All aboard! The cast of “The Love Boat” is back on deck.
On Friday morning, the original cast of the beloved 1970s TV series “The Love Boat” reunited for one more cruise on the “Today” show.
More than 40 years after the show premiered, the famous cast ‒ including Gavin MacLeod, Ted Lange, Bernie Kopell, Lauren Tewes, Jill Whelan and Fred Grandy ‒ appeared on the morning show live from Los Angeles, where on May 10 they received an honorary star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in partnership with Princess Cruises.
For their reunion, MacLeod, known for his iconic role of Capt. Merrill Stubing, donned his signature captain hat while Lange, who played the ship’s spirited bartender Isaac Washington, sported his signature red jacket and mustache. Koppell, who played the ship’s doctor, Adam Bricker, wore his signature specs.
Also in attendance was the ship’s cruise director, Julie McCoy, played by Tewes, the captain’s angelic daughter; Vicki, who was played by Whelan; and Grandy, who played Yeoman Burl Smith but was known for his character nickname, “Gopher.”
Prior to reuniting on “Today,” the cast sat down with morning hosts Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie to talk about the significance of the classic TV show in May of last year.
When asked how often the cast gets together, Whelan said, “We were all together last night at my apartment.”
But the fun-loving cast, who went on to tape eight seasons of the hit series, admitted that they didn’t know that the show was going to be a success when it first aired in 1977, produced by Aaron Spelling.
“We got the worst reviews,” Koppell said.
According to MacLeod, he knew right from the start “The Love Boat” was classic material. “We had a reading in the office, just the guys. And we finished the reading … and I’m walking down and a guy says, ‘Well, I hope this goes well,” and I said, ‘I’m telling you we’re gonna go at least seven years.'”
Grandy said the show turned out to be such a success partly because there was nothing like it on the air.
“It was romance, at the time there were only cop shows and sitcoms on the air,” he said. “So, this show filled some kind of need that only Aaron Spelling understood.”