What do you remember about Happy Days?
We’ve prepared some trivia for you from the Happy Days TV series!
Spokane Civic Theatre Academy teens are doing an excellent job of portraying the iconic roles from Happy Days so, we threw together some trivia about the TV show it was based on for fun.
- His real name for Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli
- He only let two people use Arthur: his girlfriend, Ashley, and Mrs. Cunningham
- When ABC picked up Happy Days, they had the creator change his name from Maschierelli, nicknamed “Mash,” to Fonzarelli and “Fonzie” because they were afraid it would remind people of the popular series M*A*S*H on CBS, one of their rival networks.
- Originally, Fonzie was a minor character and Henry Winkler, the actor who played him, didn’t even appear in the beginning credits. It wasn’t until Fonzie became a favorite of the viewers that he became a regular figure on Happy Days.
- Fearing that he would be perceived as a hoodlum or criminal, ABC originally didn’t allow Fonzie to wear a leather jacket. In the first few episodes of Happy Days, he wears a gray windbreaker to appear non-threatening. Even after they changed their minds, he was only allowed to wear it on or near his motorcycle so it looked like he wore it for safety purposes.
- The actress who played Richie’s girlfriend, Gloria, in the first season of Happy Days later played Fonzie’s girlfriend, Ashley… Awkward!
- Actor Henry Winkler vowed that while he played Fonzie, he would never have a pack of cigarette’s rolled up his sleeve or comb his hair on camera and he never did. When the network tried to make him comb his hair, he argued that it would make the Fonz look like a common hoodlum. At the last second on camera, he looked into the mirror and said, “Ayyy, my hair’s perfect. I don’t need to comb it!” which became a Fonzie trademark.
- Without the viewers’ love of Fonzie at the end of the first season, Happy Days ratings would have caused the show to be cancelled.
- Fonzie carries a picture of the Long Ranger in his wallet.
- Henry Winkler was actually terrified of motorcycles and most of the scenes in Happy Days where Fonzie is riding one were shot with the bike attached to a platform and pulled by a truck.
- Richie was the main character of Happy Days until Ron Howard, the actor who played him, left the cast because of his blooming directorial career. He, as well as his friend Ralph, was written out by joining the US Army.
- Don Most, who play Ralph Malph, was originally considered to play Richie. Ralph was created for him when they chose Ron Howard for the part.
- The actor who played Lori-Beth (Richie’s girlfriend and later wife) first played Ralph’s girlfriend. (I’m sensing a theme, here).
- There are a couple episode when someone remarks that the little boy on the Andy Griffith Show and in The Music Man (both of whom were played by Ron Howard) looks a lot like Ralph (also played by Ron Howard). The other characters quickly dismiss the theory, but the audience knows better!
- Richie’s favorite song is “Blueberry Hill” by Fats Domino
- Originally, Richie had an older brother, Chuck, who was phased out because the producers decided that Fonzie was really the “big brother” the show needed. Later, they wrote the script as if he had never existed.
- The pilot for Happy Days (a segment on Love, American Style) actually aired before George Lucas’ American Graffiti, which is commonly thought to have been the inspiration for the series.
- When songs like “Hound Dog” were playing on the juke box, the voice was really Anson Williams. He and Scott Baio both received record deals because of their work on Happy Days.
- Pinky Tuscadero’s last name was take from the real town Atascadero, CA.
- Marion Cunningham’s maiden name was Kelp and she majored in archaeology in college.
- Robin Williams appeared as Mork from Ork, an alien who wants to study humans by taking Richie back to Ork. All of his dialogue was improvised and he later became the star of Mork’s own show, Mork & Mindy.
- When the Fonz went to the library despite his reputation in one episode, saying “Everyone is allowed to read,” registration for library cards went up 500% that week.
- Ralph’s parents were named Mickey & Minnie.
- Par Morita, the actor who played Arnold on Happy Days, also starred as Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid. He taught teens martial arts in both roles.
Well, I hope you enjoyed hearing this trivia as much as I did finding it. What a great show! Come enjoy the musical at Spokane Civic Theatre this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday August 15-17. Adults are $18, Senior/Military are $16, and students are $10. Check out Spokane Civic Theatre’s Facebook and Twitter pages to have more up to the minute news about the theatre and all of its productions!