‘Happy Days’ Inspired Three Iconic Spin-Off Shows

by Keeli Parkey

During its time on the air “Happy Days” became a wildly popular television show. Its popularity led to the creation of three other famous sitcoms.

According to FoxNews.com, those three spinoff sitcoms were “Laverne & Shirley,” “Mork & Mindy,” and “Joanie Loves Chachi.” Let’s take a brief look at the history of each of these popular shows. For reference, “Happy Days” aired from 1974 until 1984.

“Laverne & Shirley” had its roots in the famous sitcom because its main characters appeared on the show. Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney were friends of Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli. Penny Marshall, the sister of “Happy Days” creator Garry Marshall played Laverne. Shirley was played by Cindy Williams. The two women played characters living in Milwaukee during the 1950s and 1960s.

You can watch the opening credits for “Laverne & Shirley” below. The show aired from 1976 until 1983.

Another sitcom inspired by “Happy Days” was “Mork & Mindy.” While known as the show that helped make Robin Williams into a star, this show got its start when his alien Mork character appeared in Milwaukee.

Obviously, Williams played the alien Mork from the planet Ork. Starring alongside him was Pam Dawber as Mindy McConnell. The two begin as roommates and end up married.

“Mork & Mindy” aired from 1978 until 1982.

The third direct spinoff of “Happy Days” was “Joanie Loves Chachi.” It aired during 1982 and 1983. Starring in this sitcom were Scott Baio as Chaci Arcola and Erin Moran as Joanie Cunningham. It followed the characters’ relationship after they moved to Chicago from Milwaukee.

Other Shows Also Have Roots in ‘Happy Days’

And, while not as directly connected to “Happy Days” as the three above-mentioned spinoffs, there are other shows that link back to “Happy Days.”

A handful of those shows include “Blansky’s Beauties,” “Out of the Blue,” “The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang,” “Laverne & Shirley in the Army,” and a cartoon adaptation of “Mork & Mindy.” Both “The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang” and “Laverne & Shirley in the Army” were also cartoons.

These shows involved characters who had appeared on “Happy Days” during its successful run.

Another Famous Sitcom Also Inspired Multiple Spinoffs

While “Happy Days” inspired its share of spinoff shows, another sitcom of its time also led to its share of spinoff shows.

Unsurprisingly, that show was “All in the Family.” And it led to the creation of seven other shows.

These shows were “Maude,” “Good Times,” “The Jeffersons,” “Checking In,” “Archie Bunker’s Place,” “Gloria,” and “704 Hauser.”

“Maude” starred Bea Arthur as she reprised the role she first played on “All in the Family.” “Good Times” was created out of “Maude” as character Florida Evans appeared in both.

“The Jeffersons” first appeared on “All in the Family” as neighbors of the Bunkers. From “The Jeffersons” came the show “Checking In.” What connected these to shows was the character Florence Johnston.

“Archie Bunker’s Place” carried on the plot lines from “All in the Family.” “Gloria” focused on Archie and Edith Bunker’s daughter, who was played by Sally Struthers. “704 Hauser” was centered around the house where the Bunker family had lived. It centered around the Cumberbatch family.