Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Podcast Tuesday: "The Gas Station of Love"

Ted McGinley and Wendy Schaal on Happy Days.

When you think of the great animated moms who have appeared on our TV screens in the wake of Marge Simpson, you probably think of Lois Griffin, Linda Belcher, and Peggy Hill. Divas all, to be sure, but there's one you shouldn't forget to add to your list: Francine Smith of American Dad. Since 2005, the wildly underrated Francine has secretly been one of the funniest characters on that show and one of the funniest cartoon moms ever, and a lot of that is due to the off-kilter delivery of Wendy Schaal, the actress who provides her voice.

But there's more to Wendy than just Francine. A favorite of director Joe Dante and the daughter of actor Richard Schaal, she's been working steadily in TV and film since the 1970s, and in late 1982, she even made a memorable guest appearance on Happy Days. Some of you more perceptive readers may have guessed that we are reviewing this very episode on These Days Are Ours: A Happy Days Podcast, and you'd be right. We are. The episode in question is called "Since I Don't Have You," and it revolves around Jefferson High basketball coach Roger (Ted McGinley) and his on-again, off-again, decades-long relationship with a fickle, materialistic blonde named Lorraine (Wendy, natch).

So I'm an avowed fan of Wendy Schaal, but does that mean I liked this episode? Find out by listening to the latest installment of our podcast.