Happy Days was such an iconic show. To this day, I have no problem sitting down in front of the TV and catching an episode with my family. The messages, the humor, and the characters were all so relatable and family friendly.
When you watched an episode of Happy Days, you knew you were in for 30 minutes of great entertainment from Richie, Potsy, Ralph Malph, and of course, The Fonz.
But there are a lot of things you probably didn’t know about this great show! Read through these facts and see if there’s anything new to you!
1. Sound familiar?
During the first few episodes of the series, it would often be director Garry Marshall’s singing voice coming through the jukebox.
2. Leather is better
The Fonz is known for his iconic leather jacket, but in his first appearance, Arthur Fonzarelli was wearing a baby blue windbreaker. The ABC network thought the leather jacket would make him look too much like a hoodlum, but Marshall convinced them to let Fonz wear leather as long as he was riding a motorcycle. That’s why at the beginning, every scene with the Fonz has a bike in it. As he became more popular, the he was allowed to wear it full-time.
3. Fonz was almost a Monkee
Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees was actually a front-runner over Henry Winkler for Arthur Fonzarelli. Dolenz says he doesn’t remember Winkler there, but Henry remembers Dolenz. “I don’t remember Henry, but Henry remembers me,” said Mickey. “And he actually has talked about it, saying he walked in an saw me there and thought, ‘Oh s****! I’ll never get it. Mickey Dolenz is here.’”
4. Robin Williams made an impression
When Williams showed up for his audition as Mork (an alien who abducts Richie), he was asked to take a seat by the producer. He turned, faced the chair, and promptly sat on his head. Williams won the role immediately.
5. Henry Winkler couldn’t read
Henry Winkler grew up with undiagnosed dyslexia. When he went to his audition, Winkler couldn’t read the script. He improvised all his lines and told the casting directors he was just trying to give them a “feel” for the character. Winkler didn’t read his first book until he was 31, but is now a children’s author.
6. Ron Howard was almost drafted
Ron Howard had enrolled at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with the intention of being a director. However, his low draft number meant he needed to land a job at a large enough company that his loss would be too big. He joined the cast of Happy Days as a way to avoid Vietnam.
7. Play ball!
Garry Marshall thought it would be fun to have a Happy Days All-Star softball team where the cast and crew could play together. They would play other celebrity teams before Major League games and visited military bases in Europe and Japan.
8. Jump the shark
Remember when Fonzie literally jumped over a shark while on water skis? Ya, so does everyone else. That was considered the turning point of the show, when it stopped being for entertainment and started being for ratings. Now, the phrase “jumping the shark” is used to describe a show that is using wildly dramatic antics and has passed the point of no return.