The only reason this show ended was because the Fonz couldn't fit into his leather jacket anymore.
Dec 23, 2009
Happy Days was a very long running series that was supposed to be set in the late 50's. After the first season, the producers of the series decided to throw all logic out the window as the show began to resemble the late 70's and early 80's. I really enjoyed the first three seasons. I liked how the Fonz was originally a mystical figure who retained an "edge" to his character as he would give his buddies Richie, Potsie and Ralph advice on "chicks" (one time the Fonz gave Richie a bottle of beer to give to his girl) and always had the trio back whenever they were in trouble (like messing with a rival gang's girls). During the first season Richie also had an older brother named Chuck (who was written out of the show after a dispute with the producers) who's existence was erased out of the series' canon. Their hangout "Arnold's" was later on to be reveled to be own by a Japanese dude named Matsuo Takahashi who adopted the name Arnold because changing the name to "Takahashi" would have been too expensive. In one episode he taught the kids judo.
As the season came and went so did any logical explanation to why the cast members started to wear their hair long, have bad 70's and 80's perms, tacky clothes and furnishings. The show soon morphed into the "Fonzie Show" as his popularity grew. The show also began to to focus on Richie family, Mr. and Mrs. C (Tom Bosley & Marion Ross) and Shortcake (Erin Moran). The show also debuted the annoying duo of Laverne and Shirley (Penny Marshall & Cindy Williams) who would get their own long running show of the same name. Robin Williams would make an appearance as the alien Mork from Ork. He would get his own show (Mork & Mindy) as well. Happy Days would spin off other shows such as Blansky's Beauties (failed), Mr. T & Tina (failed), Out of the Blue (failed) and Joanie Loves Chachi (failed). I really didn't care for the series when Chachi started to co-star (replacing Spike) along with even more tooling of the series.
Other characters were added to soften the image of The Fonz such as his "old lady" Pink Tuscadero (Roz Kelly) and her sleazy sister Leather (Suzi Quatro). The younger cast members Erin Moran and Chachi (Scott Baio) were given a bigger part of the series and they happen to be the two biggest annoyances of the show. Over all, Happy Days started out as a great show that ran out of steam and began to grasp at straws after the first 100 episodes. They must have done something right because they have their own spot in the Smithsonian.
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Joseph Ulibas (Captain_Couth)
I have been working on my web series Fine Feather Friends.
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One of the most successful series of the 1970s is Happy Days, which is set in the late 1950s, early 1960s in Milwaukee, the heart of middle-class America. Happy Days tells the story of the Cunninghams, one of America's most beloved TV families played by Tom Bosley (Howard), Erin Moran (Joanie), Marion Ross (Marion), and Ron Howard (Richie). Richie and Joanie had an older brother, Chuck (Gavan O'Herlihy and Randolph Roberts), but he was phased out by the third season. Richie, who hangs out at Arnold's Drive-In with his buddies Potsie Weber (Anson Williams) and Ralph Malph (Donny Most), forms a close bond with neighborhood greaser, the Fonz (Henry Winkler). Living in an apartment above the Cunningham garage, the Fonz gives Richie advice on just about everything that he wants to know. Wearing his leather jacket atop his motorcycle while saying phrases like "aaaayyyy" and "sit on it," the Fonz is the king of cool and quickly became a cultural icon.
As time passed, additional characters were introduced. Al Delvecchio (Al Molinaro) replaced Arnold (Pat Morita) as owner of Arnold's Drive-In in season 4. He would remain until the end of season 9. Season 5 saw Fonzie's cousin, Chachi Arcola (Scott Baio), and Richie's love interest, Lori Beth Allen (Lynda Goodfriend), come onto the scene. When Ron Howard and Donny Most left the show after season 7, the producers felt that they needed to add some characters to fill the void. Enter Cathy Silvers (as Jenny Piccalo - ...