Friday, June 04, 2021

Fri-Yay: Happy Endings Now on Netflix, a Perfect New Comedy Binge; Remembering Arlene Golonka of Mayberry R.F.D.

It's time for another edition of Fri-Yay! That means we will take a look back on some sitcom happenings in recent days or weeks or other fun sitcomy stuff. It's a sitcom lover's paradise! Happy Fri-Yay!

Happy Endings

by Vincent

ABC's Happy Endings is one of the biggest cult favorite sitcoms of the last decade, at least in terms of shows that were canceled far too soon. The zippy single-camera sitcom can best be described as "a faster, weirder version of Friends," and for three seasons it was a beloved factory of fast paced one liners and quotable lines, with cleverness on par with 30 Rock or The Simpsons. However, the show was canceled due to low ratings in 2013. It has lived on as a cult classic on Hulu since then, even getting namedropped in the sitcom-obsessed Marvel miniseries Wandavision a few months ago. Now, the show has the opportunity to reach an even bigger audience as it started streaming on Netflix this month.

While Hulu has expanded and quickly developed a following, there's no denying that Netflix is still the supreme streamer, and a show moved to Netflix has been proven to be able to catapult it to new heights, such as when Community bursted in popularity last year after it began streaming on Netflix, despite being available on Hulu for years. Considering Netflix's algorithm success, it shouldn't be hard for people who watched shows like Community, New Girl or Schitt's Creek - all popular Netflix shows that share DNA with Happy Endings - to discover this gem of a sitcom. Here's to hoping it's the next sitcom to explode in popularity.


Arlene Golonka

Actress Arlene Golonka, who starred as Millie Swanson on Mayberry R.F.D., has died. She died on May 31 in her sleep at a memory care facility in West Hollywood, California, after a battle with Alzheimer's disease. Ms. Golonka was 85.

Golonka's early drama guest appearances included The United States Steel Hour, Naked City (2 episodes), The Defenders, The Doctors (5 episodes), The Doctors and the Nurses (3 episodes), The Big Valley (2 episodes) and I Spy.

Arlene Golonka - Mille Hutchins - The Andy Griffith Show

Some of her early sitcom guest appearances included Car 54, Where Are You?, The Flying Nun, Accidental Family and Get Smart. She played Millie Hutchins in the eighth and final season of The Andy Griffith Show episodes "Howard's Main Event" and "Howard and Millie." She works at the bakery and becomes engaged to Howard Sprague (Jack Dodson) before they decide to break the engagement.

Mayberry R.F.D.

Her character was named Millie Swanson on The Andy Griffith Show spinoff series Mayberry R.F.D., which premiered on September 23, 1968. The 1968-1971 CBS sitcom aired for 3 seasons and 78 episodes. Millie Swanson was the love interest of Sam Jones (Ken Berry). The cast included Frances Bavier (1968-1970), George Lindsey, Jack Dodson, Paul Hartman, Buddy Foster and Alice Ghostley (1970-1971).

She starred as Stella Sweetzer in the second season of the short-lived 1978-1979 NBC sitcom Joe & Valerie. Stella Sweetzer was the mother of Valerie Sweetzer (Char Fontane). The season two cast included Paul Regina, Lloyd Alan, David Elliott, Donna Ponterotto, Robert Costanzo and Jack Riley.

Arlene Golonka as Tina - All in the Family

Golonka appeared as Lieutenant Edwina “Eddie” Ferguson, an attractive but clumsy nurse, in the M*A*S*H episode "Edwina." She played Tina, an escort of one of Archie's old pals (Larry Storch), in the All in the Family episode "Oh Say Can You See." Some of her other sitcom guest appearances included That Girl (3 episodes), Love, American Style (3 episodes), The Mary Tyler Moore Show (2 episodes), The Girl with Something Extra, Maude (2 episodes), The Cop and the Kid (2 episodes), Alice, Carter Country, One Day at a Time, Taxi, The Love Boat (2 episodes), Gimme a Break!, Benson, Valerie, We Got It Made, Growing Pains (2 episodes), 1st & Ten (3 episodes) and Drexell's Class. Her final credit was a 2005 episode of The King of Queens.

