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"Smaller Than Life" is the third episode of the fourth season of Magnum, P.I. which originally aired on October 13, 1983.


Rick's old friend Waldo Norris is caught trying to break into a guarded building. Waldo claims he is working for an insurance company and is investigating the loss of a valuable figurine.




  • Cork Hubbert as Waldo Norris
  • Lenore Kasdorf as Savannah
  • Blackie Dammett as William Skuler
  • Lani Kim as Records Clerk
  • Gene Price as President Ronald Reagan (voice)
  • Alika Chee as Lee


  • The title is based on the expression "bigger or larger than life" and applies to a person who is more interesting than an average person or one that has a Aura of greatness about them.
  • The computer used in the Hospital is an Atari 400 with the upgraded keyboard. The games played on it are Defender, Missile Command and Donkey Kong. The modem is an acoustic coupler type.


Waldo Norris: Ah, staying here reminds me of Taylor Street. Do you remember Taylor Street?
Rick: Yeah, I remember Taylor Street.
Waldo Norris: There was this kid, he couldn't a been more than sixteen years-old, kind of like you Orville, only kind of innocent. Well, one day he comes to me and he says he's in trouble. He says that some guy's out to break his fingers. Says he wouldn't come to me, except I'm his best friend. Anyway, he wants me to go out, risk my own neck, to get some cash before the guy with the bad temper finds him. Of course, back in those days you did what you could to help a pal. So anyway, I go out and get the money; a nickel here, a dime there. Funny thing, that kid today, he's a big shot, runs a fancy club. Ha-ha! Who would a thought it?
Rick: OK Waldo, what do you want me to do?

Savannah: I really wish you'd reconsider Thomas. I can show you excitement like you have never known in your life.
Magnum: Savannah...
Savannah: You can watch me until you are completely confident...and then we'll do it together.
Magnum: We are not going to do it together at all.
Savannah: I like to do it face-to-face. It is so wonderful to watch your partner's expression with the heart-pounding, the ears-ringing, falling together through space until that moment when you body is jerked upward and shudders, and your shute catches and you float gently to the ground.
  Season 4 (1980)
Home from the SeaLuther Gillis: File No. 521Smaller Than LifeDistant RelativeLimited EngagementLetter to a DuchessSqueeze PlayA Sense of DebtThe LookOperation: Silent NightJororo FarewellThe Case of the Red-Faced ThespianNo More Mr. Nice GuyRembrandt's GirlParadise BluesThe Return of Luther GillisLet the Punishment Fit the CrimeHolmes Is Where the Heart IsOn Face ValueDream a Little DreamI Witness