When Penny Marshall passed away Tuesday, she was remembered for her time on the classic sitcom Laverne & Shirley, the seven films she directed — including Big, Awakenings, and A League of Their Own— and her decades as a well-known Hollywood personality.
But younger TV viewers might remember Marshall from a different project she appeared in, during a later part of her career. Marshall, along with her Laverne & Shirley co-star Cindy Williams, appeared in “Salmon Cat,” a 2013 episode of the Nickelodeon series Sam & Cat. The series co-starred pop megastar Ariana Grande.
The premise of the series was that Sam and Cat (Jennette McCurdy and Grande, respectively) operated a babysitting service which was named for themselves — Sam & Cat’s Super-Rocking Fun Time Babysitting Service. On the episode in question, they’re told by a lawyer that they must change the name of the service, due to a prior copyright being held by Salmon Cat, a (ficticious) popular kids TV series from the ’70s. (Salmon Cat, on the pretend show, was a puppet who was half salmon, half cat, and lived underwater.)
In order to keep the name of their business, the two must track down the two women who created the series — played by Marshall and Williams — while also helping the two of them resolve a years-running feud with each other.
The episode first aired on Nickelodeon on November 9, 2013. Grande and McCurdy even re-enacted the famous “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!” jingle from the Laverne & Shirley opening credits.
All of us at the Henry Danger Wiki would like to offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Penny Marshall best known for playing Laverne on Laverne & Shirley and was best known for her guest appearance on Sam & Cat. RIP Penny Marshall, Thank you for everything!!! pic.twitter.com/f3hbcWkASO
— Henry Danger/Game Shakers Wiki (@DangerShakers) December 18, 2018
Marshall and Williams only appeared on Sam & Cat in that one episode, and the series itself ran for just a little over a year. But Nickelodeon re-runs Sam & Cat episodes so often that an entire generation of kids has likely seen the show, which was Marshall and Williams’ final time acting together on television.
Ariana Grande, who has perhaps the world’s most-watched Instagram account these days, does not appear to have made any public comments about Marshall’s death. After years as a Nickelodeon actress, Grande’s debut album came out in the fall of 2013, and her pop career took off from there.
Sam & Cat was a spin-off of two previous Nickelodeon shows, iCarly and Victorious, featuring characters from both. The creator of all of those series, Dan Schneider, parted ways under somewhat contentious circumstances with Nickelodeon earlier this year — although his series still run on Nickelodeon’s various networks.
The world continues to mourn the loss of actress and director Penny Marshall.