Monday, November 02, 2015

2015 ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas Schedule; Remembering Happy Days Star Al Molinaro

ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas

ABC Family's "25 Days of Christmas," cable's biggest programming event of the year, returns with 25 continuous days of holiday-themed entertainment for the whole family. From December 1 - 25, viewers can ring in the holidays with holiday specials, classic holiday movies, and returning favorites. As you all know, ABC Family is becoming Freeform in January 2016. This year, "25 Days of Christmas" will feature classic Jim Henson Christmas specials The Bells of Fraggle Rock and Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas, which have been remastered and are returning to television after several years. Additionally, December 13 features a marathon of Disney·Pixar's Toy Story films. Also, the network will air Beyond the Shadows: The Making of Shadowhunters, which gives an inside look at the upcoming saga series.

Other faves airing this year include The Polar Express, The Santa Clause, Mickey's Christmas Carol, A Very Brady Christmas, Home Alone: The Holiday Heist, Holiday in Handcuffs, Christmas Cupid and Snowglobe. View the full 25 Days of Christmas schedule, so you don't miss any of your favorites!


Al Molinaro

Actor Al Molinaro, who was best known for his roles as Al Delvecchio in Happy Days and Murray Greshler in The Odd Couple, has died. He died on October 30 in a Glendale, California, hospital. His son, Michael, said his death was the result of complications from an infected gallbladder. Mr. Molinaro was 96.

Al Molinaro - The Odd Couple - Murray the Cop

Molinaro played the supporting role of Murray the cop in The Odd Couple from 1970-1975. Murray Greshler was one of Oscar's (Jack Klugman) poker partners. He appeared in 73 episodes of the series. His early sitcom guest appearances included Get Smart, Green Acres, That Girl and Bewitched.

Al Molinaro

Garry Marshall hired him to replace Pat Morita in Happy Days in 1976. Molinaro played Al Delvecchio, the owner of Arnold's drive-in, beginning in the fourth season. He appeared in 146 episodes of the series. His character was known for the catchphrase "yep-yep-yep-yep." He married Chachi's mother, Louisa (Ellen Travolta).

Molinaro left Happy Days in 1982 to star in the spin-off series Joanie Loves Chachi, which aired for 17 episodes. He returned to Happy Days to make three guest appearances in 1983 and 1984. In 1987, Anson Williams and Molinaro opened a chain of diners in the Midwest called appropriately enough, Big Al's. He appeared in the Happy Days Reunion Special on ABC in 1992.

He starred in The Family Man in 1990-1991 on CBS. He played the grandfather, Joe Alberghetti, in the sitcom which aired for one season. Some of his other sitcom guest appearances included Love, American Style, Laverne & Shirley, The Love Boat, Punky Brewster and Step by Step. His film credits included Freaky Friday and Gridlock. He also starred in TV commercials for On-Cor frozen dinners for 16 years from 1987-2003.

In the 1995 Weezer video, "Buddy Holly" directed by Spike Jonze, vintage Happy Days footage was intercut with shots of Weezer performing on the original Arnold's drive-in set. The introduction of the video was delivered by Molinaro as Al Delvecchio and seizing the opportunity to ad lib, Al plugged his hometown--and his words "...from Kenosha, Wisconsin: Weezer!" ended up in heavy rotation on MTV for weeks during 1995.

Survivors include his wife, Betty; son, Michael; a brother, Oliver; and three grandchildren.

Mr. Molinaro was a talented character actor. His roles as Murray the cop and Al Delvecchio were very funny and memorable. He was great at playing the second banana. We thank him for the many laughs and memories he brought us. He lived a long and good life. Big Al will be greatly missed.

Share your memories on our Happy Days message board. View photos in our photo galleries.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, September 21

The Big Bang Theory - "The Long Distance Dissonance" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The gang is concerned when Sheldon’s former admirer, Dr. Ramona Nowitzki (Riki Lindhome), resurfaces while Amy is away at Princeton.

Mom - "A Few Things and a Hawaiian Funeral" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Christy and Jill take Emily to see her biological mother, Natasha (Missi Pyle), in rehab where they make a surprising discovery, and Bonnie watches Adam’s dog while he’s out of town.

The Big Bang Theory - "The Recollection Dissipation" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon pushes himself to the limit when he collaborates on projects with Leonard and Wolowitz as well as Amy on the same day. Also, Bernadette is nearing the end of her maternity leave and must return to work.

Mom - "Lockjaw and a Liquid Diet" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Christy tries to help when Bonnie gets into trouble with the IRS but, realizing she’s in over her head, she encourages Bonnie to seek help from her newfound brother, Ray (Leonard Roberts).

The Guest Book - "Story Nine" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Jacob, an Amish kid on Rumspringa, follows the signs to God's Country and ends up at the cabin, where he is convinced God is directing him to meet the love of his life in any way possible.

Better Things - "Rising" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Sam clears her head.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 18)

Thursday, September 21

  • Dave Franco (Scrubs/Do Not Disturb) - Catch Dave on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory/Young Sheldon) - Jim appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Kaitlin Olson (The Mick/It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) - Kailtin is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 1:45pm.
  • Kyle MacLachlan (Sex and the City) - Kyle visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Amy Landecker (Transparent/The Paul Reiser Show) - Amy stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) - Kelly appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Minnie Driver (Speechless/About a Boy) - Minnie chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Essence Atkins (Marlon/Mr. Box Office/Are We There Yet?/Half & Half/Smart Guy) - Essence appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) and Zach Woods (Silicon Valley/Playing House/The Office) - Kumail and Zach are guests on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • Pamela Adlon (Better Things/The King of Queens/The Facts of Life) - Pamela appears on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.
  • Peter Facinelli (Nurse Jackie) - Peter is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.