Happy Days : Synopsis, Pictures, Photos, Trivia, Filming Locations

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Happy Days

Happy Days Dates : 1974 - 1984
256 episodes of 45 min
First broadcasting : 22 Août 1976
Creator(s) : Gary Marshall
Producer(s) : Lowell Ganz, Mark Rohtman, Nick Abdo
Music : Charles fox, john beal, jerry mcclain, jack hayes, frank comstock, truett pratt, pete king
Web surfers's rate : 8.9/10 for 77 rates - Rate

French Traduire


Richie Cunningham and his friend Potsie face life at Jefferson High in Milwaukee Wisconsin in the 1950s. Originally fifth-billed Fonzie moved up steadily, finally into first billing in 1980, as the thumbs-up, "sayyy!" biker increased his own and show's popularity. Lots of changes over time as kids come and go, new series spin off, Richie and pals go to college then the army. Even marriage.

The Actors

Ted McGinley - Roger Phillips

Ted McGinley

(Roger Phillips)

Henry Winkler - Arthur 'Fonzie' Fonzarelli

Henry Winkler

(Arthur 'Fonzie' Fonzarelli)

Anson Williams - Warren 'Potsie' Weber

Anson Williams

(Warren 'Potsie' Weber)

Ron Howard - Richie Cunningham

Ron Howard

(Richie Cunningham)

Don Most - Ralph Malph

Don Most

(Ralph Malph)

Tom Bosley - Howard Cunningham

Tom Bosley

(Howard Cunningham)

Erin Moran - Joanie Cunningham

Erin Moran

(Joanie Cunningham)

Scott Baio - Charles «Chachi» Arcola

Scott Baio

(Charles «Chachi» Arcola)

Marion Ross - Marion Cunningham

Marion Ross

(Marion Cunningham)


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Originally there were three Cunningham children. The eldest, Chuck, was phased out of the show.

Fonzie's full name is Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli.

The only person Fonzie allowed to call him by his proper name (Arthur) was Mrs. Cunningham.

Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli's character was originally to be named Arthur Maschiarelli (creator Garry Marshall's real last name) and nicknamed "Mash." When ABC first picked up the show, they had Marshall change the character's name because they felt that "Mash" might remind people of "M*A*S*H" (1972), a popular show on a rival network.

Originated as a segment on "Love, American Style" (1969).

It's a common belief that George Lucas' American Graffiti (1973) was the inspiration for this series. In actuality, the pilot for the series (seen on "Love, American Style" (1969)) aired before Lucas began production on his film. However, the success of that movie caused producer Garry Marshall to reconsider his failed pilot and turn it into a series.

Among the differences between the show's beginnings as the "Love and the Happy Day" episode on "Love, American Style" (1969) and its premiere two years later as a series is that the role of Howard Cunningham originally was played by Harold Gould instead of Tom Bosley and there was no Fonzie on that episode.

'Bill Haley and The Comets' ' classic "Rock Around The Clock" served as the theme song for the first season of the show. For the first series episode, the original 1955 recording was used, but for the remaining shows' opening credits of season one they recorded a special version of their famous song.

The more familiar "Happy Days" theme was used in the opening credits beginning with the 1975-1976 season. An entirely new arrangement of the theme was introduced during the 1983-1984 season.

Both Micky Dolenz and 'Mike Nesmith' of The Monkees auditioned for the role of Fonzie.

ABC at first feared Fonzie would be perceived as a hoodlum or criminal, and prohibited his wearing a leather jacket. In the first few episodes Henry Winkler wears an incredibly non-threatening gray windbreaker. Fortunately the network saw the light and an icon was born.

In the first season, The Fonz wore a blue windbreaker. Starting in season two, he wore his trademark brown leather jacket, which now hangs in the Smithsonian.

The Fonz became so popular that after the first few seasons the network wanted to rename the show "Fonzie's Happy Days" or just "Fonzie." Threatened resignations by Garry Marshall and Ron Howard ended this idea.

For its first season and most of its second season, the series was shot in single camera format. The familiar Cunningham living room set made its debut in the 1975-1976 season, and was used for the rest of the series run. It is a rearrangement of the original Cunningham living room used in the first and second seasons.

Originally started out being filmed with a laugh track and a single camera. Three episodes from the 1974-1975 season were later filmed before a studio audience with three cameras as an experiment. Beginning with the 1975-1976 season, the series switched full time to the three-camera, live studio audience format. The long familiar living room set arrangement used throughout most of the series' run made its debut at the beginning of the 1975-1976 season.

