Potsie Sings (I know this counteracts the whole idea here, but I gotta be original) Ted McGinley I feel like I should know this, but I'm at a loss You have Arnold listed under "DEATHS" of characters on TV shows. The character was not killed off. When they brought in Al to replace him (Pat Morita had left to star in his own sitcom "Mr. T And Tina"), they said that Arnold had moved back to Japan. In fact, in the later years when Al left to be a member of the "Joanie Loves Chachi" cast, Pat Morita returned as Arnold to replace Al as the proprieter of Arnolds'. We stand corrected! -Shark Hello are you guys " brain dead"? Happy Days was and is still one of the best shows on TV. Thanks to Nick at Nite. Want proof just go on-line and type "Happy Days" and watch as your screen fills up with several possible sits to go to.
If you think the show jumped the shark then you guys can "Go to the field and SIT ON IT" I think Happy Days went downhill after Ron Howard left the 1979-80 season, but that is my opinion. - Todd Fuller, author of Happy Days Online THE FONZ WAS IN CALIFORNIA AND JUMPED THE SHARK ON WATER SKIS. HE JUMPED GARBAGE CANS ON HIS MOTORCYCLE. YOU GUYS ARE DORKS!!!!!!!!!!!!! when ron howard left the show; fonzie jumped over the sharks on water skis; scott biao became a regular The gang forms a band and does absolutely horrible job faking their instruments.
Joannie grows breasts. Pinky Tuscadero & her scanky sister, Leather. Pinky and that finger snapping/clapping thing she used to do would drive me nuts! Also, when Fonzie's response to EVERYTHING was "aaaayyy!" When the Cunninghams went West to save the Dude Ranch was pretty bad.
After Ron Howard left, it was just one big downhill slide. The Fonz became the all-wise heartwarmer, Joanie and Chachi got serious, Joanie got really bad hair, etc. etc. You can't blame this one on Ted McGinley! ;) He got there long after the show jumped. When they introduced the laugh track, and the parents suddenly became stupid. When Arnold's burned down.
The drafting of Richie and Ralph Malph into our nation's Armed Forces, leaving the show with a nucleus of a mellowed, middle-aged Fonz, a hip Marion (with largely the hair style as her daughter) a pointless Potsie, (no friends left), and good old Raj. Two words: Pinky Tuscadero. The show stopped being funny right when the new season began with her appearance. It was a sign that the show was taking itself and its characters far too seriously. Also, Pinky was not the least bit appealing as a character. She was simply a plot device to show viewers the Fonz "in love". When Potsie started singing on a regular basis it jumped the shark. The addition of Chachi just made the end inevitable Happy Days was a sweet retrospective show on life in the 50's. When Fonzie became a major character and almost a superhero with powers the show became a farce. But my idealic "jumping the shark" moment came when ever the "Happy Days Gang" all goes to the same dude ranch for vacation and wind up running the ranch, being the public address announcer at the rodeo and Fonzie riding the bull!!!! Come on - get your money back from a place like this. Also any show where the entrance of character is greeted with applause and they stand there with a stupid expression before delivering their opening line---i.e Fonzie, Kramer, Al Bundy, etc.
This show jumped the shark way before the Fonz jumped the shark! Doesn't anyone remember when the show was NOT filmed in front of the studio audience, and there was an older obnoxious brother named "Chuck." The Fonz was a suspicious thug and Richie was doing funny realistic things like attending his first bachelor party and imbibing only 72 of these "teeny tiny little glasses of beer...hic!" Also, the parents came across as a hardworking small business owner and a wise mother. It just became so formulaic following the introduction of the studio audiences The person who noticed the jump at the point where the show started being filmed before a studio audience was dead on the money. This coincided with the disappearance of Chuck Cunningham and the Theme Song change, and was followed shortly after by Fonzie-mania, by which time the show had jumped irretrievably. (Don't even get me started about Chachi, Al-for-Arnold, Chachi, Potsie singing, Chachi, Richie leaving, Chachi, etc...) Happy Days jumped the shark when Ron Howard left. Richie had always been the star of the show and without him the show went down the tube.
Fonziemania had a lot to do with it...this is the point where a lot of sitcom producers expected the audiences to go wild upon a character's entrance to a scene. Consequently Fonzie would come through the door and say, "Hi, Mister C., I was just--" and be interrupted by this HUGE amount of applause. They'd have to wait for it to die down and there really wasn't a lot they could actually do while they waited except stand there and make faces. Then finally they'd START THEIR LINE OVER AGAIN: "I was just down at Arnold's..." etc. It's entirely possible that, because there are so many things that you can point to, Happy Days is THE benchmark against which all other shows will be measured for shark jumping. I can hear the colors! Why did Fonzie wear his leather jacket while skiing? That doesn't make any sense.
Didn't that little blond haired girl from the poltergeist movie become a semi-regular on happy days? If so surely this was another nail in the happy days coffin.
OKAY! FINE! I'LL VOTE FOR THE OBVIOUS! HAPPY NOW? =) Remember earlier in the series when Fonzie jumped over a bunch of cars on his motorcycle for some crazy tv stunt and there was this girl pounding on a drum and crying? Remember that? That was actually pretty good. For me, that was a highpoint of the series. The shark thing was people in suits and ties going, "well Fonzie's already jumped cars in a parking lot in a previous episode. We gotta do something a little wilder. Something more exciting and entertaining." It's when Happy Days stopped being a nice little show about a more innocent time, and started turning into a circus act and a parody of itself. Happy Days started as a "coming of age" story centered around Richie Cunningham. When they lost sight of that and just started inventing weird situations for the characters to find themselves in just for the sake of doing it, that's when it jumped the shark.
When ritchie and the gang graduated high school. Although I agree strongly that the start of the live audience was a VERY BAD THING, and this show serves as a template for every possible form of shark jumping, I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the point when everyone stopped bothering to keep up their fifties hairstyles, and suddenly everyone started walking around with seventies syle parted-in-the-middle feathered hair (especially Chachi).
When potsie turned from being a cool young kid trying to get women into some kind of gay showtune singer. If you don't agree take a look at the episode when there was a test in science class and pottsie skips around the class singing about all the different bones in the body. He really should have been singing about giving ralph malph the bone. Turning straight characters gay has killed many a good show.Where these macho "fonzie esque" guys turn from getting chicks to singing show tunes. Take a look at Don Knotts on Threes company, and we are supposed to believe that Jack tripper is gay when youve got don knotts chasing him around in his pink scarf.... Was that black tape on Chachi's wrists or were they sweatbands? If it was sweatbands, why would he wear them. Was that popular in the 60's? I remember in 5th grade wearing them. If it was electrical tape, WHY? Wouldn't that be a lot of pain just to look cool. And why would he wear them if Fonzie didn't wear them? It would be just like that Mr. T cartoon where the little white kid dressed like Mr. T. If Mr. T wore a boa, the little honkey would too, but little honkey wouldn't wear something Mr. T wouldn't wear.
Ted McGinley is so sexy. How can you say he led to Happy Days jumping? Chachi, Joanie, Potsie, Ralph etc. They all screwed this up, it was Fonzie and Ted who held this show together.
I think the writers of this show forgot that it took place in the 50's. I actually saw a female extra wearing bell bottoms and one of those striped sweaters that were popular circa 1976. Maybe they ran out of poodle skirts and angora sweaters in the costume dept. And I really hate when writers throw in pop culture references of the era for just that one episode, as if to remind us (and maybe themselves) that this show is supposed to take place in the 50's, not the 70's (they did this on Laverne & Shirley, too, i.e. the girls go on the "Dating Game" - just to remind us it's 1967, not 1982).
This wonderful show jumped when they added the dull Lori Beth.. Richie with a STEADY girlfriend?!! What happened to "I found my thrill....on blueberry Hill"?? Started being filmed before a studio audiance. the whole format of the show changed. fonz went from riding a old Knucklehead Harley to a Triumph. ABC must have been weting pants over that one! Clothes and hairstyles went seventies. Hell,I dont think producers even rememberd what a period piece circa 1950's was by the end. Dont know how it stayed on for the last 5-6 yrs. Ineptitude by writers and producers got it before the Shark.
I believe that Happy Days truly "jumped the shark" when Fonzie started wearing black T-shirts instead of his typical white ones. First of all, white t-shirts are twenty times cooler than black t-shirts and second of all, it's a known fact that people wear black on television to make themselves seem slimmer. At this point in the show, Fonzie was obviously getting other and growing a tad larger which by no fault of his own made him less "cool". If you wanna get truly specific, I don't think the show ever really had the magic it did when it first started. When the Fonz was just a minor character and brother Chuck was still part of the family. The addition of the live studio audience made a once great show about a young boy and his teenage troubles into a good show about a bunch of silly people in Milwaukee.
When Ted McGinley showed up! This is what my heart says: Happy Days, that great idea, jumped the shark cause of that damned 70s style. Chachie had nothing of a kid of the 50s. He is a main reason that Happy Days lost this fantastic 50s character. So a great idea died soon. The idea showing the easy part of living in the 50s with the style and music I love so much.70s clothing took away the feeling of having a good time while watching the show. When Fonzie turns really sensitive, almost light in his loafers. He goes from bad boy mechanic to school teacher and everyone's best buddy. He starts being the word of reason for everyone on the show, even Mr. & Mrs. Cunningham.
When they stopped wearing hairstyles from the 50's. What was with Joanie's tight, curly perm? I wouldn't be surprised if I saw her pulling a hair pick out of her "Ocean Pacific" velcro purse! Also I think I caught a glimpse of a puka shell necklace underneath Chachi's feathered hair.
I have seen some prior posts about the lack of continuity with the styles and which freaking decade they were living in. I asked my dad, who grew up in the 50's, if he ever wore Nikes or t-shirts that said "Where's the Beef" and he said that they did not. How come Chachi is wearing an Izod shirt with the collar up as if it's 1983. I also heard Ralph Malph listening to "Safety Dance" that was followed by watching Jeopardy on TV.
Happy Days was funny at first, but then they had to screw it up by adding the hyper-annoying Scott Baio as Chachi, then Ron Howard left, and you knew it was time to pull the plug. I wanted to blow Chachi's head off. Pinky and Leather Tuscadero were completely unnecessary. Also, I agree with many of the other critics: this show had way too much 1970s stuff. Words and expressions came out of these characters' mouths that never would have occurred to someone actually living in the 1950s. Remember, this was when kids still actually used the word "swell" as an adjective! Also, as soon as they hit 1960, the skirt hems went up about 10 inches, when, in reality, miniskirts did not come into vogue in the U.S. until late '65, early '66. Check out the Beatles' Ed Sullivan footage to confirm what the audience members were wearing. I think I really got physically sick when they had the Thanksgiving show and were all Pilgrims. Joanie said the word "hunkeths." At that point, I nearly became physically sick at the utterly ridiculous premise and left the room, never to watch another episode. the first live (in front of a studio audience) show and from then on. the whoopin' and hollerin' from the audience was distracting and annoying, especially since it sounded like the entire audience consisted of each star's personal fan club of 15 year-old girls.
made me long for the days of canned laughter, but i bet it was a great ego booster for the stars-because every time one made an entrance there were screams and squeals. at least it made someone happy. oh yeah, fonzie's involvement with pinky tuscadero and then that woman with the kid really finished it off.
About the same time that the studio audience and Chachi appeared and Chuck disappeared, there was also a major remodeling of the Cunningham's home. I'm a bit surprised no one else mentioned this, but suddenly the front door is on the other side of the house, the formal dining room disappears, the fire place jumps to a different wall, and the whole 50s ambience goes "poof". In the first years of the show, the Cunningham house looked like my grandparents house, built circa 1939. That's approximately the time frame for when the Cunningham's house would most logically have been built. At that time in that sort of house and neighborhood there were no "open" floor plans.
Each room was seperate and designated for a specific purpose, and you saw that in the early shows. When the "Great Remodeling" occured, to accomodate the view of the studio audience I'm sure, the show really lost it's flavor. It looked just like any other late 70's sitcom, with everyone crowed around the same side of a round table so that no ones' back was to the audience.
I agree with many people that this show jumped way before the actual shark jumping (and yes, Fonzie did do it on skis and did wear the leather jacket where he seemingly got his stupid "superpowers" from), but for me, it was when Chuck stops coming home from school on the weekends to eat all the Cunningham's food. Richie used to use his older brother as a sounding board and source of wisdom, and I think that showed some depth to Richie's character that was lost once he started looking to the village thug for the answers to any questions that didn't involve chicks or beating people up or jumping a shark in a leather jacket. "She treated me like an em-ploy-ee." Dickhead science teacher is always harping on Potsie.
He decides he will use a singing mnemonic to help him, as singing is what Potsie enjoys. Potsie aces the final. Dickhead teacher gives him an F anyhow for "cheating" (never mind that there are only 10 kids in the class and any cheating would have been obvious to the Dickhead). Fonzie enters the room, to stupid auience applause and says "My boy don't cheat. (Since when is Potsie Fonzie's boy?) To prove it Potsie sings the song. All together now: Pump, pump, pa-pumpa pump pump pump, pump pump pu-pumpa pump pump pump, pa-pumpa pumps your blood.
I noticed some other comments about continuity. I was watching one last night where Richie, Ralph Malph, and Potsie were supposed to be working for some bimbo who sunbathed, and I swear Potsie gave the "raise the roof" symbol. That didn't exist in the 50's did it? I thought it was something new.
When Richie leaves and that college guy comes. Also when the show became solely about Jonie, Chachee, and the Fonz (who looked WAY to old to be going out with some of the girls he was dating!) I love the first years of the show, then it gets stupid. I just watched the episode where Ritchie steals Fonzie's girl. WHAT? How could someone who humps Fonzie like that weiner Ritchie? C'mon. Also, Fonzie's "office" was a crapper? Nowadays, if two guys went into the john together, there'd be rumors galore about what the hell was going on in there.
