Who, What and Where
A Boomedy for the over-50’s, Hot Air is about two stubborn drop-outs-- Elizabeth and Philip Haupt. They dropped out in the late 70’s to protest injustice while backpacking around Europe, smoking weed and wearing bell bottoms. They dropped out again in the late 80’s to go to grad school as part of the “me” generation and again in 2000 to become rich, successful yuppies in the “dot.com” era. They drop out one more time in 2019 finding themselves back where they started, protesting injustice and living a simple life, in rural New Jersey, running a green entertainment service, Hot Air Ballooning with disastrous results.
Each episode is a theme flight usually about one of Liz's causes ( "Animal Rights Flight", "Over the Rainbow", "Save The Dolphins", The "Sonny & Cher" Flight ) where Lizzie, Phil, Darlene and Henry are in costume joined by a celebrity guest- movie star, rock star, politician or social media sweetheart. In each episode something goes wrong- passengers fight, the balloon drifts out to sea, people get ill on Liz's organic food. But thankfully, they are saved with Henry's quick actions and Darlene's diplomacy. Despite her bumbling screwups and amid her sister, Mag's scornful comments, Liz wins another battle and shares what she learned in her very popular Vlog., "Don't punch a Senator in the face, " "Don't make Haupt Dogs with blueberrries...."
Elizabeth Haupt, a delightfully neurotic narcissist once known as the “Martha Stewart” of Wall Street, resigns from her merge fund, gives away her designer clothes and takes up vegetarian cooking, lobbying for free health care and saving animals, whales, fish, plants- everything on the planet. Motivated by seeing a colleague arrested for insider trading (in which we assume she participated) and dragged away by FBI agents leads her to re-evaluate her life. Her guilt motivates her to drastically change her ways-possibly avoiding a prison sentence - by giving up all her possessions to start a new, spiritually pure life. Returning to the values from her hippie generation, she is joined by her adoring husband, Philip, a former Captain flying 747’s in the not so friendly skies before being " downsized." Supporting the love of his life and having no other plan except the consumption of bourbon, he agrees to soar in a new direction. They sell their Park Avenue Co-op, cash in and move out to rural New Jersey, opening a hot air balloon business.
The Haupts sincerely believe that they won't be polluting the atmosphere or contribute to climate change. But Lizzie's hidden agenda includes luring unsuspecting celebrities, politicians, clients from her Wall street days as well as old friends -fellow philanthropists from trendy charities- aboard each flight to win them over to her idealistic social causes which are endless - Climate Change, Solar Energy, Saving The Whales, Dolphins, Sharks, Clean Water, Wind Energy, Organic Food, Vegetarianism, Animal Rights, Free Health Care, Prison Reform, Free Higher Education, Universal Citizenship...
Good Intentions aside, Phil is still a major consumer of Bourbon, Liz's non stop crusading alienates the very people she wants to convert and neither Liz or Phil have a clue about flying a hot air balloon. Even with the help of Henry SilverCloud a member in good standing of the Cherokee Nation and MIT trained engineer and Darlene their all around go-fer and trained co-pilot, they manage to create havoc and disaster on every flight. Embarrassed and humiliated, their adult children Pamela and Paul reluctantly offer support but mostly side with their Aunt Maggie, Liz's sister Margaret (Mags) who mocks and condemns them at every turn.