Episode 7 – Fonzie Drops In

Fonzie expresses a wish to finish his high school education. After a meeting with Principal Faraday in which he enlists Richie‘s help to do his speaking for him, it is agreed he can start back the next day.

Fonzie’s first class begins with him entering late and then proceeding to rearrange the seating plan so he can sit next to the prettiest girl. He later asks Richie to do his homework for him.

For an upcoming history exam, Fonzie approaches Richie for help. Richie invites Fonzie to dinner at his house and says he will tutor Fonzie for the test that same night. Joanie warns Howard and Marion prior to arrival that “Fonzie is a hood”. Richie corrects her, saying “No, he’s just… worldly.”

After dinner, Fonzie and Richie discuss the history test. Fonzie informs Richie he will actually tutor him… in the art of cheating. Richie protests but Fonzie is insistent. Richie is made to practice a series of coughing ‘signals’ in preparation for the true/false test.

During the exam the next day, Fonzie prompts Richie to commence signaling to him the answers via the coughing routine they have rehearsed – one cough for false / two coughs for true. But Richie whispers to Fonzie he has changed his mind and cannot go through with the deception.

Later that day, Richie is fearful about the possible repercussions he may suffer at the hands of Fonzie for reneging on their ‘deal’. Fonzie lets Richie know he is ok with everything and that he passed the test (“by one point”) anyway.

Fonzie then tells Richie he has informed the Principal he will not be continuing his education. Richie is incredulous, pointing out to Fonzie he has proved he can do it. Fonzie replies he knows now High School is not for him. As the “Mickey Mantel of the grease pits” he says he realizes he is more suited to being an A Grade motor mechanic.

Actor Stuart Nesbit (1934 – 2016) played the part of Principal Faraday. Among numerous film and tv roles, he appeared in the following movies –

Episode 6 – The Deadly Dares

Potsie and Richie believe that wearing a ‘Demons’ jacket is ‘date bait’. They persuade Fonzie, who used to be a Demon, to help them join the group. They somehow pass their panel interview at Demon headquarters and are deemed ready to progress to the next stage.

Richie and Potsie are challenged to complete six ‘deadly dares’. These involve such things as making a prank phone call, kissing Marsha the waitress at Arnold’s, pulling the wig off a teacher’s head, standing up and singing the national anthem inside a packed movie theatre and tieing a policeman’s shoelaces together so he topples over.

It is the final dare that proves the most challenging. The pair must dress up as girls and attend the Sock Hop. Their mission is to stay until someone dances with them. The Fonz attends the night and chooses Richie dressed as a girl to dance with, not knowing it is Richie.

While slow dancing together, the Fonz begins blowing in his ‘date’s’ ear. Eventually Richie whispers to Fonzie that it is him. Fonzie pretends to have known all along and says he was just helping Richie out.

After passing all the dares, Richie and Potsie conclude they don’t really like any of the other Demon members. They decide not to join the group afterall. The friends say they now realize – as Howard had advised Richie earlier – any girl impressed with a guy because he wears a Demons jacket isn’t really worth impressing.

A young Ed Begly Jr played the role of head Demon, Hank. Begly’s first credited screen role was in the 1969 Kurt Russell movie THE COMPUTER WORE TENNIS SHOES. In 1972 the actor almost died after being stabbed multiple times during an attack by a street gang. To date he has appeared in 111 films including…

Episode Five – Hardware Jungle

Howard develops a sore throat. It is later diagnosed as tonsillitis. He must go to the hospital for an operation. He asks Richie to work at the family hardware store in his place on the Saturday night. Richie had plans to go to a rock’n roll concert with Arlene but he cancels them so he can do the shift.

Richie must ask the Fonz, whom he bought the tickets from, for his money back. However Howard tells Richie he can close the store early, meaning he can still go to the concert. After receiving his money back from Fonzie, he approaches him again to re-buy the same tickets.

Richie completes his shift at the hardware store alongside his friend Potsie. When it is time to leave, Richie accidentally locks himself in. In an attempt to retrieve the keys which are on the outside of the door Richie puts his foot through a plate glass window.

Richie gives his concert tickets to Potsie and tells him to go on without him.. Richie stays behind to wait for the glass repairer. Visiting his father in hospital the next day, Howard tells Richie he is proud of him for the responsibility he showed.

In HAPPY DAYS, Howard Cunningham, or ‘Mr C’ as he later became known, owned his own hardware store named CUNNINGHAM HARDWARE. An internet search reveals a hardware store in Pennsylvania, U.S that goes by that same name today.

To see Henry Winkler (Fonzie) display his current acting smarts, check out the recently released third season of the HBO American dark comedy crime drama television series BARRY. In it Winkler plays an acting coach whose students include a hired hitman. BARRY is available in Australia on BINGE FOXTEL NOW APPLE TVAMAZON PRIME HULU – and ITUNES.

Episode Four – Guess Who’s Coming to Visit

Local hood Skizzy challenges Ralph Malph to a drag race. They both agree it will take place at the old airport road at 9pm that night. Potsie decides to stay over at Richie‘s house that night. Later Ralph appears outside Richie’s bedroom window. He tells Richie the race has been rescheduled for midnight.

At 11:30pm Richie and Potsie sneak out of the house to attend the drag race. Richie is appointed the race starter. He is just about to wave down the signal flag to commence the race when Howard and the police both turn up at the same time.