Happy Days got really bad after Richie left. It went from bad to worse when they focused on Joanie and Chachie, Fonzie went from realistic '50's rebel to '60's Teacher (what's up with that?). I guess they ran out of stunts for him to do or people for him to bail out of trouble. Linda Pearl (Fonzie's girlfriend in later episodes was really annoying but I guess the writers couldn't figure out what to do with Fonzie since he had already screwed every girl in Milwaukee. By the way, her daughter was played by Heather O'Rourke who later found fame on Poltergeist. Then they brought in that annoyingly horny Jenny Piccolo. This show should have been put out of its misery long before 1984. I loved this show when I was a kid and still watch some of the reruns on Nick-at-Nite, but only of the earlier episodes. The later episodes are so cheesy they make me want to vomit.
When they started shooting in front of a live audience. This led to the annoying situation of stopping the dialogue every time Fonzie walked in because the audience was cheering. This is just an additional "jump the shark" moment for Happy Days, as I agree with the vast majority of the previous posters.... This JTS moment also applies for a number of other 70's shows as well. When one of the male characters (in this case, the ever-pitiful Ralph Malph) gets a crush on Generic Hot Chick Character, only to discover that GHCC has a boyfriend the size of an industrial park who is a boxer. Then Ralph (with the assistance of trainers Fonzie, Richie and Potsie) must fight this hulk to "win" GHCC. This is seriously lazy scriptwriting, and an idea that has been used umpteen times when a show starts running low on ideas...I know that M*A*S*H and Three's Company used the same idea, and untold other sitcoms as well. Of course, Ralph had to be the punching bag so he could be "funny" in the ring (until he got beaten), since Fonzie is "too tough," Richie would talk to the guy until he killed himself with his own groin protector, and Potsie would sing "Clang, Clang, Clang went the trolley" at the guy until he punched Potsie in the uterus. Just one of many JTS moments in the classic "Happy Days" canon.
I never thought the show was the same when Fonzie became the focus. He was not a believable tough guy. However, the show lost any sense of being a realistic portrayal of an era when the Fonz somehow defeated a worldclass fencer. This was even more ludicrous than the "shark jumping". Imagine the cops having to turn to a whimpy bike rider to stop a gang war at Arnolds-Mr. Cunningham could have beaten up Fonz!!!! This show definitely jumped the shark when "The Fonz" moved in above the Cunningham's. Like most shows that Jump, the demise of Happy Days began when they started to focus on a character instead of the formula that made them good. Happy Days was about young high school kids growing up in a typical midwestern city in the fifties. But then "The Fonz" beame too big. Although I watched and enjoyed the show after that, it really lost its nostalgic feel when Fonzie moved in.
They were happy until Scott Baio signed on as Chachi. Having to watch the episodes he's in but not Ron Howard is like drinking sulfuric acid. How about that godawful, what the f**k were they thinking when they had the musical V-Day episode with all the characters singing romantic ballads with Al proceeding everything sort of as a cupid? Then he sang, "Isn't It Romantic" very off key? I knew the show went from zero to suck right then and now, if it didn't already. The old show never, never did that. I hated concept episodes! I think the writers were given a day off and were told just to put anything together that week. This show has to be a tragic example of how something that wanted to emulate the feel of the 50s and 60s from which the creators remember growing up to just sitcomville with no soul or heart. And doesn't it suck now when your realize that Ron Howard could kick Henry Winkler's ass in real life? Winkler must be the greatest actor of all time to pull off such a role.
How he is in the movie "Night Shift" is how is in real life. He could not even drive that motorcycle. He tried once almost killed himself. When you see him pull up to the Cunningham house in the credits is as much as they let him ride it! And all those damn other characters being added...Fonzie's nerdy students, Leopold, Crystal Bernard, Phil Silver's daughter, Linda Purl, Heather O'Rourke acting like she still was in the movie "Poltergiest", we already mentioned Terrible Ted, Eugene Belvin, that little boy Fonzie adopted in the last show, Lori Beth. Why? Why? Why? The worst all-time maxi-zoom singing freakout was when they had the episode where they not only sang, they FLASHBACKED to their "Immigrant Ancestors" and had a bunch of cheesy dance numbers.
when the show went from being on film to being taped in front of a live audience..coincidentally around this time the disappearance of richies older brother chuck happened and the show could just never rebound. what ever happened to chuck anyway he dissappeared after the first season and nobody ever made mention of him again..you think he would've come back from college to get his clothes cleaned once in a while..my theory is that he had a falling out with the family after the cunninghams more or less adopted fonzie into the family..chuck said screw that im not wanted anymore and joined the army. an earlier 50's version of the manson family.
I would say live audience, but there were a couple of funny episodes during the first season of the live ones- "Ralph this isn't a stag film, they're home movies!" --"Well how do you think I feel? I've already seen them!" I guess it went sour when "Fonzie-mania" started to take hold of the show.
I watched one last night where Leather got out of prison and claimed to Fonzie (whose wallet she had stolen years earlier) that she learned to sing in prison and didn't need to steal. What?!? I have never been to prison, but I can't imagine that she would find these miraculous vocal abilities while trying to fend off great big dykes wanting to insert various vegetables into any orifice they can find. She then sang with Ritchie at Arnold's and played the guitar.
The problem? The guitar was sounding before she ever actually strummed it leading me to believe that she wasn't actually playing. Also, there was no drum set, but I definitely heard drums. The only one who remotely looks like he might be playing an instrument is Ritchie and that gay-ass saxophone. Space Alien. Mork from Ork!?! I remember an episode when the Fonz and a special guest star (Big Ragoo) helped Richie and the gang out in a brawl. There was a scene when Carmine comes out of a locker in the gym (loud audience applause) and proceeds to sing "rags from riches" while he and the Fonz ballet dance the thugs to death. F**king fags! More like a long slide, with the live audience being a good start. But I remember a specific moment.
It was during the time the Fonz was living over the Cunningham's, a dangerous situation vis a vis the character's integrity anyway. But then they put an exclamation point at the end by showing a scene where Fonzie is bench pressing weights up in his room. He's alone, and after a few reps, the weight goes down to his chest, and, despite all his attempts, he can't get it off of himself. The scene ends with him just stuck there, quietly saying "help," as I remember it. It was a stunning moment watching a once-supercool character being emasculated and destroyed before my eyes for the sake of a crappy laugh. The other shark-jumping moments are also good; I'd never appreciated how many that Happy Days had before.
Happy Days jumped the shark when they were all 22 and Arnold's turned into a family restaurant. when Fonzie proceeded to dance fast at a dance contest at Arnold's. He became a dork before our very eyes! "Mad Magazine" had this show down pat when they did "Crappy Days". In their spoof, Mr. Cunningham consoles Richie over losing his "star" spot to the Fonz. It was at this point in the actual show that the true jump occurred. As mentioned directly or indirectly by other posters, Arthur Fonzerelli was better as a slightly malevolent, brooding character who would appear and be funny or dramatic or whatever but not take over the whole damn show! When Happy Days became the "lets applaud the Fonz show" it died and went to hell and in a hurry. Plus, the presence of that hideous catch phrase "Aaaayyyyy" and the Thumbs were too much. Even "The Simpsons" dropped "Don't have a cow, man!" after a couple of seasons. I could go on... when the Fonz got too fat to be cool whenever Potsie would sing like the whitest man on earth The season they dumped the jukebox record flipping, Bill Haley and the Comets classic for the made for TV jingle that I believe went to #1 Billboard, all 50's integrity was sold out for ratings. The show died right then. It's as clear a demarcation as Wayne Rogers leaving M*A*S*H. The Fonz Cult of Personality emerged, Potsy & Ralph went from normal teens to stupid props, and all the moronic buzz words emerged. "Sit on it" still gives me hairballs.
Now, previous commentators have gotten it right, Happy Days jumped long before the end of its run--but I think special attention should be given to the final episode, where Happy Days jumped THREE times in the same episode--1) Joanie and Chachi's wedding 2)The presence of McGinley 3) Evil (or not so evil) Twins, with Al Molinaro as the priest AND Al. An argument can be made that Ron Howard was a special guest star if you really want to thump the producers, but three times in one episode is the standard I think.
Not when Fonzie actually jumped the shark. HD didn't actually jump until the fonz became a teacher which was coincidentally damn near the same time as Ted McGinley showed...go figure. btw...the shark episode was a classic two parter. Second best after the fonzie falls for Pinky episode.
The first season and 1/2 the second season, this show was as funny as anything I've seen before or since. The whole "Fonzie is the show" thing got way too sickening. And the contrived pairing of Fonzie and Pinky Tuscadero just pushed it over the edge for me. It was a joke from that point on. And that Demolition Derby episode, w/ Fonzie and Pinky driving against the two gay caballeros? AAHHHHHHH! How much re-dubbing can one episode contain? They must have re-recorded every piece of dialogue used during the Derby scene. I guess the production quality jumped the shark too.
When this show went for dramatics - BOY DID IT JUMP!!! Two instances stand out for me: When Richie almost dies - I could never take the Fonz seriously again after seeing him cry. Also, the episode where Fonzie temporarily loses his eyesight. Happy days, indeed!!! *"Wow, it's Mork from Ork!!! Do you think you could just give us all the time and night of your show so we can end this shameless cross-promotional episode?" *Not an actual quote ...but you knew that! ;) Fonzie's office in the bathroom . . . if I walked into a men's room and found a guy sitting behind a desk, I'd call the police and then go outside and pee behind a tree.
The premise of how Fonzie came to live above the Cunningham's garage. He crashed his motorcycle into their garage, then stayed there until he recuperated or his bike was fixed or both. But he never left! Maybe he couldn't leave. The Cunninghams were keeping him there for some hidden purpose? The Show jumped the shark when The Fonz moved upstairs to the Attic. Fonzie became very soft and the show no longer embodied the 50's.
This show was called Happy Days. The theme song talked about happy days. Who the hell cares about rocking around the clock? The show wasn't called "Rock Around the Clock", now was it? Chache, or however you spell his name. When Joanie became Mom's best friend and stopped being a cool smart-aleck tattle. It became shark bait when Crystal Bernard, the two kids, and that goon ass frat boy were part of the show. Although some of the episodes to sell more action figures- like the fire were cool. Although Pinky was more of an annoying pain in the ass than hot. And how can a show go from classics like the three chicks sleeping over to Anson Williams running up to the camera and singing like a dork ass goon? But then for all the Chachi crap, there's Joanie as a magician's assistant. I still don't know if it's her or Jan who is the greater ugly duckling story. Sigh- what a hottie! If Fonzie is so cool why does he hang around high school nerds? And how does he get to do it with high school hotties all the time? Don't tell me he only made-out with them. In one episode The Fonzie shows Richie how he gets the chicks in bed. He screams weirder than Janine! The theme song change in Happy Days is symbolic of the overall change of the show. It went from one-camera, film-style technique( more exteriors, canned laughter), to the 3 camera, flat light, prosceneum arch style so prevalent on sitcoms today (invented for television by Desi Arnaz). Fonzie's emergence as a major character, seventies style in the fifties, the annoying applause, and the repititious sayings and mannerisms were all signs of the fall. Happy Days jumped the shark long before Fonzie.
The one thing that really pissed me off about Happy Days was the fact that the last 3 or 4 seasons it seamed like the show was set in the late 1970's rather then the late 1950's. What the hell was Chachi doing wearing a mesh T-shirt and a bandana wrapped around his leg? Was that ever in? If the show really was in the 1950's there is no way Mr. C. would let that piece of trailer trash near his precious Joni. And what about Roger the teacher (Ted McGinley)? Nice hair!!! Did men own blow dryers and hair spray during the Eisenhower administration? Get a hair cut you beat-nick!!!!!! Again, the same goes for Chachi, nice Steve Perry/Journey hair style. I'm surprised that Joni & Jenny Picalo didn't burn their bras and protest for women's rights in the final season. The writers really lost touch. They completely abandoned the premise of the show. The only other time I can think of someone losing touch like that was when Howard Hughes started living as a recluse in Vegas. The always annoying Anson Williams (Potsie) became just a time filler, he would show up sing and then leave. The Fonz became the biggest knob of all, remember when he grew a beard, and started teaching Shop Class to the next generation of underachieving, losers.
Actually, the show had jumped the shark long before this point, but one of Happy Days all time low moments has got to be when Fonzie goes to meet the Lone Ranger--and it was the original Lone Ranger, who had lost the right to wear his special mask, so he had to wear those horrible wrap-around sun glasses. The Fonz somehow helped him, but I don't remember how. Leather Tuscadero in general was a landmark moment in Happy Day's decline, but the two most putrid episodes involving her were 1. when she went on a date with Ralph and acted all lady like, and 2. when she sang "Do the Fonzie...come on do the Fonzie with me" on television. It was also pretty bad when she got Joanie to be one of her leatherettes.
Never has a show strayed so far from it's original concept. This show an American classic? I think that's stretching it just a bit. This show was pretty good in the early years, it started out as a refreshing look at a midwestern family in the 1950's but in the end it was just another 70's sitcom. The writers and directors should be ashamed of themselves for losing touch with the shows original premise and capitalizing on Fonzie mania. I know the show was on for a long time and it was popular, but don't make the mistake of confusing popularity with quality. This show might have been popular but there sure wasn't much quality left after the network bastards got a hold of it and butchered it to death. And towards the end, there's no way in hell this show was set in the '50's, I'd like anyone to watch those re-runs and try to convince me otherwise. This has to be the most overrated show ever. There were so many shark jumps it's not even funny. What more evidence do you need than the fact that this site is named in this shows honor. Not an American classic, an American joke.
The worst episode I ever saw on Happy Days was the one when they all got pinned, although the first part when Potsie made Mr. C. miss the ballgame was funny. The rest of it was Cornball 101. I also disliked their blow-dried hair in the middle of the Fifties. really now, Joanie getting scolded when she's physically able to whip her parent's asses without whim. If she had Jennifer Love Hewitt's hair instead of the "Pacific Ocean" look (cute reference, by the way) she had, I'd be obliged to go to her room with her...but the REAL jumper was the Rock-Around-The_Clockless, film to B-quality video, canned audience phase. I'm not sure it was orginally meant to be the circus it manifested into. Just a light comedy 'bout growing up the 'golden age'. Ron Howard REALLY wanted to grow that moustache to avoid any link to Happy Days, neh? On the topic of "70s Style in the 50s", notice that a show presumably set in the 1950s had a set with a Bally Nip-It pinball machine... TOTALLY mid-70s.
