Bring Happy Days Home!

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 Happy Days - The Complete First Season

 Happy Days - The Complete Second Season

 Happy Days - The Third Season

  Happy Days Jukebox

 Nick At Night - Fonzie's Make Out Music

 Nick At Night - Double Date With Joanie And Chachi: 12 Original '50s Hits By The Original Artists

 Vintage Happy Days The Fonz Henry Winkler 1973 ABC Prod. TV Show Iron-On T-Shirt

 The Fonz Silk NeckTie


Show Type: Sitcom

First Telecast: January 15, 1974

Last Telecast: July 12, 1984

Theme Music: "Rock Around The Clock" (original recording by Bill Haley & His Comets); "Happy Days"  (Gimbel-Fox); and recordings by Fats Domino, Connie Francis, Johnnie Ray, Kay Starr, and other stars of the 1950's and 1960's

Broadcast History:

January 1974 - September 1983, Tuesday 8:00-8:30 on ABC

September 1983 - January 1984, Tuesday 8:30-9:00 on ABC

April 1984 - May 1984, Tuesday 8:30-9:00 on ABC

June 1984 - July 1984, Thursday 8:00-8:30 on ABC


Richie Cunningham (1974-1980)..... Ron Howard

Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli..... Henry Winkler

Howard Cunningham..... Tom Bosley

Marion Cunningham..... Marion Ross

Warren "Potsie" Weber (1974-1983)..... Anson Williams

Ralph Malph (1974-1980)..... Donny Most

Joanie Cunningham (1974)..... Erin Moran

Officer Kirk..... Ed Peck

Chuck Cunningham (1974)..... Gavan O'Herlihy

Chuck Cunningham (1974-1975)..... Randolph Roberts

Bag Zombroski (1974-1975)..... Neil J. Schwartz

Marsha Simms (1974-1976)..... Beatrice Colen

Gloria (1974-1975)..... Linda Purl

Wendy (1974-1975)..... Misty Rowe

Trudy (1974-1975)..... Tita Bell

Matsuo "Arnold" Takahashi (1975-1976 / 1982-1983)..... Pat Morita

Alfred "Al" Delvecchio (1976-1982)..... Al Molinaro

Pinky Tuscadero (1976-1977)..... Roz Kelly

Tina (Pinky's Pinkette) (1976-1977)..... Doris Hess

Lola (Pinky's Pinkette) (1976-1977)..... Kelly Sanders

Leather Tuscadero (1977)..... Suzi Quatro

Charles "Chachi" Arcola (1977-1984)..... Scott Baio

Lori Beth Allen Cunningham (1977-1982)..... Lynda Goodfriend

Eugene Belvin (1980-1982)..... Denis Mandel

Bobby (1980-1984)..... Harris Kal

Jenny Piccalo (1980-1983)..... Cathy Silvers

Roger Phillips (1980-1984)..... Ted McGinley

K.C. Cunningham (1982-1983)..... Crystal Bernard

Ashley Pfister (1982-1983)..... Linda Purl

Heather Pfister (1982-1983)..... Heather O'Rourke


Nostalgia for the 1950's became big business in the mid-1970's, and leading the wave was this updated version of teenage life in the mid-1950's. It started modestly and built in popularity until in the 1976-1977 season Happy Days was the number one program in all of television. Along the way it made a major star out of one if its supporting actors.

Happy Days changed dramatically from the series that premiered in 1974. Originally it was the story of two high-school kids, Richie Cunningham and his pal Potsie Weber, at Jefferson High in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Howard Cunningham, Richie's father, ran a hardware store while Chuck was Richie's college-bound older brother and Joanie his 13-year-old kid sister. Richie and most of his friends hung out at Arnold's Drive-In, a malt shop near the school.

Richie was supposed to be the innocent teenager and Potsie his more worldly pal. So as not to make the show too much like Ozzie & Harriet, however, the producers added some slightly more extreme counterpoint in the person of the greasy-haired motorcycle kid, Fonzie. That was the move that made the show a hit. Instead of the fairly hackneyed Richie-Potsie relationship, the show came to center on the relationship between the "cool" dropout Fonz, and the "straight" kids represented by Richie. Henry Winkler made the character of Fonzie three-dimensional, vulnerable as well as hip. One of the classic episodes, which ran traditionally every Christmas, was the one that first showed the Fonz's own pad, a dingy, cluttered room with his motorcycle in the middle of the floor - and only a tiny, pathetic tree to indicate that it was Christmas. Too proud to admit to being alone for the holidays, the Fonz - whose father had deserted him at the age of three - nevertheless allowed himself to be brought into the Cunninghams' home to share in their celebration.

As Fonzie's popularity spread (his thumbs-up gesture and "aaayyh!" became trademarks), the show became a bigger and bigger hit. Winkler moved from his original fifth billing to third, then second behind Ron Howard and finally first when Howard left in 1980. But ABC claimed that there would be no spin-off series, because without the Richie-Fonzie contrast there would be no Happy Days. Not only did Fonzie's billing change as the series grew, but so did his residence. During the 1975-1976 season he moved into a small apartment over the Cunningham garage. He was thus always available to give Richie advice about life and girls (the Fonz made every girl in Milwaukee swoon).

