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"Laverne & Shirley"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Laverne & Shirley" More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Incredibly hilarious series from the people that bought you Happy Days. Remembering Laverne and Shirley on its golden 40th anniversary

10/10
Author: raysond from Chapel Hill, North Carolina
7 September 2016

Being this was the spin-off to the successful "Happy Days" television series the characters of Laverne and Shirley made their debut premiere in a classic episode "A Date With Fonzie"(Season 3,Episode 10) from the "Happy Days" television series that originally aired on November 11,1975 and from that episode Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams made an astounding impression. The lead characters were introduced in that episode as acquaintances of "The Fonz"(Henry Winkler). It was from that episode and due to the high ratings it achieve,the producers thought it would be a great idea to create a spin-off to "Happy Days" which was at the time the highest rated show on the air not to mention a colossal hit for ABC-TV(which had five of the top ten shows in the Nielsens).

"Laverne and Shirley" was the created brainchild of Garry Marshall along with Mark Rothman, Edward L. Milkis and Thomas L. Miller(who also served as executive producers of this series)along with producers Lowell Ganz, Jeff Franklin, Arthur Silver along with Mark Rothman and Milt Josefburg that premiered on ABC's Tuesday night prime time schedule on January 27,1976 as the mid-season replacement for "Welcome Back Kotter"(which moved to Thursday nights). The series from the first episode was a colossal hit becoming ABC's top-rated sitcom that lasted eight seasons and 178 episodes until May 10,1983. During its eight year-run it went through major changes as the network moved the show to different time slots. For the first four seasons it was on Tuesday nights from January 27,1976 until May 15,1979. Then in Season 5 it moved to Thursday nights from September 13,1979 until December 13,1979 and on January 7,1980 moved to Monday nights until February 11,1980 where it was losing viewers and falling ratings. Then for the next three seasons the network moved it back to its original Tuesday night time slot after "Happy Days" from January 26,1980 until May 10,1983.

Only actress Penny Marshall was with the series for all 178 episodes. Cindy Williams was with the series for 159 episodes from 1976-1982. Williams left the series at the end of Season 7 to pursue other interests. Other recurring characters included actors David L. Lander("Squiggy" for 156 episodes); Michael McKean("Lenny" for 150 episodes),and Eddie Mekka("The Big Ragoo" for 150 episodes). Phil Foster appeared in 149 episodes while actress Betty Garrett appeared in 97 episodes of the series. The series "Laverne and Shirley" started roughly in the same time period as "Happy Days" with the timeline starting in 1958 when the series began through 1967 when the series ended.

Several writers contribute to some of the hilarious hi-jinks and slapstick comedy each week ranging from Lowell Ganz, Garry Marshall, and Mark Rothman(who were the writers for all 178 episodes of the series) along with Jeff Franklin, David W. Duclon, Marc Sotkin, Milt Josefburg, Fred Fox, Ron Leavitt, Winifred Hervey, Babaloo Mandel, Bob Brunner,and Michael Warren. Big time directors ranging from James Burrows, John Tracy, Alan Rafkin, Howard Morris, Joel Zwick, Alan Myerson, Garry Marshall, Jay Sandrich, Jerry Paris, Carl Gottlieb, Chris Thompson, and Tom Trbovich just to name a few. The guest stars who made appearances on this series featured Vicki Lawrence, Ed Begley, Jr., Carrie Fisher, Ed Marinaro, Fred Willard, Billy Sands, Jay Leno, Michael Mann, Anjelica Huston, Laraine Newman, Robert Hays, Roger C. Carmel, Scatman Crothers, Charlene Tilton, Conrad Janis, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Howard Hesseman, Fabian, Pat Carroll, Hans Conried, Troy Donahue, Toni Basil, G.W. Bailey, Severn Darden, Scott Brady, Christopher Guest, Jerry Belson, to Carl Ballantine, Mark Harmon, Fred Dryer, Dennis Haysbert, Ted Danson, and Art Garfunkel. Even had cameos from Jim Lange and Ilene Graff too.

