|Mork and Mindy (1978) - Mindy (Pam Dawber) and Mork (Robin Williams)|
1. The Dick Van Dyke Show inspired Mark and Mindy. According to the book The Dick Van Dyke Show: Anatomy Of A Classic Jerry Paris directed the episode "It May Look Like A Walnut" which had a walnut eating alien named "Kolac" played by Danny Thomas. When Paris took over as director of Happy Days, he suggested the idea of an alien visitor. The character of Mork was matched with Garry Marshall's idea of a new series about an alien. Marshall's son had begged him to do a show about an alien after seeing Star Wars, but the Dick Van Dyke Show (1966) predated that by many years.
2. At his audition for Happy Days, Garry Marshall asked him to take a seat and Robin Williams sat on his head. They wrote the joke into the show.
3. Dawber would laugh so hard at Williams' jokes that you can often see her biting her lip to keep from cracking up.
4. The first season ratings for the show were better than Happy Days.
5. The voice of Mork's boss Orson was played by Ralph James, who's best known as the voice of "Mr. Turtle" in the classic Tootsie Pops commercial.
6. According to Garry Marshall's book Wake Me When It's Funny: How to Break Into Show Business and Stay, to create buzz for the show, the writers came up with gags like Mork drinking orange juice with his finger. The next morning, kids would stick their fingers in their juice. Parents would tune into the show to find out what it was all about.
7. The show depended so much on Robin Williams manic ad-libs that they wrote scripts based on his pitch ideas. While the audiences loved it, some of the cast and writers found it exhausting. Marshall said that's what drove the writers off the show after the first season.
8. The rumors about how much the show depended on Robin Williams' wild improvisations led to articles titled "Robin Williams Ad-Libs Whole Show - Does His Thing." It irritated the ten-person writing team so much that when Williams showed up for work one day they handed him a blank script with a cover that read, "Robin Does His Thing." He laughed and said, "Hey, guys, you know I didn't tell the press that" and they gave him the real script.
9. Pam Dawber, mainly a commercial actor for Nair and Underalls, had very little acting experience when cast for the show and didn't audition for the part. Dawber later told AV Club, "I’d done practically nothing, so I was faking my way to the top!"
10. Mork and Mindy's house from the show is located at 1619 Pine Street and is the most popular landmark in Boulder, Colorado. It's privately owned and visitors are asked to stay on the sidewalk.
What's your favorite role from Robin Williams? What did you think of Mork and Mindy? Did you have a favorite moment from the show?
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