Changes in the cast were fairly minor in the early years. Dozens of high-school kids came and went, and Richie's older brother disappeared from the family early on, never to be referred to again. Arnold, the Japanese who owned Arnold's, first showed his face in 1975 but was replaced by a new owner, Alfred, in 1976. (Pat Morita had gotten his own series that fall, Mr. T and Tina. He returned for occasional episodes beginning in 1982). Two lower-middle class girls who turned up briefly in 1975 - on a double date with Richie and Fonzie - quickly went on to a series of their own, Laverne & Shirley. Chachi arrived in 1977, as Fonzie's young cousin, the same season that Richie began going steady with Lori Beth, with the performers who played both roles turning up together on an NBC series, Who's Watching the Kids, the following fall as well.

One of the most popular characters passing through was Pinky Tuscadero played by Roz Kelly), the sexy motorcycle queen who wrapped the Fonz around her little finger - as "cool" as he was, she was "cooler". An old girlfriend of his, she roared into town in September 1976 with her Pinkettes (Tina and Lola, played by Doris Hess and Kelly Sanders) to join the Fonz in a demolition derby. A season later her sister Leather Tuscadero (played by rock star Suzi Quatro) turned up on a couple of episodes with her rock group, the Suedes. More nostalgic guests on the show ranged from Buffalo Bob Smith (Howdy Doody) to John Hart (The Lone Ranger), Frankie Avalon, and Jack Smith, onetime emcee or You Asked For It. Jack played the host of the mythical You Wanted To See It show in an episode where Fonzie set a new world's record by leaping his motorcycle over 14 garbage cans behind Arnold's Drive-In, on live TV.

As the 1976-1977 season ended, Richie and the gang graduated from high school and it seemed that Fonzie, the dropout, might be left behind. But at the last minute it turned out that the Fonz, while working days at various garages, had been going to night school and would get his diploma too. Richie, Potsie and Ralph enrolled at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, with Fonzie still around (though not enrolled) to advise them on love and life. Richie enrolled as a journalism student and Potsie as a psychology major, while Ralph followed in his father's footsteps to become an eye doctor - though he really wanted to be a comedian.

In 1980 major changes began to take place in both the cast and the story line of Happy Days. Richie and Ralph graduated from college, joined the army, and were shipped off to Greenland (Ron Howard and Donny Most left the show). From there the unseen Richie corresponded with and eventually married Lori Beth - by telephone, with Fonz as his stand-in. Lori Beth visited him from time-to-time and in 1981 gave birth to a son, Richie, Jr. Back in Milwaukee, the Fonz had become so straight that he was now a co-owner of Arnold's Drive-In, a shop teacher at Jefferson High, and operator of Bronco's Garage. "Mr. Cool" had a close brush with serious romance in 1982-83 when he fell for divorcée Ashley Pfister and her cute daughter Heather, but it didn't last. In 1983 he joined Marion's nephew Roger Phillips, an English teacher and basketball coach at Jefferson High, in a new career. Roger had just been appointed principal of the rowdy George S. Patton Vocational High School, and Fonz joined him there as Dean of Boys!

Potsie, the perennial college student, went to work for Mr. C. at Cunningham Hardware. But by this time it was the 1960's and the focus of the program turned increasingly to the next generation, particularly the rocky teenage love of Joanie and Chachi. They did their own spin-off show, Joanie Loves Chachi, for a time in 1982, but they never left Happy Days entirely. After a try at a singing career, Joanie enrolled in college and signed on as a trainee teacher at Roger's vocational school. Others of the 60's  generation were Joanie's independent, boy-crazy friend Jenny Piccalo, who was finally seen after years of only being referred to; Roger's rambunctious younger brother Flip; and Howard's teenaged niece K.C., who lived with the Cunninghams for a year.

The final season was a time of reunions and farewells. Richie and Lori Beth returned in the fall for a visit, with Richie, Jr., in tow, and another baby on the way. Then Richie headed for Hollywood to pursue his dream of becoming a screenwriter. In the series' final episode Richie and other former regulars returned one last time as Fonzie bought a home and adopted a young orphan named Danny, and Joanie and Chachi were finally married - by Al's look-alike brother, Father Delvecchio. With "both" their children now married (even they had forgotten Chuck), Howard and Marion thanked the audience for being part of their family, and made a tearful farewell.

In its later years Happy Days became something of an institution. In 1980 it was announced that the  Fonz's leather jacket was being enshrined in the Smithsonian Institution. Three years later the Happy Days cast visited the real-life city of Milwaukee, and some 150,000 residents lined the streets to welcome them "home." Mr. C. got the key to the city, and the Fonz said "Aaayyh!"

The origin of this immensely successful series was a skit that appeared on Love, American Style in February 1972, titled "Love and the Happy Days," and starring Ron Howard and Anson Williams. The original theme song for the series was Bill Haley's famous 1955 hit record "Rock Around The Clock," which promptly became a best-seller all over again in 1974 as a result of its exposure on the show. It was later superseded as the theme by an original composition, "Happy Days," which was itself on the hit parade in 1976.

ABC aired reruns of Happy Days on its daytime lineup from September 1975 to March 1979, and an animated Saturday morning version from November 1980 to September 1983.