Archive for the ‘"Happy Days"’ Category

Archive Lovebirds: Your Favorite TV Couples!

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Sometimes a couple just has chemistry. You can’t always define exactly why two people fit together so perfectly, but you can almost see the sparks fly when halves so seamlessly make a whole. Luckily for all of us, television has provided many of these terrific twosomes over the years — couples that we can’t wait to see argue and make up, scheme and fall flat, or visit with nosy neighbors. TV’s power couples make us want to tune in week after week, or daily if applicable, to watch magic happen over and over again.

Throughout the years The Archive has been privileged to interview some of television’s favorite couples. And although their on-screen romances didn’t carry over into real life, these couples still displayed an awful lot of love and respect for each other when out of character. Have a look for yourself:

Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford, The Jeffersons‘ George and Weezy:

Anthony Geary and Genie Francis, soap opera super-couple Luke and Laura of General Hospital:

Tom Bosley and Marion Ross, Mr. and Mrs. C (Cunningham) on Happy Days:

And last but not least, Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore, Rob and Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show:

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! May you all find the George to your Weezy!

- by Adrienne Faillace

The Fonz Jumps The Shark!

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

35 years ago today, on September 20, 1977, Happy Days aired an episode in which the gang travels to California for Fonzie’s screen test. The Fonz is challenged to waterski over a shark, and dressed in swim trunks and his trademark leather jacket, he accepts the challenge:

Here’s the pivotal “jump the shark” scene:

The episode marked the beginning of the show’s fifth season, and Happy Days remained on air for an additional six. In 1997, web guru/radio personality Jon Hein created the site www.jumptheshark.com, using Happy Days’ “jump the shark” moment as the ultimate indicator of when a TV show begins to decline. The website pointed out such moments in hundreds of television shows, and the phrase “jump the shark” quickly became pop culture lingo, essentially meaning the beginning of the end, or utilizing gimmick over quality. (The site now connects to TV Guide’s list of “jump the shark ” moments.)

Here’s what the Fonz himself, Henry Winkler, had to say about jumping the shark:

Learn more about Happy Days at our show page and watch Henry Winkler’s full Archive interview.

Garry Marshall Inducted into NAB Hall of Fame

Monday, April 16th, 2012

This afternoon show creator/producer Garry Marshall will be inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters’ Broadcasting Hall of Fame during the 2012 NAB Show in Las Vegas. Marshall created some of TV’s most entertaining programs: Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy … and honed his skills as a writer earlier in his career on The Joey Bishop Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and The Lucy Show. Marshall was inducted into 13th Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2004.

In the clip below, Marshall and the Happy Days cast recall the controversy over The Fonz’s now-iconic leather jacket:

Congratulations, Garry!!

Watch Garry Marshall’s full Archive interview.

You Can Own The Fonz’s Motorcycle!

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Arthur Fonzarelli’s motorcycle is up for sale!  The famous bike will be sold on November 12 by Bonhams at their annual Classic California Sale at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The late Bud Ekins owned the motorcycle, a 1949 Triumph Trophy TR5 Scrambler that he customized for use on Happy Days by removing the fender, spray painting the tank silver, and replacing the handle bars. The bike is expected to sell for between $60,000 and $80,000.

Tom Bosley (Howard Cunningham), Happy Days creator Garry Marshall, and The Fonz himself, Henry Winkler, spoke of Fonzie’s motorcycle in their Archive Interviews. Did you know Henry Winkler couldn’t actually ride the motorcycle?

Learn more about Happy Days by visiting our show page:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/shows/happy-days

Celebrate Father’s Day with Rob Petrie, Frank Costanza, Homer Simpson, and Mr. C.

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Happy Father’s Day! To celebrate we’ve highlighted interview clips from some of our favorite TV Dads:

Tom Bosley on playing Howard “Mr. C.” Cunningham on Happy Days

Jerry Stiller on playing Seinfeld’s “Frank Costanza”

Dan Castellaneta on the origin of Homer Simpson’s “d’oh”

Dick Van Dyke on The Dick Van Dyke Show’s Rob Petrie

"Love Boat" on DVD, Charles Fox Interview Online

Friday, March 14th, 2008


The Love Boat has finally made it to DVD and just hearing the theme song brings back memories of Saturday nights and the Love Boat/Fantasy Island pairing.

The Archive has interviewed several of the creative team behind the series, including composer Charles Fox, who was responsible for many of TV’s most memorable theme songs.