Just this past weekend on Nick at Nite, they had the Shark jumping episode. Did anyone notice that the guy who challenged Fonzie was the brain dead assistant coach from Coach? Also, notice the shark tank next time you see it. They show this gigantic shark, probably 14 feet long, but the tank doesn't appear to be any more than 10 feet across. By the basic law of momentum, Fonzie should have made that jump, but they show him, in all his leatherness, make the jump, then give that dorky thumbs up. Also at the beginning of the episode, where Al is reading a postcard from Richie, he reads for about 5 minutes. NO WAY could that much dialogue be on that little-ass postcard.
Richie a movie star? Are they making movies about weaklings and wimps? Also, why does Fonzie refer to himself in the 3rd person. If someone were to stumble on their conversation, their first question would be "Who is this Fonzie character?" This show jumped the shark after it went before a live studio audience, first the hoots and hollers and ahhhhhhs were so annoying, plus the characters changed dramatically, Richie was a goof and Phoney or yea Fonzie was a hero. Remember when he was a hood? The show completely swung its idea of young men growing up in the 50's to just plain stupid.
I just want to say that whoever wrote this already posted contribution is dead on accurate: "This show jumped the shark way before the Fonz jumped the shark! Doesn't anyone remember when the show was NOT filmed in front of the studio audience, and there was an older obnoxious brother named "Chuck." The Fonz was a suspicious thug and Richie was doing funny realistic things like attending his first bachelor party and imbibing only 72 of these "teeny tiny little glasses of beer...hic!" Also, the parents came across as a hardworking small business owner and a wise mother. It just became so formulaic following the introduction of the studio audiences." Nothing demonstrates how drastically this show changed than the early episode that revolved around Fonzie attempting to come back to school after dropping out.
First of all, Fonzie was definitely a knockoff of the John Milner character in "American Graffiti"--a James Dean drifter type who spent his days tinkering with hot rods and spent his nights cruising and drag racing--a rebel who would almost certainly in real life have died at a young age from reckless driving. Also, he's RELUCTANT to go back to school, as his only fond memories are of cutting classes and SMOKING in the john. And lest we forget, when Richie finally talks the Fonz into coming back to class, the Fonz attempts to CHEAT on a test. His plans don't work out, and even though he barely passes, he decides that high school isn't his thing and drops out again. So how is it, that in the course of what, a year or two, suddenly the Fonz has been attending night school all along? HUHHHH??? Couldn't the writers at least have thought of a reasonable explanation for the Fonz going back, such as his job required a high school degree, etc.? It was COMPLETELY out of character. But it gets worse. Later, he lectures Chachi because Chachi tried to CHEAT on a test at school. (How the hell did Fonzie have all these stray cousins and no parents, anyway? At least Spike was tolerable, and a B & E lecture from Fonz was a lot more believable than the Fonz turning authoritarian and saying "It's WRONG to cheat".) Then Joanie wants to get in with the "cool" crowd by smoking cigarettes, only to be lectured by the Fonz, who says smoking ain't cool, and he should know because he's the "Coolest" of Cool. (Now I really think the true shark moment was when EVERYONE, including Fonzie himself, referred to the Fonz as "cool", which is a big contradiction of the whole definition of cool. A "cool" guy wouldn't have to announce it to the world, would he? God, was that lame.) Thus, a character who was only supposed to be the peripheral, street-wise insider turns into a super-human main character who overwhelms the show with a simple finger snap and an "Aaaayyy!" Before long, he became Mr. Know-It-All Do-Gooder who was probably lecturing Heather to eat her vegetables by the time the show finally died. Oh, and then becoming a shop teacher, of course--that really killed off any remaining semblance to the original character.
Come on! He could have made a lot more money as a mechanic than a shop teacher--it didn't even make sense for him to go into teaching, from the original Fonzie's point of view. Yeah, THAT Fonzie, the one who dropped out of school in the first place.
HAPPY DAYS JUMPED WHEN THEY WENT TO LIVE AUDIENCE. THE EARLY SHOWS WERE SHOT ON FILM AND CAME OFF AS GREAT LITTLE AMERICAN GRAFITTI MINI MOVIES. THE BEST EPISODE HAD TO BE THE PILOT WHICH WAS A 20 MINUTE EPISODE IN A OLD LOVE AMERICA STYLE HOUR SHOW. MY OTHER PROBLEM WAS THE POOR LACK TO DETAILS OF THE FIFTYS ERA. REMEMBER THE DEMOLITION EPISODE? THEY WERE CRASHING SO CALLED JUNKERS THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN NEW CARS THEN OR CARS THAT HAD NOT EVEN BEEN MADE YET.
IS FONZIE SCARED OF ANYTHING???? OK I KNOW ALL OF YOU ARE SICK OF READING ABOUT HAPPY DAYS, BUT ANYWAY, I'M SURPRISED THAT NOT A SINGLE PERSON HAS SAID THIS, BUT AT THE BEGGINING OF THE SHOW, FONZI HAD A VOCABULARY OF ABOUT THREE WORDS. "AAAAAAY," "SHORTCAKE" AND, WELL, "AAAAAY," AND "CUNNINGHAM." THEN WITHIN THE NEXT FEW SEASONS, HE BECAME A TEACHER AND S***. THIS SHOW BEGAN CUTE, YOU KNOW, LIKE AN EARLY WONDER YEARS, BUT TURNED INTO A BIG CONFERENCE ROOM OF SCREENWRITERS: "HMMMM, WELL, WE ALREADY HAD A PERVERTED 13 YEAR OLD, A GAY CHARACTER, AND FONZI JUMPING OVER GARBAGE CANS AND A SHARK. WHAT ELSE CAN WE DO?" ONE MORE THING: REMEMBER THE GRADUATION EPISISODE? "FONZI, ARE YOU PLANNING ON SEEING THE GIRLS AFTER GRADUATION?" "OF COURSE... I AM NAKED UNDER THIS THING! WHOAAAAA." When Potsie went from the devil on Richie's shoulder to a stupid, singing, wimp. I can't watch the later episodes. When he was first introduced Potsie was the one that attempted to corrupt Richie with drinking, strippers, and other evil vices. Everybody had a friend like Potsie, the guy that gave you your first nudie mag, cigarret, drink, and always tried to get you to go out with his date's ugly friend. He then turned into Fonzie's and Mr. C's freakin' stooge and to top it off he sang stupid unhip songs. Oh how I miss the original Potsie or as I remember him "Evil Potsie" Mork from Ork!!?? What were they thinking? I pretty much gave up on this show after that. Then the rocket scientists running the network created Mork and Mindy. Somebody shold have gotten them into rehab sooner.
Happy Days jumped the shark when they went from film to video and used a studio audience. It looked more real and had more of a 50's feel when it was filmed. When they went to a video soundstage, the actors had to 'project' their voices so the audience could hear them and it just became a typical stupid sitcom. Remember the episode in which Fonzie dreams the mad scientist wants to steal all of his "cool"? It's a fascinating episode to watch because it symbolizes what kind of show this is and what the writers/producers did to it. It went from being a somewhat boring "Wonder Years"-type show, to a truly funny show about growing up (There were some classics from 1975 to 1977), to this goofy, mindless deal with sharks, gangsters, aliens, Chachi and all kinds of weird stuff. They even had a couple of "very special episodes" (Remember when Richie almost died in the motorcycle accident? Sheesh!) The only post 1980 episode worth watching is the two-parter in which Richie comes back and stands up to his parents. If ever a showed screamed out for a "Best-of" home video release this would be it...otherwise there's a lot of crap to sift through to get to the gold nuggets.
The Mork Episode. And what was up with Chachi's 1978 hairstyle? Look up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane,..no it's Fonz jumping over sharks. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge Happy Days fan, but when the Fonz got Superhero powers the show got stupid. Remember when you first saw the show? It was so funny, Fonz was the hood with a bad influence? Potsie was like Richie's second brother and Joanie was the not attractive? Then the show got hot and every show had to center around the Fonz. The Fonz jumping cans, the Fonz graduating high school, even though we never saw him go to school, the Fonz performing in the Rainmaker, the Fonz being part owner of Arnold's all though we thought he was poor. Fonz kept apprearing everywhere! In phone booths, in caskets, in schools, in the Cunnigham's home singing "Down by the old Mill stream" Beasically speaking, the Fonz's popularity went too far.
Happy Days lost its heart when Richie hit the road. To this day, I'll watch the opening credits and, if Ron Howard's gone, I switch the channel. How knew Opey could be so important? The episode they all sang John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt at Arnolds(or Al's).This led to too much more singing of nonsensical songs.
It jumped the shark before Fonz actually jumped the shark. I feel it was after the boys graduated. The show seemed to get shitty after that. The sign it was over was when Fonzie got Baptised.
My Chief complaint with this show is that Fonzie became too sensitive. I mean, what thug in their right minds would be afraid of this TOOL?! All he needed to complete his wimp image was a mauve comforter wrapped around his shoulders as he rode his Hog wearing jewel-encrusted goggles while giggling!! His transformation worked on NO LEVELS! HAPPY JUMPED THE SHARK THE MINUTE IT WENT FROM BEING A 15 MINUTE SKIT ON "LOVE AMERICAN STYLE" TO A FULL BLOWN 30 MINUTE SITCOM.
Immediately following the Christmas episode when Fonzie is alone in his garage, the show jumped the shark. This was Television at its best. The show had no choice but to go downhill. It was a definite case of peaking too quickly. As a sidenote, all of the other moments discussed provide perfect examples of how the show failed in every respect from that point on.
The first Mork episode was OK. Everything would have been fine if he had stayed a one-time thing. However they shouldn't have brought him back. HELLLOOOO!! MORK WAS JUST A DREAM!! So how is it that the Fonz recognizes him? And how is it that he gets his own TV show that takes place 20 years later? Jumped the Shark when Richie, Postie and Ralph were implicated in the drive-by shooting at Jefferson High. What's so great about Fonzie anyway? he's short, dropped out of high school, works in a garage, lives above a garage and hangs out with kids 5 years younger than him. He apparently never gets beyond 1st base with girls, he wears the same thing every day and his office is in a bathroom.
Happy Days jumped when Arnold (Pat Morita) left. Remember his laugh? Bah-ha-ha-ha-ha! Happy Days jumped when Chachi showed up. I mean, there's a good argument for the Jump occuring when the Live Audience was introduced. Fonzie did basically take over at that point. But... he was still, to some degree still the hoodlum. And Richie could still stand out on an episode or two. But when Chachi turned up, suddenly every episode was about Chachi. He even managed to burn down Arnolds ! And when Chachi arrived is about the time Fonzie turned into "Ol' Uncle Fonz" dispensing wisdom and fatherly advice. Hey.... when Chachi burned down Arnold's, couldn't Fonzie have just gone in, and kicked the wall, and gone "Ayyyyy... COOL IT !!" and the fire go out ?? One can argue that it jumped when Fonz became the focus instead of Richie. However, this move obviously increased the popularity of the show. Instead, I believe it jumped when the Fonz became sensitive in addition to being a superhero.
The episode where he built bird houses and wore blue shirts to calm down instead of breaking heads was the first of the "Sensitive Fonz" episodes and truly began the downward slide of the show. I remember that even as a kid I could never figure since when was hanging out with younger nerds amd living over a nerd's house cool. Also, if he was so tough why didn't he become a boxer instead of working in garages. If he was such a good mechanic why did he never own his own shop? Could he have beaten up the Big Ragoo? At best he could have taken Potsie after he turned gay.
Does anyone remember Bag? I haven't seen the show in over 10 years but i remember this kinda chunky guy that hung out at Arnolds named Bag. He ruled! Maybe I just imagined him. Anyway when he left the show did a bit of a warm-up jump before the real thing. I mean...his name was Bag! How cool is that.
Did anyone else ever notice that whenever they did a scene in the garage Fonzie worked at, he was working on the EXACT same car for ALL those years? Either his boss and/or customer was EXTREMELY patient OR props were too cheap/lazy to put in new cars (though why they couldn't have occasionally painted/dented THE car to pull the wool over the viewers' eyes, I don't get )! Let's see, here are my options. I could go out and presumably screw any number of girls from Milwaukee without trying one bit. These girls will also clean for me, rub me down, do my dishes, vaccum my floors and anything else I tell them to do. OR, I could date Leather Tuscadero, who is practically a man, and who has probably been the centerpiece of numerous gang bangs at the hands of The Hell's Angels. Decisions, decisions.
This show jumped when jenny picolo starting hooking up with mrs c. When they started taping dress rehearsals. when Chachi started hanging around with the mop top haircut, I figured they stopped trying!!! The other night on TV Land Fonzie gave this lame ass "School is Cool" Speech at the Jefferson High School Graduation. Mr. and Mrs. C were so proud of him. Arnold was there and he made stupid "Ha-ha! I a Japanese man!" jokes. Made me want to puke. Happy Days was my favorite show when I was a tiny tot, but let me tell you, it really just bites.
