Donny Most, Anson Williams, Gavan O' Herlihy (Back l-r)Marion Ross, Tom Bosley, Erin Moran, Ronny Howard & Henry Winkler (Front l-r)
|Producer, Garry Marshall|
Henry Winkler "Fonzie" often wore a white golf jacket in the
first 2 seasons rather than a leather jacket as he did in later seasons.
|An early press photo|
|Beatrice Colen as "Marsha" the car hop|
|Original T.V. Synopsis for first Happy Days episode (click on document to enlarge)|
One of the biggest obstacles, second only to sets and costumes, was geography. Marshall was born and raised in New York and he could have constructed the setting to take place in New York. However, he chose Milwaukee, Tom Miller’s home town. I was a compromise between East and West. Marshall had hired his writers from both east and west coasts and Miller was the middle ground. The compromise was the source of arguments because the surface elements of the Fifties varied according to where one grew up. Another compromise was stuck when an effort was made to use a little from here and a little from there. The results became a mix of nostalgia that at no time existed all at once or in the same place. Happy Days premiered January 15, 1974 as a mid-season replacement. There was a lot of skepticism that the show would fail because it was pitted against two other popular TV series, “Maude,”(TV series 1972-79) and “Adam 12” (1968-75). Despite the likelihood it would fail, Tom Bosley, “Mr. C.” was optimistic. He said, “I feel viewers are ready for a well-done, strictly entertaining show that they can just sit back and enjoy.”He turned out to be right. Happy Days became an instant success during its first few weeks on the air Happy Days was never meant to possess a hilarious joke-heavy style but rather a show that pandered to the show’s single-camera strengths. During the early Seventies, single camera comedies-filmed-on location without an audience-were viewed as more contemplative and less dependent upon broad jokes.
|Another single camera sit-com long running series, “My Three Sons,” CBS sitcom, (1960-72).|
|I polished my bike for a kiss???|
In the beginning, Fonzie represented someone from the other side of the tracks who everyone wished they could be like. Perhaps, not exactly, but wanting some of his characteristics-mainly his coolness and power to resist being pushed around.
|Original photo caption|
|Gavan O' Herlihy as Chuck|
would find a TV program that could out distance Happy Days in the ratings. It was called, “Good Times.” In order to compete with the laugh out loud and silly humor of Good Times, Happy Days would have to make several compromises to its upcoming third season. The networks told Marshall to bring the show indoors to beef up the humor. “Outside you can get nice pictures but, indoors you can be funnier,” but you can’t have both, he was told. It’s just too expensive to put it together. This in turn would cause Garry Marshall to change the format of Happy Days into a 3-camera series filmed in front of a live studio audience. The outrageous humor that Marshall had previously tried to avoid became the main writing outline for the show. Happy Days had been more character-driven but changed to a show about crazy situations that characters get involved in. The characters would fall into comas, meet aliens and even jump sharks.
|Fonzie in the ABC network series p1 (click on document to enlarge)|
|Sheila Jo Guthrie dates Ron Howard with the expectations of watching his family's new TV|
|Fonzie before he learned powers to turn off and on the jukebox by banging his fist on the top.|
- Davidson, Ben. The Official Fonzie Scrapbook. 1976. Today Press. Grosset & Dunlap.New York.
- Getty Images
- IMDB.com Results for "happy Days" https://www.imdb.com/find?ref_=nv_sr_fn&q=happy+days&s=all
- VanDerWerff, Todd (8/27/12). Happy Days became one of the biggest hits on TV by Selling its Soul. AV/TV Club website https://tv.avclub.com/happy-days-became-one-of-the-biggest-hits-on-tv-by-sell-1798233067. Retrieved 12/05/2018.