Happy Days

Season 1 Episode 16

Be the First on Your Block

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM May 07, 1974 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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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.

    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.
  • A mixture of the fifties and the seventies.

    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.