Laverne and Shirley: Schlemiel! Schlimazel!

Laverne and Shirley is a classic American television show that aired from 1976 to 1983. It is a sitcom that revolves around the lives of two best friends, Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney, who work in a Milwaukee brewery (Shotz Brewery to be precise) in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The show was created by Garry Marshall and was a spin-off of the popular sitcom Happy Days.

The show ran for eight seasons, and 178 episodes were produced. The show’s cast included Penny Marshall as Laverne DeFazio, Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney, Michael McKean as Lenny Kosnowski, David L. Lander as Andrew “Squiggy” Squiggman, and Eddie Mekka as Carmine Ragusa. The show was known for its catchy theme song, “Making Our Dreams Come True,” which was performed by Cyndi Grecco.

Laverne and Shirley was a huge success during its run and is still considered one of the most popular sitcoms of all time. The show was known for its humor, heart, and strong female leads. It also spawned several spin-offs, including Laverne & Shirley in the Army and a cartoon series called Laverne & Shirley with the Fonz. The show is also famous for its memorable catchphrases and quotes, including “Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!” and “Lenny and Squiggy, hello!”


Laverne and Shirley is a classic American sitcom. 

The show is primarily a comedy with elements of drama and romance. It is known for its slapstick humor, physical comedy, and witty one-liners. The show was set in the 1950s and 1960s, which added to its nostalgic appeal. The show also tackled social issues, such as women’s rights and the Vietnam War.

Number of Seasons and Episodes

Laverne and Shirley aired on ABC from January 27, 1976, to May 10, 1983. It ran for eight seasons and a total of 178 episodes. The show was created by Garry Marshall, who also created Happy Days.

The first season of Laverne and Shirley comprised 15 episodes, while the remaining seven seasons each had 22 episodes. The show was a huge success and consistently ranked among the top-rated television shows.

Overall, Laverne and Shirley was a groundbreaking show that paved the way for other female-led sitcoms. Its legacy continues to live on through reruns and its iconic theme song, “Making Our Dreams Come True,” written by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox and performed by Cyndi Grecco.

penny marshall and cindy williams as laverne and shirley


The show was a hit and consistently ranked in the top 10 most-watched television shows.  It was also one of the top-rated shows of its time. The show was nominated for several awards, including Golden Globes and Primetime Emmy Awards, and won two People’s Choice Awards.


Laverne & Shirley featured a talented cast of actors that brought the characters to life, making the show a fan-favorite for many years.

cast of laverne and shirley david landers penny marshall cindy williams eddie mekka michael mckean
Publicity photo

Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams played the titular characters of Laverne and Shirley, respectively. The chemistry between the two actresses was one of the main reasons the show succeeded. Michael McKean played Lenny, Laverne and Shirley’s best friend and co-worker at the Shotz Brewery. David L. Lander played Squiggy, Lenny’s best friend and co-worker. Eddie Mekka played Carmine, Shirley’s on-again, off-again boyfriend and aspiring actor.

The show also had several recurring characters, such as Frank DeFazio (Phil Foster), Laverne’s father, and Edna Babish (Betty Garrett), the girls’ landlady. These characters added depth and humor to the show, making it even more enjoyable for viewers.

Theme Song

The theme song of Laverne and Shirley is one of the most iconic and recognizable tunes in television history. The song was written by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox and performed by Cyndi Grecco. The song’s lyrics capture the show’s premise, about two best friends who move to Milwaukee to start a new life.

The theme song, “Making Our Dreams Come True,” became a hit in its own right and reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1976. The song has since become a cultural touchstone and is often cited as an example of the great TV theme songs of all time.

The opening sequence of Laverne and Shirley features the two lead characters skipping down the street, arm in arm, while singing the theme song. The sequence became one of the most iconic images of the show, perfectly capturing the series’ fun and lighthearted tone.

Overall, the theme song of Laverne and Shirley is an essential part of the show’s legacy and is still beloved by fans today.

laverne and shirley at shotz brewery
Photo Credit: Pasadena Star News/Marshall Family


Due to the success of Laverne and Shirley, the show spawned several spin-offs throughout the years. Here are some of the most notable ones:

Laverne & Shirley in the ArmyA short-lived animated series that aired in 1981. It followed the adventures of Laverne and Shirley as they joined the army.
Blansky’s BeautiesA sitcom that aired in 1977. It followed the character Nancy Blansky, introduced in Laverne and Shirley as the girls’ friend and landlady.
Mork & MindyA spin-off that aired from 1978 to 1982. It followed the character Mork, introduced in an episode of Happy Days, as he comes to Earth and befriends Mindy McConnell.

Overall, the spin-offs of Laverne and Shirley were not as successful as the original show, but they still hold a special place in the hearts of fans.

Famous Quotes

Laverne and Shirley was known for its witty and memorable one-liners. Here are a few of the most famous quotes from the show:

  • “Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!” – Laverne and Shirley in the show’s theme song
  • “Hello, gorgeous!” – Laverne’s catchphrase when admiring something or someone she likes
  • “Yoo-hoo, Big Boooy!” – Shirley’s signature call to her boyfriend, Carmine
  • “I smell like a brewery but I’m not a brewery.” – Laverne after getting doused in beer during a brewery tour
  • “Pepsi, milk, and beer, that’s what I call a balanced diet.” – Laverne’s response when asked about her eating habits

These quotes have become iconic and are still recognized by fans of the show today. They perfectly capture the humor and charm of Laverne and Shirley and have helped make the show a classic.