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Years: 1979, 1980
Genre: TV series, Comedy
Country: United States
Starring: Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams, Michael McKean, David L. Lander
Guest appearances: Henry Winkler, Ron Howard
DVD distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment
Happy Days was famous for many things, one of which being the phrase “jumping the shark”. A 1977 episode where Fonzie jumped over a shark in the water on skis was the definitive moment in the series, where it became abundantly clear that they were out of ideas and that the show would suck forever more. Now. The fifth season of Laverne & Shirley comes to DVD April 10th from Paramount Home Entertainment. It opens with a special feature, a Happy Days crossover episode where Fonzie and Richie have to marry Laverne and Shirley at the point of a farmer’s shotgun.
See, the Happy Days episode is one big, long, tired farmer’s daughter joke. Fonzie and Richie have disguised themselves in one of those two-person cow costumes where Fonzie is the head and Richie is the ass. They sneak onto a farm in the cow costume so they can have sex with two super hot daughters whose father is a gun wielding homicidal maniac. And they get busted and Laverne and Shirley have to get them out of their predicament. Now, by the time this crossover episode aired, it had been two full years since Happy Days had jumped the shark. This crossover episode with the farmer’s daughter and the cow might be the moment they took Laverne and Shirley down with them.
From then on, throughout the fifth season, Laverne and Shirley is a series of dream sequences, talent shows, joining the army, flashbacks and every other cliché that was already tired in 1979. They were simply out of ideas, and the decline appears to be as abrupt and precipitous as that of their parent show Happy Days. It might be worth picking up though, if you have a morbid curiosity about the sudden decline of a decent show, and to see the exact moment where Laverne and Shirley “married the cow”.