Top Stupid Things about the 'Happy Days' TV series (1974-1984)

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Panther, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. Kyle B

    Kyle B Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    Potsie was actually a decent character in the pilot and the early episodes as Richie’s mischievous/kinda-bad-influence friend. He was like Eddie Haskell without the smarminess. Then when the Fonz became Richie’s confidant, they changed Potsie into an idiot.
     
  2. Panther

    Panther Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Yeah, too bad for Anson Williams (Potsie). He was cast as the trouble-making, worldly friend of the lead, but after a year and a half became the village idiot. When Howard and Most left in 1980, he had no reason to remain on the show, but he stuck it out for three more years, before quitting prior to the last season.

    Anson Williams is, by all accounts, one of the nicest guys in show business. The entire cast of Happy Days (possible exception of Scott Baio, who joined in 1977) seem like genuinely nice people. This is in contrast to Laverne and Shirley where, evidently, the whole cast and crew hated one another.
     
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  3. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
    I have a memory about one of the last ones I saw. Ritchie is first date with some girl and in one scene they are just getting to know each other. Then they walk in the house, sit down on the couch and instead of talking and resolving the uncertainty of the previous scene, they just start making out without a word. I was in college and I felt like, they suddenly wanted to show Ritchie as cool like the Fonz one second and insecure and hesitant in the next. I was watching it at college with some other guys and 2 guys just walked out after the scene. "Oh yea, that's really something that happens in life" And this was before Chachi and Mork and all the stupid crap that was unwatchable.
     
  4. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    The show was insanely popular when I has in college, and I often told people the above was what bugged me most about the show. Boy, did they get angry with me. Glad to see it wasn't just me who thought this was a major issue . . . analogous in my book to all the apes speaking English in the original Planet of the Apes and no one having to wear space suits on Star Trek because it was a "Type M" planet (in addition to the English thing there as well, of course).
     
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  5. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    I suspect that happens a lot and I don't know if it's one bad apple or one high level person in particular. I had a theater internship in college (Lord knows why), and the theater had two productions of different plays in different theaters running at the same time. The animosity among the cast and crew in one play was diametrically opposed to the camaraderie in the one I was involved with (or so I was told). The person who told me that - possibly the theater's artistic director - couldn't figure out why. I could guess (e.g., the super-nice and patient director or the stage manager who seemed to be able to take care of fermenting issues on the QT without ruffling feathers or egos), but I don't know for sure what what was special about our group and so nasty about the other.
     
  6. cathandler

    cathandler Forum Resident

    Location:
    maine
    The Odd Couple was great from start to finish while Happy Days started out great and turned into a pile of hot steaming garbage in short order. Then again, TOC was never a ratings success. Garry Marshall couldn't let that happen again, so he sold his soul to Nielsen.
    Happy Days became one of the biggest hits on TV by selling its soul
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
  7. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    This reminds me of:
    Lisa: "Five Bucks? Where did you get five bucks??"
    Bart: "I sold my soul to Milhouse!"
     
  8. cathandler

    cathandler Forum Resident

    Location:
    maine
    Except that Marshall got a lot more for his soul.
     
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  9. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Your premise here is wrong... it didn't become hugely successful and remain in the top 20 for most of its run despite dumbing down. Rather, it became hugely successful because it dumbed down.

    The original audience may have been broader, but it was much smaller. Remember that Happy Days was rated 49th out of all shows its second season. If they hadn't switched to multi-cam/live audience and altered the writing style, the show may well have been cancelled. It's possible the network would have held on and let it find an audience, but not a certainty. Happy Days was smarter in its first two seasons, but it certainly wasn't an exceptionally smart show.
     
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  10. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    Location:
    Honolulu
    They should have stopped with Love American Style.
     
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  11. Neil Anderson

    Neil Anderson Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    i was born in '71. i remember my older sister used to confuse me occasionally by rhetorically asking, "whatever happened to Chuck?" I'd ask, "who's Chuck?" "Ritchie's older brother." "Ritchie's older brother." "Ritchie has an older brother?" She might as well have told me i was adopted.
     
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  12. Panther

    Panther Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Well, I get what you're saying, and it's true the show became more popular by targeting a 'tween' audience. But on the other hand, I think some of these mainstream TV / movie writers and directors under-estimated the audience's intelligence. In the case of Happy Days, I think there was a way to change the show to be a live-audience sound-stage kind of sitcom, allow The Fonz to be a more central character (both of which they did), and to not become stupid (which they unfortunately did not do).
     
  13. Instant Dharma

    Instant Dharma Get Ry Cooder to sing my eulogy

    yeah but Jimi was cool as a mother$&@%#
     
  14. Rob P S

    Rob P S Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Fonzie was always available to pop through the door on cue to save someone's neck, to thunderous audience applause, naturally.
     
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  15. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    True, they could possibly have adopted some half measures (single cam, Fonzie becoming the star) and made the show more successful without making it dumber. But the dumbness (or more charitably, the silliness) is I think what made it into a mega-hit. I don't think it would have become the huge popular culture success and #1 show without the broad comedy and catch phrases and sort of superhero approach to writing Fonzie.
     
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  16. James Slattery

    James Slattery Forum Resident

    Location:
    Long Island
    Wheezer was a character on The Little Rascals. What does that have to do with Happy Days?
     
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  17. Panther

    Panther Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    You mean this guy isn't...???
    [​IMG]
     
  18. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dixie
    In case you're not joking:

     
  19. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    I only watched Happy Days off and on as a kid, just wasn't my thing, but I remember seeing the jump the shark episode when it aired and having this sinking feeling through the whole thing, like I never wanted to see another episode. And I didn't.
     
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  20. James Slattery

    James Slattery Forum Resident

    Location:
    Long Island
    Is that a band from an episode? That music is terrible.
     
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  21. Panther

    Panther Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    From this...
    [​IMG]


    To this...
    [​IMG]

    And the series still had 7 more years to go.... :rolleyes:
     
  22. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dixie
    It's a band called Weezer. The song is called "Buddy Holly" and it came out in 1994.

    Buddy Holly (song) - Wikipedia
     
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  23. unclefred

    unclefred Coastie with the Moastie

    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    Damn right! Chachi not so much.
     
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  24. AintGotHalfOf

    AintGotHalfOf Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    This show was so huge up to around 77 or 78. It was very good sometimes great up to that time. The latter day show I didn't really watch and would have to believe the ratings really went down.

    Love me 70s sitcoms, fhey are in my DNA lol. Whats Happenong, Brady Bunch, Odd Couple, Soap, Barney Miller...and Taxi my fave
     
  25. First season was great watching for this 12 year old. Second season was still pretty good. By the time the third season started I already felt too old for the show. I still watch a few later episodes but it was far from “must see tv”.
     

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