Spotting the Peace Corps on T.V, and in the Movies

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ idea from Alana DeJoseph’s (Mali 1992–94)
Over the last 60 years that the Peace Corps has been a part of America (and the world) it has influenced our culture in many ways. One of the funniest experiences for us RPCVs is when we hear a popular movie or television character referring to the Peace Corps.
So let’s have a challenge: In the comments below, please list any popular media mentions of the Peace Corps!
To get you started, here are two:
1985 — American comedy film directed by Nicholas Meyer
and starring Tom Hanks and John Candy: Volunteers
2018 — Animated TV series Rick and Morty: Season 4, Episode 8


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  • My favorite all time comment is in “Animal House” – When John Belushi realizes he is going to be expelled from college, he says, “Seven years down the drain. I guess I’ll have to join the Peace Corps.”
    Although I must say, when we packed our son off to college to study Meterology, a very demanding
    scientific major, his parting words to us were disconcerting when he said, “I hope it is just like Animal House.”

  • In “The Devil Wears Prada” in a heated argument, on the street in front of the high-end restaurant where he works, Andy’s boyfriend exclaimed: “Andy, I make port wine reductions, I’m not exactly in the Peace Corps!”

  • My son assures me that there is a Peace Corps element in the online strategy game Civilization.
    Also, of course, who can forget Elaine’s Tupperware party in the jungle in the movie Airplane (1980).

  • Everyone in the Peace Corps office was talking
    about Peter Sellers’ new comedy “The Pink Panther” that had
    just opened at Cine El Pacifico in Lima’s upscale neighborhood
    of Miraflores. The villain, David Niven, boasts that his nephew,
    played by Robert Wagner, “is considering joining the Peace
    Corps,” but then warns him, “better be careful you don’t give the
    family a good name.” The New Frontier was box office hot. We
    couldn’t have felt better about our upcoming adventure.

    The Peace Corps sent Marie and me, and Mike and Sheila….

    FROM the newly released:
    JFK & RFK Made Me Do It: 1960-1968 by Sweet William
    August 2021… Peace Corps Writers Worldwide

    Reviewed by Marnie Mueller, Ecuador 1963-65

  • I have cause to see my old acquaintance, Ray Sokolov, in two weeks, and this piece brought to mind his hilarious 1975 Peace Corps novel, NATIVE INTELLIGENCE. He was never in the Peace Corps but he was spot on in this satire. I just checked and it’s still up on Amazon and Goodreads.

  • Not a movie, but in the long playing series, The Waltons, I believe the youngest daughter Elizabeth went into the Peace Corps.

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