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, May 29

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to What Used to be the Neighborhood" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Calvin’s favorite restaurant closes and is replaced by a flashy pet spa, he worries the community is losing too many small businesses and starts a campaign to only buy local. Also, Tina helps Necie prepare a special surprise for Marty.

Bob Hearts Abishola - "Your Father's Kingdom" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Abishola turns to Gloria and Kemi when Bob mortgages their home to pay for a new factory space. Also, Kemi worries that she and Chukwuemeka are losing their spark.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 29)

Monday, May 29

  • Seth Rogen (Platonic/Undeclared) - Watch Seth on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Nicole Byer (Grand Crew/Loosely Exactly Nicole) - Nicole is a guest on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Keanu Reaves (Swedish Dicks) - Keanu appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Melanie Lynskey (Two and a Half Men/Togetherness) - Melanie is a guest on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • James Spader (The Office) - James appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ms. Pat (The Ms. Pat Show) - Ms. Pat is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Amanda Peet (Brockmire/Togetherness/Bent) - Amanda appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Brett Gelman (Fleabag/Married/Go On) - Brett is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Tichina Arnold (The Neighborhood/Survivor's Remorse/Happily Divorced/Everybody Hates Chris/Martin) - Tichina appears on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Schmigadoon!/Trial & Error/Kristin) - Kristin is a guest on a repeat of The Jennifer Hudson Show, so check your local listings.
  • John Leguizamo (The Brothers Garcia) - John talks about MSNBC's Leguizamo Does America on a repeat of Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.
  • Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Eric talks about Shudder and AMC+'s Slasher: Ripper on a repeat of Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.
  • Method Man (Method & Red) - Method Man tells Sherri about his role in Sanaa Lathan’s directorial debut, On the Come Up, on a repeat of Sherri, so check your local listings.


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

Growing Pains - The Complete Series Cheers - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Twelve Gimme a Break! - The Complete Series (VEI) Kate & Allie - The Complete Series (VEI)

01/03 - Andy Richter Controls the Universe - The Complete Series (2023 Release)
01/27 - Master of None - Season Three / The Complete Series
02/21 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Nine / The Complete Season Ten
02/28 - Growing Pains - The Complete Series
03/28 - Rick and Morty - Season 8 (Blu-ray) (DVD)
04/04 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Fifth Season (Blu-ray) (DVD)
04/18 - Blondie - The Complete 1957 Television Series (Blu-ray)
04/25 - Cheers - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
05/23 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Eleven / The Complete Season Twelve
05/23 - Go On - The Complete Series
05/23 - Kate & Allie - The Complete Series (Universal)
05/29 - Gimme a Break! - The Complete Series (VEI)
05/29 - Kate & Allie - The Complete Series (VEI)
05/30 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 1 (Blu-ray)
06/13 - Mayberry R.F.D. - The Complete Series
06/13 - Night Court (1984-1992) - The Complete Series
More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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