ASK MR. KNOW IT ALL: A Shirley-less Laverne & Shirley
Question: One of the funniest sitcoms on TV had to be “Laverne & Shirley.” I’ve been watching reruns lately, and I’m now wondering why Shirley was written off the show. — L.G., Kokomo, Ind.
Answer: “Laverne & Shirley” premiered in January 1976 and was a spin-off of “Happy Days.”
In March 1982, Cindy Williams, who played Shirley Feeney, became pregnant. She and her manager/husband Bill Hudson presented a list of demands to Paramount. The studio rejected the list. Two episodes into the season, Williams left the show and filed a $20 million lawsuit against Paramount. The case was settled out of court, and Williams was released from her contract.
ABC canceled the show in May 1983 after 178 episodes.
DID YOU KNOW? Laverne and Shirley’s apartment was originally used on “The Odd Couple.”
Question: Is there a soundtrack available from the 1983 movie “Eddie and the Cruisers”? — J.R., Cheboygan, Mich.
Answer: I found the original soundtrack at Amazon.com, but I’m sure your local music store can order one for you if it does not have it available.
Question: When I was a kid growing up in the 1960s, I received as a gift an animal-shaped bar of soap that grew “hair” when it was wet. I’ve asked several people my age, and they never heard of it. Are you familiar with it? — E.B., Saugus, Mass.
Answer: Fuzzy Wuzzy Bath Soap grew fur made of soap. After letting the fur grow, you could use it as a regular bar of soap. The best part: There was a toy inside. The soap came in five animal shapes.
I’ve seen Fuzzy Wuzzy soaps available at online auction sites — I saw the cat with a price of $40. That’s a lot of money for a piece of hairy soap.
Question: I love the TV show “Monk.” When did it premiere, and when was the last episode? What can you tell me about the actor who played Adrian Monk? — P.L., Owosso, Mich.
Answer: “Monk” premiered July 12, 2002, and the last episode aired Dec. 4, 2009.
Tony Shalhoub played Adrian Monk. He was born in Green Bay, Wis. on Oct. 9, 1953, and became involved in school theater at age 6. After high school, Shalhoub received his bachelor’s degree in drama from the University of Southern Maine and later his master’s from the Yale School of Drama. He starred on Broadway where he met his future wife, Brooke Adams; the two married in 1992 and have two adopted daughters. The call from Hollywood took the couple to California, where he landed several movie roles and finally the big break when he was selected for the role of Monk. He was nominated for five Emmys and won three times.
Question: The first lines of the “Marines’ Hymn” go:
From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country’s battles
In the air, on land and sea.
Where are the Halls of Montezuma? — G.L.M., San Francisco
Answer: The Halls of Montezuma refer to the 1847 Battle of Chapultepec, which took place during the Mexican-American War. A force of marines stormed the Chapultepec Castle and occupied Mexico City.
Send your questions to Mr. Know-It-All at AskMrKIA@gmail.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.