|Happy Days and Out Of The Blue|
Happy Days (1974-1984)
Out Of The Blue (1979)
Type: Spin Off? Crossover? You decide.
Hot off of the spin off success of Mork And Mindy, the producer's of Happy Days attempted another far flung spin off of the show. This time instead of an alien, the show would focus on an angel.
Random the angel first appeared in an episode of Happy Days in which Scott Baio's character Chaci sells his soul to the Devil (actually to the devil's incompetent nephew(???). Chaci's only hope is his Guardian Angel - Random. Random saves Chaci's soul from eternal damnation so that Chaci could go on to star in Joanie Loves Chachi. Why God, why???
Soon after this, well, average episode was filmed, Random was sent off to film his own show Out Of The Blue. Set in current times, as opposed to Happy Day's 50's 60's setting, Out Of The Blue told the story of Random coming to Earth to help out a woman trying to raise her five orphaned nieces and nephews. Random, pretending to be human, rented a room from the family. While Aunt Marion was unaware of who Random was, the kids all knew and, ala Bewitched and I Dream Of Jeannie, Random would constantly use his angelic abilities to set things right. And hilarity ensued... until the show was cancelled about four months later.
Now here's the weird thing. Some debate has been made with me over whether Out Of The Blue is actually a spin off or whether the episode of Happy Days in question was in fact a crossover. Why this should trouble the great minds of the world I do not know... and it actually doesn't. It just really troubles goofballs like me.
What's the cause of all the trouble? Well, quite frankly, scheduling. Here's the poop. The Happy Days episode featuring Random gets shot. Part of the point of the episode is to try out the Random character and see if he works before they went and developed a whole show for him. Apparently the suits who make the decisions on these things liked the episode and started shooting Out Of The Blue before the episode even aired. That way, when the new season started they could show the Happy Days episode to introduce the character and then, BAM, immediately roll him right into his new show with, hopefully, a built in audience. Poifect!
Only that ain't what ended up happening. As it turned out, due to the vagaries of scheduling, Out Of The Blue ended up debuting BEFORE the Happy Days episode aired. So the plan was to start Random on Happy Days in a single episode and then spin him off ala Mork but in terms of the airing schedule since he appear first on his own show and then on Happy Days it makes it more of an odd crossover.
Which is it? Well, looking around online I see opinions going both ways. As far as I'm concerned it's a spin off. Making it a crossover would be basing things all on an odd bit of scheduling decades ago. The intent was spin off. The tone of the Happy Days episode is that of a dry run on the character, that of a pilot episode. Given that that pilot and its tone are the main or only impression casual viewers today will have on the situation I side with the impression that episode gives. Especially since the original intent was for it to be a spin off.
Note to Happy Days folks: keep Scott Baio far away from your spin off attempts (See Joanie Loves Chachi and Blansky's Beauties).Other Happy Days Crossover Links
Happy Days and Blansky's Beauties
Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi
Happy Days and Laverne And Shirley
Happy Days and Love American Style
Happy Days and Mork And Mindy
Other Out Of The Blue Crossover Links
Out Of The Blue and Mork And Mindy
Click here to return to main Crossover List
Buy these shows on Amazon.com and support this site at the same time! Check out Happy Days on DVD!