Happy Days (ABC tv show)

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by jason88cubs, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. jason88cubs

    jason88cubs Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    illinois
    Happy Days is an American television sitcom that aired first-run from January 15, 1974, to September 24, 1984 on ABC, with a total of 255 half-hour episodes spanning eleven seasons


    The first 2 seasons of this show was amazing, but in season 3 they started to shoot in front of a live audience, centered the show around the Fonz and it was never the same

    The ratings were horrible in season 2(didnt reach top 30) so they obviously needed to do something but man what a shame
     
  2. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dixie
    It was a pleasant family show fors the first couple of seasons, but I'd hardly call it "amazing".

    It became The Fonzie Show with Teenage Girls Screaming and a different program.

    I remember HD mostly for one of my favorite bits of cultural trivia.

    In the 90s there was a music video about Happy Days, Weezer's "Buddy Holly" And Happy Days once did an episode where they reminisced about the Roaring '20s

    Therefore we got to see:

    A music video from the 90s being nostalgic about a TV show from the '70s which was nostalgic about the '50s where people were nostalgic about the '20s.

    I keep hoping someone will make a video about Weezer.
     
  3. keifspoon

    keifspoon Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    Sounds like it jumped the shark.
     
  4. KevinP

    KevinP Forum introvert

    Location:
    Wellington , NZ
    The funny thing about Happy Days is that it jumped the shark well before the episodes that gave us that phrase. I agree with JozefK; once Fonzie became a superhero, the audience became super-active and the show stopped being a period piece, it began a long decline.

    The epitome of a show that overstayed its welcome. Sorry, but when I think about this show, I don't remember the early seasons when it was an enjoyable watch but the last season or two with Fonzie and some new cast member working in a school because those episodes were just so bad they tarnished the memory of the show for me, even after all these years. (One Day at a Time is in the same camp, as were quite a few other 70s shows in the 80s.)

    Wasn't my intention to be so negative. I liked the show when it began.
     
  5. jason88cubs

    jason88cubs Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    illinois

    Can you think of a show besides Happy Days that went through such a transformation? By the time the show ended they really did feel they were in the 80s
     
  6. jason88cubs

    jason88cubs Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    illinois
    I thought the season 4 openining epidoes "Fonzie loves Pinky" was teh jump the shark moment

    My gosh what 3 horrible episodes
     
    Larry Geller likes this.
  7. I was 11 when the first season aired. I liked the first 3-4 seasons, then lost interest.
     
    seed_drill likes this.
  8. Spaghettiows

    Spaghettiows Forum Resident

    Location:
    Silver Creek, NY
    If you're watching re-runs, the rule of thumb is: If the opening theme song is "Rock Around the Clock", it will be a good episode. If the opening theme is "Sunday Monday Happy Days", don't bother.

    Unfortunate, but it would have been a short-lived television footnote if they hadn't dumbed it down.
     
  9. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Producer/creator Garry Marshall had said that this had previously happened in 1970 with his series The Odd Couple, which started off as a single-camera show. Partly due to low ratings and partly because everybody hated the laugh track, they opted to start performing the show before a live audience in an effort to get "honest" laughs. Since both Tony Randall and Jack Klugman were old hands at live stage performances, it was not a problem for them to make the switch.

    The same thing happened with Happy Days, where the first two seasons were shot single camera (without an audience), but the ratings were a little mediocre. When they opted to change in 1975 to a multi-camera show with a live audience, the ratings went through the roof and stayed there for many years. So in this case, I would say it was a creative choice due to ratings and revenue. But Marshall has said many times (including in his autobiography Wake Me When It's Funny) that he prefers single camera when that works for the project.

    One big problem with a live performance is that subtlety goes out the window and the actors begin playing to the audience instead of the cameras, so the performances become much too loud and broad. I can recall a critic at the time saying, "why do all the actors on Happy Days YELL their lines?" You could point to the success of the Norman Lear comedies as being one reason why Marshall's shows made the switch... though they stayed on film for various reasons.
     
    John B, Randon Ton, lightbulb and 5 others like this.
  10. Ron Stone

    Ron Stone Offending Member

    Location:
    Deep Maryland
    I assume it was pitched as a weekly AMERICAN GRAFFITI. The Richie and Fonzie characters were unchanged from the separate nostalgic movies that doubtless got them the roles.
     
    lightbulb likes this.
  11. MikeInFla

    MikeInFla Forum Resident

    Location:
    Panama City, FL
    [​IMG]

    Here's the house complete with.... palm tree?? Clearly not Wisconsin!

    I like how during the winter they would animate snow on the house.
     
  12. Spaghettiows

    Spaghettiows Forum Resident

    Location:
    Silver Creek, NY
    The difference between The Odd Couple and Happy Days in that regard is that the overall tone of The Odd Couple didn't change all that much after the switch to a live audience. Did it feel a little bit more immediate? Maybe it did, but it still seemed like the same show. Happy Days, on the other hand, became an almost completely different animal after Season 2, in more ways than just the cameras and the live audience. But as I said previously, if Marshall had not made those changes, Happy Days would have suffered the same fate as Brooklyn Bridge. Fondly remembered, but only by a small number of people.
     
