Question: A few weeks ago I caught an episode of Laverne and Shirley in which Ed Begley, Jr. played Shirley's brother, who was a sailor on shore leave. In one scene, Laverne and Shirley were trying to hide him because he was drunk and the captain came in. Was that the guy who played Senator David Palmer on 24? It sounded like him but he was much slimmer. At first I thought it was Denzel Washington but after a few rewinds and pauses, my husband determined it was the almost-prez. And wasn't he also the voodoo guy in Major League (but with a shaved head and bulked up)? Amy H., Tucker, Ga.
Televisionary: Wow, do you readers have sharp eyes and steel-trap memories, or what? I'm thinking that when my powers wane and I need a worthy successor or two, you and hubby may just be candidates. (But don't even think about applying for my job until then, y'hear?)
24 co-star Dennis Haysbert did indeed appear in the Laverne and Shirley episode "What Do You Do with a Drunken Sailor?," which first aired October 18, 1979. In it, Begley, Jr. (St. Elsewhere), played Shirley's alcoholic brother and Haysbert was a "Shore Patrolman" rather than a captain. Of course, fans of the actor most likely remember him as scientist Theo, playing opposite Eric Close and Margaret Colin in CBS's late and still lamented Now and Again. (And between Begley, Washington and the mention of Tom Fontana in the next answer, my column appears to have caught St. Eligius fever this week.)
Movie-wise, right again. Haysbert played Cuban slugger Pedro Cerrano in the first, second and third installments of the Major League series. You may also have caught him in Love and Basketball and Love Field.
Keep in mind, by the way, that you can always read up on favorite episodes of Laverne & Shirley and other classic shows in TV Guide Online's ShowGuide.