Mork Calling Orson: An Outsider’s Look on Society

Mork and Mindy is a spin-off of the hit series Happy Days. It features a humanoid alien known as Mork (played by a then-unknown Robin Williams) attempting to integrate with human society and living with his best friend Mindy (Pam Dawber). As a child, Mork and Mindy was one of my favorite TV series because it features Robin Williams’s iconic improvisational humor (which I’ve always loved) and I had an alien phase as a kid. Now, watching a few episodes as a semi-adult has made me realize that there were life lessons to be gained from this quirky series.


For those who have not seen the series, Mork’s job on Earth is to observe Earth and report to Orson, his alien supervisor on the planet Ork. Each week, Mork would call Orson and report his findings. The interaction between the two aliens would offer an outsider’s perspective on things that human society considers normal. This is Mork’s last report to Orson on the series, and as heartbreaking as it is to watch this clip in light of recent events, it offers an insight into his view on fame. The show didn’t do anything groundbreaking in regards to gender norms or sexuality, but they discussed anything from motherhood to loneliness to violence to death in insightful yet family-friendly ways.

Mork’s home planet Ork is characterized by its apathetic, logical society that holds no emotion whatsoever. As a result, when Mork describes human society to Orson, he has to be creative with it. Mork is often seen describing the humans to Ork with odd metaphors. For example, he compares society’s treatment of old people as lesser beings to society’s treatment of old wine as a delicacy. Despite the lack of understanding between the two aliens (Mork’s descriptions don’t always make sense to Orson), Mork always accurate judgements and comments on timeless facets of human society that mostly ring true today.

Sam Bishop

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