Based on the movie, “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” “Alice” starred Linda Lavin as Alice Hyatt, a widowed mother starting over in Phoenix, Arizona with her young son, Tommy (played by Philip McKeon, brother of “The Facts of Life” star Nancy McKeon).
Alice lands a job as a waitress at Mel’s Diner, run by Mel Sharples (played by Vic Tayback), who served up the food, yelling out a gruff, “Pickup!” when the food was ready for the waitresses to serve.
When the show started in 1976, Alice’s co-workers were the big-haired, Southern Florence Jean “Flo” Castleberry (played by Polly Holliday), and “dingey” (as Mel referred to her) Vera Louise Gorman. Locking horns with Mel, Flo would shoot back, “Kiss my grits!” or when she thought something was impossible, she’d say, “When pigs fly!”
Holliday would eventually leave the show for her own spin-off, “Flo,” and was replaced by Diane Ladd as waitress Belle Dupree. Ladd, who appeared on the show from 1980 to 1981, would be replaced by Celia Weston, who played Jolene Hunnicutt. The show ended its run in 1985.
I always loved Vera’s loft bed. But, I wouldn’t want to fall out of it. (You can see it in the opening sequence of season four below. The bed, that is. Not me falling out of it.)
One of my favorite guest characters was Martha Raye, perfectly cast as Mel’s mother. Although I was quite surprised to see how tiny she was. Last time I had seen her was when she starred as Benita Bizarre on “The Bugaloos.” I guess a person seems taller when they’re cast against “bugs.”
For more info on “Alice,” go to imdb.com:
Check out the opening sequence of “Alice” here:
Here’s the opening to season four: