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Laverne & Shirley

By Jeff Shannon

As a spin-off from Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley was an instant hit and one of the most popular sitcoms of the Super70s. It's a bit quaint by contemporary standards, and its light-hearted sentiment is strictly old-school, due to the crowd-pleasing influence of producer and cocreator Garry Marshall, a veteran of The Dick Van Dyke Show whose subsequent film career peaked early with Pretty Woman.

As working-class roommates in mid-1950s Milwaukee, Laverne De Fazio (Penny Marshall, future director and Garry's sister) and Shirley Feeney (Cindy Williams) were a classic case of opposites: Laverne was relatively saucy and cynical, while Shirley was cheerfully naive and eternally optimistic. As bottle-cappers at the Shotz brewery, they regularly associated with colleagues (and eventual neighbors) Lenny (Michael McKean) and Squiggy (David L. Lander), and as an inaugural ratings-booster, Happy Days superstar Henry Winkler (as "Fonzie") appears in the first three episodes including "Bowling for Razzberries," later named by TV Guide as a classic episode. As Shirley's crooning would-be beau, Carmine "The Big Ragoo" Rugusa (Eddie Mekka) provided a touch of romance to Shirley's otherwise lackluster love life.

Despite personal rancor that later erupted between its energetic costars, Laverne & Shirley was always a showcase for polished, professional comedy and effortless chemistry between characters, giving it the same widespread appeal later enjoyed by Friends.

A mid-season replacement with a prime time-slot (following Happy Days at 8:30 Tuesdays on ABC) the show placed its good-natured characters in a variety of standard sitcom predicaments, typically set in L&S's apartment, the "Pizza Bowl" diner run by Laverne's father Frank (Phil Foster), or the Shotz brewery, where some of the show's funniest slapstick humor emerged. These 15 episodes are guaranteed to please longtime fans on a stroll down memory lane, but bonus features are nonexistent, and newcomers may not relate to the clean-cut humor of a bygone era. Still, Laverne & Shirley started strong and continued to improve, at least for another season or two, with a variety of popular guest stars. This three-disc set represents the best of times for everyone involved.

Laverne & Shirley on DVD!
Laverne & Shirley is now available on DVD! Get it at Amazon.com!
Season One

 

Share Your Memories In Our Forums!

Check out our Laverne & Shirley forum! Do you have a favorite episode of the show? What do you remember about the series? Do you have any questions about it or its stars? Now you can post comments and questions directly to our TV forums! Click here to see what other Laverne & Shirley viewers have said or to post your own comments about the show!

Your Memories Shared!

I loved the episode 111 when they are working in the diner that Lenny owns. My favorite line is "Betty, pick up your hash blacks" This is what Laverne calls Shirley in this episode. Laverne has burned the hash browns and calls them hash blacks. I also like when Laverne yells in the microphone "Please, don't harrass Betty"

--Igg

Note: This is just a random sample of the Laverne & Shirley messages in our TV forums! Click here to see what others have said or to post your own comments!

 

TV TIDBITS

Aired: January 27, 1976 - May 10, 1983

Cast: Cindy Williams, Penny Marshall, Phil Foster, David L. Lander, Michael McKean, Eddie Mekka

Network: ABC

Genre: Sitcom

Theme songMaking Our Dreams Come True - Cyndi Grecco

Image courtesy of ABC


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Copyright 1994-2017, Super70s.com. All Rights Reserved.
Use of this site is subject to our Terms of Service.
Privacy Statement
Review copyright Amazon.com and used by permission.