The Final Love Boat

The Brady Bunch (1969-1974)
Father Knows Best (1954-1960)
Leave It to Beaver (1957-1963)
The Love Boat (1977-1987)
Type: Crossovers
Group: 6

   For the final episode of The Love Boat the show went for broke. The episode was a two hour semi-mystery with there being a question if a murder was on board the ship and with several passengers on the ship because they had won tickets from the Maguffin Travel Agency. And that name tells the tale. A maguffin in a movie is an element that gets the plot going but that in and of itself isn't important. Such as a thriller with two spies both trying to be the first to retrieve plans for a nuclear bomb. The plans will never really amount to anything but it gets the spies in conflict and moving... which is the point. Really, same thing here. The murder plot is mixed up with the free tickets and all of that is really just nonsense to get the other characters on the ship and their plots moving, all of which is secondary to a parade of cameos including favorite past guest stars on the show and famous TV characters. I won't list all the celebrity cameos since what we're after is the crossovers.

   First up, Mike and Carol Brady. In a quick scene we see them walk out of their cabin with Carol worrying about their kids, Mike says not to worry, they're adults. And that's it. They're out. Of note though, Florence Henderson's character is actually called Carol which to me helps cement this as a legit crossover.

   Next up is not a real crossover, which wouldn't have made sense, but more of a wink and a nod to Happy Days. At the end of The Love Boat, Marion Ross was playing Captain Stubing's wife Emily. This episode had her bored with life on the ship and so entering all sorts of passenger competitions. Only she was never allowed to win because she wasn't a passenger. Time and again she would technically win, beating out the same passenger time and again, Howard Pfister. Howard Pfister was played by Tom Bosley. The two of them played Howard and Marion Cunnignham on Happy Days. At one point Howard tells Marion she looks familiar and asks if she ever lived in Milwaukee. She says, yes, for 11 years. Happy Days was set in Milwaukee and ran for 11 years. Fun little reference and about all they could really do. Happy Days was set about 20 years in the past so that it wouldn't make sense for Howard and Marion to still be so young.

   Which brings us to Father Knows Best. Elinor Donahue and Jane Wyatt who starred as Betty and Margaret Anderson respectively on Father Knows Best appear sitting at a poolside bar apparently as the same characters. Betty makes a comment about how her father would never approve of her drinking and her mother answers, “Father knows best.” While they do not use the characters' names, the intent is clear, especially with them name checking the show, and there is nothing to contradict them being the Andersons.

   Finally, we hit Leave It To Beaver. In the dining room we find Barbara Billingsley, Tony Dow, and Jerry Mathers playing a mother and her adult sons eating dinner. On Leave It To Beaver they played June, Wally, and Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver. Here, they behave exactly like their Leave It To Beaver characters. Again, they never actually say their names but the intent is crystal clear and nothing contradicts them being the Cleavers. And... three of them! Two actors maybe you're just reuniting co-stars to see the actors together again but three of them whose characters' relationships match so closely to the original show? No brainer. This is legit.

   Unless I've missed something or a cameo got cut for syndication, that's it. But that's a lot. Three classic family sitcoms coming together on another classic show? Pretty cool.

   I should mention that one of the people involved in the murder plot (which ends up being fake) is Mission: Impossible's Peter Graves. They do make a quick Mission: Impossible joke but he is clearly not his Impossible character, Jim Phelps.

Other Brady Bunch Crossover Links
The Brady Bunch and The Brady Brides
The Brady Bunch and The Brady Hour
The Brady Bunch and The Bradys

Other Leave It To Beaver Crossover Links
Leave It To Beaver, Still The Beaver and The New Leave It To Beaver

Other Love Boat Crossover Links
The Love Boat and Charlie's Angels
The Love Boat and Fantasy Island
The Love Boat and Love Boat: The Next Wave
The Love Boat and Martin

Links To Martin Web Sites
The Martin Fanpage

Click here to return to main Crossover List

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