Happy Days and Laverne And Shirley

Happy Days (1974-1984)
Laverne And Shirley (1976-1983)
Type: Spin Off
Group 4

    Let the spin offs begin! Laverne And Shirley was the first and most successful in a long line of Happy Days spin offs (which was itself a spin off of Love, American Style!)

    Laverne And Shirley were a couple of brewery workers in the 50's living in Milwaukee who were introduced as friends of Fonzie on Happy Days. Initially they were brought on as a double date for Ritchie and Fonzie. Interestingly in this first appearance, Shirley was a bit crass and lower class. As her character developed she would become a bit more prissy.

    Once they were spun off, Laverne, Shirley and the rest of the cast of their show would often make crossover visits to Happy Days.

    On one occasion, Ritchie and Potsie had decided to do some babysitting to earn some fast money. Needing a lot of money quickly, they decided to stage a sort of babysitting camp where they would babysit for about 15 kids at once. Laverne And Shirley stopped by to drop off a young boy they were supposed to be watching. As it turns out, the kid was so cool even Fonzie knew him. The kids started to get to be more than Ritchie and Potsie could handle and only Laverne And Shirley's young friend could help keep the kids in line.

    There was also the time that the Happy Days gang, Laverne and Shirley all ended up going camping at the same time. Fonzie and Ritchie ended up getting in trouble for messing around with a local farmer's daughters. He was going to force them at shotgun point to marry his daughters. Fonzie explained to the farmer that he and Ritchie were already engaged... to Laverne and Shirley! The episode ended with Ritchie running off to get Laverne and Shirley to help them while Fonzie was left at gunpoint. In the syndicated version of this episode, things end here. As he is looking for Laverne and Shirley Ritchie runs across his dad and his dad explains that against any logic, Fonzie has already escaped and everything is fine(!?!). When originally aired though, that was not the end...

    Laverne and Shirley aired right after Happy Days at this time and the story continued on their show. They showed up to prove they were Fonzie and Ritchie's fiancés and ended up having to battle the farmer's daughters for them in a "Ho-down Show Down".

    Once, there was even a crossover that wasn't on either of the shows these character's were from but on another show altogether: Mork And Mindy. Mork And Mindy was a spin off featuring an alien, Mork from Ork, who had appeared on Happy Days and battled Fonzie. In the series Mork had returned to Earth in the 80's to study our culture and our emotions (Orkans do not use their emotions). He lived with a girl named Mindy. In one episode he explains to Mindy that he has been to Earth before and proceeds to show her a flashback of one of his visits. In it, he makes a return visit to Fonzie and asks to help him learn about love. Fonzie goes about this by setting Mork up on a rather bizarre date with Laverne. With Laverne played by now big director Penny Marshall, Mork played by Robin Williams and Fonzie played by Henry Winkler, that made for a fame packed episode. You couldn't afford to get those people in the same scene today.

    As I said earlier though, Laverne and Shirley were not the only characters from their show to pay a visit. In one episode, Ritchie was going to get his clock cleaned by a bully who Fonzie refused to fight for Ritchie. Instead he brought in Laverne And Shirley's Carmine Ragusa: a championship fighter. In another instance, to defeat some mobsters, Fonzie had to pretend to be dead. Everyone truly believed he was dead and as part of the scam a full funeral was thrown. Most of the major players from Laverne And Shirley were in attendance. Fonzie was at the funeral disguised as his own grandmother. As the Laverne And Shirley gang left in tears, they repeatedly glanced back at "grandma" with a look that said "Could it be...", then shook their heads "Nahhhh!"

Other Happy Days Crossover Links
Happy Days and Blansky's Beauties
Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi
Happy Days and Love American Style
Happy Days and Mork And Mindy
Happy Days and Out Of The Blue

Other Laverne And Shirley Crossover Links
Laverne And Shirley and Mork And Mindy

Click here to return to main Crossover List

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