and is currently writing a book based on these essays.

Minnie Summers Lindsey as Housekeeper (and sometimes credited as Prostitute #1): Minnie Summers Lindsey was born on October 7, 1912 in Missouri, USA. She was an actress, known for Rising Sun (1993), Ghost (1990) and Choose Me (1984). She died on December 31, 2001 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Diane Delano as Prostiture #2: Diane Delano was born on January 29, 1957 in Los Angeles, California, USA. She is an actress, known for The Wicker Man (2006), Miracle Mile (1988) and The Ladykillers (2004).

David Powledge as Luther: David Powledge was born on October 21, 1947 in Houston, Texas, USA. He was an actor, known for Rat Race (2001), Million Dollar Baby (2004) and The Green Hornet (2011). He died on September 12, 2015 in Pasadena, Texas, USA.

Walter Sylvest as Warren: Walter Sylvest is known for Quantum Leap (1989), Simon & Simon (1981) and Sledge Hammer! (1986).

J. Marvin Campbell as Sailor: J. Marvin Campbell is known for Quantum Leap (1989), Ray Donovan (2013) and Justified (2010). He guest starred in two unrelated television series featuring a regular character named Sam Beckett: China Beach (1988) and Quantum Leap (1989).

Stacey Cortez as Paulette: Stacey Cortez was born on February 25, 1966. She is an actress, known for Dark Angel (1990), Quantum Leap (1989) and General Hospital (1963). She has been married to Stephen Graves since September 5, 1992.

Monica McMurty as Abby: Monica McMurtry is known for Quantum Leap (1989) and The Human Factor (1992).

Jeffrey Concklin as Reese: Jeffrey Concklin is known for Quantum Leap (1989), Messenger of Death (1988) and Grand Tour: Disaster in Time (1991).

David Alan Graf as Carl: Los Angeles native David Alan Graf has been an actor for over twenty years, gracing both the large and small screen. His performance in the independent sleeper Bang (available on video) as a supposedly legitimate movie producer has been lauded by critics as both satirical and disturbing. In "Pups", his portrayal of a humiliated bank manager held hostage by two compulsive young teenagers in love, brought the following comments from critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun: "(A) very real unraveling persona of a man who can't believe this is happening to him. David Alan Graf's portrayal of a kindly bank manager coming apart takes us inside the bank hostage situation itself." Had to use his middle name in acting due to there being another fellow busy TV actor named David Graf (the one best known for the 'Police Academy' films).

William Winckler as Whorehouse John (uncredited): Independent writer/producer/director William Winckler comes from a show-business background. His late father, Robert Winkler--aka "Bobby" Winkler--was a famous child actor during the Golden Age of Hollywood. As an adult he became a successful entertainment attorney. He followed in his father's footsteps, but in a slightly different path. William studied acting and directing at UCLA with the late Don Richardson, director/teacher to Anne Bancroft, Grace Kelly, Zero Mostel, John Cassavetes, Elizabeth Montgomery and countless other stars. He learned a great deal from Don, and applied it to his acting and directing career. From the mid to the late 1980s, William worked as an actor in various TV series, films and theater. He then wrote and produced two syndicated series of his own, the animated sci-fi show Tekkaman the Space Knight (1984) and the all-dwarf comedy/variety series Short Ribbs (1989), starring the late Billy Barty. When the internet boom hit, William was head of development for a science-fiction entertainment company, developing star-driven feature films and shorts for internet webcast and DVD. The late Jonathan Harris, best known for his starring role as "Dr. Smith," in the classic TV series Lost in Space (1965), was William's close mentor throughout the 1990s and taught him a great deal about the business.  Winckler formed William Winckler Productions Inc., in 2001 to write, produce and direct low-budget feature films in the sci-fi, fantasy, horror and adventure genres. His sexy action comedy, The Double-D Avenger (2001) has been a great creative and financial success for him, being a top cult movie best seller in America, and internationally in France and French-speaking Europe, in Japan, and many other countries. William Winckler continues to produce feature films. He absolutely loves classic sci-fi, horror and fantasy films from the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, and he has a huge collection of related memorabilia, toy robots, action figures, etc., in his personal collection.

Richard White as Gilbert LaBonte (Mirror image): Richard White is known for Immediate Family (1989), Quantum Leap (1989) and Kill Zone (1993).

Guests who appeared in other Quantum Leap Episodes:
Dan Butler appears in the episode "Mirror Image" as "Mutta."

Say What?
When Sam is talking to Marsha, his hands are on her shoulders, but in other shots they are not.

When Gia is passed out, it appears to be a freeze frame shot.

Why doesn't Sam press charges for tresspassing, when the sheriff says he can't do anything without a complaint from Gina?