D'uh when Fonzie jumped the shark Wasn't there an episode where Fonzie had a beard? Yeah, that was cool. And wasn't there another one where The Fonz dates a girl with a deaf son, or something sappy like that? And of course Fonzie learns some sign language? All of this and him water skiing with his leather coat on. Wasn't there an episode where Fonzie had a beard? Yeah, that was cool. And wasn't there another one where The Fonz dates a girl with a deaf son, or something sappy like that? And of course Fonzie learns some sign language? All of this and him water skiing with his leather coat on. The other posts about the show going downhill when they went from film to studio all hit the mark. Before this, the show was American Grafitti in Milwaukee. Things were still okay until the boys entered college. Then - tankdom. One item no one seemed to notice. Howard Cunningham ran a small hardware store. But when we see him leaving for work he's wearing a 3-piece suit (and has a briefcase?). Go into any hardware store even today. No one is wearing a suit. The bit-character-moves-in-and-becomes-the-star pattern continued. Anyone remember Urkel? But the real key to desperation had to be the appearance of Jenny Piccolo. This never-seen character was constantly referred to as a slut before her appearance. Once on-camera, she's just one of the gang. (And one ugly hag too.) One episode sums everything up, he one where Danny Thomas appeared as their uncle. (Yeah, real Irish.) He was a retired cop looking for fulfillment and after failing as a security guard (remember him standing with the stolen goat?), he finds redemption with a band of geezers THAT WE HAVE TO LISTEN TO. What a contrast: an actual 50s TV star reduced to such a role on a program that mirrored the decline from 50s to present. Think about it. I can understand the quest for ratings that destroyed the original concept, and I could even watch some of the later shows when Fonzie became a teacher, but then came the show where Fonzie was working in the shop on a "very cool 1955 Chevy". The body was stripped down for repainting, no windshield, etc. Now the 1955 Chevrolet was a benchmark in cars back then, and from 1955 to 1957 they shared a common body with wrap-around windshields and beautiful styling that's still a collector's item today. They had a new V8 engine that won drag races, and they just generally RULED at the drive-ins. So whoever wrote that line in the script had probably lived through the 1950s or at least done a bit of research. But when the prop guys went out to get a 1955 Chevy body for the scene, all the could find was a 1953 or 1954 Chevrolet body, which looks COMPLETELY different -- no wrap around windshield, for one. I can forgive Henry Winkler for talking about his "very cool 1955 Chevy" -- he probably wasn't even born then. But leaving his lines alone while switching cars (that ANY guy in the 1950s or 1960s would have known wasn't a 1955) means that absolutely no one in the entire cast or crew either knew the difference or gave a damn. No one from the caterer to the producer even bothered to say "Uh, Henry, that's a '54 there, don't sound like a dork". That's about the time I decided that I couldn't even watch the show as infrequently as I had been that year. It was shortly after they switched from Billy Haley's Rock around the clock" theme song was replaced and Fonzie took over the show. This started out as what could easily have been the best show of all time. The early episodes were funny, realistic and attentative to detail, and just plain enjoyable. This has got to be the only case ever where a show went from the best ever to the worst ever. I couldn't even stomach sitting through the later episodes. They were poorly written, had no attention to detail (70's haircuts in the 50's?), and basically, very typical of many of the so called sitcoms of the 90's.....just not funny. In this case, the shark not only jumped...he committed suicide. It really jumped the shark when that annoying slut, Pinky Tuscadero and her lesbian sister, Leather, or whoever, came on. By that time it was already pretty depressing, with a thirtyish Fonzie walking around in those jeans and the leather jacket to disguise his gut, and Marian yelling "Sit on it!" to Howard all the time... When Mork from Ork made a guest appearance on the show to set everyone up for a spinoff. Mork and Mindy was a funny show in its genre, but to mix it with a 50s show and then go to the 80s. Preposterous! After Ron Howard left the show, EVERYTHING focused on Fonzie and the show had to change his character too much for him to carry the show. The shark jumped for me after Fonzie actually jumped the shark. Fonzie going from nylon to leather and white to black was a network decision...they didn't want him to look too mean or delinquent because of the image they imagined for the show...once the audience loved fonzie they realized it was safe to let him wear the "biker tough guy" clothes... I can't believe that with all of the comments on the Happy days episodes nobody mentioned these two. First does anyone remember the episode when the fonz sang, (Or should I say resited like some pathetic performance artist), "Heartbreak Hotel?" I think the premise was that they were trying to raise money to keep arnold's open or something like that and they figured that since the Fonz had already proven himself to be able to leap tall buildings at a single bound already that he must be a great singer as well so if he agrees to sing they will make pisspots full of money. He is really scared, but in the end he does manage to talk his way through the whole song and of course the girls just soil themselves with every phrase. Terrible! Then there was an episode later on where it is now the early '60s and folk music has replaced rock and roll as the tunage of choice. Those musical icons Joanie and Chachi are supposed to perform on some TV show and they want to do "come go With Me," but the producers of the show will only let them on if they do a folk song. they write one, but they can't stand it so they rework "come Go With Me," in folk style and of course the audience at the TV show loves it more than any other of the folk songs they heard that day because these two vocalists are just such geniuses. The funniest line in that whole show is when the fonz gets disgusted with all of the folk music and delivers the line "ROCK AND ROLL....FOREVER!" Actually it sounded more like 'rock and roll...fa eva," which leads me to ask, "why did the Fonz have a New York accent when he grew up in Milwaukee?" The first two or three seasons of Happy Days are fantastic period pieces. For a low-budget TV show, most of the clothing, automobiles, hairstyles, and furnishings were correct for the era. But like 1957 Chrysler advertising, "suddenly, it's 1960!" Only this time, suddenly it was 1976! Scott Baio appears with his feathered shag cut (does anyone remember the homophobic reactions to The Beatles moptop hair in 1964?) Joanie gets a bad pre-Paula Jones perm, and the clothing morphs into polyester and flared legs. At this point, it seemed more like the "Crappy Days" of the 'seventies! I had to write because Happy Days needs to be cleared up. Ok, yes Happy Days has my vote as the most going downhill show in the history of American Television. To go from the episode where the chicks stay in the Cunningham house to what it became is incredulous. The fact that it survived ten years is even more incredulous. And the fact that the actors from Happy Days can do non funny, non cool ads trying to get people to sell really bad Tiwanesse knockoffs of really bad variations on Franklin Mint collectibles is something that needs to investigated by congress. OK- any White American under 35 who has a TV knows the main points: Chuck is missing in Korea or knocked up some chick; episodes move away from the adventures of Richie and Potsie; Gary Marshall stops his good rip-off of American Graffiti; Howard starts acting like he wishes he knew how to act just like Fonzie; Richie starts being the counsellor to everyone in the show; the original songs from the fifties start being covers by the cats who didn't make the cut for Sha-Na-Na;Anson Williams starts singing, Anson starts singing at the camera over somebody elses part and Marshall is too cheap to change it; shot in the studio; the audience screams more than on C.B.S. Letterman; Fonzie can do any death defying stunt known to man even though he has never even practiced the stunt before; Marion & Howard act like fuddy duddy teenagers; the non-central characters go from cool to dork almost overnight; Arnolds becomes a candidate for the cheapest set in television history; instead of doing cool things like writing graffiti on the wall in the bathroom or losening the top on the salt, stuff like 10 minutes of dorky dancing and stupid clapping afterwards goes on at Arnolds; the Fonze goes to Richie for advise on chicks instead of visa-versa; the Cunninghams get into adventures where they can suddenly do something they have never done in their life better than the experts and save the day times 100 in the process; the Fonze enters a room for under 10 seconds and even the most authority women are all over him, the Fonze has a Sears fashion show on every other episode and always wears the leather on top; the Fonze voice gets more and more Italian; Falcon Crest rejects have flings with the Fonze, episodes become just like a photo shoot for Tiger Beat; all episodes about will Joanie do the right thing; the hoods are whimpier than Potsie; dozens of kids act like the Fonze; Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa; after Joanie shows she's a butterfly to rival post braces Jan and Marsha by wearing the hottie Magician outfit she is made to look ugly in almost every episode; the titles stop being hillarious and start being characters grinning at the camera like dorks; Don Most puts major Maybelline in his lashes and rouges his face like a mother; hold it buckaroo, anything about Marion and Howard working on their marriage; you can't recognize the cast members in the credits; Fonze becomes pals with dorkier characters than Potsie and the characters are portrayed as being the ultimate in cool; catch phrazes like sit on it are said in rounds by all the cast members because the script writers need to fill up time due to the fact that they don't have a real story; Scott Bao; scripts are worse than the rejected ones for Mr. Belvidere; Fonzie does some dorky/freaky sex routine with a minor called #34 Jeronimo or something like that; when Fonzie gets it on with minors the scripts have him a kid the same age as Richie but then when he is with the Falcon Crest rejects Fonze is as old as Al; Pinky's music is showcased like it is the ultimate rock and roll performance of all time while Erin Moran is in the back of the stage acting like she is the biggest bad ass of all time for doing those black 70s soul moves; I forgot beating you over the head with the Jew version of we can get along with Blacks in a way that sounds like the type of Jew who has a monopoly on the stores in the black neighborhood; Jenny Piccallo turing out to be the biggest square on the show; any dance routines; anything having to do with Joanie turning 16; any of Joanie's dates; did I mention Scott Bao Beat; and so on for about another 15 type written pages. So because of all the problems it is hard to pin-point when Days started to Jump. What most of you are describing is post-jump when the show got worse. But the correct answer is that the show started to jump when Marshall tried to cover his ass that the show wasn't a Graffiti copy (the actual show is very different from the pilot on Love American Style) by turning it into a combination Happy Days lets create adventures that the kids can use when they play with the millions upon millions of action figures we are going to sell (cash register sound here)/Jewish smaltz fest of can't we all get along and be one happy Happy Days family. This occurred right around the point where Fonzie moves upstairs (give or take a few episodes) and Howard gets all sentimental about him. At that point all the great episodes like having chicks spend the night, the jolopy in the lake, Richie seeing a shrink and such blantantly obvious (yet very good) Graffiti rips such as cruising for Marsha Brady are out the window. There are moments but what was a great movie set sit-com shoot with many episodes that worked despite often being surprisingly low-key and devoid of Erntest T. Bass laffs starts going out the door. If you really want to be accurate I guess you can say Days started to begin going over the Shark when Chukie was M.I.A. Too bad Gary and Co. blew what was a very good Graffiti clone. And to the pro who says Ron Howard's departure- what planet are you on? I bet you think Angie and L&S without Shirley are cool. But hey even Potsie is a cooler performer than Ragu. The Happy Days action figures sure look bad. Hey Gary, you forgot the large amount of eye- liner for Donny Most. Although it would kick ass if you made a giant Potsie figure that really looked like the Webber and when you pushed him he'd sing Venus like a dork. What a great way to clear the room!!! I can definitely say, when Fonzie puts the Black t-shirt on, Keep turning the channel. The black shirt is a sign of Crappy days! Before you know it Fonzies got the beard going and is a Teacher!? the mysterious disappearance of those bitchin' drive-in, roller-skating waitresses at the Arnold's DRIVE-IN! When Fonzie moved in over the garage (where the older brother used to live) and the show went from single camera to multi-camera. Having to listen to twenty minutes of audience applause every time the Fonz walked on stage was awful. Fonzie with a steady girlfriend and a stepdaughter-to-be? Woe are we! Please check my message about how the show became to 1970s looking (long hair, feathered hair, wider ties) than a show about the 1950s should have been. Nobody had hair over the ears before 1964 (except the Hells Angels and Beatniks!). Hear me Chaci Arcola!! Gary marshall, you got lazy in the set departments and hair/clothing department after 1977!! Laverne and Shirley was even worst with slacking-off in hair and clothing. The California episodes had 1980s clothes and hair -- it was supposed to be 1960s!! as the fist motorcycle the fonz rode jumped for me it fell in the tank. then maybe changeing to the only other bikes to own in those days the show escaped the tank. Don't get nothing satarted about the realism of what leather rode even if I thought so how about...well I' finnish at category doesn't apply When they decided they had to try and make Anson Williams a singing star. The show changed in the second season because they realized that the Richie-Fonzie relationship was much more interesting that the Richie-Potzie relationship. When Richie left, it all fell apart. Without a doubt when the FONZ became "The hero that saves the day!" Fonzie was cool at first because he was somewhat mysterious, moody and a bit of a threat. In real life would a guy like that actually CARE about an idiot like Patsey? He wouldn't even be caught dead around a guy like that. Also, after the guys graduated high school and went to college and we saw even MORE Patsey...and aaaaugh!!...Chachi! What a PUKE he was! (WAH WAH WAH MY ASS!) The whole show was only good from '74-'76...after that it sucked BIG!!!! Yep yep yep yep... Nothing on this show annoyed me more then the length of the character hair! Gary Marshal and ABC got so greedy with the Idea that they finally had a hit, that they lost all track of the premise and just tried to cover every teen crush factor they could. Also I've always had the strong feeling that like all the high school plays in the 70's no one wanted to look dorky when they left the stage and no one bothered to stop them. Any one of them would have been called a girl all day long and had the crap beat out of them in 1959. When Mork started, what a looooooser. A show can not stoop any lower. Happy Days is my all time favorite TV show. The show just went down hill oncw Ted came in. How could no one see what was happening ? This guy was horrible. This show JTS when even Fonzie's motorcycle jumping wasn't even close enough to clear Scott Baio's and Erin Moran's enormously huge egos. For the sake of our children, the world should take steps to ensure that they will never be able to sing together again! WHEN FONZIE SAID "THE FONZ DON'T SLEEP UNLESS HIS BREATH IS SWEET". THIS ABSOLUTELY TURNED HIM FROM A HOOD INTO A ROLE MODEL. Anyone remember the episode when Fonzie had to "fight" a karate guy (played by Tom Hanks). Hanks had come back to "get" Fonzie becuase Fonzie used to pick on him in school. Fonzie winds up winning (though he never HIT anybody on that show, don't know why people thought he was so tough). It was all a big mess. Also, anything with "The Big Ragoo." I hated Happy Days everytime that stupid Leather and her even stupider sister Pinky were on. But the show jumped when Ritchie went to college and Lori Beth was always on. The show jumped even further when Ron Howard left the show. Scott Baio and Joanie being a couple UGH! Fonzie being Mr. Know it All and he was no longer "cool" just MORONIC. Fonzie being a teacher at Jefferson High LAME! Potsie was too old looking to be a college student and he always acted really stupid. I especially thought the show jumped when the 1st Arnolds burned down and Fonzie had his office in the bathroom with a desk and phone. OH! PUHLEEZE! Leather Tuscadero! Two episodes are burned into my mind. One is when she went on a stupid-ass date with Ralph (who was trying to be mature) and the other is when she sang the "Do the Fonzie" song. It cracks me up! it was always great until richie left -- then it went quickly downhill. I'm sure somebody mentioned it, but when they changed the opening song from Bill Haley's smokin' "Rock Around The Clock" to that white-bread, Four Freshmen-sounding cheesy Farfisa-sounding organ "Sunday, Monday, Happy Days" crapfest. After they graduated from high school. The cast members were already to old to play college students Change of theme song signaled the many, many, many, many, many, MANY more shark jumps to come before it FINALLY went off the air in '84. 