During the peak of the show's run "Laverne and Shirley" got there own Saturday Morning cartoon show that aired on ABC on October 10,1981 with Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams as the voices of there characters where it was part of "The Laverne & Shirley/Fonzie Hour". But with the original series the cast was electric not to mention the adequate writing and above average direction not to mention the slapstick antics made this show a solid ratings winner for the eight seasons it was on the air. Several great episodes do stand out here and I will start with the show's top ten which includes the two-part episodes "Murder on the Moose Jaw Express"(Season 5),"The Bardwell Caper"(Season 6), "We're In The Army Now"(Season 5). Other great episodes included "The Diner" (Season 5), "Look Before You Leap"(Season 2), "The Defiant One"(Season 7),and "Laverne and Shirley Meet Fabian"(Season 3). When the series was suddenly canceled by ABC in 1983 it faced strong competition of NBC's "The A-Team" that crushed it in the ratings. The series that replaced it in the fall of 1983 was "Foul Ups,Bleeps and Blunders" aka "The Dick Clark Show" on ABC's Tuesday night schedule.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Working girls

7/10
Author: jc-osms from United Kingdom
6 January 2016

Another "Happy Days" spin-off and one fondly remembered from my youth. I've just watched the pilot again and will try to watch more as it lived up to memory of a happy, funny and entertaining show.

The "take two girls" set-up works very well and enables the show to still function in the same time-line as "Happy Days" and yet not seem too similar despite the familiar 50's era surroundings.

Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams make an ideal pairing, Marshall as the louder, brasher Laverne and Williams as the cuter, more sensitive Shirley. Their two dorkish-but-adoring adoring would-be boyfriends Lenny and Squiggy provide more light relief in the background but, as its perky little theme tune says, these two dreamchasers won't give up till they've made at least one dream come true.

Nicely written, with just an occasional touch of risqué humour peeping through and well acted, occasionally benefiting initially from one-shot guest appearances by some of the "Happy Days" crew, the show soon learned to stand on its own and deservedly ran for several series on its own merits.

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classic girlship sitcom

8/10
Author: SnoopyStyle
14 June 2017

It's late 50s. Working class best friends Laverne DeFazio (Penny Marshall) and Shirley Feeney (Cindy Williams) are roommates in a Milwaukee basement apartment. Shirley is the sweet one and Laverne is the tougher one. Laverne's favorite drink is milk and Pepsi. Shirley has her stuffed animals like Boo Boo Kitty. They are Fonzie's friends working at the Shotz Brewery with annoying former classmate Lenny (Michael McKean) and Squiggy (David L. Lander). Laverne's father Frank DeFazio (Phil Foster) owns the Pizza Bowl. He starts dating the girls' landlord Edna Babish (Betty Garrett). Their school friend Carmine Ragusa (Eddie Mekka) is a Golden Gloves boxer, singer, and dance teacher.

This popular sitcom is a spin-off from Happy Days. Over the years, there are cameos and cross-over from the mother show. The girls stay independent modern women as they search for Mr. Right. Laverne is hounded by her father to get married and have children. Shirley has a long running romance with Carmine. The sixth season starts with Frank and Edna in California about four years later. When the bottling department gets replaced with machines, the girls follow them to Burbank. They are joined by Carmine, Lenny & Squiggy. The gang is befriended by their new neighbors Rhonda Lee and Sonny St. Jacques. The show fades a little and the move to California doesn't help. California takes away the midwest working class vibe although the show continues to have fun like the earthquake.

This show is legendary for the fights between Williams and the Marshall clan. It never got into the way of the fun on screen except for the last season. Cindy Williams got pregnant and a lawsuit followed. She would miss most of the last season and is the final nail on the coffin. The girls' friendship is modeled after Lucy and Ethel especially during their physical comedy gags. The gags are always fun. I love getting hung up on the coat rack. It's silly fun.

The girls struggle to move beyond singledom. Even with Carmine, Shirley could never go off with him for fear of splitting the girls apart. That is the Archilles heel of the show. The obvious move is for the girls to have more work situations and marry them off in a double wedding. They could live in connected apartments. The show never got to that point. This is a classic girl friendship show but it couldn't figure out how to get past the single girl stage.

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Laverne & Shirley Season 1-8

10/10
Author: celebration72 from Ansonia, CT
6 January 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

****SPOILER ALERT IN THIS I GUESS I MEAN THE SHOW IS 32 YRS OLD*******I am a huge fan of the show Laverne & Shirley that ran 8 seasons from 1976–1983. It's funny in season 1 Shirley has a VERY thick New York accent that she does not have in season 2-8. The characters Laverne,Shirley,Squiggy,Lenny,Carmine,Frank DeFazio,Edna Babish were so lovable, Funny & had Great chemistry. They really showed their chemistry in season 2 & it just got better. In season 6 when the girls lost their jobs @ Shotz They move to California & the show took a very different turn. Seasons 1-5 had one vibe & Seasons 6-8 it felt like a whole new show with new cast members like Rhonda Lee & Sonny St. Jacques(Who was very much like a Carmine character)He didn't stay on the show very long he was only on 10 episodes. Sonny's last episode was on Season 6, Episode 12, He left the show to take a role on Hill ST Blues. In Season 8 Shirley Left the show on Oct 12,1982 Only 3 Episodes in. The 1st Episode without Shirley was called {The Note}Cindy Williams {Shirley Feeney) left the show due to her becoming pregnant & Williams and her manager-husband Bill Hudson presented a list of demands, which Paramount refused. In August, two episodes into the season, Williams left the show and filed a $20,000,000 lawsuit against Paramount.

