As a child of the 70s, I was of the perfect age to experience an explosion of silliness on TV, ranging from the superhero shows like The Bionic Woman, and Wonder Woman, to the "jiggle" shows, Three's Company and Charlie's Angels, to my favorite, Laverne & Shirley.
I was not quite 10 when the phenomenally successful Happy Days spun off this unsung gem, and I was hooked from the first episode. Mom, previously worried about my fascination with record players, soon started to worry about my new addiction to ABC TV, which was experiencing a boom in the ratings. I could name every time slot, every theme song, and every star. She soon imposed strict "after 7, only two hours, and only if your chores and homework are done" rules.
I managed. Laverne & Shirley never got any respect from reviewers or the Emmys, but it got viewers in droves. That is why it surprises me that the show is getting something of a short-shrift on DVD from Paramount. Only two seasons have been released so far, and those two were released years apart. Allegedly, season three will be available in September. Meanwhile, you can get the lamest of lame series (What's Happening!! and What's Happening Now!!) in their entirety. Criminal.
Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams were truly inspired in their timing, physical comedy and chemistry. David L. Lander and Michael McKean were just as inspired, and quite demented--even subversive--as Lenny and Squiggy. And, sigh, Eddie Mekka as Carmine. Great fun all around. I can't wait for season three.
Here's the famous opening credit sequence. Just try not to sing along. . .
And, because the Other Half wouldn't have it any other way, a clip from the 2nd Season episode, "Guinea Pigs," where Laverne & Shirley have participated in a scientific expirement in order to get enough money to go to a society function. Laverne was in a sleep deprivation test, and Shirley in a food deprivation test. Genius.