Happy Days

ABC (ended 1984)



User Score: 4740

Happy Days
out of 10
User Rating
1,339 votes

By TV.com Users

Show Summary

One of the most successful series of the 1970s is Happy Days, which is set in the late 1950s, early 1960s in Milwaukee, the heart of middle-class America. Happy Days tells the story of the Cunninghams, one of America's most beloved TV families played by Tom Bosley (Howard), Erin Moran (Joanie), Marion Ross (Marion), and Ron Howard (Richie). Richie and Joanie had an older brother, Chuck (Gavan O'Herlihy and Randolph Roberts), but he was phased out by the third season. Richie, who hangs out at Arnold's Drive-In with his buddies Potsie Weber (Anson Williams) and Ralph Malph (Donny Most), forms a close bond with neighborhood greaser, the Fonz (Henry Winkler). Living in an apartment above the Cunningham garage, the Fonz gives Richie advice on just about everything that he wants to know. Wearing his leather jacket atop his motorcycle while saying phrases like "aaaayyyy" and "sit on it," the Fonz is the king of cool and quickly became a cultural icon. As time passed, additional characters were introduced. Al Delvecchio (Al Molinaro) replaced Arnold (Pat Morita) as owner of Arnold's Drive-In in season 4. He would remain until the end of season 9. Season 5 saw Fonzie's cousin, Chachi Arcola (Scott Baio), and Richie's love interest, Lori Beth Allen (Lynda Goodfriend), come onto the scene. When Ron Howard and Donny Most left the show after season 7, the producers felt that they needed to add some characters to fill the void. Enter Cathy Silvers (as Jenny Piccalo - the never-before-seen-but-often-talked-about best friend of Joanie) and Ted McGinley (as Roger Phillips - Marion's nephew). The focus of the series shifted to the relationship between Joanie and Chachi. Season 10 saw Fonzie get a season-long love interest in the person of Ashley Pfister (Linda Purl). Other recurring characters added during the last four seasons were Roger's brother, Leopold "Flip" Phillips (Billy Warlock), Howard's niece, K. C. Cunningham (Crystal Bernard), Ashley's daughter, Heather Pfister (Heather O'Rourke), and Joanie and Chachi's classmates, Eugene Belvin (Denis Mandel), Melvin Belvin (Scott Bernstein), Bobby Milner (Harris Kal), and Tommy (Kevin Sullivan). In addition, Pat Morita returned during season 10 (and the first episode of season 11) to reprise his role as Arnold. By the end of the series, Richie had married Lori Beth and had two children, Al had married Chachi's mother, Louisa, Potsie was, presumably, still in college, and Ralph was training to be an optometrist. In the series' finale, "Passages," Joanie and Chachi were married, and Fonzie (owner of Fonzie's Auto Repairing and Arnold's as well as Dean of Boys at Patton High) adopted an orphan boy named Danny. Howard thanked the audience for being a part of their family, and a sentimental clip montage was shown to Elvis Presley's "Memories." Main Title Theme Songs "Rock Around The Clock" - written by Jimmy DeKnight (James E. Myers) and Max C. Freedman; performed by Bill Haley and The Comets (Seasons 1-2) "Happy Days" - written by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox; performed by Pratt & McClain (Seasons 3-10) "Happy Days" - written by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox; performed by Bobby Arvon (Season 11) ABC Broadcast History January 15, 1974 - September 20, 1983 ---- Tuesdays ---- 8:00 - 8:30 P.M. September 27, 1983 - January 31, 1984 ---- Tuesdays ---- 8:30 - 9:00 P.M. April 24, 1984 - May 29, 1984 ----------------- Tuesdays ---- 8:30 - 9:00 P.M. June 7, 1984 - September 24, 1984 ---------- Tuesdays ---- 8:00 - 9:00 P.M. Nielsen Ratings - Top 30 Season 1 (1974) Not In Top 30 Season 2 (1974-1975) Not In Top 30 Season 3 (1975-1976) #11 (23.9) Season 4 (1976-1977) #1 (31.5) Season 5 (1977-1978) #2 (31.4) Season 6 (1978-1979) #3 (tie) (28.6) Season 7 (1979-1980) #17 (21.7) Season 8 (1980-1981) #15 (tie) (20.8) Season 9 (1981-1982) #18 (20.6) Season 10 (1982-1983) #28 (tie) (17.4) Season 11 (1983-1984) Not In Top 30 Emmy Awards Nominations Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series 1976 - Henry Winkler 1977 - Henry Winkler 1978 - Henry Winkler Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series 1978 - Tom Bosley Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series 1978 - Jerry Paris - "Richie Almost Dies" 1981 - Jerry Paris - "Hello Mrs. Arcola" Outstanding Film Editing in a Comedy Series 1978 - Ed Cotter - "Richie Almost Dies" (winner) Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Comedy-Variety or Music Series 1979 - Marion Ross Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series 1984 - Marion Ross (source: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences) Golden Globe Awards Nominations Outstanding Production - Musical Or Comedy Series 1976 1977 Actor In A Leading Role - Musical Or Comedy Series 1976 - Henry Winkler (winner) 1977 - Henry Winkler (winner) 1977 - Ron Howard Actor In A Supporting Role - Series, Mini-Series, Or Television Movie 1982 - Anson Williams Youth in Film Awards Nominations Best Young Comedian 1979-1980 - Scott Baio Best Young Comedian - Motion Picture or Television 1980-1981 - Scott Baio (winner) Best Television Series - Family Enjoyment 1980-1981 Best Young Actor In A Television Series 1980-1981 - Scott Baio Best Young Actress In A Comedy Series 1981-1982 - Heather O'Rourke (source: The Young Artist Foundation) Miscellaneous Awards and Honors The Producers Guild of America's Hall of Fame for Theatrical Motion Pictures 2002 Television Inductee Other shows connected with Happy Days Love, American Style (pilot series) Laverne & Shirley (spin off) Blansky's Beauties (spin off) Mork & Mindy (spin off) Out of the Blue (crossover) The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang (cartoon) The Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour (cartoon) Joanie Loves Chachi (spin off) First Telecast: January 15, 1974 Last Telecast: September 24, 1984 Episodes: 255 color episodes plus two reunion specials

