About Christmas TV History

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Laverne and Shirley New Year's Eve (1977)

I've already written about the 1976 Christmas episode of Laverne & Shirley entitled "Oh Hear the Angels' Voices" and the 1978 Christmas episode "O Come All Ye Bums." Let us not forget the Laverne and Shirley third season New Year's Eve episode entitled "New Year's Eve--1960."

Laverne remarks how lucky Shirley is to always have Carmine as her steady date.

Shirley is busy organizing her couple's-only New Year's Eve party where everyone will say goodbye to the 1950s and celebrate the arrival of the new decade. Laverne's concern is finding a date. Her boyfriend Norman is a police officer and he's on-duty for the holiday. Laverne is worried about finding a date since she doesn't have very many special men in her life to choose from. When she learns that friends Pete and Beatrice, who have been a couple for nearly ten years, have recently broken up, Laverne decides to get re-acquainted with Pete.

In the meantime, Lenny and Squiggy are rehearsing for a surprise on New Year's Eve.

Pete is played by actor Craig Littler who some may recognize as Jason from Jason of Star Command.

Laverne and Pete share a fun date roller skating followed by time on the couch. Shirley keeps the couple's vo-dee-oh-doh-doh to a minimum by repeatedly interrupting them and dropping hints to Pete about her upcoming couples-only party. Pete succumbs to the suggestion and invites Laverne as his date. Laverne has high hopes for the New Year's party.

Shirley is persistent in letting Pete know that he's invited to her party.

The party is a huge hit and everyone enjoys dancing the latest craze: the Twist.

Laverne is really enjoying herself at the party and she's falling fast for Pete. He seems like the perfect guy for her on this night filled with hope for the future. In another romantic scene, Carmine shares a little gift with Shirley--a brand new diary.  Shirley opens the new book and finds an entry already written for January 1st, 1960. Turns out Carmine is expecting that the kiss they share at midnight will be wonderful and memorable.

Laverne expresses how happy she is with Pete.

Pete too seems to be enjoying Laverne's company.

The Big Ragoo is a romantic at heart.

Things seems to be going so well...that is until Pete's ex comes to the party and plays Johnny Mathis' hit song "Chances Are" on the jukebox. Pete is unable to resist the romance of the moment and falls back into the arms of his former girlfriend Beatrice--leaving Laverne heart-broken and alone on New Year's Eve. Laverne runs from the Pizza Bowl and makes her way back to the apartment in tears.

Chances Are...Laverne gets dumped before midnight.

Laverne pours herself a bucket-sized milk and Pepsi to console her heartbreak. This is a comedy show after all.

Men come and go over the years for the roommates throughout the series run. What they can count on is their friendship (I'm just gonna ignore the final season when Shirley left the series to make my point here).

It's friendship that will define the next decade in their lives.

Where would television be without the friendships between Laverne & Shirley? Lucy and Ethel? Mary and Rhoda?

Shirley leaves the party to follow after Laverne and help ease her pain. Their bond is strong and Shirley is able to convince Laverne that all hope is not lost. Shirley refuses to indulge Laverne's frustrations in not feeling pretty enough to keep Pete's attention. Her best friend also provides Laverne with the wisdom to not stop dreaming for the best for herself. Where would these two be with out their dreams? Sweetly, Shirley sings the opening lyrics of "Auld Lang Syne" to remind Laverne to remember past relationships as motivation to look forward.

Friends forever. Laverne and Shirley share a box of tissues as Laverne discusses her heartbreak and Shirley blows her nose from her annual cold.

Times Square ball drop--Milwaukee-style.

Feeling some consolation, Laverne and Shirley step outside their apartment building to join the crowd gathered around to witness Lenny and Squiggy's surprise. Turns out, the guys are staging their own version of Times Square's ball drop countdown with Squiggy dressed as Baby New Year descending from the roof. Lenny is hilariously costumed as Father Time and he leads the countdown at midnight.  Their stunt pleases the crowd and everyone sings "Auld Lang Syne."

Laverne's boyfriend Norman (the cop) arrives just in time to sing "Auld Lang Syne."
Sometimes I'm asked why I also write about New Year's Eve TV episodes, specials and movies. As I have explained in the introduction of the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV, it is because many New Year's Eve stories crossover with Christmas celebrations as well. New Year's Eve episodes and movies generally center around the themes of new beginnings, starting over, an end to things, forgiveness, and romance which are also common themes in Christmas programs. And, why not? These holiday celebrations are linked very closely on the calendar. Although the customs and traditions we have for each holiday are distinct, how we tell stories about them is often quite similar.

Do you have a favorite New Year's Eve episode to watch on TV?


  1. Love Laverne and Shirley, been a favorite since I was a kid. The final season is one best left forgotten, for many reasons. But here, we get them in their prime. I hope MeTV decides to air this in the next few days, I really want to see it now!

    Happy 2016, Joanna! Hope it is a great one for you. Thanks for all the great entertainment all year long.

    1. Thanks Joe. Happy New Year to you and your family too. Thank you for reading along with me.

      What am I going to do now that I've written about all the holiday episode of Laverne & Shirley? Have any suggestions?

    2. Hmm... Maybe something for the 40th Anniversary on January 27th?

    3. Hmm... Maybe something for the 40th Anniversary on January 27th?

  2. I hope Shirley gets better. I don't want her to get a cold.