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Mork and Mindy

Updated on February 26, 2015

TV Improv from the 70s

I remember the late summer of 1978, working to save enough money to go back to school. Many days were long and difficult. My friends and I left behind by those that had their finances lined up for classes, were always looking for something to do to take our minds off of what we thought were big issues at the time. Along came this wacky television show with a guy on it that was absolutely nuts. A bunch of us would get together every Thursday night to see what he would do next. We would laugh our heads off at this crazy show and we wouldn't think of missing one. Mork and Mindy was a bright spot in our day in day out lives. I hope this lens brings back fond memories for you and maybe even a laugh or two. Thanks for stopping by.

Na-Nu Na-Nu

Mork and Mindy was considered a science fiction sitcom when it made its debut in September 1978 on ABC. Robin Williams starred as the alien Mork from the planet Ork and Pam Dawber co-starred as his earthling friend and roommate Mindy McConnell.

The show was a spinoff of Happy Days the sitcom set in the 1950s. In season 5 of Happy Days, the then unknown Robin Williams was introduced as Mork from Ork. He was sent to bring a human specimen back to Ork and of course he chose Richie Cunningham. Mork's attempt was thwarted by...wait for it...Fonzie! The whole fiasco turned out to be a dream which began a slippery slope for television shows for years to come (Bob Newhart excepted). But I digress.The episode was so popular and Williams' character so fresh that a new series was formed around Mork. The spinoff was not set in the 50s like Happy Days but was contemporary.

In Mork and Mindy, Mork was sent to earth to observe life here and report back to Orson. When he first lands he is discovered by Mindy who has had an argument with her boyfriend. Mork has tried to dress like an earthling but gets it all backwards and results in Mindy thinking he is a priest. She is taken by Mork's skill at listening not knowing that he is merely observing her every word and action. They become quick friends and head back to Mindy's apartment where she sees his wardrobe issues and asks who he really is. Mork hasn't learned about lying yet so he tells her the truth and Mindy believes him, shows him compassion and allows Mork to move into her attic.

The theme of most of the episodes centered around Mork trying to figure humans out while interacting with Mindy, her father Fred, her Grandmother Cora and Mindy's stuck-up high school friend Susan who was played by Morgan Fairchild. At the end of each show Mork would report back to Orson who had sent him to earth. Mork's reports were always a humorous comment on the times and their obsurdities.

Na-Nu Na-Nu was Mork's Orkan greeting accompanied by a spock-like hand sign. I can remember using the phrase at the time along with shazbot which was an orkan profanity. Robin Williams was so funny in this role, it played to his improvisational skills and as the writers got more comfortable with him they would leave holes in the script for Robin to fill with his zaniness. The cast often had a hard time not ruining the takes with their laughter.

Mork and Mindy was on the air for four seasons from 1978 -1982 The first season was by far the most popular. The show was the number three show on television that year behind Laverne & Shirley and Three's Company all were on ABC. As the show's ratings began to fall they tried various guests in an attempt to get a boost. They also Married Mork to Mindy and went so far as to cast Jonathan Winters as their son on the premise that Orkans age backwards. Winters was one of Robin Williams' major influences. The show was canceled after 95 episodes but can still be seen through syndication or on DVD.

1978 Title Sequence

Julia Child Impression Episode

Mork and Mindy Guestbook - Thanks for stopping by

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    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 4 years ago

      I never knew that Morgan Fairchild was on this show! Thanks for sharing.

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      I hated that show :)

      Great lens though!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Na-Nu, Na-Nu! It was good to see the title sequence video again. It's been many years since I've seen it. Mork and Mindy was the first thing I ever saw Robin Williams in and I'm sure that's true for many other people, too. Enjoyed your lens.

    • GeekGirl1 profile image

      GeekGirl1 5 years ago

      Seems like a great show am sorry i didn't know it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 5 years ago from Maryland

      I totally remember...it was my favorite show! I was just little but I had a Mork and Mindy nightgown! Thanks for the memories. :)

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      I remember!

    • Ben Reed profile image

      Ben Reed 5 years ago

      This lense brings back such memories. thank you.

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      I have loved Robin Williams since his early days on Mork and Mindy. There really is nothing more heart warming then seeing his delightful smile and warm sense of humor work it's magic.

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 5 years ago

      I sure remember this charming show. I grew up with 60s and 70s TV shows and still love them. I watch them more than what is on today, and miss the wholesome programming that was so common then.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice lens, brings back memories, I enjoyed watching this program myself with my children, it always gave you a good laugh. Thanks for sharing.

