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Mork & Mindy Info
"Mork & Mindy" Show information
The character Mork, an alien explorer from the planet Ork, first
appeared on a February 1978 episode of "Happy Days." On September 14 of that
year, "Mork & Mindy" debuted on ABC. The show's original run ended June 10,
The undisputed star of "Mork & Mindy" was Robin Williams,
who has since become a major motion-picture actor. "Mork & Mindy" was the
perfect vehicle for Williams' madcap style of wildly spontaneous comedy, which he had
developed as a stand-up comedian. Portraying an alien from the planet Ork who had been
sent to Earth to study human life forms -- in large part by "studying" TV shows
-- Williams created a blizzard of topical references and brilliant mimicry.
The show also starred Pam Dawber as Mindy, an attractive single woman
who adopted and later fell in love with Mork. In addition to Williams and Dawber, the show
featured the talents of Conrad Janis, Tom Poston, Jay Thomas, and--in the last season --
Williams' mentor Jonathan Winters as Mork's son, Mearth.
"Mork & Mindy" aired on Nick at Nite from March 4, 1991
through September 30, 1995.
First telecast: September 14, 1978
Last telecast: June 10, 1982
Day and Time
Sep 1978-Aug 1979
Aug 1979-Dec 1979
Jan 1980-Feb 1982
Apr 1982-May 1982
May 1982-Jun 1982
Mork & Mindy was a spin-off from an episode of Happy Days seen in February
1978, in which an alien from the planet Ork landed on Earth and attempted to
kidnap Richie. So popular was the nutty character created by Robin Williams
that Williams was given his own series in the fall of 1978, and it became an
Mork was a misfit on his own planet because his sense of humor (he was
heard to call the Orkan leader, Orson, "cosmic breath"). So the humorless
Orkans sent him off to study Earthlings, whose "crazy" customs they had
never been able to understand. Mork landed, in a giant eggshell near
Boulder, Colorado. There he was befriended by pretty Mindy McConnell, a
clerk at the music store run by her father, Frederick. Mork looked human,
but his strange mixture of Orkan and Earthling customs--such as wearing a
suit, but putting it on backwards, or sitting in a chair, but upside
down--led most people to think of him as just as some kind of nut. Mindy
knew where he came from, and helped him adjust to Earth's strange ways.
She also let him stay in the attic of her apartment house, which scandalized
her conservative father, but not her swinging grandmother, Cora.
After a season of simple slapstick and big ratings, both the producers
and the network unfortunately got a little cocky and violated one of
television's cardinal rules: "Don't tamper with a hit." In the process of
doing so, they almost destroyed the program. The producers decided to
shift to more "meaningful" stories, opening the second season with a
strange, surrealistic episode in which Mork shrunk away to nothing and
dropped into a never-never world filled with caricatures of good and evil.
At the same time practically the whole supporting cast was changed.
Simultaneously ABC decided to move the series from its established Thursday
time slot to Sunday, to prop up their sagging schedule on that night.
Understandably confused, viewers deserted the show in droves and it lost
nearly half its audience.
By December 1979 ABC and the producers were scrambling to undo their
mistakes. Mork went back to Thursday, and stories got less complicated.
Mindy's father, who had been dumped (along with the grandmother), returned
for the third season. He was supposed to have sold the music store and
gone on tour as an orchestra conductor, fulfilling a lifelong dream. Now
he, but not Cora, was back full-time. Other changes in the second and
third seasons included the addition of brother and sister Remo and Jean
DaVinci, recently arrived from the Bronx. Remo ran the New York Deli and
was helping put Jean through medical school. Nelson was Mindy's cousin, an
uptight young social climber with grandiose political ambitiions; Mr.
Bickley was the grouchy downstairs neighbor (He had been on before, but his
role was enlarged); and Mork's friend Exidor was a crazed prophet and leader
of an invisible cult, the Friends of Venus. Mindy, a journalism student,
got a job at local TV station KTNS, where her boss was Mr. Sternhagen.
All of this brought back some of the lost viewers, but Mork & Mindy never
recaptured the enormous following it had during its first season.
The fall of 1981 brought the most surprising developments of all. Mork
and Mindy were married, and honeymooned on Ork--which proved to be full of
bizarre creatures. Shortly thereafter Mork gave birth, by ejecting a small
egg from his navel. The egg grew and grew and finally cracked open to
reveal a full-grown Jonathan Winters! Mearth, as they named their first
child, weighted 225 pounds and looked middle-aged, but babbled like a baby,
calling Mork "Mommy" and Mindy "Shoe." Since things were backwards on Ork,
he would gradually grow younger (instead of older) and never want for
affection in his waning years.
Despite some hilarious scenes between Robin Williams and his idol
Jonathan Winters, the series was by this time losing audience rapidly and
left the air at the end of the season. It had succeeded primarily because
of the versatile talents of Williams, who mugged, mimicked, and delivered
torrents of one-liners and Orkan gibberish. At the end of each episode he
reported back to his leader Orson, on Ork, twisting his ears and signing
off, "Na no, na no"--good-bye in Orkan.
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Mork & Mindy was a huge ratings hit it's first year finishing tied for 3rd
with Happy Days with a 28.6 rating ranking behind only Laverne & Shirley
(#1) and Three's Company (#2). They messed with the time slot and the
characters the next season and the show consistently lost viewers.
Mork & Mindy was a spin-off of Happy Days. Mork (Robin Williams) appeared in
two episodes: My Favorite Orkan (originally aired 2/28/78) and a follow-up
episode called Mork Returns (originally aired 3/6/79).
Mork & Mindy aired on Nick at Nite from March 4, 1991 through September 30,
Robin Williams won a 1979 Golden Globe award for best tv actor -
musical/comedy for his role of Mork.
Robin Williams and Pam Dawber won People's Choice Awards after the first
season of Mork & Mindy.
Billy Warlock was one of the stunt doubles for Robin Williams on Mork &
Robin Williams directed some episodes of Mork & Mindy.
Robin Williams would often improvise his lines during scenes of Mork &
There was an animated Mork & Mindy series:
The cast of the prime-time Mork and Mindy series lended their voices to this
animated version of the show.
The series chronicled alien Mork's experiences as a student at Mt. Mount
High, where he had enrolled under orders from Orson, his superior from the
planet Ork. Orson wanted him to report back on the lifestyle of teen-aged
The series began September 25, 1982 and ran until September 3, 1983. Voices
from the live-action series included Robin Williams as Mork, Pam Dawber as
Mindy, Conrad Janis as Mindy's father Fred McConnel and Ralph James as
Orson. They were joined by Stanley Jones as Mr. Caruthers, the principal,
Shavar Ross as Mork's friend Eugene and Mark Taylor as his friend Hamilton.
The cartoon, a Hanna-Barbera Production, was actually animated by Hanna-Barbera's
sister company, Ruby-Spears Enterprises, in an arrangement similar to the
one they did that year with Scooby Doo.
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