Click here to watch the entire 7-part interview with Charles Fox.

Interview description:

Fox talked about his musical education, which included studying with Nadia Boulanger in Paris from 1959-61. He spoke about breaking into composing for television, writing transition material for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson as well as the bold and energetic theme song for ABC’s Wide World of Sports. He spoke in great detail about Love American Style, a series for which he wrote the theme song and scored music for the entire series run. He described other series for which he both scored the theme song and created libraries for track music. He described his work on Laverne & Shirley, including details about the pilot presentation and the creation of the theme song and main title. Additionally he talked about his work on the series: Happy Days, Wonder Woman, The Love Boat, and The Paper Chase. He also discussed his work in television movies (including Victory at Entebbe) and feature films (including The Other Side of the Mountain and Foul Play), as well as composing other popular songs. B-roll consisted of Fox performing a medley of his television theme songs as well as “Killing Me Softly With His Song.” The interview was conducted by Karen Herman on June 29, 2004.

30 Years Ago Today: Fonzie and "Happy Days" Jumped the Shark

Thursday, September 20th, 2007


On September 20, 1977, in part three of the “Hollywood” episode, Fonzie, in bathing suit and leather jacket, faced jumping a caged shark on water skis. This moment in television history prompted the phrase “jump the shark” inaugurated by the website jumptheshark.com to describe “a defining moment when you know that your favorite television program has reached its peak. That instant that you know from now on…it’s all downhill.”

In their Archive interviews, series stars Ron Howard and Henry Winkler were asked about the phrase “jump the shark”:

Ron Howard (“Richie Cunningham”):
“[The "Hollywood" episode] was really a jumbled mess from a writing standpoint. I remember Donny Most [who played Ralph] and I sitting there looking at the script. Donny was really — he was really upset. He just said, oh, man, look at what our show has kind of devolved into here. I mean, you know, it’s not — none of this is very funny, and, you know, and Fonzie’s jumping over a shark, and we all thoug
ht it was a little ludicrous. I kept saying, hey man, Donny, we’re a hit show, relax, you know, it’s hard to have great episodes one after another. Fonzie jumping over a shark is gonna be funny and — and great, you know, and it’s — you know, “Jaws” had just been out a couple years before, and, you know, and relax. Donny had a — a clearer sense, I suppose, of sort of the direction that the — sort of the quality of the show or the tone of the show was taking after that episode. I remember thinking — creatively this was not our greatest episode, but I thought it was a pretty good stunt, and I understood why they wanted to do it. And what I remember [what was the] most fun [was] actually driving the speedboat, which I did a bit of, noticing that Henry was really a pretty good water skier…. but the thing that has to be remembered about the “jumping the shark idea” is that the show went on to be such a massive success for years after that. So it’s a kind of a fun expression, and I get a kick out of the fact that they identified that episode, ‘cause, granted, you know, maybe it was pushing things a little too far. But I think a lot of good work was still done after that show and audiences seemed to really respond to it forever.”


Henry Winkler (“Fonzie”)
“My father suggested a storyline…he said why don’t you water ski? You’re a good water skier. So I water skied and jumped the shark, and then came “Jump the Shark”… Now you have to understand we were number one for like six years after that, so nobody else thought we jumped the shark. I don’t [think the show "jumped the shark"]. This is what I know about doing series. It is a miracle that you stay on. It is a miracle that there is a script on the table every week. To do a show, and to have it be successful for ten years, or even to be an actor, it is like climbing Mount Everest with no clothes on.”

Interview Descriptions:


Ron Howard was interviewed for three hours at the Imagine Entertainment offices in Beverly Hills, CA. Howard recalled his early years growing up in Burbank, the son of actor parents, and his own start at age 3, using a dialogue scene from “Mr. Roberts” as his audition piece. He reminisced about some of his earliest acting on television including the “live” anthology drama Playhouse 90 and his recurring role as part of the gang on Dennis the Menace. He then talked about his appearance with Bert Lahr on an episode of G. E. Theatre, in which host Ronald Reagan made special note of Howard’s performance, which also caught the eye of producer Sheldon Leonard, who cast him on the pilot for The Andy Griffith Show. He spoke in great detail about playing “Opie Taylor” on The Andy Griffith Show, describing his work with Andy Griffith and the show’s ensemble and discussing moments from the series’ production. He talked about learning how to write from signing autographs, using memories of his dog’s death to create the emotions necessary for the classic “Opie the Birdman” episode, and truly having to “act” when eating “ice cream” (actually cold mashed potatoes). He briefly described some television roles he appeared in in the early ‘70s before taking on the role of “Richie Cunningham” on Happy Days. He spoke candidly about the shift in the series focus onto the break-out “Fonzie” character, recited some of the series numerous catchphrases, and discussed memorable series episodes (including “The Howdy Doody Show” and the now infamous jump-the-shark episode “Hollywood”). He detailed his transition to behind-the-cameras as a director of low-budget features and television movies (including Cotton Candy and Skyward), before becoming one of Hollywood’s A-list producer-directors. He lastly discussed his work as executive-producer and voice-over narrator on the Emmy-Award-winning sitcom Arrested Development. The interview was conducted by Gary Rutkowski on October 18, 2006.


