Happy Days

Season 1 Episode 16

Be the First on Your Block

0
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM May 07, 1974 on ABC
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
36 votes
2

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Episode Summary

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Be the First on Your Block
AIRED:
Howard wants to buy a bomb shelter to protect his family. Problems quickly arise when several of Richie's friends ask if they can use it.

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  • With nuclear war a big threat during the 1950s, Howards wants to build a bomb shelter in the Cunningham's back yard.

    9.0
    Howard is very keen on building a bomb shelter in the back yard in order to protect his family in the event of a nuclear war. This is a very realistic episode given that World War II was a recent memory and the Soviet threat was ever-present during this Cold War era.



    The idea of the shelter seems to be a good one until Richie's friends all ask for a place in it as well. Meanwhile, after some consideration, the family aren't too sure that the shelter is necessary, and Howard begins to have his own doubts after a moving speech from Richie in which he outlines what it would be like for the survivors of such an horrific event.



    An excellent episode with a very good moral to the story.moreless
  • A mixture of the fifties and the seventies.

    8.8
    This episode takes a serious threat of the fifties as a topic for a sitcom. As such, it uses its time frame more than later instalments. Howard Cunningham wants to build a bomb shelter to protect his family from the threat of nuclear annihilation, the rest of the family soon doubts its purpose. In the final scene Richie tells his father that the survivors of a nuclear war might become jealous of those who perished. This scene and its theme sounded like something you might hear in a show set in the seventies. Richie's speech was reminiscent of the peace movement of the sixties and seventies. In some episodes Richie acts like a goofy, naive kid. Here he becomes a pillar of wisdom. Unusual.moreless
Marion Ross

Marion Ross

Marion Kelp Cunningham

Anson Williams

Anson Williams

Warren "Potsie" Weber

Tom Bosley

Tom Bosley

Howard C. Cunningham

Ron Howard

Ron Howard

Richard J. Cunningham

Christina Hart

Christina Hart

Carole

Guest Star

Jean Fraser

Jean Fraser

Girl

Guest Star

Ronnie Schell

Ronnie Schell

Ernie

Guest Star

Donny Most

Donny Most

Ralph

Recurring Role

Erin Moran

Erin Moran

Joanie

Recurring Role

Beatrice Colen

Beatrice Colen

Marsha

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • (The Cunninghams are inspecting the plans for the bomb shelter.)
      Marion: Don't you think we should move the bathroom somewhere else so that, when people drop in, it won't be the first thing they see?
      Howard: Marion, we're not trying to get into Better Homes and Gardens. We're trying to survive a nuclear attack.
      Marion: I know, but we can survive with good taste.

    • Fonzie: Like I always say, you live fast, you die young, you leave a good-looking corpse.
      Potsie: Hey, that's cool.
      Richie: Nick Romano said that in Knock On Any Door.
      Fonzie: I think I said it better.

    • Salesman: It's very possible that, in case of a nuclear attack, there are going to be very few survivors left around here to repopulate this beautiful town.
      Marion: Joanie, I think you should leave the room.
      Joanie: It's just getting interesting.
      Richie: I'd like to try repopulating.
      Howard: (shocked) Richard!

  • NOTES (0)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Bomb Shelters
      With this being the height of the Cold War, everyone, it seemed, was building bomb shelters in their backyards. The discussion over whether to build and whom to invite to stay inside in the event of a nuclear attack was common during the late 1950s.

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