Happy Days

Season 8 Episode 22

American Musical

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM May 26, 1981 on ABC

Episode Recap

Chachi is at the kitchen table of the Cunningham house attempting to write an essay on American history. Fonzie comes in, and Chachi tells him how boring it is. Fonzie tells Chachi that American history is his best subject and starts naming off the Presidents. Chachi has to write about how America is a big melting pot and gives Fonzie a list of topics he has to include. Fonzie tells Chachi a story that Marion told him about Joanie's great-great-grandmother. She lived in Ireland (1845) and had a boyfriend who had to leave her and his country because there were no jobs. Fonzie begins to describe the trip to America, and a flashback scene begins.

Joanie's great-great-grandmother (played by Joanie) and her boyfriend (played by Chachi) say their farewells to each other. They sing a song ("Hold Me Forever Tonight") about how they'll always have each other.

Back at the house, Chachi says he, now, understands why people came to America for economic reasons. The next topic is political oppression. Fonzie has another story ready. It's about a guy who insults the king who's passing by in a parade in a small European town in 1600. He's taken to jail and is told he can stay there or sail to America. Fonzie tells about how difficult the trip to America was in those days. Another flashback begins.

Six guys (Howard, Potsie, Fonzie, Al, Chachi, and Roger) are in a jail and sing about the immigration blues. Potsie says they need to think positive, and another song begins.

At the house, the next topic is cultural and social influences of the immigrants on America. Fonzie says that refers to the culture the immigrants brought with them to America. He says that their culture was their strength. A third flashback scene begins.

A family is sitting at a table in the twentieth century as they celebrate their one-year anniversary in America. A girl (Jenny) asks her father (Al) why they're dressed as they are. He tells her that they're celebrating. He says they're Americans, but they keep their customs. A song begins in which Al gives a toast. In song, Lori Beth (Al's daughter) says she wants to own a cafe. Jenny tells about her first day at school and how she met two boys (Roger and Potsie). Fonzie, Howard, Marion, Joanie, and Chachi are also there.

Back at the house, Fonzie looks over Chachi's shoulder as he writes. The last topic is personal harships. Fonzie tells about Roger's grandfather who came over from Russia. His grandfather's parents wanted him to go to America to have a better life. Fonzie asks what is harder than leaving your family forever. The fourth flashback begins.

Roger's grandfather's (played by Roger) parents (Howard and Marion) give him some final instructions. Roger says he's scared and excited. He sings a song about the possibilies of life in America. Howard joins in and tells Roger that he's going to make it big in America. Marion also joins in.

At the house, Fonzie tells about his Italian ancestry. His uncle, Giuseppe, came over in 1904. He says that people are still coming over to this day. A flashback begins in which Fonzie tells about what America stands for. The rest of the cast crowds around him dressed as people in various occupations. They all sing the song about thinking positive.
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