    • davies86 profile image

      davies86 5 years ago

      i loved this during my childhood. Fond memories

    • TheGutterMonkey profile image

      The Gutter Monkey 5 years ago

      This show was awesome, but Robin Williams hairiness always frightened me as a child.

    • oxfordian profile image

      oxfordian 5 years ago

      Geeeze, did this ever take me back! I used to love Mork and Mindy too. How fun it is to go back in time -- and how amazing to see that Pam Dawber hasn't aged a day!!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Loved the Robbie Williams act. Great show! :)

    • profile image

      catwell2 5 years ago

      Great lens. Love the videos you used.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 5 years ago

      Robin Williams was amazing, of course. I liked it when he talked with Orson.

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 5 years ago

      I loved Mork and Mindy too. It introduced us to the genius of Robin Williams. Well done.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 5 years ago

      Wow, that's a blast from the past. Fun lens!

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 5 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      Na-Nu Na-Nu -- an alien greeting that will forever remain part of our pop culture. I would love to watch that show on reruns again.

    • LouiseKirkpatrick profile image

      LouiseKirkpatrick 5 years ago from Berkshire, United Kingdom

      I loved Mork and Mindy :D

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      nano-nano, i love this movie :)

    • profile image

      MintySea 5 years ago

      I haven't seen that show since I was a kid I better check if its on netflix

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 5 years ago

      Fun lens. I loved Mork and Mindy!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Ah, fond memories. Even though I have a ton of work to do, I had to stop for a bit to watch the episode you featured. Fun!

    • profile image

      Marijoyce 5 years ago

      I loved this show, mainly because they let Robin Williams ad-lib most of his lines and let his brilliance shine through.

    • CanadaREVIEW profile image

      CanadaREVIEW 5 years ago

      Wow, I LOVED Mork & Mindy! Robins WIlliams has had an incredible career because of this show, I truly loved Mork, he was a great character! I forgot about them until your lens! Thanks for sharing and creating this wonderful lens!

    • gamecheathub profile image

      gamecheathub 5 years ago

      Loved this show!

    • garyrh1 profile image

      garyrh1 5 years ago

      When I was younger, I use to watch this show on Nick at Night when it was on Nickelodeon. Such a funny and great show.

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 5 years ago

      Some of my earliest childhood memories are of this show, no wonder I'm a nut..lol..great lens, brought back great memories

    • LyricalVenus profile image

      LyricalVenus 5 years ago

      My mom was watching this just before I was born. Neat to actually see some footage!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      I used to watch this show all the time when I was young - can't find it anymore, though, which is kind of a shame. Great work on this. :)

    • Art-Aspirations profile image

      Art-Aspirations 5 years ago

      Thanks for the reminder of sheer fun. We watched Mork and Mindy the first time around.

    • SciTechEditorDave profile image

      David Gardner 5 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      I enjoyed watching Mork and Mindy when I was in high school... It was my first introduction to Robin Williams--and I've found most of his movies and commentary quite hilarious (including his ability to "do voices"). My favorite movies of his are "Mrs. Doubtfire", "Moscow on the Hudson", "RV", and "Man of the Year".... Congratulations on a Squidoo masterpiece!

    • profile image

      athensfever 5 years ago

      I remember watching Mork & Mindy when I was a kid. Great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I had almost forgotten this show. My kids were in grade school when it made its debut and we never missed it. Thanks for reminding me of happy times. Great lens!

    • staciewalker lm profile image

      staciewalker lm 5 years ago

      Lol! I loved this show as a kid. I haven't seen it since. Maybe it is time to watch it again. Thanks for sharing.

      StacieWalker.com

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I loved Mork and Mindy (and later ALF!). Robin Williams is a genius.

    • wolfie10 profile image

      wolfie10 5 years ago

      loved that show. they running repeats here at the moment

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I remember Mork & Mindy! Fun show, fun lens.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I never did watch any of this series, but I know all my friends at school raved about it. I really enjoy most of Robin WIlliams' work, he is so talented and an expert at improvising. Featured on my Robin Williams Movies And Collectables lens.

    • Staceysk profile image

      Staceysk 5 years ago

      I loved this show. And Jonathan Winters made for a crazy baby.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      robin williams as mork from the pleanet ork was a hit

    • profile image

      peppervel 5 years ago

      thanks for bringing back great memories. my family loved The Mork & Mindy Show in the 70's.