Everyone attending the race, including Howard, are forced to attend the local police station. There they are warned by the local sergeant about the illegality of drag racing.

When they arrive back home, Howard grounds Richie ‘for life’. Marion later forces Howard to downground the punishment to two weeks.

This was the episode being filmed when musician John Lennon and his son Julian visited the HAPPY DAYS set. The visit resulted in the now widely-circulated photo below taken with the cast of the show.

Episode Three – Richie’s Cup Runneth Over

Potsie invites Richie to his cousin Arnold’s stag party at the Crystal Hotel. In preparation for the night, the pair drink many cartons of milk to line their stomachs for the alcohol they plan to drink. Fonzie tells them olive oil will do the job better.

At the party Potsie and Richie are presented with cigars on arrival. They’re then shown some nude playing cards. Next they join a drinking game called ‘Sloppy 60’s. The aim is to down one shot of brew every 60 seconds – ‘first one out is a draft dodger’.

The entertainment for the night is a girl called Verna La Vern, who pops out of a cake. Verna gives Richie a lift home. Howard is waiting and begins making cups of coffee for a clearly intoxicated Richie. Howard delivers his ‘drinking doesn’t make you a man’ speech.

Howard : You didn’t have too much to drink, now, did you?

Richie:  Oh, that’s silly. All we had was some beer in teeny-weeny glasses.

Howard: How many teeny-weeny glasses did you have?

Richie:  72…

Howard: I think it’s time for some teeny-weeny cups of coffee.

Episode Two -The Lemon

Richie pulls up in the carpark of Arnold’s driving his family car. A series of comments directed his way make him aware the vehicle he is behind the wheel of is considered ‘uncool’. When Ralph Malph arrives a few moments later in a flash red convertible, and drives away soon after with Betty and Trudy, Richie gets the message that a new set of wheels is something he must have.

Potsie and Richie pool their funds together – $175 in total – to buy a second hand car. Word quickly spreads that the pair now have their own car. Betty and Trudy call the Cunningham house and leave a message asking Richie to meet them at Arnolds.

Saturday night at 7:30pm…

Richie and Potsie arrive at Arnolds in their new car and receive a lot of compliments. However it is not long before mechanical problems strike. The boys ask Fonzie to fix the car. He does but for payment asks to keep the car’s shiny silver hood ornament (‘the best part of the car’).

Potsie and Richie go on a date with Betty and Trudy – “up at the lake to watch the submarine races” – in the newly fixed car. A series of things again go wrong ending with the car rolling into the lake with the girls in it after Richie leaves the handbrake off.

Howard turns up to take everyone home and delivers some wise words to Richie along the way. Richie and Potsie end up selling the sodden car to Fonzie for $25 for scrap metal.

Wouldn’t say I’m the sort of person who takes a great interest in car makes and models, but for those who do, the 2nd-hand car Richie and Potsie buy with their $175 is a 1950 Chevrolet Styleline De Luxe Convertible.

Episode One – “All the Way”

Potsie has set up a date for Richie with a girl he knows named Mary-Lou Milligan. Richie is advised to read passages from the racy book “I, THE JURY” by author Mickey Spillane (1918 – 2006) on the date. This is so Richie can show how worldly he is, since Mary-Lou is a ‘girl with a reputation’.

Classic quote from author Mickey Spillane “Those big-shot writers could never dig the fact that there are more salted peanuts consumed than caviar.”

Richie asks Mary-Lou if she’d like to go to a movie with him that night. Mary-Lou says she can’t since she has to babysit at the Kellys. She invites Richie to drop by the Kelly’s residence to join her. Prior to the date, Richie receives advice from Potsie about particular ‘moves’ he should try while he is alone with Mary-Lou.

At the Kellys, Mary-Lou and Richie sit together on a couch. Richie reads some passages from the book I, THE JURY. After a period of awkward conversation, Mary-Lou ends nervous Richie’s anxiety by turning to him and asking, “Do you want to neck?”.

Mary-Lou tells Richie he kisses funny. Richie suggests they do something else. They find a chessboard and begin playing.

The next day all of Richie’s friends want to know ‘how far he got’ with Mary-Lou. While not exactly lying, Richie doesn’t correct his friends when they falsely come to believe he went far beyond the kissing stage with Mary-Lou.

Bothered by the deception, Richie later consults his father about what to do. Howard advises Richie he will feel better if he comes clean about what really happened on the date.

Richie corrects the false assumptions to his friends, including Fonzie, about his date with Mary-Lou. He learns from Mary-Lou that of all her dates, he is the only person who’s been totally honest. Her ‘reputation’, she says, has only been created by guys wanting to big-note to their friends with embellished tales about what went on.

The scene where Fonzie approaches the bathroom mirror to comb his hair but decides it’s perfect the way it is (at the two minute mark in the video), was created partly by way of improvisation on the part of actor Henry Winkler.

As it was originally written, Fonzie was meant to look into the mirror, pull his comb from his back pocket, and begin some ‘adjustment grooming’. Henry Winkler believed Fonzie’s ‘Mr Cool’ character would regard what he viewed in the mirror as perfect the way it was.

This ‘nothing needs improving’ walk-away from the mirror became one of the Fonze’s signature moves throughout the series.