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Mork & Mindy

By Donald Liebenson

Children who love Robin Williams as the voice of Aladdin or as Mrs. Doubtfire will get a blast out of the show that blasted him into the stratosphere, and made "Nanoo, Nanoo" a national catch-phrase. Mork & Mindy, a spin-off of a season 5 Happy Days episode, was a tailor-made star vehicle for Williams, who won a Golden Globe for this inaugural 1978 season.

The role of extraterrestrial Mork from Ork gave free reign to Williams's stream-of-consciousness riffing as Mork observed life on Earth and reported back to his leader, Orson, on all that he learned about friendship, love, family, and emotions. As Mindy, the down-to-Earth Boulder, Colorado, girl who takes the stranded alien under her roof, fresh-faced Pam Dawber does her best to keep up. When Williams is really in the (Twilight?) zone, it's not acting: she does seem like she's dealing with someone from another planet.

The highlight of this first season is "Mork's Mixed Emotions," a tour-de-force that TV Guide ranked among the top 100 TV episodes of all time (#94, to be exact). Mork believes that emotions are bad, and tries to lock them inside himself, but they are unleashed in a lusty, happy, weepy, angry, envious torrent.

Helping to launch Williams as a primetime player in the series pilot are Henry Winkler and Penny Marshall in their iconic roles as the Fonz and Laverne. Another notable guest star in season 1 is David Letterman as an abusive EST-like guru in "Mork Goes Erk." Mork & Mindy rapidly jumped the shark, and much of the '70s sitcom trappings have not aged well, but this first season is a giddy time capsule record of Williams at his most spontaneous and out of this world. Shazbot--the set contains no extras.

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Season One

 

Share Your Memories In Our Forums!

Check out our Mork & Mindy forum! Do you have a favorite episode of the show? What do you remember about the series? Do you have any questions about it or its stars? Now you can post comments and questions directly to our TV forums! Click here to see what other Mork & Mindy viewers have said or to post your own comments about the show!

Your Memories Shared!

This show is the most amazing one ever! I can't believe I'm the first to write about it. I especially loved Mearth and Mork, I think Mindy wasn't really necessary. She didn't give any humor to the show, or at least not nearly the amount Jonathon Winter and Robin Williams did. Mork and Mindy rocks, and it's still on t.v. today! Anyways, Nanoo Nanoo to all you Mork and Mindy fans out there!

--Anonymous

Note: This is just a random sample of the Mork & Mindy messages in our TV forums! Click here to see what others have said or to post your own comments!

 

TV TIDBITS

Aired: 1978-1982

Cast: Robin Williams, Pam Dawber, Conrad Janis, Tom Poston, Jonathan Winters, Ralph James, Jeffrey Jacquet, Elizbeth Kerr

Network: ABC

Genre: Sitcom

Theme song

Image courtesy of ABC


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