6.17.2010

Laverne & Shirley Theme Song Meaning



Classic!

Those of us who watched television or reruns in the 1970s, 80s, or 90s probably are all familiar with the "Laverne & Shirley" show's theme song:

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight!

Schlemiel! Schlemazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!
We're gonna do it!

But what on earth does it mean?

Maybe the definitions will help:

Schlemiel: n, an unlucky burglar; chump; clumsy person (Yiddish)

Schlemazel: n, a very unlucky or inept person who fails at everything (Yiddish)

Hasenpfefffer: n, a highly seasoned stew made out of marinated rabbit meat (German)

Maybe the only ones who would try to start a rabbit stew company would be a couple of inept people?

Actually, the first two lines of the theme song are said to be from a Yiddish-American children's hopscotch chant. As we know from our childhood playground chants (One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, et al.), sometimes they are just nonsense. This one in particular, though, is reported to be one that Penny Marshall (who played Laverne) used to chant on her walk to school as a kid.

That's my best answer. :) At the very least we learned what the meaning of the words are!


15 comments:

  1. thanks for posting that. On youtube the other night and the Laverne & Shirley clip, WKRP in Cincinnati theme song, Family Ties theme song, brought back so many memories. Took me to another time and place. I love Laverne & Shirley

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  2. Glad to know I'm not the only one who wanted to find an answer to that :-)

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  3. ha! Thanks. I never knew the meaning of either 'schlemiel' or of 'schlemazel'....I had an idea that neither were complimentary terms, tho. Oy, vey, glad to know I was right about at least THAT.
    Beware the bald man! ;)

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  4. They are NOT saying "hasenpfeffer". They are singing about the place they work, a brewery named Schotz. "Schotz's Beverage, Incorporated".

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    Replies
    1. you are wrong.....many people assumed that, but its just not true

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    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    3. You are wrong and cannot understand English, evidently. It's blatantly obvious to anyone who is not deaf that they sing the word " Hasenpfeffer". What an astoundingly stupid comment.

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  5. It always sounded like "hasenpfeffer" to me.

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  6. oi gevalt! who knew? danny bloom in Taiwan BALD NOW at 65 says....

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  7. Wow...it is a fact it is hasenpfeffer incorporated.
    Schlemeil is a clumsy person that spills something, in this case soup.
    schlemazel is a unlucky person, in this case the soup spills on.
    Hassepfeffer incorporated is that these two follies make a soup company from thier inept behaivor. Its not a real soup company. Hassenpfeffer is a german soup made with rabbit and pepper.
    s

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  8. OH THANKS I'VE ALWAYS WONDERED, THESE MANY YEARS😊💗!!!! *THANKS FOR THAT INFORMATIVE KNOWLEDGE, I SAW A SIMILAR NAME(Schimel)ON YAHOO & REMEMBERING THE LAVERNE & SHIRLEY SONG,I FINALLY DECIDED TO RESEARCH THE MEANING; THANKS AGAIN!!!!

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  9. I have heard both words Schlemiel and Schlemazel many times in 3 Stooges shorts (Jewish boys ya know). In other instances most always old B&W tv shows but even All in the Family and Bosom Buddies used the words.

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  10. I had heard years ago that
    a "schlemiel" was a person
    who spills beer, and a
    "schlemazel" was a person
    on whom beer gets spilled.
    It may have been from an
    interview with Penny
    Marshall (Laverne).

    It made sense to me,
    since they're working
    in a beer brewery, Shotz
    Brewery.

    Compared to the typical
    definition of a schlemiel
    --a clumsy person--its
    similarity in definition
    lends some credibility to
    its derivation.

    I can't say the same thing
    about the word for a
    schlemazel, though.

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  11. you are ALL a bunch of unfortunate s
    "Schlemazels" for even concerning yourselves with such "Schlemielry".

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