Walk of Fame Some Out Of This World Facts About Mork & Mindy Published 3 years ago on Oct 26, 2015 By Isabelle Garreaud It has only been two years since we lost one of the world’s best comedians and it is still felt every time we watch one of Robin Williams’ classics. We have the 70’s TV show, Mork & Mindy to thank for bringing to light the talent that our favorite actor had. The show was brief, only lasting 4 seasons, but it is memorable in pop culture not only for starting Williams’ career but also for its unique fashion and language. The show was truly out of this world! Read on for some crazy Mork & Mindy facts. 1. The Dick Van Dyke show inspired the creation The Mork & Mindy show is a spinoff of an episode of Happy Days where an alien named Mork visits Milwaukee. Yet, that episode was actually inspired by The Dick Van Dyke show episode called “It May Look Like a Walnut,” where an alien named Danny appears. That show’s director, Jerry Paris became the director of Happy Days later on and decided to make another successful extraterrestrial episode! thegeektwins.com The producer of Happy Days, Garry Marshall had a son who was obsessed with Star Wars and further inspired the “My Favorite Orkan” episode by asking his dad to put a spaceman on TV. 2. Dom Deluise was one of the original Morks Before they eventually got to Robin Williams, the producers had other actors lined up to play Mork. Dom Deluise was one of them, along with Roger Rees and both of them actually signed up to be guests. In the end, though, they both backed out for different reasons, which ended up being a good thing because then Williams was sought for the role! Getty Richard Lewis was also considered and even auditioned at the same time as Williams but admitted that the young comedian was a better fit for the role than him. 3. Robin Williams was the only Alien to audition It was actually the creator, Garry Marshall’s sister who discovered the 27-year-old Robin Williams in the acting class their sister, Penny was taking. He was brought in for an audition and was cast on the spot after impressing the producers! Apparently, he was the only alien to audition, as Marshall remarks and that is what impressed him! thegeektwins.com Well that, and the fact that after Williams was told to take a seat, he literally sat on his head in the chair! I guess aliens aren’t familiar with chairs! 4. Pam Dawber was cast without her knowledge While Williams immediately knew when he landed the role as Mork, his co-star didn’t. The actress, Pam Dawber was also in the beginning of her acting career but she did have a contract with ABC at the time. She starred in a pilot episode for a potential TV show called, Sister Terri but it ended up being discarded. The pilot, however, ended up being spliced with shots of Mork’s Happy Days episode. AP Photo/Bob Galbraith When Dawber found out she was cast as Mindy, she said, “I hadn’t auditioned, I hadn’t met, and I knew nothing and who in the hell is Robin Williams?'” 5. Boulder was randomly chosen as the location Usually, when a TV show script is written out, the creators have some kind of idea where they want the location to be. Well, that didn’t happen with Mork & Mindy and in fact, there was not much thought process into choosing a setting. When the producers were writing up a description of their new show, Marshall suggested Boulder, Colorado since that is where his niece’s school was. fanpop.com I guess it is a good thing his niece attended school in the United States! 6. Williams didn’t ad lib his entire role If Williams was said to have ad-libbed lines, people would generally believe it considering how talented the comedian was. When the show became really popular and the actor rose to fame, people speculated that he improvised the majority of Mork’s lines/actions and the writers would just write “Robin does his thing.” This was actually not true. thegeektwins.com One of the writers, David Misch said, “We’re up until four in the morning writing Robin’s ad libs.” Guess he felt a bit insulted! 7. They had a lot of lines censored Nowadays, TV shows are rarely censored unless it is a family show or live television, but in the early days of television, broadcasters censored a whole lot. Mork & Mindy got censored by ABC after a character in one episode said she was pregnant. While the word “pregnant” doesn’t seem like something that should be censored, back then it was rarely said on TV because it implied sex, which was a touchy subject at the time. The Everett Collection Instead, the line had to be changed to “Mork, I’m having a baby,” which makes it sound better. 8. You can visit Mork & Mindy’s house The house they used for exterior shots in Mork & Mindy was an actual house in Boulder, Colorado at 1619 Pine Street. The inside scenes were filmed at Paramount studio, but the iconic house itself was real and Mindy even used it as her address in the show. 38 years later and that house is still standing! You can actually go visit it and right now, it is valued at $1.9 million! thegeektwins.com McConnell’s Music Store was also a real place in Boulder at Pearl Street Mall but it is now an Athleta store. 9. The voice of Orson was in the classic Tootie pops commercial While we never got to see Mork’s superior, if you listen closely, you should be able to recognize his voice! Ralph James voices Orson, the man who sent Mork to earth to observe human behavior and has done many voiceover works. One of his most popular roles was giving the voice to Mr. Turtle in the Tootsie Roll Pops commercial! Youtube He also did Pink Panther cartoons and Looney Tunes! 10. Williams found out his show was canceled through Variety Well, that’s awkward. After 4 seasons, Mork & Mindy was canceled in the summer of 1982. Robin Williams, however, wasn’t informed of the studio’s decision and said, “I found out the show was canceled by reading it in Variety.” The funny thing is that was the same media outlet that Dawber found out she was hired! thegeektwins.com Williams explained after he read the article, “In Hollywood, that’s like reading your own obituary: ‘You’re dead, good luck!” 11. Season 5 would have been crazy The producers didn’t know they were only going to do 4 seasons so a draft of what season 5 would have been like was made. In the final episode, Mindy and Mork were stranded in some prehistoric time after using a pair of time-traveling shoes so season 5 would have picked up from there. The script included the duo traveling through time to meet historical figures such as Ben Franklin and Abe Lincoln! Tom Willett / Flickr Season 5 ended up being discarded, probably because it was a little too weird. 