Monday, February 8, 2010

Let me correct an oversight here

Two posts ago I mentioned Laverne and Shirley. One post ago I mentioned Lenny and Squiggy, who were upstairs neighbors of Laverne and Shirley, and I included biographical material from Wikipedia about Lenny and Squiggy for your reading and reminiscing enjoyment. Let me correct an oversight here by including as well some biographical material from Wikipedia about Laverne and Shirley themselves, also for your reading and reminiscing enjoyment (or, if you happen to reside in New Zealand or the United Kingdom, for your enlightenment):

Laverne De Fazio (Penny Marshall). Known for being a tough-talking tomboy, Laverne grew up in Brooklyn, with her Italian immigrant parents and grandmother; Laverne’s parents moved to Milwaukee, where her mother died and was buried. Laverne works alongside best friend and roommate Shirley Feeney and is known for being the cynic of the pair. She would consider herself a realist, and she sees her life for what it is. Laverne’s motto is: “This is it, this is our life.” Laverne enjoys dating tough guys of the “Purple Fiends” gang and picking up sailors at the dock with old lady neighbor Mrs. Colchek. (The show’s dialogue was always clear, however, that both Laverne and Shirley were “good girls” according to the standards of the 1950s.) Laverne is also a fan of the TV show Sea Hunt and enjoys 3-D Monster Movies, such as The Bride of Bwana Devil. Milk and Pepsi was Laverne’s infamous favorite drink (Penny Marshall drank milk and Pepsi in real life and added it to her character). Along with her poodle skirts, her trademark was the letter “L” monogrammed on her shirts and sweaters (another idea introduced by Marshall).

Shirley Feeney (Cindy Williams). Shirley Wilhelmina Feeney is the perky, positive one. With apple cheeks to match her personality, Shirley never “lets her balloon land.” She also tends to be a meek little “girly-girl,” while Laverne is more outspoken and athletic. One of Shirley’s most prized possessions is “Boo Boo Kitty,” a large stuffed cat which sits next to her bed. Her favorite song is Frank Sinatra’s “High Hopes” and that song is featured in several episodes, often used by one of the girls to cheer the other up. Shirley later becomes a huge fan of teen-idol Fabian. She has an overbearing mother named Lily (Pat Carroll) who had moved to California, and an alcoholic sailor brother Bobby (Ed Begley, Jr.). In episode 32, “Buddy Can You Spare a Father?” (which aired Feb. 15, 1977), Shirley’s father Jack Feeney was played by Scott Brady (who turned down the role of Archie Bunker on All in the Family). Shirley dotes on her never-seen nieces, nephews, and cousins and adores her “Feeney Family Photo Album.“ Shirley is also well-known as a conservative in her personal life: for example, “I don’t vo-dee-o-doe-doe” was an early catchphrase (to which Laverne once replied, “You vo-dee-o”). Despite her more blue-collar veneer, Laverne was also relatively conservative. This was made clear, for example, in an episode where Laverne nearly accepted a proposal of marriage; when Shirley asked if the marriage was being driven by necessity, Laverne reacted strongly against the insinuation. In the series’ earliest episodes, Cindy Williams used a coarser accent for her character, but it was soon softened considerably. (This speech pattern had been previously used by Williams in a commercial for Foster Grant sunglasses.)

Time and space do not permit me to tell you about Frank De Fazio, Edna Babish De Fazio, or Carmine “The Big Ragu” Ragusa. By “time” I mean, in the immortal words of Cole Porter, the tick-tick-tock of a stately clock as it stands against the wall. And by “space” I do not mean somebody’s arbitrary and artificially-imposed limits on a post’s length but the great emptiness out there beyond the stars.


  1. So, did Putz end his blog after 500 posts, or was he just suggesting that you end yours. Anyway, I hope you stay around--I don't know about Putz though.

  2. Snow, Putz said recently that he is at 467 or thereabouts. He wasn't suggesting that I end mine; he was talking about himself. I just picked up on the "if the shoe fits, wear it" aspects of his statement. This post, however, is number 502 for me, so I'm still here.

  3. Thank you. I am now suitably enlightened.

  4. I remember the program.
    Thanks for your comment on my Sunday blog.

  5. I didn't know about their musical endeavors.

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