Gov. Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton have become a staple of many Ohioans’ afternoons, including Dave Stofka’s, who tunes in daily for the state coronavirus updates from his home in Stow.


Stofka thought the only thing the two were missing was a theme song. And so with time on his hands, and a background in animation, he made one.


"It was just a fun project to sort of pass the time, and hopefully spread some positivity," Stofka said.


On Tuesday, Stofka released a theme song and animated music video of the state officials, parodying the 1970s and 1980s sitcom "Laverne & Shirley."


Frame for frame, Stofka replicated the old TV show intro with a new song and scenes featuring animated versions of DeWine and Acton. Instead of seeing Laverne and Shirley make their dreams come true, the governor and state health director are "gonna see our state pull through."


The Shotz Brewery is replaced by a Purell factory. DeWine and company are seen literally flattening the curve. And instead of a snowball fight, DeWine, Acton and Marla Berkowitz, the governor’s Certified Deaf Interpreter, throw rolls of toilet paper — a much sought-after commodity during the coronavirus crisis.


Stofka said he works as a freelancer mostly on website development and animation. But with no projects coming down the pike, he spent a few weeks making the parody as a fun escape.


"I had a lot of time on my hands and things were really starting to fall apart around the world," Stofka said. "I needed something creative to take my mind off of the doom and gloom that has going around."


With two teens and one college-age child home because of the restrictions, Stofka said he worked with his family to write the parody.


He also worked with local friend Jonathan Truax and Elisa Grecar, who sings the new song.


Stofka said people he talks to keep comparing the current times to World War II. Just like the fireside chats held by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, people today are gravitating toward the governor’s news conferences.


"We all want hope," he said. "We all want this to be over. This is affecting everybody’s lives"


He said DeWine and Acton have been voices of authority in the time of need.


"It’s like they’re in it with us," he said. "And they’re being leaders."


Parodying "Friends" instead of "Laverne & Shirley" was briefly on the table, but Stofka said the 1970s and 1980s sitcom worked perfectly and quickly became the choice.


"The opening of the sitcom was very, very iconic," Stofka said. "It’s one of those things that if you grew up in that era, you recognize it instantly."


Reach Beacon Journal reporter Sean McDonnell at smcdonnell@thebeaconjournal.com or 330-996-3186.