Many fans agree that the show's quality deteriorated after the three-part-season 5 opener, "Hollywood", where Fonzie jumps a shark while water-skiing. Today, when a show takes a sharp drop in quality, it's said to "jump the shark".

Robby Benson and Don Most were both considered for the role of Richie Cunningham. The character of Ralph Malph was created for Most.

Joanie Cunningham's middle name was Marie.

Comedian Phil Silvers once did a cameo in an episode as Jenny Piccalo's dad. Jenny Piccalo was played by his real-life daughter, Cathy Silvers.

Fonzie always referred to Joanie Cunningham as "Shortcakes".

Lynda Goodfriend appeared earlier on the show as Ralph's girlfriend before taking on the role as Richie's girlfriend (and later wife) Lori-Beth.

Linda Purl originally played the recurring role of Richie's girlfriend Gloria in the first season before she took the later role of Fonzie's girlfriend Ashley.

During his first appearance, Mork is looking at television and the show he is looking at is "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960), which featured Ron Howard. He even makes a comment to that he really liked the show especially Opie, who was played by Howard.

In the final episode, Tom Bosley stepped out of character and turned to the camera thanking the viewers for being part of the Cunningham family for the many years the show had been on.

In one episode the Cunninghams are coming out of a theater playing The Music Man (1962) when Mrs. Cunningham comments that the little boy in the movie looks just like Richie (Ron Howard) when he was little. Mr. Cunningham replies that she's being silly and that the boy in the film looks nothing like Richie. In fact, Howard did indeed play the little boy, Winthrop Paroo, in the film, when he was eight years old.

Jack Dodson, who worked with Ron Howard on "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960) appeared on several episodes as Ralph's father Mickey.

Anson Williams' voice was the one heard when songs like "Hound Dog" were playing on the juke box.

Henry Winkler has said that he based some of Fonzie's movements and speech pattern on Sylvester Stallone. Winkler had worked with Stallone years earlier in The Lord's of Flatbush (1974). Winkler vowed when he played Fonzie, he would never comb his hair on camera or have a pack of cigarettes rolled up in his T-shirt sleeve and he never did.

Originally Fonzie had a younger cousin named Spike who would show up occasionally during the first few seasons. He was written out after the third season.

When Ron Howard and Don Most left the show, their absences were explained by having Richie and Ralph join the army.

Chachi's real name was Charles.

Pinky and her TV sister Leather's name Tuscadero was taken from the real-life town of Atascadero, in California. Leather was played by singer/bass guitarist Suzi Quatro, who'd achieved pop stardom in England and wanted to bring her career back to America.

Richie Cunningham's favorite song is "Blueberry Hill" by Fats Domino.

Anson Williams's character of Warren 'Potsie' Weber got his nick name from his mother. When he was growing up, he liked to make things out of clay, his mother called him Potsie once, and it just stuck. He tells this story in "The Deadly Dares" Episode: #1.6.

Its ratings were so low at the end of its first season that it came close to being cancelled. Then Henry Winkler's "Fonzie" character started to catch on with viewers, the ratings took a turn for the better, and the show wound up running ten years.

Marion's maiden name was Kelp.

Ron Howard at first passed on playing Richie in the 1960s, because he didn't want to "be a teenager the rest of my life" on television. He reconsidered when Garry Marshall promised him that, if the series were picked up, Richie and his friends would graduate high school and become adults (even Fonzie went back to night school, to graduate with the gang).

It was originally intended that Potsie would be Richie's best friend, showing him the ropes of young adulthood. The viewer response to Fonzie was so strong, though, that the writers' focus shifted, and Fonzie took Potsie's place.

Marion was an archeology major in college.

The name of the garage that Fonzie worked in was Bronko's.

All of Robin Williams's dialogue was improvised.

The character 'Howard Cunningham' was ranked #9 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" (20 June 2004 issue).

The name of Leather's backing group was the Suedes.

Potsie's father, who was often talked about but never seen, owned a gas station.

The house used for the exterior shots of the "Cunningham" home in the opening sequence, as well as various points throughout the show's run, is located at 565 Cahuenga Blvd., West Hollywood, California.

Pat Morita's character is called Arnold, but in one episode he reveals that the restaurant was named Arnold's when he bought it, and he couldn't afford to replace the sign. His real name is Mitsumo Takahashi.

Ron Howard admitted that the reason he left the USC Film School before graduating is because he was cast in this series.


Filming locations:

  • Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Paramount Studios - 5555 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA

Authors of the card

  • Creation date: 2003/07/01 by donovan
  • Last Update: 2007/05/01 by Hanson

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