It was a blast from the past at the 10th annual TV Land Awards Saturday in New York City, as many of television's top casts reunited for a nostalgic flash of star power and boob-tube mania.
The fête saw players from some of TV's most beloved shows catch up for the first time in years, including the casts of Murphy Brown, Laverne & Shirley and In Living Color.
Talk about prime time!
So how do the shows' stars look now, and what have they been up to?
In Living Color: The pioneering African-American sketch comedy, which was honored with TV Land's Groundbreaking Award, ran from 1990 to 1994 and launched the careers of the Wayans brood, along with some elastic-faced dude named Jim Carrey and a little-known Fly Girl named Jennifer Lopez.
The Wayans brothers—headed by ringleaders Keenen Ivory, Shawn and Marlon—went on to cocreate and costar in yukfests like Scary Movie, White Chicks and Dance Flick. Brother Damon got his own sitcom and sundry other gigs. Sis Kim Wayans recently earned raves for her performance in the teen-lesbian coming-out drama Pariah. Carrey? Well, his gazillion-dollar payday has earned him the right to talk out of his butt, and we have the Fly Girls to thank for giving us American Idol contestant savior Lopez and Dancing With the Stars' Carrie Ann Inaba.
Fox is reportedly planning to revive In Living Color for two half-hour specials, but Keenen tells E! News at the TV Land Awards red carpet that he doesn't foresee a full-fledged reunion show anytime soon, saying, "Everybody's off doing other things now." Two snaps up for the cast's busy careers!
Murphy Brown: Candice Bergen's singular newswoman and her idiosyncratic band of coworkers—played by Charles Kimbrough, Joe Regalbuto, Faith Ford and Grant Shaud—set the bar high for all dysfunctional-workforce sitcoms to follow. The show, which ran from 1988 to 1998, won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series, as well as five Best Actress Emmys for Bergen. It was also notorious for being slammed by then vice president Dan Quayle, who derided Murphy's decision to have a baby as a single mother.
Bergen went on to score memorable roles on screens both big (Miss Congeniality and Sweet Home Alabama) and small (Boston Legal); many audiences, though, will likely remember her for her playing a persnickety Vogue editor in Sex and the City. Kimbrough has created a successful niche doing voice work for animated projects like Family Guy and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, while Shaud and Regalbuto have both continued to guest-star on a wide range of TV shows. Ford, meanwhile, costarred in the sitcom Hope & Faith, which ran for three seasons until 2006.
Ford still remembers the Quayle flap vividly, telling E! News that today's shows have become "way much more progressive!" She adds though, that "whether it's received well, I don't know. Maybe [they] don't get the kind of flack we did, because we were sort of groundbreakers in that area. But gosh, some of the things they get away with on TV now, we could have never!"
Laverne & Shirley: The rip-roaring Happy Days spin-off, costarring Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams as odd-couple roommates working in a Milwaukee brewery, was described by TV Land Awards host Kelly Ripa as "the original 2 Broke Girls" and ran from 1976 to 1983. You can also credit the show with introducing "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated" to the pop lexicon.
Marshall has since switched gears and slipped into the director's chair, becoming one of Hollywood's most successful female directors with hits like Big, Awakenings and A League of Their Own. (She also helmed two episodes of United States of Tara.) She still does the occasional acting gig, though, and has popped up in Portlandia and The Game.
Williams went on to rack up a handful of cameos in TV shows including 7th Heaven, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and 8 Simple Rules, and also coproduced Father of the Bride and its sequel.
So which of today's comedy stars does Williams consider to be Laverne and Shirley's spiritual sisters? "I love Amy Poehler, I love Tina Fey," she tells E! News. "I love Kristen Wiig—all of the girls on Saturday Night Live, they always make me laugh out loud!"
One Day at a Time: The show—starring Bonnie Franklin as a divorced mother trying to raise her two daughters, played by Valerie Bertinelli and Mackenzie Phillips—was praised for its pro-feminist take on single motherhood but was criticized by conservative critics for its then-progressive storylines.
After the series ended, Franklin headlined a slew of TV movies and directed several episodes of Munsters Today, and she's recently appeared in regional theater productions.
Bertinelli, who became even more famous during her 20-year marriage to Eddie Van Halen, spent two seasons on Touched by an Angel and can now be seen in the hit comedy Hot in Cleveland. Phillips has guested on shows like Cold Case and Without a Trace, and made headlines in 2009 when she revealed she had been raped by her father, John Phillips from The Mamas & the Papas.
The cast, who tell E! News that they haven't seen each other in about nine years, remain proud of the show's envelope-pushing legacy. "I think we reflected what was going on," Franklin says. "People still come up to us to this day, saying, 'You changed my life. I was a single parent, or I was the child of a single parent, and you made it OK.'"
(The 10th annual TV Land Awards airs April 29.)