Scott Baio

Scott Baio

Charles "Chachi" Arcola (seasons 5-9, 11; recurring 5-6, 10)

Ron Howard

Ron Howard

Richard J. Cunningham (seasons 1-7)

Henry Winkler

Henry Winkler

Arthur Herbert "Fonzie" Fonzarelli (seasons 2-11; recurring previously)

Tom Bosley

Tom Bosley

Howard C. Cunningham

Marion Ross

Marion Ross

Marion Kelp Cunningham

Anson Williams

Anson Williams

Warren "Potsie" Weber

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  • Cunninghams' #1 fan

    Yea, this show is one of the pride of the 70s generation! It's extremely funny and the title really suit to its plot!! The Cunninghams never showed dull moments on each scenes! I'm very happy it's out on DVD and I purchased the complete DVD collection at memorylanedvd .com received great quality DVDs with all the complete episodes. This show really means a lot to me because this show always gave me optimistic outlook whenever I watched it!moreless
  • Early Episodes Were the Best!

    The early filmed episodes of Happy Days were the best of the entire series. Fonzie was underplayed as a comic version of James Dean. His voice was softer, he was cooler, and his command of each scene was more subtle. They ruined this character when they put him in front of a live audience. He would burst onto each scene with a louder voice and more boisterous personality. In fact all the characters did, because they were playing to a live audience for laughs. The early episodes had more of that American Graffiti feel to it, much more nostalgic. The writing was much better in the early episodes as well with more memorable lines like, "my bike likes Ike" and "so's the chain in my The later episodes exploited lines into catch phrases like "sit on it" which wound up on t-shirts and lunch boxes. But that's it ain't broke, FIX IT, and ALWAYS tamper with success!moreless
  • The first seasons were awesome

    I love Happy Days, but after season 4 or 5 , I stopped watching it. Season 1 and 2 didn't had a live studio audience or that much laugh tracks, which was good. They focused on real life issues like dating, family, friends, etc. Then season 3 and 4 were great too. I love the theme songs and the 50s setting. Happy Days is one of my favorite old shows.
  • The first few years were the best.

    I remember watching this as a young teen when it first came out in '74. The first few seasons were the best.The writing and humor in the first year was subtle, but funny. The attitude was sentimental, but sweet. By the end it was redundant and mediocre I think it would have been better if it had ended after 4 or 5 seasons, I mean , I thought Fonzie was funny, and Winkler is a wonderful actor/director, but when Fonzie, Chachi and Joanie became the focus of the show, it lost quality and perspective. By the end of series, it was supposed to be set in the early to mid 60's,but the fashion and attitude were pure 1970s/80s. The hair on the men was too way long and the women (aside from Marion) were dressed too modern. LIke M*A*S*H and The Waltons, it wore out its welcome when it outgrew its original premise.moreless

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    Several cast members of the classic comedy say the network owes them a piece of the pie for merchandising profits.

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    More Info About This Show




    Sitcoms, laugh track, ladies man, for the nostalgic, young love