The misadventures and trials of an aspiring singer and her co-workers at a greasy spoon diner.

Creator:

Robert Getchell
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991 ( 415)

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1985   1984   1983   1982   1981   1980   … See all »
Won 8 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Linda Lavin ...  Alice Hyatt / ... 202 episodes, 1976-1985
Beth Howland ...  Vera Louise Gorman 202 episodes, 1976-1985
Vic Tayback ...  Mel Sharples 201 episodes, 1976-1985
Philip McKeon ...  Tommy Hyatt 108 episodes, 1976-1985
Polly Holliday ...  Flo Castleberry 90 episodes, 1976-1980
Celia Weston ...  Jolene Hunnicutt 90 episodes, 1981-1985
Marvin Kaplan ...  Henry 82 episodes, 1978-1985
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Storyline

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 teen-aged 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 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 <mmccorry@nb.sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 August 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Imbiß mit Biß See more »

Filming Locations:

Phoenix, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(202 episodes) | (113 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Martha Raye, who played Mel's mother Carrie, in real life was only thirteen and a half years older than Vic Tayback. See more »

Goofs

The diner works using three waitresses all of whom start at the exact same time of day. If Mel's is open early for breakfast and stays open to serve dinner that means that all three waitresses work 10-12 hour days, at least SIX days out of the week. Even for a 1970s restaurant those types of hours would be excessive. Yet none of the waitresses complain about it in more than a comedic fashion. See more »

Quotes

Florence Jean Castleberry: Kiss my grits!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Ben Stiller Show: Pilot (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

There's a New Girl in Town
Music by David Shire
Lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Performed by Linda Lavin
See more »

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User Reviews

Alice doesn't show here anymore....
30 June 2005 | by severe_tdSee all my reviews

What happened to "Alice"? You can't find it on DVD, can't find it on cable, and can't even locate it late at night in local syndicated reruns. It's hard to guess why the powers-that-be at TV Land or Nick at Nite haven't realized that this show would be popular as part of their lineup.

Anyway, this show set itself apart from many of its era by its semi-unpredictability. Every plot didn't have a happy ending, and there wasn't necessarily a "good" lesson taught to the viewer by the end. For example, in one episode when Flo enrolls in night school to finally earn her high school diploma, she has trouble concentrating on her homework, and is "forced" by Alice to stay home and study. Rather than provide the viewer with the happy and P.C. ending where Flo realizes the value of an education, the episode concludes with her sneaking out the window to go on a date. Presumably, Flo never gets that diploma.

The show did a good job presenting a blue-collar "diner" setting. None of the waitresses were beautiful, and outside of the endless parade of famous guest stars, the clientele shown in Mel's fit well with that of a '70s greasy spoon in a city like Phoenix. Supporting characters such as Henry and Earl -- everymen in all senses of the term -- fit in well with this motif.

Each character brought something to the show. Alice was the sensible single mom with big hopes and dreams. Vera was the childlike ditz. Flo was the outspoken, aging, oversexed country woman. Mel was gruff and selfish, but was kind-hearted beneath the surface. "Kiss my grits" became a household phrase.

Unfortunately, with Flo's departure, the show took a steady turn downhill. Diane Ladd's Belle and Celia Weston's Jolene were nowhere near as colorful as Flo, and as a result, the plots started to slip, as well. A lot of the later episodes were stupid and downright embarrassing. Many of the early elements that made this show great were simply missing in the later years.

Overall, this was a very entertaining show, and it's a shame that it can no longer be found. Hopefully this will change in future years.


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