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

Wednesday, April 24

The Conners - "Manifesting, Marriage Testing and Cheeseballs" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The Conners relish national cheeseball day as a family. Meanwhile, Harris falls behind in her work duties at the Lunch Box, and Darlene and Ben must figure out how to spend time together despite their two separate schedules.

Not Dead Yet - "Not the End Yet" / "Not a Ghost Yet" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Nell finds out that Duncan is selling the SoCal Independent, so she takes matters into her own hands to save her job when Lexi seems unwilling to help. Then, Nell navigates an unexpected incident that leaves the sale of the newspaper on hold.

Animal Control - "Skunks and Swans" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Frank and Shred take on an aggressive swan; Shred has a meet-cute with a mysterious woman; Emily makes a mistake that results in Victoria having very little time to prepare for her big exam; Patel gets his father to help Victoria cram for the test.

Family Guy - "A Stache From the Past" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Peter loses the Griffins' home in a reverse mortgage, he and Mayor West travel to confront the man advertising the scheme, Tom Selleck; Stewie and Brian open a booth at the flea market, leading to a rivalry with Bruce.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 22)

Wednesday, April 24

  • Carol Burnett (Palm Royale/Mad About You/Mama's Family) - Watch Carol on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Nicole Richie (Great News) - Nicole is a guest on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • 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.
  • Lisa Ann Walter (Abbott Elementary/Emeril) and Michaela Watkins (Dinner with the Parents/Search Party/The Unicorn/Casual/Trophy Wife) - Lisa and Michaela are guests on After Midnight at 12:37am on CBS.
  • John Early (Search Party) - John appears on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen at 10:15pm on Bravo.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse is a guest on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen at 10:15pm on Bravo.
  • Tiffany Haddish (The Last O.G./The Carmichael Show) - E! News has an interview with Tiffany at 11pm on E!.
  • Ronny Chieng (Young Rock/Ronny Chieng: International Student) - Ronny guest co-hosts Comedy Central's The Daily Show at 11pm.
  • Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet) - Drew will be on CBS Mornings some time between 7-9am.
  • Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld) - Jerry talks about Unfrosted on ABC's Good Morning America some time between 7-9am and on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Mayan Lopez (Lopez vs Lopez) - Mayan talks about NBC's Lopez vs Lopez on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.
  • Carrie Preston (Crowded/Happyish/Emeril) - Carrie, a fan-favorite on The Good Wife, tells Sherri about her new show Elsbeth on Sheri, so check your local listings.
  • Harry Hamlin (Movie Stars) - Harry has a cooking demo on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.


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

04/24 - Apple TV+ Comedy Trying Season 4; Shoresy Returns to Hulu in June
04/23 - Bob Hearts Abishola Coming to Syndication This Fall; Off Script With The Hollywood Reporter Returns in May
04/22 - Hasan Minhaj: Off With His Head Comedy Tour Expands Into June & July, Including at NJPAC; Comedy Central Orders Golden Axe
04/21 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 22, 2024)
04/20 - SitcomsOnline Digest: CBS Cancels Two Series and Picks Up New Soap Opera; Potential New Buyer Interested in Paramount
04/19 - Nikki Glaser Gets HBO Special; Peacock and UK Channel 4's We Are Lady Parts Season 2
04/18 - Acapulco Returns May 1; Iliza Shlesinger Heads to Prime Video
04/17 - 31st SAG Awards Airs on Netflix Next February; Prime Video Orders Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Spinoff with Host Travis Kelce
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)