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, August 16

The Big Bang Theory - "The Athenaeum Allocation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Leonard jumps through hoops to help secure the perfect wedding venue for Sheldon and Amy. Also, Bernadette and Wolowitz have a hard time deciding who should stay at home with the kids and who should go back to work. John Ross Bowie returns as Kripke.

Young Sheldon - "Dolomite, Apple Slices, and a Mystery Woman" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon makes friends with an upperclassman who introduces him to a new field of science. Also, Mary and George disagree on how to handle Sheldon’s blossoming social life.

Trial & Error: Lady, Killer - "A Family Affair" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
With the retrial of Jesse Ray Beaumont looming, the team digs into Lavinia's past to gain some fresh insight into the case.

Trial & Error: Lady, Killer - "Bad Instincts" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
With Lavinia eliminated as a suspect in Chet Peck's murder, Josh struggles with his defense for Jesse Ray Beaumont. Meanwhile, Dwayne enjoys his new life as a Peck.

American Woman - "Obstacle's Assets" (Paramount Network, 10:00PM ET/PT)
After a mistake at work, Bonnie deals with the repercussions; Kathleen has a major win at her casting office and feels reinvigorated by her burgeoning career; Diana makes a connection with her boss.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 13)

Thursday, August 16

  • Don Cheadle (House of Lies/The Golden Palace) - Catch Don on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Nick Kroll (The League/Cavemen) - Nick appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat) - Constance stops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Matt Groening (Creator of The Simpsons/Futurama) - Matt is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Allison drops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • D.L. Hughley (The Hughleys) - D.L. appears on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm.
  • Melissa Peterman (Baby Daddy/Reba) - Melissa guest co-hosts Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Trial & Error/Kristin) and Nicholas D'Agosto (Trial & Error) - Kristin and Nicholas are guests on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Alyssa Milano (Insatiable/Romantically Challenged/Who's the Boss?) - Alyssa talks about Insatiable on Couch Surfing on PeopleTV at 8am.
  • Regina Hall (Insecure/Grandfathered) - Regina talks about Support Our Girls on the BUILD Series at 1pm.


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

Alice - The Complete Seventh Season Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season The Good Place - The Complete Second Season Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Five

06/05 - Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season
06/05 - New Girl - The Complete Sixth Season
06/05 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-First Season (Blu-ray)
06/12 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fourth Season
06/12 - Life in Pieces - The Complete Third Season
06/12 - The Office - The Complete Series
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete Second Season
06/12 - Step by Step - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One (Blu-ray)
06/19 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Fifth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete First Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete Second Season
07/03 - New Girl - The Final (Seventh) Season
07/10 - Alice - The Complete Seventh Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - The Bill Engvall Show - The Complete First Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season
07/10 - The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season
07/17 - Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life - The Complete Series
07/17 - The Good Place - The Complete Second Season
07/17 - Son of Zorn - The Complete Series
08/07 - Happy Endings - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Five
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest