Michael McKean appears in only four episodes in the eighth season because he was working on This Is Spinal Tap (1984). Squiggy (David L. Lander) usually appears alone in this season.
When Cindy Williams departed during the 1982-1983 season, due to pregnancy, her absence was explained by having Shirley moving out of the apartment to be with her husband Walter after he was transferred out of the country.
Michael McKean and David L. Lander were originally hired as writers/consultants. They wrote themselves into the show as Lenny and Squiggy, two characters they created in college. Squiggy was originally named "Ant'ny" but the producers wanted the two boys' names to coincide with the girls'. Squiggy was the name of an unseen character in McKean and Lander's "Lenny and Ant'ny" sketches.
The cast, crew and creative forces all realized the change hadn't helped, but had rather hurt, the show when the girls moved west to Burbank in season 6. But short of resolving everything with a it-was-all-a-dream episode (which hadn't been done on television yet), they didn't know how to fix it, so they just soldiered on.
Penny Marshall worked the milk and Pepsi joke in based on her own life because as a child her mother would fill the same cup with milk as later with Pepsi and often wouldn't rinse out the cup or even wait until it was empty.
Frustrated at TV shows constantly repeating who the characters are and what they do, Penny Marshall came up with the idea of Laverne having L's on all her clothes, figuring that would solve the problem. To her chagrin, they still had to say on a regular basis who was who and where the girls worked; she got tired of all the times Cindy Williams would say 'Laverne' in an episode.
For several years there was a certain amount of interplay between the characters of this show and Happy Days (1974), especially when both shows were set in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In 1976 Cindy Williams briefly walked off the show to protest Penny Marshall getting all the good lines. She returned two days later.
According to the book Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, Penny Marshall stated that Gilda Radner was considered for the part of Shirley.
Penny Marshall would direct Eddie Mekka (Carmine), David L. Lander (Squiggy), and her brother Garry Marshall (series creator) in A League of Their Own.
After The Odd Couple (1970) ceased production, the apartment set on that show was modified to become Laverne and Shirley's apartment.
Gary Marshall has said in interviews that Cindy Williams and his sister, Penny Marshall, were immature during the production of Laverne and Shirley and did not handle stardom well, treating their coworkers in an abusive manner, and acting like prima donnas, endlessly fighting about who got more lines, etc.
Virtually all the scripts of the unsuccessful sitcom Hey, Landlord (1966) were eventually rewritten as scripts for this show
Various cast members from Happy Days ( Ron Howard, Erin Moran) have talked about the vicious fights next door on set of Laverne and Shirley, so loud that they would listen with glasses to the wall.
While still a defensive end with the L.A. Rams, actor Fred Dryer made his television debut in a 30 second spot as a lifeguard in Laverne's dream sequence in the 6th season premiere "Not Quite New York".
The name of the club that Laverne and Shirley belonged to as teenagers was called the Angora Debs.
Penny Marshall has said her favorite episode is "Why Did The Fireman?...", one of the few very serious episodes on the show. The plot has Laverne's boyfriend Randy ( played by Ted Danson) dying while fighting a fire. Laverne becomes depressed and goes into denial, and then her father has to talk her out of it.
Gary Marshall has said in interviews that when he conceptualized this show he was basically re-doing Lucy and Ethel schtick from "I Love Lucy". This makes sense since Marshall himself worked for Lucille Ball on "The Lucy Show" before starting the long run of his own productions which began with "The Odd Couple".
This show was #1 for two seasons and has a fervent cult following. But the critics were not kind to this show, in fact the reviews were as bad as they come; much worse than the parent show "Happy Days".
Cindy Williams has said she was fired due to her pregnancy, but the producers deny this.
Frank DeFazio, Laverne's father, owns The Pizza Bowl, a combination pizza parlor and bowling alley.