Henry Winkler was interviewed for two-and-a-half hours in Los Angeles, CA. Winkler discussed his early years, as the child of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, his early passion for acting, and his struggles with then-undiagnosed dyslexia. He chronicled his early career in New York, where he acted on stage and in numerous commercials and his subsequent decision to move to Los Angeles, where he was quickly cast as a guest actor on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. He detailed all aspects of the role for which he became most known, Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli on the hit sitcom, Happy Days. He discussed his casting, Fonzie character, working with the cast (particularly Ron Howard), and the iconic status (and occasional mayhem it generated) of Fonzie. He spoke about his transition to directing and producing, which included being executive producer of MacGyver, and his later acting projects including Arrested Development and The Practice. The interview was conducted by Karen Herman on November 10, 2006.

Radio Play Podcast Features A Look at TV’s Early Days

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

HENRY WINKLER AND JASON RITTER STAR IN RADIO PLAY ABOUT TELEVISION’S EARLY DAYS –– TUNE IN OR DOWNLOAD THE FULL PODCAST (FREE)

On Saturday evening, July 7, Southern California residents can tune in KPCC 89.3 FM to hear the L.A. Theatre Works’ radio theatre production of The Ruby Sunrise by Rinne Groff, starring (Archive interviewee) Henry Winkler, Jason Ritter, Elisabeth Moss and Asher Book. The most recent offering in L.A. Theatre Works’ award-winning radio drama series, “The Play’s the Thing,” The Ruby Sunrise is directly inspired by the story of Philo Farnsworth and the early days of “live” television. In it, a spirited 1920s girl works independently to develop electronic television. Twenty-five years later, her daughter, now working at a television network. vows to bring her mother’s story to the small screen during “TV’s Golden Age”. Winkler stars as a 1950s television producer with Jason Ritter as his underling writer. Other regional and nationwide radio stations presenting The Ruby Sunrise are listed below, as well as podcast information*.

The program also features a discussion about early television with Karen Herman, director of the Archive of American Television, and writer-producer Phil Savenick, an expert on the history of television. Excerpts from the Archive’s collection include insights from the late Elma Farnsworth, widow of television inventor Philo Farnsworth. NEW: Click here to read a transcript of the entire interview with Phil and Karen and to find out how to save on tickets to upcoming L.A. Theatre Works performances.

*Tune in!
Nationwide radio broadcasts include:
89.3 FM KPCC Southern California, Saturdays 10:00 p.m
94.1 FM KPFA Northern California, Sundays 7:00 p.m.
94.9 FM KUOW Seattle, WA Fridays 10:00 p.m.
89.7 FM WGBH Boston, MA, first Sunday of month 10:00 p.m.
91.1 FM KRCB Sonoma County, CA Saturdays 6:00 p.m.
89.9 FM KUNM Albuquerque, NM bimonthly, Sundays 6:00 p.m.
XM Satellite Radio Nationwide (Sonic Theatre Channel), Saturdays 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. (EST)

How to Podcast “The Play’s the Thing”
As of July 7, free podcasts of The Ruby Sunrise are available here. Copy and paste http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast.php?id=510190 into your preferred podcasting software to automatically receive all monthly episodes of “The Play’s the Thing” broadcasts.

Also, we’ve just posted Henry Winkler’s full Archive interview online!


Interview Description:
Henry Winkler was interviewed for two-and-a-half hours in Los Angeles, CA. Winkler discussed his early years, his early passion for acting, and his struggles with then-undiagnosed dyslexia. He chronicled his early career in New York, where he acted on stage and in numerous commercials and his subsequent decision to move to Los Angeles, where he was quickly cast as a guest actor on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. He detailed all aspects of the role for which he became most known, Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli on the hit sitcom, Happy Days. He discussed his casting, Fonzie character, working with the cast (particularly Ron Howard), and the iconic status (and occasional mayhem it generated) of Fonzie. He spoke about his transition to directing and producing, which included being executive producer of MacGyver, and his later acting projects including Arrested Development and The Practice. The interview was conducted on November 10, 2006. Click here to access Henry Winkler’s 5-part interview.