Quotable Quotes:
Of all the partners in the whole wide world that I should have to choose, and what do I end up with?  The Prudent Prince.
-- Al, "Southern Comforts"

Don't do anything I wouldn't do - but if you do, take pictures.
-- Al, "Southern Comfort"

Don't hit him, Sam!
-- Al, "Southern Comforts"

Did I miss a party?  Damn.
-- Al, "Southern Comforts"

I think she's as lost here as I am.
-- Sam, "Southern Comforts"

I remember all the boys used to chase you back in Lake Charles.
And most of them caught me.
-- Gina and Marcia, "Southern Comforts"

Not this time, Al.
-- Sam, ready to leap, "Southern Comforts"

Blow? ... Yeah the candles.
-- Sam, "Southern Comforts"

The only thing being sewn out there is wild oats.
-- Al, "Southern Comforts"

Go away ... yes GO AWAY ... Don't come back until you know why I'm here.  There's nothing for you to see out there.  Now just GO AWAY.
Of all the partners in the whole wide world that I should have to pick and what do I end up with?  The Prudent Prince.
-- Sam and Al, "Southern Comforts"

Says who?
Says me and this shotgun.
Now lady, you better be careful with that thing because it might accidently go off.
If it goes off it won't be no accident!
-- The sailor and the housekeeper, "Southern Comforts"

The boys from Shreveport are here.
-- Bo Peep, "Southern Comforts"

Stir my gumbo.
Yes Ma'am.
Now don't you be sassin me!
-- Sam and the housekeeper, "Southern Comforts"

Oh this looks so good.  I wish I could smell it.
-- Al, about the gumbo, "Southern Comforts"

Why don't you go tell everybody that we're taking the night off.
Oh goodie ... and then some other things too!
-- Sam and Marcia, "Southern Comforts"

Trust me ... I know what I'm doing.
-- Sam, "Southern Comforts"

I'd stick around too, but I hate to see a grown man cry, especially when it's me.
-- Al, "Southern Comforts"

I think it's time I unwrapped your birthday present, don't you?
Oh boy.
-- Marcia (undressing) and Sam, "Southern Comforts"

You mean to say this man has solicited the affections of more than one of these women?
He offered it to me.
And me ... and me ... and me
and he even offered it to ME.
-- The sheriff, the Sewing and Quilting Academy girls and the housekeeper, "Southern Comforts"

I think I'll go upstairs and take a long hot bath.
Ah ... Sam, I think I'll do a little exploring up there, wanna come?
Not this time.
Oh no, Sam no, don't leap yet, no ...
-- one of the girls, Al and Sam, "Southern Comforts"

Best Line:
"No, Sam don’t leap yet, no!"

Best Scene:
The best scene is near the end of the episode when they take the graduation photo. Jake is kissed by Sophie and they take a picture of him with her and threaten to expose the picture to the board of directors at his school.

Production Credits:

Theme by: Mike Post
Music by: Velton Ray Bunch
Co-Executive Producer: Deborah Pratt
Co-Executive Producer: Michael Zinberg
Supervising Producer: Harker Wade
Co-producers: Paul  Brown, Jeff Gourson
Produced by: Chris Ruppenthal
Created by: Donald P. Bellisario
Written by: Tommy Thompson
Directed by:
Chris Ruppenthal

Quantum Leap Podcast Interview - Director Chris Ruppenthal: Chris Ruppenthal does not need an introduction, being Quantum Leap royalty. He was a producer of the show for most of the series run, and completely wrote nine episodes: “Good Morning Peoria”; “Animal Frat”; “Freedom”; “One Strobe Over The Line”; “The Halloween Episode”; “Glitter Rock”; “Hurricane”; “Roberto!”; and “The Curse of Ptah-Hotep”; as well as co-writing the teleplay for “The Last Gunfighter”. Ruppenthal’s only directorial credit is also from Quantum Leap, he directed “Southern Comforts”, an episode widely acclaimed for addressing the issue of domestic violence. He even made a cameo appearance as Sam’s mirror image in the afforementioned episode-that-must-not-be-named, which, along with writing the so-called “cursed episode” earnt him the nickname “Ruppenboogie”. As such, it is very fitting that Ruppenthal is here to boogie with us for this episode of the podcast. Please enjoy Albie’s conversation with Chris Ruppenthal…

Executive Producer: Donald P. Bellisario
Associate Producer: 
James S. Giritlian
Executive Story Editor: Tommy Thompson

Director of Photography: Michael Watkins, A.S.C.
Production Designer: Cameron Birnie
Edited by: Robert E. Pew
Unit Production Manager: Ron Grow
First Assistant Director: Ryan Gordon
Second Assistant Director: Kate Yurka
Casting by: Ellen Lubin Sanitsky
Set Director: Robert L. Zilliox
Costume Designer: Jean-Pierre Dorleac
Costume Supervisors: David Rawley & Donna Roberts-Orme
Sound Mixer: Barry D. Thomas
Stunt Coordinator: Diamond Farnsworth
Sound Editor: Paul Clay
Music Editor: Donald Woods

Panaflex ®  Camera and Lenses by: Panavision ®

This motion picture is protected under laws of the United States and other countries. Unauthorized duplication, distribution or exhibition may result in civil liability and criminal prosecution.

Copyright © 1991 by Universal City Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The characters and events depicted in this photoplay are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Bellisarius Productions and Universal, an MCA Company


Quantum Leap Podcast - Southern Comforts

Stir the gumbo and primp your fez, because it’s time to enjoy some Southern Comforts!

On this episode of the Quantum Leap Podcast hosts Matt Dale, Allison Pregler and Christopher DeFilippis head to a New Orleans brothel, where Sam has to prevent a young woman from being killed by her abusive husband.

Listen to The Quantum Leap Podcast on this episode here:

And joining us as special guest host is episode director Chris Ruppenthal. Chris is a veteran Quantum Leap writer and producer, and he takes us behind the scenes to share his unique perspectives on Southern Comforts. He also tells us how an episode of Quantum Leap got made from start to finish.

The Quantum Leap podcast — more fun than graduation day at The Labonte Sewing and Quilting Academy!

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