Question: Hi! I remember in the mid-'70s there was a show with Nancy Walker and a group of women who were either models or hostesses (I think). I remember my mom said that the show was TV at its worst, but my dad always seemed to "suffer" through it. Any idea what this show was?
Answer: Oh, that I do, Emma. And while I don't know the man personally, I'm betting I know why your pop "suffered" through Blansky's Beauties, which debuted on ABC in February 1977. The show, a weird sort of Happy Days spin-off, was about a troupe of Vegas showgirls overseen by the titular Nancy Blansky (Walker), who was a cousin of Happy Days father Howard Cunningham (Tom Bosley). A lousy show about showgirls? Torture for moms but something the average father was perfectly willing to endure, I'm sure (these being the days before let-it-all-hang-out cable and all).
The late Pat Morita (The Karate Kid), who'd left Happy Days to star on the ill-fated Mr. T. and Tina, joined the cast as Arnold, who ran an eatery at the Oasis Hotel, home of Ms. Blansky's gals. Yes, Morita bore the same name as his Happy Days character, thus helping to cement the spin-off status, but that wasn't the weird part. Scott Baio played Blansky's horn-dog adolescent nephew, Anthony, who, after the series died a quick death in May, was shuttled over to Happy Days as Fonzie's young horn-dog cousin Charles "Chachi" Arcola, and no mention was ever made by Mr. C. that his cousin's nephew suddenly showed up related to another character, with a new name and identity yet.
It's worth noting that many historians and scientists blame several unexplained disturbances in the fabric of our own universe on this inconsistency in the Happy Days world. That same year, at least one minor constellation faded from our skies, and an until-then unknown chief of a hidden Bigfoot clan emerged from the wilderness and was nearly elected governor of New Jersey. Of course, the shadowy disappearance of Chuck Cunningham may have played more of a role in that one, but either way, don't you try to tell me TV doesn't matter.