Who would have guessed the sexual escapades of four mature women would be so hysterical?
Who would also have guessed it would be so amusing to watch?
Although it’s been 30 years since the unlikely hit show “The Golden Girls” aired its final episode, the sassy sitcom continues to amuse longtime fans while attracting generations of new viewers.
From San Francisco to Salladasburg, the show remains funny even if you know every joke or every word in the script.
Just how popular is the show? Besides airing several times a day in syndication around the globe, diehard fans of Sophia and the girls can buy everything from Golden Girls pajamas, lapel pins, cosmetic bags, wooden spoons, books, cards, socks, shot glasses, oven mitts, and lunch boxes.
There are also wine bottle covers, whimsical signs, and party decorations in case you threw a party and invited everyone you knew.
If you’re hungry for more, you can fill up on tins of mints and a limited-edition Golden Girls cereal that is a peculiar shade of blue.
In many ways, “The Golden Girls” is more popular today than it was when the show first aired in 1985, thanks to a younger and more diverse fan base.
At times the show could be dorky and predictable, yet it was always amusing. It was TV’s equivalent of comfort food.
One of the many reasons the show remains popular is the characters and their wildly different personalities.
From the practical and dependable Dorothy to the salacious and self-centered Blanch to Dorothy’s mother Sophia, a sassy spitfire that always had wise advice or a story to tell that typically started like this “Picture it, Sicily, 1931.’’
And then there was the sweet but ditzy Rose and her never-ending tales of life back in St. Olaf. The girls were the friends you wanted to stay up all night talking to while eating cheesecake and Rose’s aromatically challenged but scrumptious sparhuven Krispies. This St. Olaf delicacy has a horrific stench.
The show also held two impressive distinctions; the quality of the series remained consistent; it didn’t decrease as the years went by like other shows. The other distinction is “The Golden Girls” is one of a few series in which all the main characters won a Primetime Emmy Award.
Although the show was a comedy, it occasionally dealt with some serious issues such as drug addiction, homelessness, infidelity, dementia, and the problems of growing older.
The show’s popularity shows no sign of diminishing; in fact, a Golden Girls theme pop-up restaurant recently opened in Beverly Hills featuring a menu inspired by the characters and dishes mentioned in the show, such as Sophia’s special sauce spaghetti and a selection of cheesecakes.
Following its run in Beverly Hills, the restaurant will open for a limited time in New York City and Miami.
Here are a few facts about “The Golden Girls’’ and why it’s a golden classic.
*Academy Award-winning actress Lee Grant was a front-runner to play Dorothy; however, Grant declined because she didn’t want to play a character old enough to be a grandmother.
*The show’s kitchen was recycled from the short-lived comedy “It Takes Two’’ about a high-profile couple trying to balance work and a normal home life.
*In the show, the girls could often be found in the kitchen chatting while partaking in cheesecake. In real life, Bea Arthur disliked the rich dessert.
*Hard to believe, but the Queen Mother (Queen Elizabeth ll’s mother) was such a huge fan of the show she invited the cast to London to perform for the royal family.
*Before the series started, there was talk of Betty White playing Blanche and Rue McClanahan taking the role of Rose.
*Just like her character Blanche, McClanahan was a clothes horse and had a clause written into her contract that she got to keep all the clothing she wore on the show. Reportedly McClanahan had 13 closets full of designer clothes.
*Because Getty was playing a character 20 years older than her real age, it took makeup artists three hours to transform her into the crusty old lady.
*Many aspects of the home’s design do not make sense. A large Florida home with no pool and no dining room? The only place to eat was a tiny table in the kitchen with only three chairs when there were four roommates.
*The show introduced a new word to many viewers. In Florida, Lanai means a porch or covered outdoor area.
*During its run, the show had several special guests, including Bob Hope, Mickey Rooney, Mario Lopez, Merv Griffin, Rita Moreno, Burt Reynolds, Leslie Nielsen, Sonny Bono, Quentin Tarantino, Debbie Reynolds, and George Clooney.
*Blanche’s house is supposed to be in Miami; however, the exterior photos of the house came from a home in Los Angeles. The four-bedroom, 3,000 sq ft home sold a few years ago for $3 million.
*In the pilot episode, the girls have a male housekeeper named Coco.
*Estelle Getty played Dorothy’s feisty mother, Sophia Petrillo. In real life, Getty was one year younger than Bea Arthur.