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TV's Greatest Sidekicks (2004 TV Special)
A warm and loving tribute to the great sidekicks of TV!
12 October 2005
This special celebrating the great female sidekicks was indeed special. It was chock full of memorable and funny moments from some of the best (and under-appreciated) shows that have graced the airwaves and starring the grand dames of comedy.

For starters, the hosts, Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams (aka "Laverne & Shirley") were very funny and still have the chemistry that made them stars of L&S. They connected well with their guests and made sure their guests had the spotlight - always.

The reunions were fun and exciting too. Mary's "sidekicks" from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" opened the special and were delightful. It's hard to see the line between them and the beloved characters they immortalized on one of TV's best shows. Betty is still amazing and funny, Valerie is lovable and Georgia is overdue an Emmy (Everybody Loves Raymond spin- off?). The ladies talked about their jobs with a fun clip package include Carla from "Cheers," Jackie from "Roseanne" and the hysterical Clea Lewis from "Ellen." Yes, stars and supporting stars were honored throughout.

Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan, as best friends from "Maude," were gracious, real and spoke lovingly of the other sidekicks who left us - the feisty Esther Rolle and the hilarious Hermione Baddeley. The feuding clips were beautifully edited.

The tribute to Vivian Vance was loving, but too short. She is the queen of sidekicks and paved the way for some many in a brilliant, understated manner. Brava Vivian!

It was great to see the mothers and daughters as sidekicks. Peg and Kelly Bundy, Ann and Julie Romano ("One Day at a Time") and Mo'Nique and Countess Vaughn (hysterical) were memorable. We loved Mona and Angela ("Who's the Boss?") - Katherine Helmond is a treasure and Judith Light pays her co-star her due. And who could forget Fran and Syliva - Fran Drescher and Renee' Taylor - two brilliantly comic actors.

Jackee' Harry and Marla Gibbs also joined the line-up. Jackee was also a big talent in "227" and she and Marla still play well together. The clips on "sex" were classic too.

The BEST part was the first reunion of "The Golden Girls" (minus the retired Estelle Getty). Lifetime couldn't even get them together on-camera for the reunion special. All three stars (and Getty) won Emmys and all deserving. The tribute to Estelle was warm, funny and reminded me to keep watching the show and buy the DVDs.

I want to see more!!!

It was very touching to see all the ladies for the curtain call finale. BRAVA LIFETIME and to all the great sidekicks - Alice Ghostley, Lauren Lane, Cloris Leachman, Christine Baranski in the show - and Agnes Moorehead, Marion Lorne, Polly Holiday and many others.
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