TV

'Laverne & Shirley': Why Penny Marshall Wore an 'L' on Her Clothes

In the 70s, a hit Tv show aired featuring a pair of working-class women. The show which followed the titular characters was called Laverne & Shirley, and when it aired, it was a hit among its audiences. Viewers loved the characters for their relatability and humor.

One of the show’s most iconic things is the fashion sense that the ladies had. Laverne especially wore every outfit with a monogram ‘L’. As it turns out, the ‘L’ was a very strategic move on actor Penny Marshall‘s end.

‘Laverne & Shirley’ was a spinoff of another successful show

The titular characters Laverne and Shirley first made their debut on the set of Happy Days. Audiences were introduced to the two ladies in an episode of Happy Days as Richard and Fonzie’s double dates. In the show, Laverne and Shirley were seen as more experienced city girls who’d had their fair share of romantic involvements.

The two best friends had minimal screen time, but they became a hit among the show’s viewers and stage audience. Laverne and Shirley became so popular that the network executives decided to give them their own show.

In the new show, viewers got a chance to follow the pair as they navigated their way through life, romance, and blue-collar jobs at Shotz Brewery, where they worked as bottle cappers. Audiences loved how relatable Laverne and Shirley were, and ratings for the show were almost always high.

The series almost got its own spinoff

Part of the show’s cast included Laverne’s dad Frank DeFazio and their apartment landlady Edna Babish who became Frank’s wife later on in the series. Throughout the show’s run, Shirley had an on-again-off-again romance with actor and dancer Carmine Ragusa.

By the time the finale came around for Laverne & Shirley, the two leads at the time, Laverne and Squiggy, switched camp from Milwaukee, where the show had been set for seven seasons, to Burbank, California. Laverne also had small cameos at the beginning and final episode. Actor Cindy Williams wasn’t involved in production at the time since she had exited the show due to some contract and legal issues.

The entire series focused more on Carmine and his endeavors. The choice to highlight Carmine was a very intentional one on the producer’s part. It turns out that the finale was meant to provide a backdoor pilot to another spinoff that would revolve around Carmine.

Laverne & Shirley’s finale wrapped up with Carmine living with a big group of roommates in New York. Carmine lived with a group of aspiring actors, which was already great fodder for a classic sitcom had the show been picked up. However, ABC decided against picking up the Carmine-centered show, and instead, audiences bid farewell to Carmine forever.

Laverne wore an ‘L’ on her clothes for a good reason

Laverne and Shirley have some seriously iconic moments throughout the series. A good example is the hopscotch chant that the titular characters say at the beginning of every episode. However, one of the most iconic things that made the series stand up was the show’s iconic fashion pieces.

One of the fashion items on the show was Laverne’s iconic cursive ‘L’ on her clothes. According to Mental Floss, the monogram was Marshall’s idea to avoid monotony. In most parts of her script, Marshall noted that her character’s name, profession, and residence were constantly repeated to identify who she played.

Marshall feared that it would get distracting and boring to have to repeat the same things over and over again. She, therefore, came up with the brilliant idea to have an ‘L’ sewn on to her clothes to remind the audience of her character subtly.

Source: Read Full Article