12. The show was briefly turned into a cartoon After the show ended, a cartoon was created to bring back our favorite characters. The show itself was an hour-long cartoon on ABC called, Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour that ran from 1982-1983. The Saturday morning animated show featured Mork and Mindy as teenagers in high school, voiced by Dawber and Williams! Youtube Mork even had a space dog named Doing! (rhymes with Boing!) 13. Williams and Dawber were reunited in The Crazy Ones In 1983, Robin Williams and Pam Dawber parted ways and it would take 31 years for the pair to be reunited on TV! Williams was cast to star in a new TV show for CBS called, The Crazy Ones and although it only lasted one season, it was memorable for Mork & Mindy fans. In one episode, Dawber appears as a love interest to her old partner’s character, Simon Roberts! yahoo.com The actress said that the role was “like slipping into an old shoe” and Williams replied, “Fits somewhat more loosely.” 14. Mork’s costume was on Star Trek True Star Trek fans would recognize Mork’s spacesuit considering it first appeared on Star Trek: The Original Series. The red suit that Mork wears is literally the same one that Colonel Green wore in one of the final episodes of the show in 1969. It was probably still left at Paramount studios, which produced both shows! MeTV Network Besides the outfit, Mork also used a similar greeting to Mr. Spock’s salute! 15. It was one of two Happy Days spin-offs As we know, Mork & Mindy was a spin-off of Happy Days but more specific, it was a spin-off of the episode where Mork visited Milwaukee to kidnap Richie. Considering how popular Happy Days was, there was more than one spin-off. In fact, there were 7 but only two were memorable, the other being Laverne & Shirley. inquisitr.com Since in the Happy Days episode with Mork, it ended with the whole thing being a dream, they had to extend the episode to explain that Mork erased everyone’s memories and would return to earth in 1978. 16. They were going to make the show’s name Mork & Melissa When the producers decided to do a show based on Mork from Happy Days, they decided they needed to add a girl into the mix. Clearly, the creators wanted their uncasted girl to have a name that started with an M but that left a lot of possibilities. Marshall came up with Melissa and Marlo but neither flowed well with Mork. CBS Television Distribution Eventually, he came up with Mindy and loved the flow of the title! 17. There was no pilot episode Because the original pitch for the story was recycled material from Sister Terri and Mork’s Happy Days’ episode, there was never an official pilot made. That fake pilot only ended up costing the studio $63, rather than the typical $400,000. Everyone loved Robin Williams in Happy Days and the network definitely saw potential in him, which is why they wanted to give him his own show! Youtube Pam Dawber mentioned that this is what made this show special, it didn’t have a pilot! 18. One episode was in 3D It is a show about an alien living in America, it seems fit to have an episode made in 3D! After three seasons, Mork & Mindy‘s ratings started to decline and the producers were trying new things to get people to continue watching what will be their final season. They decided to make Part 3 of the season 4 finale in 3D when Mork and Mindy travel to a prehistoric time. Paramount Televison / Courtesy: Everett Collection In the end, though, that episode was aired in 2D as it was already known that there will be no fifth season. 19. Dawber didn’t want to wear a padded bra Pam Dawber is not a woman you can push around and she certainly didn’t do anything she felt uncomfortable with. When Garry Marshall told the actress she should wear a padded bra to “fill out her role,” she said no way! She did, however, feel intimidated acting next to the loveable Williams and even felt like she was too boring. CBS Television Distribution One critic told her she was “Marie Osmond clone with no comedic timing and the appeal of cold margarine.” That is definitely not true Pam! 20. The show had its own trading cards What a time to be alive. Back in 1979, Mork & Mindy fans could get their hands on trading cards based on the show. The cards were made by Topps Baseball card company and had scenes from the show printed on them with dialogue bubbles. On the back of the cards, you could read facts about the cast members! Topps / Cardboard Connection On card number 31, it read that Robin Williams favorite actor was Peter Lorre and he knew all the lines to Casablanca! 21. They had a national contest to name the baby Again, to get people interested in the fourth season, the network decided to have a national contest to name Mork and Mindy’s son. In the last season, the couple is married and end up having a child that hatches from an egg. Jonathan Winters played their son, Mearth and since Orkans aged backward, it was appropriate. They “let” the public decide the name even though they had already settled on the name Mearth. The Everett Collection They literally waited until someone would submit the name Mearth and surprisingly, someone did! 22. William Shatner was paid in clothing for his appearance Usually when a guest role on a show gets paid with a check but that didn’t happen with William Shatner! He was brought in for one episode and would arrive in a beam, dressed in a bathrobe. The actor agreed to do the mini role but only if they would give him a $2,500 suit. The producers complied and Shatner got his suit! CBS Television Distribution The executive producer, Brian Levant said, “That’s what we paid him. We couldn’t put him in an Enterprise uniform, so we put him in a bathrobe, holding a bottle of champagne.” SHARE this article if you loved Mork & Mindy so much you’d watch it again! Source: Mental Floss, MeTV, TheGeekTwins UP NEXT Gunsmoke: Top Facts Behind The Longest-Lived Show on Television... 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