As bottle-cappers at the Shotz brewery, they regularly associated with colleagues (and eventual neighbors) Lenny (Michael McKean) and Squiggy (David L. Lander), and as an inaugural ratings-booster, Happy Days superstar Henry Winkler (as "Fonzie") appears in the first three episodes including "Bowling for Razzberries," later named by TV Guide as a classic episode. As Shirley's crooning would-be beau, Carmine "The Big Ragoo" Rugusa (Eddie Mekka) provided a touch of romance to Shirley's otherwise lackluster love life.
Despite personal rancor that later erupted between its energetic costars, Laverne & Shirley was always a showcase for polished, professional comedy and effortless chemistry between characters, giving it the same widespread appeal later enjoyed by Friends. A mid-season replacement with a prime time-slot (following Happy Days at 8:30 Tuesdays on ABC) the show placed its good-natured characters in a variety of standard sitcom predicaments, typically set in L&S's apartment, the "Pizza Bowl" diner run by Laverne's father Frank (Phil Foster), or the Shotz brewery, where some of the show's funniest slapstick humor emerged.
Cast & Characters
- Penny Marshall as Laverne DeFazio
- Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney
- Michael McKean as Lenny Kosnowski
- David Landers as Andrew "Squiggy" Squiggman
- Eddie Mekka as Carmine Ragusa "The Big Ragu"
- Phil Foster as Frank DeFazio
- Betty Garrret as Edna
- Leslie Easterbrook as Rhonda
Broadcast HistoryFirst Telecast: January 27, 1976
Last Telecast: May 10, 1983
Original Network: ABC
Number of Seasons: 8
Number of Episodes: 178
Original Primetime TV Schedule:
- January 1976- July 1979, ABC, Tuesday 8:30-9:00pm
- August 1979- December 1979, ABC, Thursday 8:00-8:30pm
- December 1979- February 1980- March 1986, ABC, Monday 8:00-8:30pm
- February 1980- May 1980, ABC, Tuesday 8:00-8:30pm
Theme Song Lyrics & Opening Credits
"Making Our Dreams Come True" by Norman Gimbel
Laverne & Shirley on DVD
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Laverne & Shirley TriviaLaverne and Shirley worked together on an assembly line at the bottle-cap division of the Shotz Brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their neighbors Lenny & Squiggy also worked at the brewery as truck drivers.
Although the Laverne and Shirley TV show was technically a "spin-off" of the TV series, "Happy Days (1974)", the girls only very briefly appeared on that series as dates of Fonzie and Richie Cunningham. Later, Fonzie would often visit Laverne and Shirley on this series.
In the fall of 1980, most of the characters moved to Burbank, California. Laverne and Shirley tried to start movie careers, Frank and Edna opened a new restaurant called "Cowboy Bills" and Carmine came along to be with Shirley.
Long before he became the host of the Tonight Show, Jay Leno appeared on Laverne and Shirley in a guest-starring role.
Laverne and Shirley was the number 1 TV show on the air in both its third and fourth seasons!
The TV series "spun-off" two cartoon series. They were, "Laverne and Shirley in the Army (1981)" and "Laverne and Shirley with the Fonz (1982)".
Laverne and Shirley lived together in a basement apartment. Their actions and personalities were so much alike that Laverne's blouses and sweaters had an "L" on them so that people could tell them apart. Laverne's favorite drink was milk and Pepsi.
Cindy Williams left the TV show in 1982 due to disagreements with Penny and Garry Marshall (Garry was executive producer of this series and "Happy Days" and was Penny's brother). Shirley's disappearance was explained by having her marry an Army medic named Walter Meany (making her name "Shirley Feeney Meany) and going with him on an overseas assignment. It was no surprise that the series fizzled after that. After all, the interaction between Laverne and Shirley was what made the TV series funny! Also, a new series called "The A-Team (1983)" had just started airing on NBC and stole a considerable portion of the serie's audience.