'Happy Days' is definitely a one-of-a-kind show; 1/3 best (mid-70s), 1/3 mediocre (late-70s), 1/3 worst (early-80s, of course) show of all-time but because we who grew up in the 70's are so nostalgic of the 70's, we forgive this show that was originally intended to revive FIFTIES nostalgia anyway. This show almost lived on as much borrowed time as ACTUAL time. It's first few seasons, you can rightfully put it up there with 'Mash', 'Cheers', 'Seinfeld', etc. Its LAST few seasons, however, can be fairly placed alongside of that very sitcom that one of its very own actors, Scott Baio, ended up starring in. Actually, 'Charles in Charge' was BETTER than post-1979 'Happy Days'; sorry. Yes, although the integrity of 'Happy Days' didn't die immediately after this, I would have to say that it was the removal of Bill Haley's 'Rock Around the Clock' at the show's beginning that at least served as a signal of what was to come. Man, the episodes in the very beginning did exactly what the show was set out to do, and that was capture the true spirit of the nineteen-fifties. '1974', '1975' does not at all come to mind when watching those episodes; you can almost swear they were filmed back in the days of Elvis and Monroe. Early-'Happy Days' ruled! Quality acting, writing, directing, production; terrific all-around!! Then came that damn hearing-the-audience thing which would eventually, sadly evolve into artificial laughs at the push of a button after each cheesy joke. De-rebelizing Potsie, commercializing the Fonz (cheers every time he appears; PLEEEASE!!), and 70's styles and music are a few other examples as to what ruined the show. Don't blame those two well-known late-comers. It's not Baio's fault that the producers didn't give him a crewcut and cut off that bandanna from his leg. And Ted Ginley? Poor guy. He just so happened to join the cast at the time that the show became 'Crappy Days'. It's not his fault; or Mork from Ork's. Don't laugh! Like those episodes that Robin was in or not, one of the best-comics-of-all-time was introduced to the world in them. Anyway, back to the main subject, if 'Happy Days' would've just pretty much stuck to the basic formula (maybe a little innovation here and there) that it used in the first few seasons, and then HONORABLY go off the air in '79 or '80 before Ron Howard and Donny Most could leave, it would not have been ONE of the best shows of all time, but likely THEE best-of-all-time; even if we never knew what happened to the older brother. Heck, that little mystery is a trip. That makes it even cooler. In the first couple of seasons of Happy Days, Richie had an older brother (I think his name was Chuck) who was in college, but vanished into TVland oblivion. When Bag, AKA Neil J. Schwartz, left the show for that other more lucrative offer. (Which one was that again?) The sensitive superhero Fonze/hyper studio audience/Chachi/Ted Gringly/Jenny Piccalo/Joannie Loves Chachi/Wha Wha Wha Wha/Singing Al/Buckaroo/superhero Cunningham/Fonzie screwing minors and rejecting all chicks his age/Whoa every 30 seconds/Marion is way cooler than the kids/Marion lusting asfter the Fonze as a much better stud than sit on it nerd Howard/Jew Broadway/Tiger Beat appreciation society/Sha Na Na reject/8-track Disco fashion era Happy Days. I think it was when Fonzie almost went blind.I mean it was just all not so good after that one episode.I still loved the although it did JUMP THE SAHRK!!! when Richie dressed like Howdy Doody for the Howdy Doody show I always thought Fonzie was my favorite character on Happy Days, until Richie left and Fonzie turned into a complete jackass...possibly the worst episode ever is when Fonzie needed Ashley's permission to kick Tom Hanks' ass. The second worst episode was when Fonzie met Ashley based on Potsie's identification of a sketch composite by Bobby. To me this show leaped after year one when they took the cast and crew indoors and hadthem perform before a "live, studio audience." Instead of a sweet, funny show, we got everybody hamming it up to the audience. Prefaced of course by the cheers of the audience as each cast member made their appearance. Although I agree with most comments, I do want to note that the show was on for what, 11 years? It the first season was set in 1955, it stands to reason that the styles would change as time went on. By time the show ended, it should have been 1966, so the fashion was not really off. Happy Days lost its cool when Pinky showed up. Those slow motion shots of the Fonz and Pinky starring hopelessly at one another with that terrible background love music still to this day makes we dizzy. Even more disturbing than the slow motion shots was the title of those episodes "Fonzie Loves Pinky". Fans of the Fonz had to sit through three episodes of this women trying to take away the Fonz's cool. Luckily cool prevailed and the Fonz dumped Pinky. I forgave the Fonz but I never forgot. The show was brilliant before they started adding characters other than the original gang. And has anyone ever noticed how hot Anson Williams (Potsy) was before he grew his hair out? Also, when Fonzie grew up, but still wore that leather jacket and became a "tought but soft" guy, that was kinda sickening. And the whole Chachi thing? I hate Chachi!!!!! True, there were some hilarious moments, and it's hard to pinpoint the exact moment that this show jumped, it is still very apparent that it not only jumped, but catapulted to one of the worst shows on TV at the time. Remember the episode when Richie came home drunk? Just one of the many examples of what the show could have been had TV marketing not shitted on it! Happy Days was a very funny show. I think the jumped the shark one season after they changed the theme song. The last great show was when Fonzie taught Richie how to fight. Two words-Fonzie mania The show definitely jumped after the first "live before a studio audience" season. My personal favorite "very special episode": Remember when Fonzie goes blind in a garage explosion and he is all feeling sorry for himself and Richie takes Fonzie's motorcycle apart ("I hate your guts Cunningham !") and Fonzie....PUTS IT BACK TOGETHER !!! BLIND !!! WITH NO TOOLS !!! The precise moment that Happy Days jumped the shark was the Melvin Scratch episode where Fonzie had to go a whole day without a kiss to save Chachi's soul. Talk about lame! Of course the Fonz saves the day though, by using "The power of love." Puke! Ted McGinley was absolutely TERRIBLE in that show! He was, and still is, a terrible actor! Ted McGinley rules and has always ruled. I resent posters and masters putting him down. But that's not why I'm writing. I wanted to talk about Crystal Bernard. I think she has been sadly underated and overlooked. Highlights include Days, Wings and the excellent Q Fitness ads. But I have to say one thing. It is extremely unfair that she got to hit the motherlode and Erin "Shortcake" Moran has gotten nothing. C'mon Marshall could have easily got her a slot on Despartely Seeking Susan and some info ads. Marshall you're letting me down. Also why has Donny Most been shafted so much after Days? Aside from that cartoon and that stewardess scoping flick I don't think he has gotten anything. What's up with that? Not fresh. Most should at least get a slot on the new Match Game. And Anson should be the permanent host for Ms. America. C'mon Marshall you're not doing your job! When it went live! The cast members heads swelled bigger than Chuck's basketball. They all immediately started overplaying their roles, (Anson singing episodes were awful), I cant believe it lasted as long as it did! When Garry Marshall's parents had sex. When Chuck was gone. When the living room flipped around. When the audience started feeling the need to applaud whenever anyone (initially just Fonzie, later everyone) entered ANY scene. Hey, Potsie just came in the door, let's cheer mindlessly! Happy Days is probably one of the most popular shows that wasn't really any good. I know I was really into it when I was little but I can't watch it now. What started as a post American Grafitti period-piece sitcom deteriorated very quickly into formulaic tripe. And it's ultimate crime was that it begat Urkle, and the other minor characters who went on the dominate the shows they were supposed to populate on the fringe. Happy Days jumped the sharks as soon as Richie left the show and his cousins came to live with the Cunninghams. At the same time Chachi became the star of the show and Fonzie didn't seem as cool. As Joanie aged so did the spark and energy Happy Days began with. For me this show jumped the shark when the evil gnome Erin Moran was selected as one of Leather Tuscadero's backup singers - like anyone would want to hear her gruffly croaking out "ah-woooo, bop-bop, ah-woooo". Other pivotal moments include the leering troll looking for "hunks" as the Cunninghams saved the dude ranch (the only hunks who could be attracted to her were the ones left behind by the cattle after a meal) and the slow agonizing denouement involving her affair with the idiot poofball Chachi (the man I would most like to give a swirly to). Yeah, she was OK as the magician's assistant but needed a paper bag for her head. Happy Days, where to start? The great white shark jump would be when Ritchie left. All singing on this show makes for multiple shark jumps. The two part episodes were sharks(including the actual shark jump). Elevating Joanie and Chachi to main character status was a shark. I disagree about the Mork episodes, they existed more as pilots for Mork and Mindy. Ralph by himself without Pottsy and Ritchy? Shark! And other sharks big and small too many to list. i think that the shark was jumped (as w/most shows of this time period) when they swiched from filmed episodes to video taped this was obviously a money saving move that drasticly changed the look of the show. remember that m*a*s*h* did this also and promptly went down the tubes. I was never a big Happy Days fan...it was too far out and it depicted us Wisconsinites as, well, i don't know...Fonzie was way out there and when he jumped over crap with his motorcycle, that did it for me. It has to be when they changed the opening theme song. Also does anyone remember the "Dude Ranch" episode where Ritchie or the Fonz almost gets married shot gun style. Please tell me that I didn't dream this because that would be very pathetic. Eyyyyyyyy! I ride my chopper, so I can ride a bull too. Eyyyyyy! of course, when the show jumped the shark, it was when ron howard left. but don't forget, donny most left, too, and he was pretty important. and also, just to clarify, the show isn't set in the '50s. it is set in 1962, the same year as the sister show Laverne and Shirley - and the same year as the movie that inspired it (i know, happy days was a spin off from an episode of love american style, but this movie inspired it) American Graffiti. so it was not in the '50s, but the early '60s which were, in fact, very similar to the '50s (it took till like '65 when stuff changed). and also remember that one of the first episodes involved ron howard being 'tempted' to join a bunch of beakniks. they didn't come out full swing till the early '60s. and ted. oh yes. i don't think that anybody mentioned that in the opening credits ol' ted is actually wearing dolphin shorts. now i don't think those came about in the early '60s, huh? and jenny picallo was only on there because her dad was phil silvers. and what about that one girl, the cousin of the cuttinghams. what was her name? she was on the that show about the waitresses too. and she was on wings. shit, i forget her name. but she is important in the show leaping. and also, when clarence was uncovered (the cook in the back) - as he turned out to be a midget - boy that stunk. and yes, potsie was pointless after ralph left. that would be like the butthead show, wouldn't it? The show was going down hill but the absolutely last show I watched was when they all went camping and pretended to be speaking foreign languages to impress some girls. This show jumped when they aired the episode that showed Fonzie siiting at his desk...in the MEN'S ROOM! I mean, come on, how lame is that? fonzie meets ashley, NUFF SAID!!!!!!!!!!! Happy Days jumped when they made Fonzie the focal point of the show. The character of Fonzie would have been much more effective had he been used occasionally. Ever notice how the show really started to suck after two or three years? What ever happened to officer Kirk who cuased so much trouble for the Fonze and even Leather in the famous "go home jailbird" show . He just disapeared thats when this show jumped the town just doesnt lose their only police officer. This show was definately my favorite growing up in the 70's.It JTS so many times its not funny.Happy Days should have ended its run when Ron Howard left.However I'm surprised no one mentioned the episode where they tried to be nice to that annoying guy in the whhelchair.He came into Fonzies garage looking for a job and proceeded to piss eveyone off.Yet they still were nice to him,and gave him a second chance.This was one of the most annoying shows ever.The show became way too preachy after that.Also Fonzie teaching shop pretty much sucked.This show stayed on the air Way too long!! There was a horrible episode that was a crossover with Laverne and Shilrley where they went to a ranch owned my Marion's family that was about to be take over by a greedy land developer (a typical Gary Marshall villan). Joanie winds up on a run- away horse, and later rides in a rodeo (the stunt woman looked NOTHING like Erin Moran). For shame, Garry Marshall, for shame. To correct earlier posts, Happy Days NEVER went from film to video, it was ALWAYS on film. After the first season, they went from filming on a soundstage to filming in front of a live audience. The live audience was not so bad for the first few years, but after a while they started SCREAMING and that is when the show REALLY started to suck ass. Happy Days jumped the shark when Ron Howard left and Richie left for Greenland to join the army. It was originally thought that Fonzie was the center of the show and that the producers should center the show around Fonzie, even suggesting the alternate title of "Fonzie's Happy Days." The departure of Richie proved who the real star of the show was. yes, it is true, the show died when ritchie left, but why is everybody forgetting ralph. he was very very important. without ralph potsie became as unimportant to the TV world as garfunkle did in the music industry. ralph was great and it was, in fact, the combination of both he and ritchie leaving, both red heads by the way (just thought i'd mention that), that ruined the show. also, chuck cuttingham. i loved him. he ruled. did he die in vietnam? i hope, if he did, that he knew that his family loved him, so much that