Some of her drama guest appearances included Sarge, The Rookies, The F.B.I., Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law (1972), The Delphi Bureau, Young Dr. Kildare, Cannon, Faraday and Company, The Manhunter, Police Woman, Barnaby Jones (2 episodes), The Streets of San Francisco (2 episodes), The Rockford Files, Police Story, Trapper John, M.D., Fantasy Island (3 episodes), Simon & Simon, Murder, She Wrote (2 episodes), In the Heat of the Night and Matlock (2 episodes).

Her voice credits included Speed Buggy, The New Scooby-Doo Movies, Scooby's Laff-A Lympics and The New Yogi Bear Show.

Some of her film credits included Harvey Middleman, Fireman (1965), Penelope (1966), The Busy Body (1967), Welcome to Hard Times (1967), Hang 'Em High (1968), Airport '77 (1977), The In-Laws (1979), Love at First Bite (1979), The Last Married Couple in America (1980), My Tutor (1983), The End of Innocence (1990) and A Family Affair (2001).

Survivors include her sister, Zorine; nieces Stephanie, Susan, Amy, Debra, Lisa, Karen and Crissy; and nephews David and Michael.

Mayberry R.F.D.

Ms. Golonka was a talented, cute and bubbly actress. If you enjoy The Andy Griffith Show, the first season of Mayberry R.F.D. is worth checking out on DVD or digitally. It has some of the same Mayberry charm. Hopefully they will release the other two seasons on DVD or put them on a streaming service at some point. We thank her for the laughs and entertainment she brought us. She will be deeply missed.

Share your memories on our Mayberry R.F.D. message board. View photos in our galleries.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Tuesday, April 16

Lopez vs Lopez - "Lopez vs Let It Go" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
George joins a meditation group led by Carlos the Curandero, a spiritual healer whose mantra is "let it go"; however, Mayan worries her dad is letting go of too much, including their living room furniture; a burnout threatens to move next door.

Lopez vs Lopez - "Lopez vs Raider Nation" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
As part of Alcoholics Anonymous, George makes amends with everyone except Oscar, who seeks an apology at a football game, but a run-in with Marshawn Lynch fumbles the plan; Mayan and Quinten try to spark Rosie's love life but end up getting burned.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 15)

Tuesday, April 16

  • Nick Offerman (The Great North/Parks and Recreation) - Catch Nick on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Austin Butler (Ruby & the Rockits/Zoey 101/Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide) - Austin appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • DulcĂ© Sloan (The Great North) - DulcĂ© hosts Comedy Central's The Daily Show at 11pm.
  • George Takei (Supah Ninjas) - George is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. NBC's Today catches up with George in the 9am hour.
  • Fred Armisen (Los Espookys/Forever/Final Space) - Fred sits in with The 8G Band on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Michael Douglas (The Kominsky Method) - Michael talks about Apple TV+'s Franklin on NBC's Today some time between 7-9am and in the 9am hour. He chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Amy Ryan (Only Murders in the Building/The Office/The Naked Truth) - NBC's Today catches up with Amy in the 10am hour.
  • George Lopez (Lopez vs Lopez/Lopez/Saint George/George Lopez) and Mayan Lopez (Lopez vs Lopez) - The hilarious George Lopez and his daughter Mayan talk about their hit NBC sitcom, Lopez vs Lopez, on Sherri, so check your local listings. Mayan will also be on Comedy Central's The Daily Show at 11pm.
  • Vanessa Lachey (Truth Be Told/Dads) - Vanessa talks about NCIS on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.
  • Carl Anthony Payne II (Tyler Perry's Young Dylan/Rock Me Baby/Martin) - Carl talks about the recent Martin reunion and his NAACP nominated show, MTV's Binged to Death, on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray

Father Knows Best - The Complete Series Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series Check It Out! - The Complete Series

