Love American Style

Love, American Style

Love, American Style is an hour-long television anthology which was produced by Paramount Television and originally aired between September 1969 and January 1974. For the 1971 and 1972 seasons it was a part of an ABC Friday prime-time lineup that also included The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, Room 222, and The Odd Couple.

Each week, the show featured different stories of romance, usually with a comedic spin. All episodes were unrelated, featuring different characters, stories and locations. The show often featured the same actors playing different characters in many episodes. In addition a large and ornate brass bed was a recurring prop in many episodes. Charles Fox's delicate yet hip music score, featuring flutes, harp, and flugelhorn set to a contemporary pop beat, provided the "love" ambiance which tied the stories together as a multifaceted romantic comedy each week.

For its first season, the theme song was performed by The Cowsills. Starting in the second season, the theme song was sung by John Bahler, Tom Bahler, and Ron Hicklin, (billed as "The Charles Fox Singers"), and was carried on for the remainder of the series, as well as on all episodes in syndication.

The original series was also known for its 10-20 second drop-in silent movie style "joke clips" between the featured vignettes. This regular troupe featured future Rockford Files cast member, Stuart Margolin, future Vega$ leading lady Phyllis Davis, and a young character actor, James Hampton (F Troop, The Longest Yard).

A decade later, a new version premiered on ABC's daytime schedule in 1985 entitled New Love, American Style but was cancelled after a few months due to low ratings against The Price is Right on CBS. A third edition, starring Melissa Joan Hart among others, was shot as a pilot for the 1998-1999 television season but was not ordered into a series. Nevertheless, ABC aired the pilot on February 20, 1999

Happy Days

Garry Marshall likes to say that Love, American Style was where failed sitcom pilots went to die. And there was much truth to that. Many times, if a TV producer couldn't find a network interested in a sitcom pilot he'd made, he'd sell the unused script to Aaron Spelling, who'd use the funniest bits of the pilot as a segment on Love, American Style.

In 1972, Garry Marshall came up with a concept for a sitcom about teenagers growing up in the Fifties, and shot a Happy Days pilot starring Ron Howard (as Richie), Marion Ross (as Richie's mother), Anson Williams (as Potsie, Richie's friend), among others. Roles played in the episode by Harold Gould (Howard the father), Susan Neher (Joanie, Richie's sister), and Ric Carrott (Chuck, Richie's brother) were played by other actors in the spin-off. Marshall tried, unsuccessfully, to sell the sitcom to all three networks. At last, he sold the pilot to Aaron Spelling, who aired the show in February 1972, as "Love and the Happy Days."

Shortly afterward, the movie American Graffiti and the Broadway musical Grease led to a wave of nostalgia for the 1950s, and ABC executives decided to buy Happy Days, which became a huge hit.

Occurrences in pop culture

  • It is featured in the movie Dick.
  • The fifth episode of the Showtime series Dexter is titled "Love American Style".
  • The movie The Running Man featured a future television studio as part of the set, where posters heralding "Death, American Style" were meant to reflect the cruel, twisted future.
  • On That '70s Show, the character Kitty Forman baked three different kinds of fruit pie, to which she remarked, "It's like the opening of Love, American Style in pie!"
  • The theme tune was featured in an episode of the American animated series Duckman along with a well executed parody of the opening credits.
  • The series was parodied in a host segment during an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 Episode 606 - "The Creeping Terror".
  • It is referred to in The Steve Harvey Show, where character Romeo Santana advises his teacher to "let me hip you to Love, Dominican Style."
  • The episode Mom and Pop Art of the Simpsons has a museum called The Louvre: American Style.
  • The song "More Human Than Human" by White Zombie contains the lyric "Love, American Style"
  • "Love American Style EP" is the title of an EP by the Beastie Boys
  • Punk rocker/performance artist Jello Biafra titled one of his spoken-word pieces against the Reagan administration "Love American Death-Squad Style"
  • An episode of WKRP features Herb Tarlek entering the radio station's reception area as he sings the theme song more or less to Jennifer Marlowe.
  • Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz wears a shirt styled after the program's logo in the iconic music video for "Mr. Jones".

Noteworthy recurring actors and guest actors

DVD Releases

On November 20, 2007, CBS Home Entertainment (distributed by Paramount) released Love, American Style, Season 1 Volume 1 on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time. Season 1, Volume 2 on DVD was released on March 11, 2008.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
Season 1, Volume 1 12 November 20 2007
Season 1, Volume 2 12 March 11 2008

External links

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