Entertainment

'Love, American Style': The '70s Comedy That Helped Launch 'Happy Days'

The ABC anthology series Love, American Style helped push the boundaries on television when it aired from 1969-74. While most of television was taking its time catching up with the "sexual revolution," Love American Style didn't mind pushing boundaries in its comedic episodes each week centered around romance. Though the stories would change each week and sometimes the actors, there were regular props that would make appearances, including the signature brass bed.

The TV series hosted a slew of celebrity guest stars during its run and aired during a stacked primetime lineup alongside hit shows The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, Room 222 and The Odd Couple. Here are some things you might not have known about the classic '70s series. 

1. It gave us Happy Days

In 1972, the show aired a segment called "Love and the Television Set," later retitled to "Love and the Happy Days" in syndication. The segment was all about a character named Richie Cunningham. George Lucas was so impressed with Ron Howard's performance as Richie, he cast him alongside Harrison Ford in his 1973 film, American Graffiti. 

The segment was basically a pilot that helped greenlight Happy Days to a full series. 

2. Garry Marshall wrote for the show under a pseudonym 

The show would have little comedy blackout bits between the episodes that were written by "Samuro Mitsubi & Tawisaki Kwi." This was actually Marshall and his writing partner. Marshall went on to become the creator of Happy Days and its various spinoffs as well as an incredibly successful director in film releasing multiple classic romantic comedy films including Pretty Woman, The Princess Diaries and Runaway Bride.

3. The show had the most spinoffs of any TV show in history

This is mostly thanks to the many spinoff shows from Happy Days -- Laverne & Shirley, Blansky's Beauties, Mork & Mindy, Out of the Blue, The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang, Laverne & Shirley in the Army, Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour and Joanie Loves Chachi. 

4. There was even an animated spinoff

"Love and the Old-Fashioned Father" was an animated segment that went on to become the Hanna-Barbera cartoon, Wait Till Your Father Gets Home. Inspired by All in the Family, the cartoon used the voice of Tom Bosley, Mr. Cunningham on Happy Days, as the voice of the father. The show was really popular and was the first animated sitcom since The Flintstones to run for more than one season.

Read More: 'The Brady Bunch' Cast: Where Are They Today?

5. The Cowsills sang the original theme song

The inspiration behind the classic '70s show, The Partridge Family, was the family band, The Cowsills. After the first season, they were replaced with the Charles Fox Singers, the same group who immortalized the Happy Days theme song and were the actual Partridge Family voices on their records. 

6. The network tried a couple of new versions of the show that never panned out

In 1985, ABC aired New Love, American Style but canceled it after a few months due to low ratings. They tried one more time in 1998 in a version starring Melissa Joan Hart, but the pilot was never picked up.

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'Love, American Style': The '70s Comedy That Helped Launch 'Happy Days'