Nowadays you’d hear a pitch for a TV show about four old women living in a home together in Florida and think it’d air on an obscure cable channel or streaming service like Hulu or Amazon. But surprisingly enough, not only did such a show exist, it aired on a major television network and ran for seven seasons.
That show was The Golden Girls, which elevated a “risky” premise (an all-female main cast over the age of 50) to history-making television that received critical acclaim and numerous awards (including two Emmy wins for Outstanding Comedy Series and an Emmy award for each of its four stars).
In addition to its iconic theme song (which has inspired numerous remixes and lip-synched serenades to Betty White), the show was refreshingly forward-thinking and tackled many social issues like AIDS/HIV awareness, death, homelessness, gay rights and same-sex marriage, immigration, elder care, and assisted suicide. And, of course, it didn’t shy away from sneaking in the occasional sly reference to cannabis.
The diminutive Estelle Getty, who played Sophia Petrillo, had a couple of canna-zingers on the show. In addition to calling Rose a “skunkweed,” she also had this phone exchange with her hippie friend Edna in the season 3 episode “Blanche’s Little Girl”:
Ms. Getty passed away in 2008 but her birthday is today, so let’s all raise a glass of sherry and a forkful of cheesecake to her and the other three ladies who broke social, gender, and entertainment barriers more than 30 years ago.