Welcome to Schlamiel Schlamazel, a website dedicated to those two loveable bimbos from Milwaukee and their families and friends. I hope you will visit often and remember with fondness, as I certainly do, those good old days of The Pizza Bowl and Rock 'n Roll !!! Laverne & Shirley was a sitcom phenomenon from the time of its first broadcast in January 1976. It was a slapstick spinoff from Happy Days where the characters Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney had made their debut as friends of Fonzie. Laverne & Shirley joined ABC's line up airing directly after Happy Days on Tuesday nights, and went straight to the top of the ratings. In its second and third full seasons, it even surpassed the popularity of Happy Days, resting comfortably in the number one spot for two full years.
Part of the popularity of the show is in its broad, physical comedy. It was simple and funny, but it was easy to care for the characters. It took place in the 1950s, and Laverne and Shirley were lifetime best friends who shared an apartment in Milwaukee. They also share the same job, working at the local brewery as bottle-cappers. The typical plots involved the trials of being a single, working girl or the lengths that Laverne and Shirley would go to get a date or simply improve their standard of living, whether that be by putting on a talent show or beating their high school rival, Rosie Greenbaum, at bowling.
Other colorful characters were in the world of Laverne & Shirley. Their neighbors, Lenny and Squiggy, were a couple of greasers that also worked at Shotz Brewery. Shirley had a guy-pal whom she dated, but always kept at an arm's length (as she was a good girl and not a bimbo) named Carmine Ragusa. Laverne's father, Frank, a loud-mouthed Italian, turned up frequently, as he owned the gang's favorite hangout, the Pizza Bowl. Rounding out the cast of regulars was Edna Babish, the girls' landlord, who was always full of good advice, and later started dating Laverne's pop.
Laverne & Shirley was wildly popular for its first few years. Even the shows theme song was a top-25 single in the Summer of 1976. In the 1980 season, to give the show some fresh plot ideas, the entire cast moved from Milwaukee to Los Angeles where the girls attempted to break into show biz and took on many hilarious odd-jobs. Frank and Edna, now married, opened up a restaurant called Cowboy Bill's together where Laverne and Shirley occasionally worked. Once in L.A., we also met new neighbors Rhonda, an obnoxious aspiring actress, and stuntman Sonny St. Jacques.
Laverne & Shirley remained in prime time until the end of the 1983 season. It was also seen as a Saturday morning cartoon from 1981 to 1983. In the show's final year, Cindy Williams (who played Shirley) left the show after becoming pregnant, and Penny Marshall remained.