Monday, 4 April 2016
371 Mork and Mindy
First viewed : 12 January 1979
This followed straight after Dick Barton that Saturday night and was heartily recommended by Stephen.
Mork and Mindy was a spin-off from a rather leftfield episode of Happy Days where Richie is set to become an alien abductee at the hands of a comic alien called Mork played by then-unknown comedian, Robin Williams. The character was so popular that work started on a separate vehicle for Mork straight away.
Mork and Mindy transported him to 1970s Colorado where he'd been sent by unseen boss Orson to observe earth culture. There he ends up the house guest of a young journalist Mindy ( Pam Dawber ) who endeavours to teach him the ways of the world while learning about his own quirky customs.
Now I know I'm in a minority here but I never found Williams very funny and that limited my enjoyment of the show particularly as he was given progressively more space to improvise which often left Dawber in danger of corpsing. The first series was phenomenally popular but after changes to give it a more romantic angle, the ratings fell off dramatically and it was cancelled after four series in 1982.
Williams retreated into stand-up before re-emerging as a major film star at the end of the eighties. Dawber appears to be a classic "Where are they now ? " contender in the UK because her next major vehicle , "My Sister Sam" was never shown here so the death, in a stalker shooting of her young co-star Rebecca Schaeffer and her subsequent advocacy of gun control went unnoticed here. In the US her steady string of TV and film roles and marriage to the very hardworking Mark Harmon have kept her profile relatively high. She made an appearance on Williams' ill-fated TV series The Crazy Ones just before his death.