on the last episode, when they are all outside at the BBQ, his own father only mentioned ritchie and joanie as his kids. i am sorry, chuck. and i am sorry, ralph. in different ways, you are both forgotten. and why did ted whatever his last name is, wear dolphin shorts on the begining credits? this show was, from the begining, set in the early '60s, which resembled the fifties, but it was never in the fifties - and why on earth did people feather their hair in the '60s. and clarence. a midget. what's up with that? oh my. it's all just too much. When I find Happy Days reruns, if it's the "new", wood-paneled Arnolds I just turn it off. That's when the show really started going downhill; the kids were aging rapidly, and the show was making a very rough passage from 50's to 60's. I'm surprised that nobody has picked up on this yet but another phase of the many Crappy jumps is when Fonzie starts to become really possesive of "Short Cake" like he wants to be the one to pop her cherry. Fonzie goes through a lot of anst until he finally lays off Wah Wah Wah Wah and doesn't threaten to kill him for stealing his cherry because he is too busy trying to prove he is cooler than Ted Mc.Ginely. And by the time "Aurthur" realizes what is going on- I believe it's too late and Joanie is married. I'm not sure because I don't watch that bad crap. But Fonzie never takes a married woman. The dude will pop 15 year old virgins in 50s Millwakee, #34 Geranamo style, but by married chicks are off bounds. Another jump that posters missed- Fonzie gets E.S.P. and automatically not only knows where all the characters in Crappy are but also manages to appear at exactly the right moment to save the day and look cool by embarrassing the villian. It's too bad that Crappy couldn't have continued until about '90 or so. I want to see Wha Wha Wha wearing one of those Don Johnson suits while running around 'Nam. It also would have ruled for Potsie to play 'Stock with Sha Na and get knocked off the stage by Pete Townsend's Guitar. Then we could watch Fonzie having a dance-off with those Re-run dancers in the '70s Crappy years and he'd be wearing a nose and nipple ring. You guys have it all wrong. Happy Days went a-jumping when they actually showed Paula Petralunga, then made her a nun. False jump: Spike. Permanent jump: Chachi. "Wah-wah-wah"? When the show began shooting in front of a live studio audience. Definately went straight down hill from there. Around the time that Fonzie developed super-powers. He was alright as a super-cool biker, but as soon as he started with the finger snapping and juke box punching, all believability went out the window. When the guys were camping and the wildlife was keeping the Fonz awake...I'd love to have his powers next time I'm camping. I'd just yell "Cool it!" and silence would prevail. It could happen, right? Right?? And where does a grease monkey from Milwaukee know how to: ride a horse, water ski, Russian folk dance(isn't he Italian?), and give dating advice(he's dating someone new every night, therefore he must be a terrible boyfriend!) We are overlooking the obvious, people! Whatever happened to Chuck a.k.a "the lost Cunningham"? If you'll remember, Chuck was the gangly yet loveable basketballer who was constanlty reprimanded for bouncing the ball in the house. Chuck one day mysteriously disappeared. Even fishier was the fact after his disappearance, no one ever referred to him, his conspicuous absence, or even uttered his name. Chuck, we hardly knew ye! When it went in front of a studio audience. It went from a really funny, authentic show about high school kids to just another crappy sitcom. Sharks were being jumped all over the place on this show. If I could only remember the exact order of all those jumps I could select the big one. I guess I'll go for the new and improved Arnold's - it seems that's when all the goofy new characters started to flock in. Happy Days jumped when they stopped trying to put characters in '50s clothes and hairstyles and gave them subtle '70s looks. Remember: Erin Moran's perm (in that time, she would have had a bouffant and flip), Scott Baio's feathered bangs; Anson Williams' and Donny Most's Mork 'dos; and Lynda Goodfriend's Dorothy Hamill cut and string ties? Then there was Suzi Quatro singing songs from the '70s in her Linda McCartney shag and leather pants. Happy Days definitely swam in shark infested waters. No other show that I can think of jumped as many times. There was the change from film to video, Fonzie going too soft, Joanie's puberty, Ted McGinley, Crystal Bernard, Jenny Piccolo (should have remained a faceless character), Arnold to Al, graduating from Jefferson, Chachi (I had a tremendous crush on him back then, but now I realize what a mess he made of the show), shark jumping, new Arnold's, Mork, and it goes on and on and on...How this show remained on the air for so many years must be the universal question. As soon as the cast started hamming it up to the live studio audience. In fact this show is the textbook case of this problem. Jump time came when Fonzie tried convincing us that he had a library card and that everybody who was cool should have a library card. What the hell was reading anyway, Dick and Jane? They guy dropped out in the second grade!!!!! I agree with the above poster about the desk in the crapper. I never could figure out why he would do that. Surely the bathroom would stink. Guys eat all that greasy food and go in there and crap a bunch and Fonzie wants to sit in there and smell it while presumably taking care of business? Also, if I was the crapper, I would feel uncomfortable with Fonzie in there spying on me while I wipe. Then what if he gets a call and it's some chick? She's dirty talkin' Fonzie and then she hears me pass gas? Totally ridiculous. Sadly, with each passing season it became more & more apparent that Henry Winkler, the fat Jewish actor, could no longer pull off playing Fonzie, the Italian/American stud. Okay, there are so many examples of totally idiotic plot devices used throughout Happy Days (all usually involving the Fonz for some reason) whether it was meeting fantasy figures (The Lone Ranger) to his supposed "Super Powers". But tell me, if Fonzie was so cool, why the fuck did he hang around with DICKHEADS like Potsie, Ritchie and last and least, Ralph Malph? That ginger haired fool! Stupid name, stupid character. If i had to pick an exact moment when the show jumped for me it was during the Credit Sequence at the beginning of the show when Ritchie and Ptsie stop to look at Ralph Malph apparently getting it on with some girl inthe bushes,only he's kssing nobody, his own arms are wrapped around his torse caressing himself! GINO!!!! Let's just make it easy--(except for Fonz) Ritchie's friends and sister were idiots and/or aholes. Take away Ritchie and you're left with........idiots and aholes--correct for $200! I did love the episode where Ritchie meets a new girl, he takes her back to the empty house, they sit down on the couch, exchange 5 words and begin to kiss. As a high schooler, I remember thinking, "Oh yea, that's realistic....all girls definitely behave that way." The first episodes of Happy Days were fun and more than slightly nostalgic.But as time went on,they forgot their roots and there were less and less references to the 50s-time era.And after Fonzie took centerstage:AAAUUUUUGGGHH! I can't say. All the statements make sense. But I have a problem with some posts. What's with this "jew" thing? At least a couple posts go on about the jew show among all their otherwise fairly well-thought-out comments. Is it POSSIBLY because the creator of the show is Jewish & it's some kind of anti-semitism? GUESS WHAT--HE'S NOT JEWISH. HE'S ITALIAN. I THINK HE'S EVEN CATHOLIC. Yeesh, some people. When Tom Bosley started parading about the house wearing High Tube Socks pulled up to his knees. Happy Days jumped the shark when the shows producers licensed merchandise for the Fonz...My friend Susan has a classic picture of her and her brother as kids resplendent in Fonz T-shirts and socks (really! Fonzie socks!) When the pure charisma of a single character becomes the center around which the rest of the show turns, it ceases to be a show and becomes a star vehicle. Let's at least be glad the show isn't on today, or else we would have been subjected to Fonzie: The Movie, complete with computer generated 575 car motorcycle jump. This show jumped the shark when all references to mysterious brother chuck ceased. My Theory: The mysterious detached "Chuck" who marks the golden age of HAPPY DAYS may be the same "Uncle Charlie" who held court during the Golden Age of MY THREE SONS...this is just a theory. Live Studio Audience Fonzie Second in The Ceredits Fonzie Moving In Film To Video Loud Applause To Character's Entrance House Set Moved Around First, Second, Third, Utterence of "Sit On It" Theme Song And Credits Changed The Disappearence of Chuck Potsie Becoming A Geek All these are listed as when the show JTS. The funny thing is that ALL these events happened on the very same episode!!!!! Remember Spike? Happy Days definitely jumped the shark when they went to a live audience, however it did not have to go completely down the crapper if the story lines did not get so completely off the wall. Fonzie who never had a fencing match in his life beat the European champion when he visited the Crappy Days' crowd. Like the European fencing champion would go to Wisconsin in the first place. The show might have been a little more believable if Mr. Cunningham had Fonzie arrested for destroying his roof with a filthy, disease ridden pigeon coop. Potsie and Ralph were definitely gay and proved it when they got an apartment together. A good idea for a show would have been if Arnold had come to work one day with a gun and started shooting customers over his growing rage of having been kept in a WWII retention camp. Or if Mr. C. came homes from a hard day's work and caught Marion in the sheets with Sticks Downey. In case anyone was wondering why Fonzie was wearing a leather jacket when he was water skiing it was because he was out of shape and had tits lake an old broad. The Fonz's wardrobe - Different, but same JACKET: Though I am a true fan of the gray windbreaker, here's what I've noticed about the Fonz's leather jacket. When the leather jacket made it's first appearance in the episode where the Fonz dragged Skizzy in Ralph's rod, it was totally cool. The leather was stressed and looked really tough. As the seasons wore on, particularly when they went in front of a studio audience (pathetic), the jacket began looking ridiculous. I read somewhere that the original was stolen after the second season, so they had to make a new one. The first reproduction was ok, but it didn't have the "weathered look" of the original. It also sagged on Henry Winkler's frame which made it look more like satin than leather. When the Fonz donned the black t-shirt, a new jacket was introduced. This one was light brown and looked like it was made of cheap plastic. This was the worst jacket. It was so flimsy that the Fonz couldn't even wear the collar up. Totally pathetic. JEANS & BOOTS: Fonzie's jeans and boots also became worse after the second season. When the show began, he wore cool, wash-faded Levi's with scuffed up motorcycle boots - like someone who really worked in a garage. That, combined with the first leather jacket or gray windbreaker, made him the epitome of cool. However, the episode where he had knee surgery, in the first live-audience season (the garbage can jump), they had to tear the leg of the cool jeans. He replaced these with dark, dark blue denim. WARNING SIGNS. He wore these for a few seasons, then all of a sudden showed up in bleached blue, bell-bottomed Lee jeans. He looked totally ridiculous - especially when combined with the black t-shirt and plastic jacket. His boots also became spit-polished shiny. Horrible. HAIR: Again, in the first two season, the Fonz had a true D/A haircut - staple of the 50s greaser. Once the live episodes began, however, he started growing it out on the side and slicking it back with tons of hairspray. If you want to see what I mean, watch the episode where he and Pinky are in the demolition derby with the Milachi Brothers. When he races to Pinky's side when she falls off the car, he throws the helment off, revealing a mop of 1970s hair with loads of hairspray. I guess the actors thought they didn't have to be true to the era after they were a success. In short, Happy Days, without a doubt, jumped the shark after the first two seasons - when ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK was used in the opening credits. These were the episodes that were not in front of a studio audience, and were actually about the 50s. One thing that made them great, I thought, were the exterior shots of Arnold's. I loved when they hung out in the parking lot and the Fonz layed back on his bike. when richie left show actually i really thought it jumped when the gang went to college it was more fun at jeferson high and high school hijinks and the beginning of the fonz but once richie left then mcginley came on it was a total shark attack!!!! When Potsie told the executive producer of the show that he had a picture of him with a farm animal and would show it to the world unless he was allowed to sing in almost every episode toward the end of the run. It made me want to crawl under the couch. The horror...the horror... The episode where Richie gets in a motorcycle accident- he's in a coma and they don't know if he'll make it. Fonzie prays for him, and Richie comes out of it. Thing is, next week Richie is just fine and everybody seems to have forgotten he was in a near-fatal crash... Ted McGinley especialy after Fonzie and Al become partners. As was said in other comments, the live audience and overexposure of "Fonzie" (such a personality would have beat up anyone calling him anything ending in the cutesy -ie), the Fonzie "super powers", the change from the rerecording of Haley's song to the "HD" Theme, and loss of 50 styles (like the parted in middle, feathered hair bullshit prev mentioned). It pisses me off that they ruined the show, but they always do by "giving the public what it wants". If they really knew what they wanted, they'd WRITE their own show and forget yours! The TV audience, en mass, is like a little kid for whom you do a trick or gag and they say "Do it again!" over and over until they are sick of it and you. Just watch the first year and forget all subsequent episodes. Potsie singing? Pu-lease! Chachi, Leather, ect., I prefer to think it just never happened. Happy days jumped when they went from film to video(3-4 year?) And sorry this show was set in the 50s (at the start) not the 60s. there was reference many times to t.v. shows and political and social happenings that were from the mid-late 50s. I know this is true because my folks graduated high school in 58 and 61. they told me about styles and slang terms when i was a little kid watching this show. btw "American graffiti" was set in the fall of 61. So there! Its too bad this show was aloud to slip into the shark tank so quickly. I hadent seen h-d in years, and then tv land started showing it again about 4 yrs ago. I sat down and watched the eppisodes from the first few years and almost got tears in my eyes. I had forgotten how good the filmed shows were, by the time it went of the air i was in high school and h-d was a p.o.s. Marshall should have pulled the plug the 3rd year. One disturbing episode had Chachi dump a girl, then get kidnapped in a bag by thug friends of hers. Fonzie, of course, swooped in magically to save the day but immediately had to give a speech to Chach that "the Fonz never 'dumps' chicks, he lets them down easy." You think the network had received some critical letters re: Fonz the ho? Every time I read a newspaper account about a serial killer's everyday life, I always picture him as having been living in a room like that attic room Cunninghams gave to the Fonz to live in. When Fonzie is "killed" by the Candyman, who is running an organized crime family out of the local funeral home. Fonzie then dresses as his mother for his own funeral to catch the Candyman and his henchmen, including Bull from Nightcourt. And this was an episode with Richie in it. I loved the show when it first started. It was very '50's, which was the big thing in the mid-seventies. Everyone looked the part of being in the 50's. The clothing, hair styles, etc. Then, it suddenly looked as if they were all living in the '70's