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

Tuesday, August 16

What We Do in the Shadows - "Pine Barrens" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Nandor and Lazslo air out their differences on a hunting trip at an isolated cabin; Nadja has a girls' night; Guillermo reconnects with his family for the first time in 12 years.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 15)

Tuesday, August 16

  • Bob Odenkirk (The Larry Sanders Show) - Catch Bob on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Al Franken (LateLine) - Al guest hosts Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Demi is a musical guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Murray Bartlett (Physical/Looking) - Murray is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Vanessa Bayer (I Love That for You) - Vanessa will be on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Amanda Peet (Brockmire/Togetherness/Bent) - Amanda is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Brett Gelman (Fleabag/Married/Go On) - Brett appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kyle Richards (Down to Earth) - Kyle is a guest on a repeat of Watch What Happens: Live at 3:30am on Bravo.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Mr. Iglesias/Trial & Error/Sherri/Less Than Perfect/Suddenly Susan) - Sherri chats with the ladies of The View on a repeat on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. She guest hosts a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Rebel Wilson (Super Fun Night) - Rebel will be on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Sterling K. Brown (Starved) - Sterling talks about Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Jodie Sweetin (Fuller House/Hollywood Darlings/Full House) - Jodie is a guest on E!'s Daily Pop at 11am.
  • Wendie Malick (Hot in Cleveland/Big Day/Jake in Progress/Just Shoot Me!) - Wendie talks about her new movie Mack & Rita on Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Melba Moore (Melba) - Melba will be on PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 9:40am.
  • Suraj Sharma (How I Met Your Father) - Suraj appears on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (April-August)

Up All Night - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) The Danny Thomas Show (aka Make Room for Daddy) - The Complete Fourth Season Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release) The Neighborhood - Season Four The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Three

04/05 - Up All Night - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
04/26 - The Danny Thomas Show (aka Make Room for Daddy) - The Complete Fourth Season
04/26 - Jackie Gleason TV Treasures - 70th Anniversary Collection (including Honeymooners Rarities)
05/03 - No Activity - Season Three
05/13 - The Donna Reed Show - The Complete Seasons 1-5 (Time Life)
05/31 - Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
06/14 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Eleventh Season
06/14 - Hacks - Season One (Blu-ray) (DVD)
06/14 - Rutherford Falls - Season One (Blu-ray) (DVD)
06/21 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season One / Season Two
07/19 - The Neighborhood - Season Four
07/19 - Reno 911! - The Hunt for QAnon (Blu-ray) (DVD)
07/26 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Three / Season Four
08/16 - And Just Like That... - The Complete First Season (Warner Bros. - Canada)
08/16 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Fourth Season (Blu-ray) (DVD)
More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

08/15 - Abbott Elementary Summer School Marathon on ABC; Freevee's High School Premieres in October
08/14 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of August 15, 2022)
08/13 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Game Shows Moving to Primetime Emmys; Ring Doorbell Viral Video Show in the Works
08/12 - Apple TV+ Renews Physical for Season 3; Lifetime Orders It's a Wonderful Lifetime and Ripped from the Headlines Titles for Fall & Winter
08/11 - Hallmark Original Series Sets Cast; Remembering Pat Carroll, Roger E. Mosley and Vin Scully
08/10 - Cobra Kai Returns Sept. 9 on Netflix; Marlon Wayans Gets Starz Comedy
08/09 - COZI TV Celebrates Emergency! 50th Anniversary with Documentary; Kaley Cuoco Heads to Peacock for Comedic Thriller Series
08/08 - FETV Acquires Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman; Disney+ Orders 2nd Season of Robin Roberts Talk Show
08/07 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of August 8, 2022)
08/06 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Everybody Still Hates Chris Animated Series in the Works; HBO Max and Discovery+ Merging Into One
08/05 - Disney+ Series Premiere Dates, Includes Dancing with the Stars; Hallmark Orders New Original Drama
08/04 - NBC Moving Days of Our Lives to Peacock, Replacing with News Show; Selena + Chef Returns on HBO Max
08/03 - FX's Atlanta Final Season Launches Sept. 15; Elisabeth Moss Gets New Hulu Series
08/02 - Showtime Orders Comedy Pilot Titled Mason; NBC Renews Weakest Link Revival for Season 3
08/01 - HBO's Los Espookys Returns in September; Good Grief Is Back on IFC
07/31 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of August 1, 2022)
07/30 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Max Headroom Reboot in Works at AMC Networks; Jeopardy! to Continue Dual Host Plan
07/29 - HBO Max and Hulu to Share Streaming Rights to Abbott Elementary; Reboot Gets Premiere Date
07/28 - ABC to Present Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Laughter; Remembering Tony Dow of Leave it to Beaver and Paul Sorvino
07/27 - The Orville Coming to Disney+ and Continues on Hulu; Retta Continues Partnership with HGTV
07/26 - Mythic Quest Returns for 10 Episodes in Fall; Patton Oswalt's Netflix Comedy Special We All Scream Premieres September 20
07/25 - American Dad! Returns Labor Day on TBS; Krapopolis Gets Special Nov. 27 Preview on Fox
07/24 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 25, 2022)
07/23 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Abbott Elementary Given Full Second Season; Preview of New Beavis and Butt-Head Episode
07/22 - Ghosts Dives Into the Metaverse with a Game; Jo Koy Gets 4th Netflix Special; Remembering Rebecca Balding of Soap
07/21 - South Park's 25th Anniversary Concert Event; FETV's Historic June Numbers
07/20 - Hulu's This Fool Premieres August 12; Mo'Nique Gets Netflix Comedy Special
07/19 - Apple TV+ Comedy Central Park Returns in September; Leah Remini Game Show Is Back on Aug. 1
07/18 - Paramount+ Revives Criminal Minds; AMC Network Sizzling in August with Hot Originals
07/17 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 18, 2022)
07/16 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Beavis and Butt-Head Premiere Date Set; TBS Abruptly Cancels Chad Hours Before Season Premiere
07/15 - Alfonso Ribeiro Joins Dancing with the Stars as Co-Host; Archer Returns for Season 13 in August