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On This Day in Sitcom History — April 9th
1981: Jonathan Winters’s First Appearance on Mork & Mindy
The Mork & Mindy season three episode, “Mork and the Family Reunion,” first aired on this day in 1981. The episode guest starred Jonathan Winters as Mindy’s (Pam Dawber) estranged uncle, Dave. This was Winters’s first appearance on the show, but definitely not his last. In season four, he returns as a regular character, Mork (Robin Williams) and Mindy’s son, Mearth. Tom Poston, who played Mr. Bickley in most of season three, does not appear in this episode (keep reading to see why that’s significant).
1981: Abe Vigoda’s Last Appearance on Barney Miller
The Barney Miller season seven episode, “Lady and the Bomb,” also aired on this day in 1981. It marked Abe Vigoda’s final appearance as Detective Fish. Fish retired at the beginning of season four, and Vigoda moved on to his spinoff, Fish. He returned for one more guest appearance in this episode before leaving for good.
Triple Tom Poston
Sitcom legend Tom Poston appeared in three different shows on this day in the 90s.
1990: Newhart - “Handymania”
The Newhart season eight episode, “Handymania,” aired on this day in 1990. Tom Poston plays handyman George Utley, who creates his own handyman-themed board game called “Handymania.”
1991: Coach - “Diamonds are a Dentist’s Best Friend”
The season three finale of Coach, “Diamonds are a Dentist’s Best Friend,” aired on this day in 1991. Tom Poston guest stars as a dentist who sells discount diamonds on the side.
1998: Just Shoot Me! - “Jack’s Old Partner”
On this day in 1998, Tom Poston guest starred on the Just Shoot Me! episode, “Jack’s Old Partner,” as — you guessed it — Jack’s old partner, Herb, who got the shaft when Jack severed their partnership.
Side Note: Happy Birthday, Mia!!
Even though she hasn’t appeared in any sitcoms, I want to wish a happy 30th birthday to my sister, Mia Morvin, who was born on this day in 1993. Here’s a photo of us from probably around the same time Tom Poston guest starred on Just Shoot Me! (she’s the blonde).