‘Laverne & Shirley’ Star Michael McKean Recounts First Appearance in TV Guide 45 Years Ago Today

by Suzanne Halliburton
laverne-shirley-star-michael-mckean-recounts-first-appearance-tv-guide-45-years-ago-today

You remember Lenny from “Laverne & Shirley,” right? Michael McKean acknowledged a very important day in his life and the life of Squiggy’s best friend.

It was 45 years ago today that TV Guide mentioned Michael McKean. How cool is that? McKean tweeted a screenshot of the listing, writing “a big deal at the time.”

We all know “Laverne & Shirley,” the classic TV show from the 1970s. It was a successful spinoff of “Happy Days.” The show was all about BFF’s Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney. The two worked at Schotz Brewery in Milwaukee. The program made its debut on Jan. 27, 1976, so the TV Guide reference Michael McKean treasures is from the second episode of the show.

But Laverne and Shirley needed some friends, otherwise, the show wouldn’t have been as fun. Enter Lenny Kosnowski and “Squiggy” Squiggman, played by the late David Lander. They’re neighbors. The ladies’ apartment was in the basement. The guys lived upstairs.

By the show’s third season, “Laverne & Shirley” was the most viewed TV program in the country. Lenny and Squiggy made a name for themselves, too. They even started a band called Lenny and the Squigtones. And of course, there was an album — Lenny & Squiggy Present Lenny and the Squigtones released in 1979.

Michael McKean Didn’t Get Type Cast As 1950s-Era Goofball

The show ended in 1983. But Michael McKean enjoyed a terrific career since the show went off the air, although you might not have recognized him without his slicked-back blonde hair.

Remember the mockumentary “This Is Spinal Tap?” McKean starred as lead vocalist of the fictional rock band, Spinal Tap.

McKean also stayed involved with the projects of Christopher Guest, aka Jamie Lee Curtis’ husband who perfected mockumentary movie-making. The acting ensemble stayed about the same for the series of movies including “Best In Show” and “A Mighty Wind.” McKean co-wrote the theme song for “A Mighty Wind.” He won a Grammy for it. And his “A Kiss at the End of a Rainbow” received an Academy Award nomination for best original song.

Michael McKean also was cast member for two seasons of Saturday Night Live. Most recently, McKean played the brother of Saul Goodman in “Better Call Saul.” He was nominated for an Emmy in 2019 for outstanding guest actor in a drama.

And to think, it all started 45 years ago with a mention in TV Guide.

Do you like classic TV? Outsider has you covered. Check out this story on Happy Days, which launched Laverne & Shirley.

Outsider.com