After they shot the Happy Days episode A Date With Fonzie which introduced audiences to Laverne and Shirley, ABC immediately approached Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall about starring in their own spin-off series. Penny said yes, and Cindy said no. Cindy had just starred in American Graffiti and the Conversation, both big hits in the early 70s, and was busy auditioning for movies like Star Wars and still had dreams of being a movie star. So ABC casting executive Michael Eisner recast the Shirley part with an actress named Liberty Williams, no relation to Cindy. Liberty Williams was an ABC extra and stock player at this point, known primarily for doing voice over work playing Jayna, one of the Wonder Twins, on ABCs Saturday morning cartoon hit The Superfriends. Liberty Williams and Penny Marshall filmed a couple scenes together as the new Laverne and Shirley, and this was presented to the ABC executives who gave it the go ahead, ready to film the new series with Liberty in the lead, not Cindy. The new pairing was good, but not great. Who knows if given time Liberty Williams could have grown into the role and the pairing could have become something special, but it seemed to lack the chemistry that Cindy and Penny, who were friends in real life, had. ABC began to prepare the girls for the new series, but Gary Marshall plead with Cindy one last time to take the role, and finally she relented, and the rest is history. Except in an ABC vault somewhere there's the screen test in it showing Liberty Williams as Shirley, never seen by the general public. Michael Eisner talks about all of this on an Emmy TV Legends interview which can be seen on YouTube.
Though they reportedly fought all the time during Laverne and Shirley production; both actresses have said in interviews that they remain very close and are still the best of friends; in spite of all their fighting on the show and everything that has happened. "She's my sister" Cindy Williams said of Penny Marshall in a recent EMMY TV LEGENDS interview.
Cindy Grecco was singing in a band at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Los Angeles in 1975. Composer Charles Fox, while at the amusement park with his kids, heard her voice and offered her the theme song "Making Our Dreams Come True" which became a top 20 hit and ran the length of the show.
Laverne always wears the letter "L". Sometimes she has one "L" on her skirt and another "L" on her blouse.
ABC developed a cartoon spinoff of Laverne and Shirley called "Laverne and Shirley In the Army Now," starring Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall playing their title roles; and ABC'S Ron Pallilo, AKA Horshack from Welcome Back Kotter playing a pig-sargeant. This was put into play right after a spinoff was scrapped that would have starred David Landers and Michael McKeon's Lenny and Squiggy in a service comedy; also called "In the Army Now."
Shirley Feeney had a New York accent for the first thirteen episodes. Gary Marshall eventually told her to drop it; that people in the midwest do not have Brooklyn accents. She was grateful that he did.
Eddie Mekka, AKA Carmine Ragussa, who played Shirley's main squeeze on Laverne And Shirley; was also in a League of their Own.
Ron Howard and Cindy Williams would co-star in the Happy Days/Laverne and Shirley crossover episode "Shotgun Wedding" in the fall of 1979. That same year they co-starred as a couple also in "More American Graffiti"(1979)
Laverne and Shirley used the same writers as Happy Days. Also same executive producer.
While the parent show "Happy Days" had many science fiction or magic themed episodes, "Laverne and Shirley" had none.
The girls were originally going to smoke during the Happy Days spin-off episode. But the censors said no; so they changed it to gum-chewing.
Eddie Mekka (Carmine Ragussa) was cast before Michael MCkeon and David Landers (AKA Lenny and Squiggy) were.
In the show's pilot they say the street the girls live on is "Campton." Later in the series they said it's Knapp. In one episode Shirley says the men in her family are all short. Later, when Ed Begley junior does a cameo on the show as her brother; we see they are actually very tall. (The father comes on the show and he is very tall also).
After Cindy Williams quit "Laverne and Shirley" the animated version of Shirley Feeney was taken over by her friend Lynne Marie Stewart for the animated "MORK AND MINDY; LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY AND THE FONZE HOUR" show on Saturday mornings on ABC.
In "Good Time Girls" the recurring character Hector is rejected by both Laverne and Shirley; and then retaliates by writing "For a good time call Laverne and Shirley at 555-1212" on the Men's bathroom in a bar. Amazingly; even after this causes both Laverne and Shirley to be harassed and almost assaulted during the episode; they wind up apologizing to him for rejecting him in the first place.