  13. vamborules

    vamborules Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT
    It's funny watching the Love, American Style pilot episode. Richie and Postie are there and Mrs. C. But there's a different Mr. C and it looks so wrong.



     
  14. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dixie
    The Happy Days pilot was shot in December 1971, predating AG by almost two years.

    When it didn't sell it was re-edited slightly and aired as a segment on Love, American Style as "Love And The Happy Day".



    The pilot was set in the early '50s, when Garry Marshall was a teenager, After AG was a hit ABC bought the show on condition it was moved up to the mid '50s so it could have rock and roll on the soundtrack.
     
  15. KevinP

    KevinP Forum introvert

    Location:
    Wellington , NZ
    Probably not. Happy Days is THE example. Lavern & Shirley was never really about the 50s/60s and was another hanger-on at the end (I mean, Lightning Man...). While I don't love the last season of Mork and Mindy, I think the addition of Jonathan Winters did revitalise it, just not well enough. M&M was clearly set at the time of production but still interfaced with Happy Days inexplicably.

    These shows ended as ideas that never would have been accepted in the first place. I mean, if you took the 'premise' of Happy Days in its last couple seasons (a suburban couple's adult children have moved out, so they welcome a nephew who becomes a high school principal, and their drop-out border becomes a teacher in the same high school, and their adult children's friends still hang around), well...they certainly wouldn't have been accepted.

    Norman Lear's more successful shows were also hangers-on in their later seasons, but I'd rather watch them.

    I mean, Lightning Man...
     
  16. MekkaGodzilla

    MekkaGodzilla Forum Resident

    Location:
    Westerville, Ohio
    Well, the Series Finale did have Potsie leaving Milwaukee to join the Mondale/Ferraro campaign.

    :D
     
  17. KevinP

    KevinP Forum introvert

    Location:
    Wellington , NZ
  18. Karnak

    Karnak "81-82-83-84..."

    Location:
    Southern Ont.
    I like how, in the first season at least, what you saw of the house came from the garage and driveway. Seemed a nice ordinary touch.
     
    Steve Carras likes this.
  19. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Yes, the funny thing was, George Lucas saw the pilot and cast Ron Howard in his 1972 film American Graffiti, so the whole thing was very incestuous. Lucas never expected ABC & Paramount to immediate reboot the show as a sitcom in January of 1974 (a few months after Graffiti became a surprise hit). But by then, he had moved on to Star Wars... which ironically was also imitated by ABC with Battlestar Galactica. There was a lawsuit over the latter, but Fox & Lucas didn't win that one:

    A History of 'Star Wars' Legal Wars: 'Battlestar Galactica,' 'Star Trek' and Ronald Reagan

    BTW, I worked a bit on the show syndication in the 1980s, and through a series of events met Anson Williams, whom I interviewed for a couple of articles I wrote on Steven Spielberg. (Williams had co-starred in an obscure Marcus Welby M.D. episode that Spielberg had directed.) I was surprised to discover that Williams was an extraordinarily nice guy who told me a couple of times that he was "the luckiest guy in Hollywood" and that he had met Ron Howard by chance when they were both auditioning for the pilot and just happened to hit it off in the lobby. His chemistry with Ron were a big reason why he got cast in the show, and he was forever grateful for it.
     
  20. Dude111

    Dude111 An Awesome Dude

    Location:
    USA
    A good show :)
     
    MikaelaArsenault and Gary like this.
  21. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I liked Happy Days, even after Fonzie was inevitably promoted. But yes, the show stayed looooonnnnnggg past its expiration date.

    It always fun to watch the 1st and 2nd season when Potsie was a more worldly if not slightly nefarious character. With Fonzie's ascent, his character morphed into the resident dunce.
     
    goodiesguy and Vidiot like this.
  22. GetHappy!!

    GetHappy!! Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    The first and second season(s) contain some of the most underrated U.S. television of the era. Beautifully filmed, those episodes contained a knowing, self-conscious nostalgia (obviously), but were tinged with a certain wistfulness which could be very affecting, in my opinion. Genuinely moving, albeit melodramatically, is the first season episode "Fonzie Drops In" where Fonzie goes back to high school. And of course there's the pathos of the scene from the second season episode where Fonzie is eating his Christmas Eve dinner out of a can in the garage.
    However...the third season contained genuine "Borscht Belt"-like humor, and was probably the funniest with some great comic timing displayed, although in retrospect you can see Winkler's character starting to overtake the show. After that season, all bets are off, nosedive city.
     
  23. HenryH

    HenryH Forum Resident

    I remember really liking the first couple of seasons. It was a relatively popular show amongst the crowd I hung out with (13-14 yr olds). I've been seeing some episodes lately and I think it still holds up. But I'd say the changes made in season 3 gave the show a bit more life. The episodes in the previous two seasons could have a slightly serious tone about them. In season 3 the comedy got bumped up and the story lines tended to be lighter. I think seasons 3-5 could be my favorites. I remember they were a lot of fun to watch.
     
    prognastycator likes this.
  24. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Surround sound lunatic

    Location:
    Bayside, NY
    3 Chucks.
     
    aoxomoxoa likes this.
  25. jason88cubs

    jason88cubs Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    illinois
    Whcih one did you prefer?


    Arnold or Al?
     
    Bingo Bongo likes this.

Share This Page