January 15th, 1974. It was on this cold winter day (cold, because it was pre-global warming) 35 years ago that the American public was introduced to Richie Cunningham, Fonzie, Potsie, and the rest of the gang of Happy Days. A simple family sitcom, the Gary Marshall-created program would change the face of ABC, as well as television, for the ten years it was on the air, as well as beyond.Happy Days came at a time when the family comedy was going through an upheaval. Gone were the days of simple shows like Leave it to Beaver and The Dick Van Dyke Show. In its place were shows like All in the Family which turned the typical family comedy on its heels. With Vietnam, a poor economy, and Watergate all weighing down on Americans at that time, the introduction of Happy Days gave viewers a chance to remember and laugh at some simpler times.
This very important anniversary was actually a week ago today but I just realized it this morning as I was eating my Happy Days cereal and wearing my Fonz pajamas and Ralph Malph slippers.
September 20th marked the 30th Anniversary of the day Arthur Fonzarelli (aka "Fonzie," aka "The Fonz") put on his leather jacket and a pair of water skis and jumped over a cage filled with
stock footage of a man eating shark. Of course, we know that the famous episode launched a very successful catch phrase and web site called "What choo talkin' bout Willis?"
After the jump, a video of that classic TV moment. I haven't seen an episode of Happy Days in years, but it was probably well on its way to getting away from the original intent of the show before this. But yeah, this scene is even more ridiculous than you remember it.
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