Type keyword(s) to search

Quick Hits

Laverne & Shirley Premiered 45 Years Ago Today

  • On January 27, 1976, Laverne & Shirley began its eight season-run on ABC. By year three, it was the highest-rated show in the country.

    Streetwise Laverne DeFazio (Penny Marshall) and reserved-yet-ambitious Shirley Feeney (Cindy Williams) first appeared as friends of The Fonz (Henry Winkler) on Happy Days in November of 1975, and a little over two months later, here they were with their own spin-off. Set in 1958, the young women shared a basement apartment and worked at Shotz Brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their ridiculous greaser neighbors, Lenny (Michael McKean) and Squiggy (David Lander), became their annoying friends and occasional emergency dates. 

    You can watch the entire first episode above, where the blue-collar working women try to schmooze with high society without much success. The pilot also features Arthur Fonzarelli himself in a supporting role, which is one of the benefits of being a spin-off.

    Of course we can ralk about classic sitcoms without shining a light on their trademark theme songs, so check out Cyndi Grecco's "Making Our Dream Come True" below. In case you've been wondering over the last 45 years exactly what it is that they're saying at the beginning, it's a Yiddish-American hopscotch chant directly from Penny Marshall's childhood with her brother Garry Marshall, who happened to be the show's creator.

    Andy Hunsaker has a head full of sitcom gags and nerd-genre lore, and can be followed @AndyHunsaker if you're into that sort of thing.

    TOPICS: Laverne & Shirley, ABC, Cindy Williams, Henry Winkler, Penny Marshall