and '80's. It then seemed like a show that was taking place in the seventies and lost the appeal. When they brought on those 2 sisters, Pinky and Leather, I could not believe it! What woman wore leather pants in the 50's! Especially tight leather pants! This show ventured into shark fodder territory the moment Ron Howard left. Although, there were some scattered funny moments aftwards, the gut-wrenching JTS moment was Fonzie trapped in Big Al's with that psuedo-demon who wanted his soul (and paid a very strong resemblance to Any Dick). Btw, to one of the earlier posters who made the "f**king fags" comment about Fonzie and Carmine, homophobic remarks like that are almost always made by guys that're severely latent and hate themselves for it. Congradulations, bud: you just outed yourself. I'd like to point out that yes, although it was somewhat loosely based on the 1962-set "American Graffiti" (as well as that "Love American Style" show), "Happy Days" was NOT originally set in the '60s as some claim. Early episodes touched upon such '50s-specific events as the famous quiz show scandal, "Howdy Doody" (1940s AND 1950s specific), and the death of Buddy Holly et al. After several years on the air the writers felt it plausible that time had indeed passed; therefore 1960s references were allowed. I recall the Cunninghams making plans to see "Psycho." (1960) Oh, and obviously the show began to suck shortly after the studio audience was introduced. When mork from ork came on the show.It was ridiculous just watching mork freezing them with his finger It was as sad as it comes.It was the 50's freezing technology with one's finger wasnt that good on ork in the 50's. The introduction of a studio-audience & the rise of the Fonz as a pop-phenomenon: These two events happened around the same time & combined to ruin the show. When a live audience was added, the early show's appealing performances & a nice visual style were sacrificed for too-broad performances & sickening sets. And Henry Winkler's Arthur Fonzarelli was a hilariously-named minor character who was good for a coupla minutes each episode & should've stayed that way. Instead, he became Fonzie, & then (AAAAyyy!!) Tha Fonz! Whether he became a pop phenom because his role got larger or vice versa, he became an unfunny self parody & it was all over by the time he jumped the trashcans, let alone any old shark. Of course, I kept watching til about '79-80 or so (cause what the hell else was there?) and therefore saw mind-bogglingly-stupid moments aplenty! Possibly the worst/best: Fonzie as a magician's understudy (!?) forced to perform the guy's act & free himself from - wh! at, a padlocked milk-can fulla water or somethin? The actual Houdini's coldcocked after his pre-show glass of (not)-water: The guy chugs AN ENTIRE TUMBLER OF VODKA & DOESN'T REALIZE IT'S NOT WATER UNTIL HE'S DOWNED IT!! Pathetic! The Flashback episode when Richie met Fonzie and they were to meet in the alley to have a fight. The premise was Richie was explaining to Chachi that it was not cool to be in a gang. Richie then convinces Fonzie to quit his gang. This show was ripped off the definitive movie about the loss of innocence and coming of age in the USA...American Graffitti. And it was not an improvement! Hey, I am surprised nobody has noticed this.....not only do we lose Chuck, which DID cause the show to jump, but he was played by at least three (and I KNOW atleast three) different actors. Not that we ever really got to pay attention to him, but he always had a different face, and Nick at Nite confirmed this for me. Never even mentioned where he went. No explanation - no nothing. How can you not lose respect? Now the leather jacket change on the Fonz, I can understand. The network didn't allow him to wear a leather jacket in any scene where he was anywhere near his motorcycle because they said he looked TOO much like a hood. Stupid networks-he was supposed to be! Ironic that when they put the leather jacket on him, he became this macho but teddy bearish dork with magical superhuman powers. First season? - Good. The rest? - Shark Bait. There were SO many things wrong with this show it should be the topic of the next dedication at the EMMYS. Show with the most flaws. Happy Days was outstanding...at the time. Now I watch and it becomes all too apparant to me that the more the show progressed, the more effort the writers put into developing the characters and the less emphasize they put on the fact that it was supposed to be depicting another age. As you get into the 3rd, 4th, and later seasons, the hairstyle becomes longer, and you begin to forget you are watching a show about a past era. Happy Days becomes more about the 70s and 80s of its own TVLand era. The extreme departure of Happy Days as a retro show occurs when Chachi, a character that the universe of the late 50s and early 60s would never allow to exists, comes in and ushers in a complete takeover of anachronisms, complete with love affair for Joni (Erin Moran, the posterchild of early 80s hairdoos and sweaters) and a spinoff show that I think was actually set in the 80s because by then the writers had all but forgotten their original intent to do a tv show about the 50s era. Maybe this has less to do with the writers of the show and more to do with the effectiveness of Reagan's political campaign to make the 80s the second 50s. Perhaps that is why the retro lines are so blurred. But then I am reminded of Ralph Malph and his orange hair that could not conceal the fact that in real life he was listening to The Clash and playing Pac Man rather than watching James Dean on the big screen at a thater with Peggy Sue. Other shows, like the short lived ABC series "Homefront" than ran in the 1990s, did a much more effective job in depicting retro as retro. Happy Days is just one big anachronism. M.A.S.H. -- you aren't off the hook, either -- Korean War retro, but really Vietnam criticism, aren't you? There's more 70s in you than there is 50s. (related: Laverne and Shirley, the Waltons, and yes, Little House on the Prarie: 1870s or 1970s? -- all anachronisms) As the other posts here show, HD was a frequent repeat-jumper. I'm surprised that no one has brought up the one episode which is permanently and painfully etched into my brain: the "Fonzie conquers his darkest fear" episode. (But wait-there were actually several episodes like that. Hmm…) I'm talking about the episode in which Fonzie's debilitating fear of liver (yes, liver) threatens not only to befoul his coolness in the eyes of others, but possibly also to shatter his fragile thug psyche completely. Huh? I remember liking the show (and Fonzie too, I'll admit it) a lot, but even my horribly underdeveloped grade-school BS detector went off when they tried to fly that plot by us. Maybe the message was supposed to be: "hey, kids, it's cool to face your fears,' which I suppose is a nice side-trip into relevance (though more appropriate for an ABC Afterschool Special), but for that sort of thing to work, you have to present a fear that actually has some sort of emotional impact. I mean, hey, I hated liver too, but I never went weak at the knees in the sight of it. If my memory of the playground talk the next day is correct, that episode probably did more to ruin Fonzie's credibility as a cool guy in the eyes of a lot of my friends than any other did. On second thought, that episode did carry a lot of emotional impact, both then and now. Back then, the response was something like, "What a weenie!" Today, it's more along the lines of , "What sort of sick, twisted, long-repressed childhood trauma did Fonzarelli suffer to have developed a complex like that?" In the episode where Richie,Potsy, and Ralph are out in the woods camping and ended up pitching their tents next to some incredibly gorgeous girls.They pretended they were foreigners,aribic or something, and they start singing Rock Around the Clock but sing Mock-Mock-Mock.Then city slicker Fonz shows up.How fing stupid was that episode? The show began a loooong jump when Fonzie actually jumped the shark. As much as I like Ted McGinley on other shows, the jump hit apogee when Richie took off. The damned thing landed when Jenny Piccolo stopped being Joanie's friend who we never saw, and was shown to be this horribly annoying character played by an equally annoying actress. Where do you start with this show? All I can say is that Happy Days and M*A*S*H both share the distinction of starting out as some of the finest television in broadcast history, began losing sight of their original premises, and finally became horridly unwatchable. Happy Days started to spin out when the Fonz went from an interesting, somewhat menacing secondary character. Around the third season, the Fonz somehow picked up supernatural powers and the show became increasingly insipid. This would also correlate with the dropping of "Rock Around The Clock" as the show's theme. It would be impossible to document all the things that went wrong with the show after the second season, and many have been listed in previous comments. What I don't get is how everyone involved with the show failed to notice the degradation in quality from the original season. Were the actors so taken with themselves and the screams from the 14 year old girls in the audience that they were blind to what was happening? After Scott Baio joined the cast, I pretty much stopped watching all together. One image that sticks out from the occassional glimpses I had of the latter show's, however, was Baio strutting into 1960's Arnold's wearing a 1978 era 3-piece suit and long, feathered hair, with the accompanying squeels from the audience. PUH-LEEZE! Did it never occur to him to wonder aloud why a 60's kid would show up in a get up like that? And what about all the hair? Considering what the cast was paid, do you think that they might have sucked it up and suggested that they all sport brush cuts, for the sake of reality, during the four or five monthes the show taped, and then went back to the Steve Perry look? Didn't Scott Baio ever feel like saying "Hey, I sorta look like a douche bag with these bandana's tied around my legs, and I don't think they're periodically accurate, either." Who knows, maybe he really WAS a douche bag, and the bandana's were his idea. The worse, though, was Henry Winkler. His original character was so cool those first years that you would have thought he might have resisted having the Fonz turned into a clown. Remember the episode when that gang stole Ralph's bike? They had Rich, Potsie, and Ralph trapped in a pool hall and were about to pound the bejeezus out of them when Fonzie and his hoodlum buddies busted in and scared them off. A vintage Fonzerelli moment. He went from a cool, tough guy living on the edge to dressing like his mother to attend his own funeral and hanging out with a dancing fruit like the Big Ragoo. What happened to his greaser buddies? What happened to his cool!?! Winkler sold out the original Fonz in favor of his massive ego. Shame on everyone involved with the show, from the actors to the writers to Garry Marshall. They took a wonderful show about realistic characters in the innocent fifties and turned it into one of the most self-serving, preposterous bags of filth! ever broadcast. Quite an accomplishment when you think about it. WHA-WHA-WHA!!! This show jumped when Chuck Cunningham floated away to the netherworld. Don't even get me started on Chachi Arcola, or why they replaced Pat Morita with big schnozzed fat slob Al Molinari Many, many jumps, but I think Happy jumped when Ralph stopped wearing the GEMS jacket, Fonzie started talking, also when they got rid of the dining room. I HATED Pinky Tuscadero, but I thought the Malachi bros. were kinda cool.... The introduction of a studio-audience & the rise of the Fonz as a pop-phenomenon: These two events happened around the same time & combined to ruin the show. When a live audience was added, the early show's appealing performances & a nice visual style were sacrificed for too-broad performances & sickening sets. And Henry Winkler's Arthur Fonzarelli was a hilariously-named minor character who was good for a coupla minutes each episode & should've stayed that way. Instead, he became Fonzie, & then (AAAAyyy!!) Tha Fonz! Whether he became a pop phenom because his role got larger or vice versa, he became an unfunny self parody & it was all over by the time he jumped the trashcans, let alone any old shark. Of course, I kept watching til about '79-80 or so (cause what the hell else was there?) and therefore saw mind-bogglingly-stupid moments aplenty! Possibly the worst/best: Fonzie as a magician's understudy (!?) forced to perform the guy's act & free himself from - wh! at, a padlocked milk-can fulla water or somethin? The actual Houdini's coldcocked after his pre-show glass of (not)-water: The guy chugs AN ENTIRE TUMBLER OF VODKA & DOESN'T REALIZE IT'S NOT WATER UNTIL HE'S DOWNED IT!! Pathetic! I believe this show jumped when Arnold's burned down. This started a downward spiral; leading the way to Fonzy's formal office in the bathroom, the absence of Ronny Howard, the growing cast of charactors all with 70's hair styles, etc. The old Arnolds to me epitomized the 50's spirit and losing it was like losing a star character. I agree with an earlier post that said the show suffered from every possible form of shark jumping, but honorable mention must go to Ritchies moustache. It looked like it was causing him pain yet he was the only one who liked it. Mrs. C beats Mr. C at arm wrestling. When Richie and Ralph left the show leaving it for Fonzie to carry the series. Plus the addition of some new cast member like good ol' Ted and Jennie Picolo sucked ass. It was never the same. Definately when they brought in the studio audience! The show, which was a spin off of Love American Style was never the same after Chuck vanished. I agree with several others who say that this show JTS when they began filming it in front of a live studio audience. However, I continued to watch (and still do on occasion), long after that. When Chachi got his picture in the opening credits, I was sure that the apocalyse was upon us. The very worst episode (prior to Ted McGinley showing up) had to be the one where Ritchie got a motorcycle and ended up in a coma. The lowest moment of that episode occured when Leather Tuskadero sat down at the piano and sang some sappy song to ease the troubled minds of the "gang." Funny how Ritchie never had a motorcycle before that episode and didn't have one after... Happy Days REALLY jumped the shark when they added Fonzies little dweeb Nephew Spike.C'mon,what grown man (Richie,Potsie,Ralph etc.)fears a 12 year old boy?? The first time Spike snapped his fingers,all of the above mentioned pussys shoulda kicked his little ass all the way back to Greaserville. Adding a kid at any time is the quintessential kiss of death,especially a mini me of an existing character. All the comments are great- most are on the mark. A couple of observations no one has yet made; this show has had not one but two examples of SAME ACTOR, DIFFERENT CHARACTER. The most obvious is Linda Purl who played Richie's girlfriend in the early episodes and then Fonz's squeeze in the later years. Less obvious is Ken Lerner, who played one of the Mallachi Bro's (Rocco) in the Pinky episodes and then played one of Fonz's long lost buddies in a later show. Also, no one has mentioned the roller-girl waitresses at Arnold's. I remember Marcia and a hot looking blond. I believe they went away when the outside scenes were nixed in favor of the studio audiences. This show was classic comedy at first before a steady decline to sucking. Since this site is named after this show, it is beyond obvious to state that it jumped. This show has more shark sightings than any other show in history. Basically, just as with M*A*S*H*, when the entire tenor of the characters (as oppossed to the character of the tenor) changed it was over. They tried to have a 'Fonzasm' every episode. He became like Hawkeye, Klinger and hot lips-lost the edge to a shark no less! Won't waste the time pointing to the 1,021 shark jumpings, but for 'All in the Family' to match the sharkness of Happy days, Archie Bunker would have had to become a lawyer for the NAACP! Thanks to this show, this site has the greatest name of any site I have ever heard. Those poor writers, I actually started feeling sorry for them around 1978 or so. The introduction of Pinky whatever her name was needs to be up there with the worst introductions of all times: MUCH WORSE THAN TED