Charles Grodin appeared on an episode of Laverne and Shirley as himself. In the episode both Laverne and Shirley are madly in love with him, and Lenny and Squiggy are totally starstruck. This doesn't make any sense because in the 1960s when this episode is supposed to take place, Charles Grodin was a little known TV actor and hadn't done any movies yet.
While the parent show "Happy Days" had many science fiction or magic themed episodes, "Laverne and Shirley" had none. Actually, there was one episode called "Upstairs Downstairs" which had Laverne and Shirley battling the forces of both Heaven and Hell; although that turned out to be a dream sequence. Also, in the pilot episode of Mork and Mindy; which is a Sci-fi spinoff of happy days centering around the alien Mork; Mork dates both Laverne and Shirley.
The audience never clapped for the stars on this show liked they clapped for the stars of Happy Days. (Except on the rare occasion when Fonzie would make an appearance).
Ron Howard and Cindy Williams would co-star in the Happy Days/Laverne and Shirley crossover episode "Shotgun Wedding" in the fall of 1979. That same year they co-starred as a couple also in "More American Graffiti"(1979) They were married in the Shotgun Wedding episode, and married More American Graffiti also.
In the early seasons, when they were still in Milwaukee, Shirley would call Laverne "Verny" alot. She stopped doing that once they moved to Burbank.
Betty Garrett played recurring characters Irene Lorenzo on All in the Family and Edna Babbish on Laverne and Shirley concurrentl
Bruce Kimmell appears in the good time girls episode as a suitor for Shirley, (AKA Cindy Williams). That same year; 1976; Cindy Williams also played Bruce Kimmel's girlfriend in a movie he directed and that they starred in together; The First Nudie Musical (1976).
In the 1970s, while she was appearing on Happy Days, Cindy Williams went from starring in American Graffitti and The Conversation; two of the greatest movies ever made; to starring in "The First Nudie Musical" in 1976; a critical and commercial bomb. She was auditioning for Star Wars about the same time she was starring on Laverne and Shirley too; in 1976.
Fonzie and Ritchie have never met Lenny and Squiggy; although they are good friends with Laverne and Shirley, and have also met Carmine Ragussa.
In the 1970s Penny Marshall appeared concurrently on 4 different shows; Happy Days; Laverne and Shirley; Odd Couple; and the Mary Tyler Moore Show. She played Laverne Defazio on Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley; (she even appeared on Mork and Mindy playing this character as well). She also played Myrna Turner on Odd Couple. She also played Janice Dreyfus on Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Originally the full title of the show was officially "Laverne Defazio and Shirley Feeney", " Laverne and Shirley" for short. At least that's what the opening credits said for the first couple episodes.
Eddie Mekka - the guy who played "The Big Ragoo" on Laverne and Shirley - was arrested in Las Vegas in March 18, 2017 after he allegedly got into a drunken car crash.
The Happy Days/Laverne and Shirley crossover episode appeared in 1979 at the beginning of the seventh for both shows. The problem with this is Laverne and Shirley had flashed forward 5 years at this point; when the girls moved top Burbank at the beginning of season 7; from 1962 to about 1967. Whereas the Happy Days Gang were still stuck in 1962. So the shows have a serious timeline/logic problem and are both very anachronistic at this point.
Betty Garrett played recurring characters Irene Lorenzo on All in the Family and Edna Babbish on Laverne and Shirley concurrently.
After befriending her on Laverne and Shirley Angelica Huston and Penny Marshall became very close for a while. In a recent interview Huston said she ended the relationship because Marshall was "doing too much coke".
While the parent show "Happy Days" had many science fiction or magic themed episodes, "Laverne and Shirley" had none. Actually, there was one episode called "Upstairs Downstairs" which had Laverne and Shirley battling the forces of both Heaven and Hell; although that turned out to be a dream sequence.