Happy Days was the only time Cathy Silvers got to work with her legendary dad Phil Silvers

Sgt. Bilko and Jenny Piccalo were related! Her twin sister appeared on Happy Days, too!

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Image: The Everett Collection

Phil Silvers made his feature film debut in 1940. Though he worked in pictures alongside legends Humphrey Bogart and Rita Hayworth, he would not become a household name in his own right until television. In the mid-'50s, few comedians had more exposure than Phil Silvers. As Sgt. Bilko on his smash sitcom The Phil Silvers Show, the Brooklyn native became one of the iconic faces of classic television. His glasses helped.

For the rest of his career, Silver because somewhat typecast as Sgt. Bilko, often playing the same kind of constantly scheming characters, whether it be his small role as Honest John on The Beverly Hillbillies or his short-lived The New Phil Silver Show, which swapped the military setting for a factory workplace.

Also recognizable in his hat and glasses, Silvers popped up in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) and Gilligan's Island.

Meanwhile, he was raising five daughters. One of them is a familiar face on MeTV. Cathy Silvers became a key cast member in later seasons of Happy Days, starring on the nostalgic sitcom from 1980–84. Her character, Jenny Piccalo, may not be the first one who comes to mind, but she did appear in the opening credits, helping fill the void after Ron Howard jumped ship.

By this time, her dad, Phil, was near the end of his career and life. He would pass away in 1985, but not until he got the chance to work alongside his daughter Cathy.

In "Just a Piccalo," Phil plays — who else — Roscoe Piccalo, Jenny's pop. 

"It was magic," Cathy later recalled. "I'd always heard people talk about how exciting it was to work with my dad and I got to see why. He was really special. It was the only time we got to work together."

Yes, surprisingly, this was the only time the father-daughter combo worked together onscreen.

There's a great Silvers family joke in the script, too. "I wish she were twins!" Roscoe says of Jenny. Well, in real life, Cathy did indeed have a twin sister. And she was also on Happy Days.

The Everett Collection

Both Cathy and Candace Silvers were born on the same day in 1961. In the photo here, you can see them in strollers with the rest of the family the following year.

Candace would turn up on two Happy Days episodes, the hourlong "Home Movies" and "Affairs of the Heart." Oddly, she did not play Jenny Piccalo's sister! She played her cousin, Carla Bee. Here you can see them sharing a booth in "Home Movies."

Turns out, Happy Days was quietly a Silvers family affair!

Watch Happy Days on MeTV!

Weeknights at 6:30 PM
Sundays at 2 PM & 4 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
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CountStone62 14 hours ago
I remember In Nashville, we had a Christmas parade and cathy. Sliver made a appearance and I met her and spoken to her and she was very nice and she noticed that I am a twin and that's when she mentioned that she was a twin.
Wiseguy 10 days ago
No such thing as an hour episode of "Happy Days." It was a two-part episode. ABC aired it as an hour BROADCAST (not episode).
RedSamRackham 10 days ago
* Cathy Silvers has said that her dad Phil was her hero & her inspiration as a comedic actress! ☺
BarryCohen 12 days ago
The silvers family had great Talent! Phil was amazing in many different ways and its great that Cathy had the opportunity to play Jenny in Happy days! It was also very nice that her sister got to enjoy her time on the screen as well! I wish the entire family the very best of health, happiness and success!
madmark1 13 days ago
Phil Silvers was a funny comedian.I often wonder if the StarKist tuna known as Charlie was based off of him he looks and acts a lot like Phil Silvers.
Dario madmark1 12 days ago
The Hanna-Barbera cartoon Top Cat had the principal character modeled after Phil.
madmark1 Dario 12 days ago
Didn’t know that that’s good info. I still wonder about Charlie the StarKist tuna sure does look and act like Phil Silvers.
Dario madmark1 12 days ago
That wouldn't surprise me if the ad agency that created Charlie Tuna based him on Phil. ☺️
moax429 madmark1 12 days ago
Herschel Bernardi of "Arnie" did Charlie the Tuna's voice.
justjeff Dario 10 days ago
Believe it or not, it was Arnold Stang who was the voice of Top Cat - and the character's voice is loosely based on Stang's impression of Phil Silvers. Maurice Gosfield ("Doberman" from Sgt. Bilko) was the voice of "Benny the Ball"...
DavidBartholomew 13 days ago
For a true taste of Phil Silvers, see the movie Summer Stock. He was 3rd billed after Gene Kelly and Judy Garland, playing the Stage Manager.

Bonus of the movie, Judy Garland doing "Get Happy" !!
SalIanni 13 days ago
That "Happy Days" episode with Phil and Cathy Silvers is one of a very few that I like to watch after Ron Howard left because of the reasons mentioned in the article. After Phil's death and after "Happy Days" was cancelled, Cathy appeared in the terrible "Sgt. Bilko" movie with Steve Martin as a way to honor her father but hardly anyone saw it or liked it. I think one of her sisters was in it too but I'm not positive about that.
justjeff 14 days ago
Phil Silvers' company (Gladasya) co-produced "Gilligan's Island" along with United Artists Television (who also distributed the program).

Gladasya was a spelling variant of an old Phil SIlvers catch phrase when he was introduced to another character: "Glad to see ya". Gladasya was also responsible for "The New Phil Silvers Show" and "It's About Time".

UA also distributed "It's About Time" - co-produced by Gladasya Productions and Redwood Productions.
moax429 justjeff 12 days ago
And now Ted Turner/Warner Bros. owns "Gilligan." Sad, especially since Turner was intent on colorizing the first season (I don't know if he ever did it).
Wiseguy moax429 10 days ago
They did it almost 30 years ago. Don't you watch MeTV?
flomadaleine 14 days ago
So is the Happy Day episode with the Silver twins and their Dad Phil coming soon but I watch every nite?😊
MrBill flomadaleine 11 days ago
Yes, it is Season 9 episode 8 and should air possibly on November 1st.
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