It remained for Garry Marshall … to blend the two dominant forms of sitcom forms into a single, notoriously popular show: Laverne & Shirley (1976–). We can be even more specific: Marshall and co-creators Mark Rothman and Lowell Ganz invented a single character … Shirley Feeney—who could express both slapstick and sentiment, who was both Lucille Ball and Mary Tyler Moore.
The idea here was to put a Mary Richards character into Lucy situations, and to play her adorable fastidiousness against a more pragmatic, good-time-Charlotte colleague: … Laverne De Fazio. Marshall, Ganz, and Rothman had turned the trick before, in The Odd Couple (1971–75) … and it was frequently a...
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