Friday, December 24, 2010

Celebrity Toons: Mork & Mindy (1982)

After 4 live-action seasons, Mork & Mindy had been cancelled. Emphasize the "had". ABC decided to bring the series back, this time as a Saturday morning cartoon, coupled with Laverne & Shirley in the Army, which now co-starred The Fonz (Henry Winkler, of course). Ruby-Spears collaborated with Paramount for this series, which retains stars Robin Williams & Pam Dawber. For those of you scoring at home, this is a sort-of prequel to the 1978-82 live-action series, in which Mork travels further back in time to when Mindy is a high school student. Predictably, the producers gave Mork a pet for comic relief, which doomed the series. William LaRochelle uploaded the open:

Only two supporting characters were retained. Mindy's dad, Fred (Conrad Janis), & Eugene (Shavar Ross, Silver Spoons), Mork's juvenile pal from the first season, appeared regularly in the cartoon. Despite Williams' considerable talents, Mork & Mindy was laid to rest, for good this time, at the end of the season. CBS-Paramount owns the rights to the series, which is why it hasn't seen the light of day in nearly 30 years. To paraphrase the GEICO guy, was making Mork & Mindy into a cartoon a bad idea? Yep.

Rating: C.


magicdog said...

Lordy was this show bad!

It wasn't enough to change continuity (putting the characters in a HS setting despite the fact their physical appearance didn't change) or adding that stupid alien dog, but kids really risked losing IQ points watching it along with the other Garry Marshall spinoffs (Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley).

hobbyfan said...

I think the reason they shifted to high school was the live-action series dealt with more adult themes that couldn't be touched on then in animation, though the barrier would gradually be broken before the end of the 80's.

Of the three animated incarnations of the Happy Days family of shows, Mork was the weakest by far, followed by Laverne & Shirley.