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

Monday, January 30

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Pit Stop, How May I Help You?" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Calvin takes Dave’s suggestion to try a new method of promoting his business, he soon comes to regret it. Also, Gemma recruits Tina to rescue her struggling after-school music program.

Bob Hearts Abishola - "Bibles to Brothels" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bob reconsiders his future at MaxDot and seeks advice from an unexpected source (Joel Murray), while Abishola questions Bob’s erratic behavior.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 30)

Monday, January 30

  • Salma Hayek Pinault (30 Rock/The Sinbad Show) - Watch Salma on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. She talks about Magic Mike's Last Dance on ABC's Good Morning America some time between 7-9am.
  • Austin Butler (Ruby & the Rockits/Zoey 101) - Austin appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Murray Bartlett (Physical/Looking) - Murray is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Christopher Meloni (Happy/Surviving Jack/Misery Loves Company/The Fanelli Boys) - Christopher will be on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • D'Arcy Carden (The Good Place/Barry) - D'Arcy appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Emma Roberts (Scream Queens/Unfabulous) - Emma is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Paul Walter Hauser (The Afterparty/Reno 911!/Betas) - Paul will be on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • D. L. Hughley (The Hughleys/Double Rush) - D. L. guest hosts Comedy Central's The Daily Show at 11pm. He will also be on CBS Mornings some time between 7-9am.
  • Christa Miller (Shrinking/Cougar Town/Scrubs/The Drew Carey Show) - Christa appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Hilary Duff (How I Met Your Father/Younger/Lizzie McGuire) - Hilary is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Natasha Lyonne (Poker Face/Russian Doll) - Natasha talks about her new show, her partnership with Maya Rudolph and whether she would do an American Pie reboot on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Sam Jay (Pause with Sam Jay/Bust Down) - Sam appears on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.


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

Abbott Elementary - The Complete First Season Frasier - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Ghosts - Season One The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - 70th Anniversary Ultimate Christmas Collection Hogan's Heroes - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

10/04 - Mr. Mayor - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) (DVD)
10/04 - The Munsters - Marineland Carnival with The Munsters TV Cast
10/18 - Abbott Elementary - The Complete First Season
11/08 - Frasier - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
11/08 - Young Rock - Season Two (Blu-ray) (DVD)
11/15 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Seven / The Complete Season Eight
11/22 - That '70s Show - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/29 - Ghosts - Season One (Blu-ray) (DVD)
12/06 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - 70th Anniversary Ultimate Christmas Collection
12/13 - And Just Like That... - The Complete First Season
12/13 - Hogan's Heroes - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
01/03 - Andy Richter Controls the Universe - The Complete Series (2023 Release)
01/27 - Master of None - Season Three / The Complete Series
More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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