It's not every day that TV icons like the cast of "Laverne & Shirley," Kelly Ripa and Fran Drescher gather in one place. But these pros were brought together for the 10th anniversary of the TV Land Awards (taped in early April, airing Sun., April 29, 9 p.m. ET).
This year, "Laverne & Shirley," "Murphy Brown," "In Living Color," "One Day At A Time," Aretha Franklin and Pee-wee Herman were all honored. "Live! With Kelly" host Kelly Ripa returned to host the awards for a second time, citing her love of TV as a reason she said accepted the gig again.
"I am a child of the '70s, so for me, television was it," she told The Huffington Post on the red carpet at the TV Land Awards. "That's what we had. These characters were our lives and I get excited still. I'm still excited seeing Faith Ford as weird as that sounds. I still get excited."
Ford, who was on hand to reunite with the cast of "Murphy Brown" to receive TV Land's Impact Award, co-starred alongside Ripa in "Hope & Faith" from 2003-2006.
But Ripa's excitement didn't stop with Ford. As a young girl, Ripa said she tried to emulate Valerie Bertinelli.
"I love 'One Day at a Time,'" Ripa said of the show, which earned TV Land's Innovator Award. "I used to wear my hair in two braids and Valerie Bertinelli had that flouncy hair. That's all I wanted was flouncy hair. Before my mother would get a chance to braid it, I would comb it to the side and pretend I was Valerie Bertinelli."
Fran Drescher presented "One Day at a Time" with the Innovator Award and said having "The Nanny" receive an honor from TV Land would be nice. "[But] as much as it is nice to be honored with an award, it's the way America has embraced me and the series ... that is the great reward," she said.
"The Nanny" currently bubbled up again in headlines after Drescher appeared on Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live" and read erotic fan fiction featuring her character, Fran Fine, and Maxwell Sheffield. She hadn't heard of it before reading it, but it didn't shock her.
"Oh, I come from Flushing, there's not a lot that's going to make my eyebrow raise," she said. "Believe me." And where would Nanny Fine be right now? After letting out her distinct laugh, Drescher said she thinks Fran and Maxwell are still happily married. "I think now she's happily married, probably, oh about 15 pounds heavier and doing the same old thing, you know?"
"In Living Color" received the Groundbreaking Award at the ceremony, and Ripa said she owes the show for something millions of Americans experience on weekday mornings: her humor.
"'In Living Color' is sort of the reason I have the sense of humor I have," she said. "I religiously watched that show and it really moved me. It spoke to me."
Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, took to the TV Land Awards stage to perform her hits like, "Chain of Fools" and "Respect" and was honored by John Legend with the Icon Award.
"Oh my god, how can you top an icon award?" Franklin said on the red carpet. "It's very, very special. I don't think you can."
Cindy Williams was on hand for the "Laverne & Shirley" reunion as TV Land honored the show with the Fan Favorite Award. Williams, known to fans worldwide as Shirley Feeney, said looking back at the show just brings her to "one big wall of happiness." Williams left the series in 1982: Her character was married off quickly and left Laverne with a note. Where is Shirley now? Williams had an idea. "At this age? She'd be selling Mary Kay," she said with a laugh.
Tune into the TV Land Awards on Sun., April 29, 9 p.m. ET.
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