45 Eerie Photos Captured Behind-The-Scenes

By Sarah Norman | May 18, 2023

The 'L' Was Penny Marshall's Trick To Remind Viewers Of Laverne's Name

A peek behind the scenes or an untold story can reveal so much more about our favorite shows and movies. Why did Mary Tyler Moore wear that silly wig on her new show, and who were those Hanson brothers in Slap Shot? These are the mysteries of the screen (big and small) that stay with us for years, seemingly never to be solved. But there are explanations and anecdotes -- everything has some back story or secret origin. What was in the bottle before Barbara Eden (Jeannie) moved in? What's George Harrison doing in that Monty Python movie? And what is up with the mask that Michael Myers wears -- is it really a Star Trek thing? Take a moment to dig deeper and you might find the fact or tale that makes you enjoy a series or film even more.

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Source: IMDB

You could depend on audiences to know (or at least guess) that a show called Laverne & Shirley would be about two women, one named Laverne and the other Shirley. But would they remember, week-to-week, which one was Laverne and which was Shirley? Arguably not -- and when this is a concern, writers often will work a character's name into the opening lines of a show to establish who's who.

It's a clumsy bit of exposition, and actress Penny Marshall felt there had to be a better way. She decided upon a visual clue: Laverne's famous "L" monogram. Just as Batman doesn't really need to say "I'm Batman" (although, for some reason, he does) because he has a big bat icon on his chest, Laverne never needed to remind the audience that she was Laverne -- it was always right there in that flowing script "L."

Felix Silla, Who Played Cousin Itt In 'The Addams Family,' Was Also Twiki In 'Battlestar Galactica'

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Source: Ain't It Cool News

Top actors of short stature often get the chance to play numerous memorable roles, though you don't always see their faces. Warwick Davis, for example, played the hero of Willow, but his first movie role was as the Ewok Wicket in Return of the Jedi. Kenny Baker, who played Fidget in Time Bandits, has a massive legacy as the man inside the R2D2 suit in six Star Wars movies. But do you know Felix Silla?

You know Felix Silla, even if you don't recognize him. Born in Italy and trained as a circus performer, Silla attained TV immortality by playing Cousin Itt on The Addams Family. A couple of years after that series ended, he played the young gorilla in Planet of the Apes. But Silla really hit the double TV sci-fi jackpot in 1978. That's the year he started playing Lucifer on Battlestar Galactica. Shortly thereafter he got the call to play Twiki on the related-but-different show Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (both Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers were produced by Glen Larson). And if you're a fan of really bad sequels, you saw Silla in Meatballs Part II as Meathead the Alien.