Ron Howard’s Archive of American Television Interview Is Now Online

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007


Ron Howard’s interview, the Archive’s 500th, is now available for viewing online. Fittingly, Howard’s career spans a fifty-year history of television from his first roles as a child actor in such ’50s shows as Playhouse 90 and The Red Skelton Show to his role as narrator and executive producer of Arrested Development.

To many, Howard will forever be known to television audiences as “Opie Taylor” on The Andy Griffith Show and “Richie Cunningham” on Happy Days. His discussion of these series is a significant part of his three-hour interview.

Here are the links to the interview segments:

Interview description:
Howard recalled his early years growing up in Burbank, the son of actor parents, and his own start at age 3, using a dialogue scene from “Mr. Roberts” as his audition piece. He reminisced about some of his earliest acting on television including the “live” anthology drama Playhouse 90 and his recurring role as part of the gang on Dennis the Menace. He then talked about his appearance with Bert Lahr on an episode of G. E. Theatre, in which host Ronald Reagan made special note of Howard’s performance, which also caught the eye of producer Sheldon Leonard, who cast him on the pilot for The Andy Griffith Show. He spoke in great detail about playing “Opie Taylor” on The Andy Griffith Show, describing his work with Andy Griffith and the show’s ensemble and discussing moments from the series’ production. He talked about learning how to write from signing autographs, using memories of his dog’s death to create the emotions necessary for the classic “Opie the Birdman” episode, and truly having to “act” when eating “ice cream” (actually cold mashed potatoes). He briefly described some television roles he appeared in in the early ‘70s before taking on the role of “Richie Cunningham” on Happy Days. He spoke candidly about the shift in the series focus onto the break-out “Fonzie” character, recited some of the series numerous catchphrases, and discussed memorable series episodes (including “The Howdy Doody Show” and the now infamous jump-the-shark episode “Hollywood”). He detailed his transition to behind-the-cameras as a director of low-budget features and television movies (including Cotton Candy and Skyward), before becoming one of Hollywood’s A-list producer-directors. He lastly discussed his work as executive-producer and voice-over narrator on the Emmy-Award-winning sitcom Arrested Development. The interview was conducted by Gary Rutkowski on October 18, 2006.

Garry Marshall’s Archive of American Television Interview Is Now Online

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

’70s/’80s hit-maker Garry Marshall’s 6-part Archive interview is now available online. Click here to access the entire interview.

Excerpt: Marshall on the initial concept of “Fonzie” on Happy Days from Part 4

“We created this character Fonzie who was originally called Arthur Masharelli, but M*A*S*H was the name of a show so the nickname Mash wouldn’t work so Bob Brunner, who was one of the writers came up with the name, Fonzarelli. We needed something we could have short[ened]. And that was “Fonzarelli” and we put him in and I had done, see a lot of times people don’t understand, you try something here it doesn’t work; you try it again over here. I played a character in Blansky’s Beauties. I acted. I played a guy who worked in the casino in Vegas, never spoke. Just wore dark glasses and walked around scaring everybody. So I said let’s do that again. We get a guy who don’t talk. It’s always scary when a guy doesn’t talk. So Arthur Fonzarelli was really written just to point, to do gestures and say very little. And I always remember, one of my favorite actors was Gary Cooper, who said mostly “yup” and became a gigantic star, which amazed me. So I said, he’ll say little.”

Interview description:
Marshall’s lively interview consists of many entertaining anecdotes about his over forty years in the television business. He describes his early years as a journalist and his eventual entry into comedy writing for The Tonight Show with Jack Paar. He talks about his work honing his craft as a writer on such ‘60s sitcoms as The Joey Bishop Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Love American Style (which served as a pilot for Happy Days) and The Lucy Show. He speaks in detail about developing The Odd Couple for television with his partner Jerry Belson. He then discusses helming some of the most popular sitcoms of the 1970s, including Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, and Mork & Mindy. For these shows he details the casting, development, and production as well as discussed the impact these series had on ABC. Finally, he briefly talks about his entry into feature filmmaking. The interview was conducted by Karen Herman on August 28, 2000.