Paramount went to Penny Marshall{Laverne De Fazio}to return for a ninth Season, but Penny Marshall{Laverne De Fazio}insisted that the show move its production base from Los Angeles to New York. Eying the cost of such an endeavor, and given the age of the show, ABC quietly canceled Laverne & Shirley in May 1983 after 178 episodes. Laverne & Shirley was & Still is & Will forever be a classic show & it will be one of those shows that goes down in History.

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Cute show about friends!

9/10
Author: ShelbyTMItchell from Seymour Tennessee
4 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Laverne & Shirley are two working women in the 1950's Milwaukee and single as the are trying to make it in a man's world. As it was one of the first shows on single working women who were friends and roommates.

Laverne was known for being the cynic of the pair that wore L's on her shirt and a tomboy. Shirley was the perky positive one of the pair.

Besides working at a brewery they were friends with Lenny and Squeaky their male counterparts as the four either love or despised one another. But made a great foursome.

A show I loved as a kid and still do. Back in the days when TV WAS TV!! As the show had funny kind of chemistry!

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Classic

Author: katieb06907 from New York
6 November 2002

This is a great show. I was thrilled when it was released on video. The characters are hysterical and love all the episodes. "Shirley's Operation is one of my favorites. A "mediocre" show would not last six years on primetime, go into syndication and then get released on video.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Women becoming of age.

10/10
Author: Robert Ponce (robert_ponce_@msn.com) from United States
22 November 2013

When Lavern & Shirely first aired, America was undergoing historic changes in many areas. So were American families. Values once held dear suddenly were facing new ideas, new challenges. So were Lavern & Shirely. Stereo typing women was not going to be tolerated any longer. Neither in the home, Entertainment, common work place and in politics. Lavern & Shirely's writers were aware of women's rights and wrote accordingly...with taste and humor. I loved watching the show for several reason but mostly on account Cindy Williams was my personal "Girl Next Door" ever since seeing her portrayal of 'Laurie' in American Graffiti (1973). Above all that, I was the same age as Laurie and Steve then Shirely. I could totally relate to what they were up against. Lavern & Shirely just took the experience to a different level and a different city. Gr8 Program.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Excellent series

10/10
Author: shawn_cool_great from United States
26 June 2010

Here is an example of an excellent television program. This show is a show that can be enjoyed by all without nonsense about sex, drugs, and violence. It's also way funnier than the some of the shows we have on television today. It's a shame that this wonderful program cannot be found in syndication these days. This show also had some great characters even beyond the title characters such as Lenny, Squiggy, Big Rosie Greenbaum, and more. In my eyes, Laverne & Shirley is a classic that will never die and that will be cherished for years to come. If the opportunity ever comes along for you to see this great television show, don't let it pass you by. See Laverne & Shirley if you haven't, you'll be glad you did.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

One of the BEST shows on TV

Author: JennLynn
1 February 2000

Great show. Laverne and Shirley are great together. Their co-stars are great. In the last season, the show lacked one BIG thing: Shirley. The supporting characters could not make up for this big loss. But it was still good but there was less emphasis on what the show's concept had been.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One of the greatest!

Author: defazio76 (defazio76@aol.com) from Florida
12 September 2000

Laverne & Shirley was one of the best shows on television between 1976-1983 and continues it's popularity on up until today. Some users have commented above that the show was boring. Well, not some. One. I disagree entirely. If you knew enough about the show to be able to give a good review, I would overlook it. But you don't. The show won the Emmy for best television show in the 1976-77 and 1977-78 seasons. I doubt you could consider it boring if it won awards of such prestige. The characters of Lenny and Squiggy supplied a lot of the comedy in the show, but the characters of Laverne and Shirley supplied the plot, comedy, and made the show a comedy, but one with heart. If you took the time to watch the show and get to know the characters, you would begin to love them. It's that way with just about any movie, television show, play, etc. But this one in particular is special for different reasons. Please actually take the time to watch the show a few times before commenting and putting it down. I am only 14 years old and can already tell you that it's a comedy classic that deserves to stay on the air for many years to come.

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