CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Greatest TV Comedies - Three's Copmany (1977 - 1984)

One of my favorite comedies of all time, Three's Company definitely is on the list of greatest TV comedies ever. I can't remember exactly when I started watching it but I will say maybe around 11 as the show was already well into it's long run. I caught up with the earlier seasons through re-runs. The series centered on two women, Janet Wood (played by Joyce DeWitt) and Chrissy Snow (Suzanne Somers) who share an apartment in Santa Monica. Well during a party one night, the next morning they find a passed out guy in the bathroom. His name is Jack Tripper (John Ritter) and he happens to be an aspiring chef. Once the girls taste his cooking, they invite him to move in with them in a strictly platonic relationship. Which is fine with them but their landlord Mr. Roper (the wily Norman Fell) thinks a lot of hanky panky and sex will be going on. The girls manage to convince him that Jack is gay and the rest is history. The trio made an great team with Ritter doing all kinds of slapstick and pratfalls. Somers had that distinctive laugh and played the airhead blonde to perfection and DeWitt usually played it straight but she still got plenty of laughs. I loved how she always pronounced Jack's name when she was mad at him, putting the emphasis on the ac of his name. Fell was awesome as Stanley Roper and was Audra Lindley who played his wife Helen. Jack had a buddy named Larry Dallas (Richard Kline) who evoked memories of Bill Daily (from the Bob Newhart Show) as Larry was constantly coming by and getting Jack into awkward dates. The initial cast would last three seasons before Somers was let go due to salary demands and she was replaced by the fetching Jenilee Harrison who played Chrissy's cousin Cindy. She never quite jelled with the others and was soon let go to make room for Priscilla Barnes who played Terri Alden (a nurse). Barnes was perfect as Terri, and made everyone forget about Suzanne Somers, and clicked beautifully with Ritter and DeWitt. Fell and Lindley would leave for their own spin off show which paved the way for Don Knotts to come in as the new landlord Ralph Furley. Knotts nailed it as the swinging wannabe ladies man who proved he could play more than Barney Fife. Also memorable was the hot to trot Lana Shields (the sexy Ann Wedgeworth) who bedeviled all the guys on the show. Three's Company had it's best moments in the 70's and early 80's before the times changed. Their sexual antics were toned down as the characters starting behaving more like adults and prepared to settle down. Still it was a very funny show and I tuned in every week to get in some guaranteed laughs. Three's Company ran for 174 episodes on ABC and there was a spinoff with Ritter's character called Three's A Crowd, but that only lasted one season. You can still enjoy Three's Company today thanks to reruns on TV Land and DVD.

Memorable quotes:

Janet Wood Dawson: Chrissy, your dad is a minister, what does he usually say to couples in trouble?
Chrissy: He tells them to keep the baby.

Chrissy: Jack, that smells good.
Jack Tripper: Chrissy, I haven't even started cooking yet.
Chrissy: Well, you better hurry up and start cooking so you can catch up with the smell.

Ralph Furley: This is a respectable building. NO ROMAN ORGIES!


Jack Tripper: It's time to toast the bride and groom. To Gloria and Larry, happy days!
Janet Wood Dawson: Good times!
Chrissy: Little House on the Prairie!


Patti said...

I used to love that show!! And, shortly after high school, a girlfriend and I got a 2 bedroom apartment together. A guy we worked with ended up moving in with us...he got his own room, and she and I shared. I have photos from that time in my life, and I call them the "3's Company" years.

Irene Palfy said...

Oh, I loved that show!

- John Ritter was soo cute - and I simply loved Joyce DeWitt..

Dawn said...

I love this show.. I'm glad they have it on re-runs..

Gaynor said...

Great article and your blog looks great. Going to follow, and please have a look at the interview I've done on my page with Chris Mann the author of Come and Knock on Our Door. There's also an interview with Richard Kline who played Larry.


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