[This story contains spoilers for The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon season 1 episode 2.] Nanu-nanu! The Orkan greeting of Robin Williams’ Mork from Ork might be the last thing Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) ever expected to hear after washing ashore in post-apocalyptic France. But that’s what happened on Sunday’s “Alouette” episode of Daryl Dixon, which saw the marooned American make a detour to a village in Angers while escorting nuns Isabelle (Clémence Poésy) and Sylvie (Laika Blanc Francard) to deliver Laurent (Louis Puech Scigliuzzi) — believed to be the new messiah — to safety up north at a community called The Nest.
The travelers encounter the teenage Lou (Kim Higelin) and her howling youths, who have fortified École Maternelle Simone Veil: a preschool honored in dedication of famed French politician Simone Veil. There are 18 foundlings living at the school, converted into a humble but self-sustaining community by the children’s ailing teacher, Madame Dubois (Evelyne Delmer). The children entertain themselves with an outdated television powered by bicycle-generated electricity, playing taped episodes of the classic late ’70s/early ’80s sitcom Mork & Mindy.
“Me and my brother used to watch it, when we were young,” Daryl later tells Isabelle about his older brother Merle (Michael Rooker), who eventually enjoyed doing recreational drugs while watching a dumb cartoon about a talking dog. “We loved that show. Used to make everything just a little bit better, you know?”
It took “a long time to get the permits” to include scenes from Mork & Mindy, episode director Daniel Percival told The Wrap, calling the throwback to Daryl’s favorite childhood show “so perfect.” Percival explained, “It’s a story of a fish out of water and an alien in a strange land. It’s so appropriate.”
The Happy Days spin-off followed the hyperactive, eccentric Orkan who reported his observations about humans back to his home planet, Ork. Trivia: the Mork & Mindy episode that appears in Daryl Dixon is the season 4 episode “The Mork Report,” originally aired in 1982. Mork reports on his observer thesis about “the four main ingredients to a successful marriage,” concluding that they are honesty, respect, romance, and compatibility.
Later, after Madame Dubois succumbs to illness, the children of École pay tribute to their teacher with the Orkan greeting and goodbye: Nanu-nanu. Read the Daryl Dixon episode 2 recap here.
New episodes of The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon air Sundays on AMC and AMC+.