'Mork & Mindy' shows up on cable


March 04, 1991|By Steve McKerrow

OK, everybody probably remembers the phrase "nanu, nanu," and maybe even the Vulcan-like hand gesture that went with it. It means "goodbye" in the language of the planet Ork. But who remembers the other word which every kid in school seemed to be saying following the 1978 splashdown of "Mork & Mindy" on ABC?

We'll tell you in a minute, after noting reruns of the four-season Robin Williams sitcom join the Nick at Nite nightly cable lineup tonight with two episodes at 8 and 8:30.

The series, of course, told the story of space alien Mork (Williams), sent on a study mission to Earth from his home planet, where the concept of emotions was alien. He ended up platonically cohabiting in Boulder, Colo., with Mindy (Pam Dawber), a neophyte TV reporter who taught him the ways of humans.

Those with a sense of TV's cyclical nature appreciated the parallels with "My Favorite Martian" (1963-66), in which Ray Walston was the alien houseguest of newspaper reporter Bill Bixby. Some may also remember that alien Mork first appeared the previous season on an episode of "Happy Days."

A huge hit in its first season, "Mork & Mindy" suffered at the hands of format fiddlers in subsequent seasons, although it offered work to a couple of good TV veterans, Tom Poston and Jonathan Winters, and included the eventual marriage of the title characters.

The other catch-word spawned by the show? "Shazzbat!" It meant something like "darn," and always seemed to Media Monitor to be a fond tribute to the "shazzam!" uttered by "Gomer Pyle" (Jim Nabors).

VCR ALERT -- Fans of Agent 007 who have cable (or can cadge some favors from cable-ready friends) have their remotes armed and ready for an unprecedented opportunity beginning tonight on the basic-service TBS channel: "007 Days of 007," in which 12 James Bond movies will be screened in not quite chronological order of their production.

Turner Broadcasting recently purchased rights to the entire Bond series.

"Dr. No" (1962) and "From Russia With Love" (1963) are first up tonight (at 8:05 and 10:35, respectively). Following nightly through Sunday, movies will be seen in this order (two films per night except March 9 and 10): "Goldfinger" and "Thunderball" (1964 and 1965); "Diamonds Are Forever" and "You Only Live Twice" (1971 and 1967); "Live and Let Die" and "The Man With the Golden Gun" (including the switch to Roger Moore as OO7, from 1973 and 1974); "The Spy Who Loved Me" and "Moonraker" (1977 and 1979); "Casino Royale" (a 1967 spoof) and "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (with the forgotten Bond, George Lazenby, from 1969).

One cautionary note: The movies will be interrupted for commercials.

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