12/05 - Father Knows Best - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/12 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series
12/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 2 (Blu-ray)
12/12 - That Girl - The Complete Series
12/15 - Letterkenny - Season 11
12/19 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series
12/22 - Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection (includes The Ropers and Three's a Crowd)
01/09 - South Park - Seasons 11-15 (Blu-ray)
01/16 - Ghosts (UK) - Season Five
02/13 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/27 - The Really Loud House - Season One
03/12 - Ghosts (UK) - The Complete Series
03/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 3 (Blu-ray)
03/12 - Rick and Morty - Season 7 (Blu-ray Steelbook) (Blu-ray) (DVD)
04/03 - Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series (VEI)
04/08 - Check It Out! - The Complete Series (VEI)

The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) That Girl - The Complete Series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series

More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

04/16 - ABC Renews The Rookie for Season 7; CBS Orders New Soap Opera The Gates
04/15 - Paramount+ Announces Final Season of Animated Star Trek Comedy; Lifetime May 2024 Movies
04/14 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 15, 2024)
04/13 - SitcomsOnline Digest: The Talk Coming to an End at CBS; CBS Renews The Neighborhood
04/12 - Netflix Orders Tom Segura Comedy Series; Surprise! S.W.A.T. Gets Uncanceled...Again
04/11 - Max's Velma Returns April 25; Eva Longoria Apple TV+ Series Premieres in June
04/10 - CBS Renews NCIS and The Neighborhood; Max's Pretty Little Liars Returns May 9
04/09 - CBS 2023-24 Season Finale Dates; Hacks Star Gets Max Comedy Special
04/08 - Letterman's My Next Guest Returns April 30; Jack McBrayer HGTV Series Premieres May 3
04/07 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 8, 2024)
04/06 - SitcomsOnline Digest: NBC Cancels Quantum Leap; Airdate Set for Final Pat Sajak Wheel of Fortune Episode
04/05 - Hulu Spring and Summer 2024 Slate; Netflix Orders Tyler Perry Drama; Remembering Joe Flaherty
04/04 - Apple TV+ The Big Door Prize Returns April 24; ABC Renews Will Trent for Season 3
04/03 - Sony Pictures and Game Show Network Upfront; ABC Renews Grey's Anatomy and 9-1-1 for 2024-25
04/02 - Adult Swim's Smiling Friends Returns May 12; Stallone Drama Returning for Season 2
04/01 - Selena Gomez Gets New Food Network Series; Orphan Black Gets New Series
03/31 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 1, 2024)
03/30 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Patricia Richardson on Potential Home Improvement Reboot; Paramount+ Removes Several Nickelodeon Series
03/29 - Hulu Launches on Disney+; Under the Bridge Premieres April 17
03/28 - Netflix's Good Times Animated Comedy Trailer; Too Close for Comfort and Check It Out! Complete Series on DVD
03/27 - The Upshaws Part 5 This April; Max Orders Noah Wyle Medical Drama
03/26 - Apple TV+ Orders Star-Studded Comedy; Elizabeth Banks Joins New Peacock Series
03/25 - Disney Channel Orders Wizards of Waverly Place Revival; Paramount+ Animated Comedy Ark: The Animated Series
03/24 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 25, 2024)
03/23 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Good Times Animated Reboot; NBC Renews Several Popular Series
03/22 - NBC Renews Nearly All Chicago and Law & Order Series; Goosebumps Season 2 Cast Update
03/21 - Hallmark Renews The Way Home; You Final Season Sets Cast
03/20 - Community Arrives on Peacock April 1, Movie Coming Soon; Hulu Premieres New Comedy Dinosaur April 5
03/19 - NBC Summer 2024 Schedule; Starz Drama Rounds Out All-Star Cast
03/18 - Shout! TV Celebrates 25 Years of Farscape; AMC Acquires Snowpiercer
03/17 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 18, 2024)
03/16 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Ty Burrell Sitcom in the Works at ABC; CBS Renews Ghosts