Sunday, November 6, 2022

Alice (1976-1985)


After her husband is killed in a trucking accident, Alice Hyatt packs up her son Tommy and leaves New Jersey for Los Angeles to pursue a singing career.  After her car breaks down in Phoenix, she takes a job waitressing at Mel's Diner working for the crusty Mel Sharples.  Sassy Flo and scatterbrained Vera also serve up blue plate specials.  Later on, Belle and Jolene filled in for Flo after she left for Texas.  Though she was only meant to stay for a little while, Alice worked at Mel's Diner for nine years until she received a recording contract and Mel sold the diner to real estate developer.   

Alice was based on the 1974 film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore starring Ellen Burstyn.  There are several differences between the movie and the series, which ran an impressive nine years and had one of the most popular catchphrases in sitcom history - Kiss my grits!  Florence "Flo" Castleberry became the breakout character and eventually got her own spinoff.  Rumors of a backstage feuds were reported over the years, between Linda Lavin and Polly Holiday, and later with Dianne Ladd.  The series did well in the ratings despite the cast drama and cast changes.  The theme song was sung by Lavin and had numerous changes to the lyrics over the years.

Location: Mel's Diner
Address: 1747 Grand Avenue, Phoenix, AZ

Mel's Diner is still in operation today.  The sign was used in the opening credits of the later seasons.  At the time the location manager found the diner, it was called Chris' but the owner agreed to change it and remains Mel's to this day...

Location Visited: October 2022