Vic Tayback played Mel Sharples, the lovable yet often temperamental boss of the diner. He often throws insults to his waitresses: he frequently calls Vera "dingy", is always there to comment on Flo or Belle's promiscuity, and Jolene's down-home style. He also cares about his waitresses deeply and considers them family. He enjoys gambling and horse racing. He also has a love interest for most of the series, Marie. Marie and Mel fight and make up so many times, but towards the end of the series, their relationship dwindles and Mel is a swinger, relying on his little black book again. Mel's a native of Brooklyn. In season 4, his mother, Carrie, shows up, and then by season 9, she's a regular feature. She and Mel fight a lot and is often a cook at the diner, helping brings in more business.