Mork and Mindy

Nanu Nanu

When this show came on no one had seen anything like stand up comedian Robin Williams. Robin was so alive and spontaneous like a dynamo that never slowed down. 

The character of Mork was introduced in an episode of Happy Days titled “My Favorite Orkan.” It was odd that Happy Days set in Wisconsin in the 1950’s was the show to spring Mork onto the world. 

Robin Williams: The Unexpected Role that Jumpstarted His Career - Biography

The show will never be considered in the best sitcom lists but…it was a hit and a lot of fun. The show took off at first with high ratings and then slowly declined as it went along. 

The series starred Robin Williams as Mork, an alien who came to Earth from the planet Ork in a large egg-shaped space ship, and Pam Dawber as Mindy McConnell, his human friend, roommate, and wife after they married in the final season. Jonathon Winters joined the cast in the 4th season as the ratings were declining. He played Mork and Mindy’s child.  Orkans age backwards, starting with elderly adult bodies but with the mind of a child and regressing to feeble old kids.

Remembering Jonathan Winters, the 'father of improvisational comedy' - Los  Angeles Times

Jonathon Winters was one of Robin Williams idols…“Jonathan Winters is the reason I became a comedian”

Gilbert Gottfried: “When you watch Robin Williams, you can see a lot of Jonathan Winters. Robin is the first one to admit that; he worshiped Jonathan Winters. He insisted that Jonathan be written in as a regular on ‘Mork and Mindy.’ They wrote him in as an overgrown child, which was perfect casting,”

The show ran from 1978 to 1982 for four seasons. It’s not a show I could binge watch but it is fun to look back on for a few episodes…and it helped introduced Robin Williams to the masses. 

Pam Dawber played Mindy and she had a good chemistry with Williams…plus as a pre-teen boy…I liked Mindy a lot. 

100+ PAM DAWBER ideas | mark harmon, mork & mindy, mark harmon family

 At the end of each episode, Mork must report back to Orson on what he has learned about Earth. These end-of-show summaries allow Mork to comment humorously on social norms.

Mork on loneliness - YouTubeShazbot!

Mork & Mindy Shazbot nah-noo nah-noo Robin Williams | Mork & mindy, Robin  williams, Nostalgia




Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

40 thoughts on “Mork and Mindy”

  1. I loved Robin Williams from the get-go, and first season Mork and Mindy was just fine, it was looking at US culture from the point of view of an outsider, and was quite fresh, zany and inspired when Williams let go.

    And then it got all preachy, overly-sentimental, and the cast changes didn’t help. By the time Jonathan Winters came on board it was too late. They should have gone further away from wholesome sitcoms and gotten edgier. I’d like to say it was the back-scene people making decisions that restricted Robin Williams, but in his films he always had the tendency to fluctuate wildly from mawkish sentimentality to manic frantic monologues and everything in between. His depression was difficult for him and for anyone to watch, really, including me, as so many people struggle to try to deal with it without the additional pressures of being famous on top…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I remember I was 11 when it came on and I was just knocked out by him. I’d never seen anything like him before. Winters is very similar but without the boundless energy.

      It did go down hill and I stopped watching.

      A lot of the great comedians seem to have depression… Pryor, Lenny Bruce, and some others.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. He was and for some reason it didn’t shock me about what happened. It seems a lot of the great comedians had depression problems. He was so good at what he did…no one matched him.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I didn’t understand it, Max.Still don’t. Not trying to make some rhetorical point, I literally don’t understand it. How does a person come to believe that no life at all, is better than the one they have. It’s heartbreaking.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No I don’t understand it… to me as long as there is a breath left…there is hope. I never had depression and hope to God I never do.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. He had Lewy body dementia, brought on by Parkinson’s. He’d had a cocaine habit and was with John Belushi the night before he died. Plus, he struggled with alcoholism.

        There are those that would rather go out on their own terms than suffer the fate of a terrible disease. I wouldn’t be surprised of Michael J. Fox decided the same thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Looking back on it now, I can see that this show surreptitiously crept into everyday conversations of my school mates, and to an extent altered the humor and pace of some of our exchanges. It was more than merely repeating the phrases and funny words. I didn’t stay with the show when it started changing, but really enjoyed the early episodes when it was Mork doing funny things and reporting back to his planet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I did like how they at first mixed the comedy and the moral lesson. I do remember the language and actions started at my school. I was in elementary school and suddenly rainbow suspenders were everywhere also.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yep,memories! Like you, I watched it regularly for a year or two but as I got older and the originality probably declined on it, I watched less often. Always did like Pam Dawber though – one of those wonderful ’70s TV girl next doors like Jan Smithers on ‘WKRP’ . Williams I thought was funny on this, but as time went by, I never cared that much for his comedy… I did like his more serious acting roles like in ‘Good Will Hunting’ and ‘Dead Poet’s Society’. A shame, as others noted, about his sad end… I think I’ve heard he had some sort of dementia setting in and was afraid of losing his mind/memory. Is that right?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes about the dementia and also that on top of depression. I’ve mentioned this in the comments but depression seems to follow the great comedians…it’s almost like a prerequisite.

      The writing went down hill as it went along. It also got really preachy. I did like when Williams and Winters were together…they are so like each other…except Robin had so much energy.

      I did like Good Morning Vietnam.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved the show and I think I remember reading he was a cokehead at that time which would have explained the bursts of energy. A side effect of coke is black depression. I loved everything he was in, from zany to serious. A real loss of light to the world with his passing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’d completely forgotten that Jonathon Winters had played his son. It all makes sense now – as I keep coming across interviews with him and Robin Williams together. It’s so long since I’ve seen the show, at one time I had the whole of each series on video.

    Oh and (as I’ve always heard it in my head): Shazbutt!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. They did go together well! They were of the same school of comedy it would seem. Both had quick wits.
      The one I think of is nanu nanu or however you spell it.


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