Friday, December 8, 2023

Laverne & Shirley (1976-1983)

Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney are best friends working at the Shotz Brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and living in a basement apartment.  A bit of a depressing premise for a sitcom, but laughs ensue as the girls get into some hijinks and spar with their upstairs neighbors Lenny and Squiggy.  They all moved to sunnier pastures in season 6, settling in Burbank, CA.  There, Laverne & Shirley found employment as gift wrappers at Bardwell's Department Store.  The dynamic duo parted ways in the last season as Shirley married an army medic, who was transferred overseas.

Laverne & Shirley was a spin-off of the hit sitcom Happy Days (1974-1984) and was created practically overnight after the two guest starred on a double date episode.  Penny Marshall was gung ho, but Cindy Williams scoffed at the idea, for fear of diminishing movie roles.  She eventually relented and after the series debuted, audiences of over 60 million people tuned in!  Things weren't as hunky-dory backstage.  The two stars were at constant odds with writers, cast and each other.  Cindy Williams left two episodes into the final season due to pregnancy leaving Penny Marshall left to carry the show alone.  One bright spot was the hit theme song "Making Our Dreams Come True" which was a top 30 hit on the charts.  The chant heard beforehand was from Penny's childhood.

Location: Schlemiel, Schlimazel!
Address: Washington Sqaure - Paramount Studios, Los Angeles, CA

Location: Laverne & Shirley's Burbank Apartment
Address: 419/421 N Sierra Bonita Avenue, Los Angeles, CA

Locations Visited: June 2021, November 2023