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.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, February 21

The Big Bang Theory - "The D&D Vortex" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When the gang finds out Wil Wheaton hosts a celebrity Dungeons and Dragons game involving William Shatner, Joe Manganiello, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kevin Smith, deception and betrayal are the path to make it to the one open seat.

Young Sheldon - "A Loaf of Bread and a Grand Old Flag" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Things spiral out of control when Sheldon boycotts his favorite bread company. Also, Georgie offers Veronica a shoulder to cry on when she’s dumped by her boyfriend.

Mom - "Skippy and the Knowledge Hole" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Christy finds it challenging to quit smoking, while Bonnie helps Tammy prepare to take the GED test.

Fam - "Drunk in Love" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
During their engagement party, Clem and Nick are both shocked to learn that the other has been keeping an embarrassing secret about how they met.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "The Honeypot" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jake and Holt clash over the merits of a new hire in the 99th precinct. Terry, Amy, Rosa and Charles try to do something about the cluttered bullpen.

Will & Grace - "The Pursuit of Happiness" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Grace (Debra Messing) is enlisted by Malcolm (guest star Alec Baldwin) to help him win back Karen's (Megan Mullally) affections. Will's (Eric McCormack) flirtation with his co-worker, Paul (guest star Barrett Foa), takes a turn when details about Paul's home life put Will in an ethical dilemma. And Jack's (Sean Hayes) run-in with Zusanna (guest star Andrea Martin), the sister of his former acting teacher, reignites Jack's passion for performing.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 18

Thursday, February 21

  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Catch Ken on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on Strahan & Sara at 1pm.
  • James Spader (The Office) - James stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Kal Penn (Deadbeat/We Are Men) - Kal visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Chris O'Dowd (Family Tree) - Chris is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Mark Duplass (Togetherness/The Mindy Project/The League) - Mark appears on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm.
  • Reba McEntire (Reba/Malibu Country) - Reba drops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Morris Chestnut (Out All Night) - Morris is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Finesse Mitchell (A.N.T. Farm) - Finesse is a panelist on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Craig Ferguson (The Drew Carey Show) - Craig is a guest on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Bill Pullman (1600 Penn) - Bill appears on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • D'Arcy Carden (The Good Place) - D'Arcy will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (January/February)

Fuller House - The Complete Third Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season The Game - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season

01/08 - Family Guy - 20 Greatest Hits
01/22 - Fuller House - The Complete Third Season
01/22 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season (WBShop.com)
01/29 - Ballers - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
01/29 - Crashing - The Complete Second Season
01/29 - The Game - The Complete Series
01/29 - Kidding - Season One
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 1 - Volumes 1-5
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 2 - Volumes 6-10
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 3 - Seasons 10-14
02/05 - First Lady of Television - Betty White Collection (40 rare and acclaimed episodes from her early days in television)
02/05 - Mama's Family - Seasons 1-6 - The Complete Series
02/12 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-3 (Blu-ray)
02/12 - Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season
02/26 - What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest