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A greasy-spoon diner in Phoenix, Arizona is the setting for this long-running series. The title character, Alice Hyatt, is an aspiring singer who arrives in Phoenix with her teenaged son, Tommy, after the death of her truck-driver husband. Alice is hired at a diner owned by Mel Sharples, a gravel-voiced, male-chauvinist fry cook. She works at Mel's Diner as a waitress while awaiting her big break at fame. Alice's fellow waitresses are the raucous, red-headed Flo and the naive, temperamental, less attractive Vera. Flo is later replaced by Belle, a Southern blonde, who is herself soon replaced by the spunky, curly-haired Jolene. Alice and her friends experience several interesting years together at Mel's Diner, which is frequented by quirky truck drivers, repairmen, and other blue collar types and by several Hollywood celebrities, who appear as themselves. Written by
Kevin McCorry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I have avoided seeing Ellen Burstyn who won an Academy Award in the movie version because I grew up watching Alice on television whether in reruns or on network television. It was a lively show and it had a terrific cast. Linda Lavin will always be Alice to me regardless of her wonderful acting career. Linda Lavin has stretched as a character actress whether in small, supporting, featured, or leading roles. Linda Lavin is a comic gem. Doug McKeon who plays her son, Tommy, is the brother to Nancy McKeon better known for her role as Jo on "The Facts of Life." Whatever happened to Doug anyway? Well, Vic Tayback is brilliant as Mel Sharples and the casting of American legendary entertainer, Martha Raye, as his mother is something I have never forgotten. The show re-introduced Martha Raye as a sharp-tongued wise mother to Mel. The show I remember aired on CBS Sunday nights with the likes of "The Jeffersons," and "All in the Family." After 9 years on the air, it came to an end. I loved Polly Holliday as Flo with one of the most memorable catchphrases "You can kiss my grits." I never had a grit. The show was memorable also for lovable Vera, likable Jolene, and Diane Ladd's role. Although it worked best with Vera, Flo and Alice, Flo's show never took off and she should have returned to the show. Since I haven't seen an episode in about a year, I am vague because I have missed the show not being on the air anymore whether on TV Land or anywhere else. It made you want to move to Phoenix which is probably one of the reasons that Phoenix is over a million in population. You have to thank the show for bringing Martha Raye, we all knew her as Mel's mom but in reality, Martha's life was truly extraordinary. I learned that she went to entertain the American troops wherever and whenever they were at war. We can't thank Martha enough even now. She was given America's highest honors for her services as a civilian during wartime. But the show also provided lots of laughs and entertainment during it's long run, we don't see shows like Alice anymore and we probably never will.
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