MCGINLEY!! When they introduced that terminally irritating character Chachi Arcola, Fonzie's so-called cousin (hey, whatever happened to Spike?!?). That somewhat street-smart shrimp didn't convince me at all to stay tuned to this show. And that insipid catchphrase "Waa Waa Waa" made me want to puke, puke, puke. The first season and half of the second season were fun to watch, because they recaptured the spirit of what it was like to grow up during the 50s (I especially liked the Richie-Potsie friendship of the worldly one trying to teach the naive one about life). When Fonzie transformed from a moody, James Dean-like secondary character to a jukebox-banging 70s pop culture pheno, it precipitated Happy Days' long, slow decline. Worst episode: Tie between the Valentine's Day episode where everybody sings (easy, stomach!) and when Richie cracks up on the motorcycle and nearly dies and then Fonzie prays and cries a la Tammi Faye Bakker so that Richie can live. It made me wish that Richie would have croaked, so that Ron Howard could have started his illustrious career as a film director much sooner! You poor deluded fools. Everything that went "wrong" with Happy Days was actually a brilliantly conceived story arc from day one. It all began when Mr. Cunningham caught Chuck stealing money from his hardware store. He hired a local thug, Arthur Fonzarelli, to have him quietly executed. "Fonzie", as he is known, killed Chuck and dumped the body in one of those big lakes over there. Then he was to leave town and never return. Fonzie blackmailed Mr. Cunningham into letting him stay at their house permanently, otherwise he would expose Mr. Cunningham and prey upon his family. Mr. Cunningham swore revenge. He readily allowed Fonzie to stay, but secretly was determined to destroy him by undermining his persona. This took many years, but in the end he succeeded. In another thread which history will eventually show as being on the threshold of genius, an time traveller named Mork from "Ork" (actually Stockton, CA) arrived from 1980. His sole purpose: to avenge his father's death. Yes, Chuck had a son before he was slain, that was why he was stealing money. Although he was defeated in a spectacular battle against Fonzie at Al's, he tricked everyone into thinking it was a dream. He fled back to 1980 and devised another fiendish plot. He sent a young criminal mastermind named Chachi back in time to infiltrate Fonzie's life. His real goal: to destroy Fonzie, he must destroy the culture around him. Hence the feathered hairdo and other anachronisms. He later also found out that Mr. C originally hired Fonzie to do away with Chuck, so he seduced his daughter Joanie. So between the slow erosion of his soul from Mr. C and the Machiavellian plotting of Chachi, Fonzie was doomed. He grew morose. He eventually became that which he most feared, a washed up middle-aged loser, a mere shadow of his former self. Chachi's agenda eventually doomed everyone around him except for Richie, who escaped. It is also interesting to note that Laverne and Shirley fled Milwaukee to Los Angeles. Connection? Not only did the Fonz go from white t-shirt to black (that was way past the jump)and from cotton Barracuda zip-front to leather jacket, but the true jump was when he went from that sturdy, classic, BLACK leather to that thin, pleather-ish BROWN thang... When "The Fonz" went from a character to a caricature. Just because he became a popular character, those associated with producing/writing this show didn't have to make him superhuman, unrealistic, unbelievable and just totally stupid. I dont blame Ron Howard not one bit for wanting to leave this mess. The sad thing is, the show was actually really GOOD the first two seasons. One episode that I especially hated was when Potsie was in college and to pass a test on anatomy or something he writes a song about how the body works and procedes to sing it and prance around the classroom like an idiot while the teacher looks dumbfounded and everyone else in the classroom is clapping and smiling like they are on a bad acid trip. Give me some of what the writers of this episode were smoking...PLEASE ! When they started playing the "serious" music. First instituted when Richie got into his motorcycle acccident, Fonzie cried and the serious music swelled in the background. The serious music resurfaced when Fonzie went blind, Potsie dropped out of school, Cha-chi burned down Arnold's and Fonzie is trapped in the milk bottle. I hate to jump on the bandwagon, but I have to agree with the masses in saying the show really started going south when it began being taped in front of a live audience. It lost the warmth and class it had the first two seasons and gradually sunk into a cheesy and too often sensationalistic farce targeted at pre-adolescent kids. Of course, I was a pre-adolescent kid at the time, so I thought it was fantastic then, but when I see the re-runs now....YUUUK!! Happy Days is the King of all shark-jumping shows so where to begin?? I will try to choose one I don't think anyone said yet, unless I missed it. It was even in the shark-jumping episode! It annoyed the hell out of me when Richie passed on a Hollywood writing contract to go home to his dead-end life in Milwaukee. When he tears up that contract, because he'd miss his friends mostly, it showed Happy Days was not above using typical plot devices every other show was using, the old "let me pass on my big chance because Ill miss everybody and Im a stupid imbecile." Plus the finger/thumb war between Fonz and Mork was so unbelievably excruciating, how did the show degenerate so fast?? *Chuck disappears and is forgotten (in the episode where Marian gets a job at Arnold's, Howard says they've raised "two wonderful children") *The floor plan of the house no longer matches the establishing shots. *Fonzie's bike turns into a dirt bike for the dude ranch episode. *Richie's '53 Ford suddenly turns into a '48 for no reason. *Howard keeps that '49 DeSoto years and years longer than any middle-class family would have kept a car at that time. Then he buys a Studebaker when the company was already coughing up blood. Smooth move, Mr. C! *The demolition derby where everyone is using what would have been brand new cars in the year the show was then set. *Most people on the street would have thought Leather Tuscadero was a hooker. *Fonzie's office in the men's room at Arnold's HAD to be a health code violation, to say nothing of making him smell like a public bathroom ALL THE TIME! Unless there was an unspoken "No missing, no farting" rule for anyone unfortunate enough to need to use the bathroom for anything as mundane as relieving oneself. * Fonzie goes from being a thug everyone's afraid of (but worships like a god) to being a pillar of the community who owns two businesses and teaches high school shop (with a full beard that I'm sure would have gone over just great with the PTA in 1964). *Chachi goes from being younger than Joanie to being the same age so they can date. *Joanie and Chachi both start shopping in the future for their clothing and haircuts. *The producers and writers forget what year it is: The show is set 18 years in the past (it's 1956 in '74, it's 1960 in '78 [Richie's mug shot in the Kissing Bandit show has a date on it]) until Ron Howard and Donny Most leave. Richie and Ralph joined the Army, we're told. Okay, but both were in college, so they didn't get drafted (and were in ROTC, so they wouldn't have been drafted afterwards either--and I'm pretty sure they were in different BRANCHES of ROTC, so they wouldn't both be in the Army anyway). So they had to graduate first two years, 1963. Simultaneously, LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY jumped to 1965. When Ralph and Richie come home for their two-part guest shot, they're out of the Army (completed a two-year hitch, evidently). So it should be AT LEAST 1965 by then, and probably more like '66 or whatever year L&S was up to by then. Ralph says his dad offered him "one of those new Mustangs" if Ralph came to work in the dental practice with him. The Mustang debuted in April 1964. In the final season, Joanie and Chachi go to a Kinks concert and come home with T-shirts that read "KINKS TOUR '65." I'm not sure there even WERE concert tees in the '60s. My pick for the best moment of the latter seasons would be Howard and Marian watching "The Andy Griffith Show" and commenting on how the little boy looks so much like Richie when he was little. And it's probably a good thing Fonzie found a girlfriend with a daughter later, since he must have been over 30 by then (a bit old to be chasing high school girls, especially in the '60s). BTW, Henry Winker was 29 when the show started and 39 when it ended. Anson Williams was over 40 at the end, and Erin Moran and Scott Baio were 22 and 21 respectively. Joanie suddenly has an anachronistic perm. It appeared to me that in the first two seasons the show was shot on film and appeared to be American Graffiti brought to TV. When they went to a live studio audience it jumped. The show became a barf fest when the audience cheered the entrance of every character and when Fonzie uttered his first ehhhh, the crowd went berzerk and I went elsewhere. "Do the Fooooonzie....Come and do the Fonzie with me....Do the Foooonzie....Come and do the Fonzie with me..." If you play it backwards, it says things like "Overthrow democracy." When they suddenly began to tape Happy Days "before a live audience", and we then had to wait 15 seconds for the applause and "whoops" to subside before hearing characters deliver their first lines, the stories, scripts, acting delivery, etc., all took serious dives! When Fonzie replaced Richie as the focus of the show was the main jump. It just kept jumping over and over after that. Loss of Ralph Mouth. Preachy. Loss of Arnold. Changed over time from great show to piece of %$$# . I tune in and if I hear "Rock Around the Clock", I stay tuned. If it's "Happy Days", I'm out. Fonzie aquires the supernatural ability to do everything from fix a broken pinball machine to change the weather by banging his fist against the wall. Do the Fo-o-onzie! C'mon do the Fonzie with me! Sheesh. VH-1 is probably chomping at the bit to do a Where Are They Now? on Suzi Quattro. A little of Scott Baio and Erin Moran's duets go a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG way! Dishonorable mention: when Fonz finally got a steady girlfriend during the 82-83 season. When I would watch the show in syndicated reruns in Canada, tellingly enough, they would start at season one after they showed the 81-82 episodes. How cool can a guy be hanging out (being best buds) with squeaky clean Ritchie Cunningham and his parents? A rebel without a clue! GARRY MARSHALL SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF HIMSELF,FOR PUTTING OUT THIS HORRIBLE SHOW.THE FIRST TWO OR THREE SEASONS WERE EXCELLENT.AFTER THAT IT SUCKED.IT BECAME A HORRIBLE CARTOONISH TYPE SHOW.FONZIE BECAME THE BIGGEST NERD OF THEM ALL.BANGING ON WALLS,AND THE LIGHTS GO OUT,SNAPPING HIS FINGERS AND THE GIRLS COME RUNNING.THE SHOW GAVE UP ON NOSTALGIC DETAIL,AND THAT WAS PARTLY WHY THIS SHOW WENT DOWNHILL FAST.ADDING THAT HORRIBLE ACTOR AL MOLINARO,AND SCOTT BAIO SPELLED DOOM FOR THIS SORRY SHOW.RICHIE BECAME A BIG MOUTHED ARROGANT PIECE OF 1950S CRAP!MARION ROSS LITERALLY POSED FOR THE CAMERA WENT IT STARTED TO BE TAPED IN FRONT OF A LIVE AUDIENCE.ERIN MORAN GOT FAT,AND HER CHARACTER WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE ALL THESE BOYFRIENDS,COME ON!POTSIE LATER BECAME A WORTHLESS LOSER,WHO SPENT HOW MANY YEARS IN COLLEGE?WHO EVER TOLD HIM HE COULD SING?HE ALMOST SOUNDS AS BAD AS JOHN STAMOS.THE ONLY CHARACTER THEY ADDED I LIKED WAS CRYSTAL BERNARD.HER CHARACTER WAS GOOFY,BUT SHE WAS GREAT TO LOOK AT.MR CUNNINGHAM REMAINED PRETTY STRONG THRU OUT THE SHOW BUT HE DID JUMP THE SHARK IN A FEW EPISODES. After its first season when they started filming before a live audience. It went from being a heart-warming show about realistic teenagers to being a stupid show that threw realism out the window. Long before anybody jumped a shark. I remember watching a few reruns of this show and I do have to say it jumped when Richie (Ron Howard) left. I do remember characters such as the Fonz, Potsie and the parents Howard and Marion. I really liked the "Boy Meets World" episode where Cory went back in time to the 50s and a lot of "Happy Days" stars showed up. It all happened so close together. The studio audience. Fonzie-mania. The change in theme song. I'm still too traumatized to be specific. From gentle satire of '50's mores to the TV eqivelent of Bubble Yum with extra spider eggs. When Pat Morita left the show- Come On! How can you have an Arnold's restaurant without an Arnold? When Jenny Piccolo actually became a character. It was funny when she was just the unknown character who gave Joanie bits of devious information (i.e. "Jenny Piccolo said ...") How could Happy Days be so good for its first 2 or 3 seasons,then go downhill so fast?That's easy:bad writing,bad acting,bad producing,bad directing,lack of detail,and so on and so on.This show became a horrible piece of crap to watch.Fonzie was more convincing as a tough guy when he was more soft spoken(First two seasons).For some reason he developed this New York accent,which was stupid,he lives in the Midwest.How did the mighty Fonz develop these magical powers?One episode he made a balloon being held by officer Kirk, burst by snapping his fingers, how dumb.This shit really insulted your intelligence.Marion Ross seemed uncomfortable in front of a live audience.She's supposed to be an actress?Chachi was a 1960s feathered haired freak.Wearing a bandana around his leg,was that ever in style?Beak nosed Al Molinaro was a weak replacement for Pat Morita.He should have been arrested for impersonating an actor.Ralph was annoying with his stupid, corny, unfunny jokes.Potsie couldn't carry a tune with a handle.I always liked when his band played.Who in their right mind would believe they were playing those instruments?Their are too many more shark jumping moments on this show to talk about.I'd say every show after the first 2 seasons had at least five or more jumping moments per episode.Don't get me started on Mr.Ted Mcginley,and the rest of those cast members they added. Wow where do you start? The most amazing thing about this show is not just that it provided the perfect metaphor for the downhill slide, but in itself it's practically an encyclopedia of ways to jump the shark. What did they not do? I think actually killing off a main character is the only shark jump they avoided, although they did write some out of the show. But for me, it was "the cult of Fonzie," which started, or was at least aggravated by the shift to a live audience. Once The Fonz made his entrance and everyone had to hold his line for fifteen seconds of hysterical applause it tanked. As a vaguely menacing hood on the periphery of the action, he was an asset to the series and could give the jolt needed to move things along. When he became central, supplanted Chuck, moved in with Mr. and Mrs. C., it took away most of the reason for watching the show. We wanted to see the decent, honorable, sometimes confused, semi-nerdy Richie learn to come to terms with life and try to do the right thing. Fonz changed from an identifiable archetype into a caricature, and that probably is true for the whole show - no more real people, just actors coasting along in self parody. When Richie left. The show held up through an awful lot of changes, but without the main character, there was no show. On the other hand, I still found it tolerable until they rebuilt Arnolds and introduced all of the forgettable new characters. What were they thinking? I also agree that Fonz's coolness (exaggerated to begin with) was exaggerated to the point of stupidity, becoming almost a superpower. I think TV writers, in time, forget what the original point of a gag was supposed to be. Fonz thumping the jukebox in just the right spot to get a free song was a believable trick that would have impressed the hell out of teenagers. It added to his character and the overall atmosphere of the show, until the writers got carried away with it. The same can be said for Fonz snapping his fingers to summon whatever woman happened to be with him. It just got to the point that Fonz snapping his fingers and thumping things became the Happy Days equivalent of Samantha's nose wiggling on Bewitched. In the same vein is the joke about Fonzie's office. When someone wanted to talk privately, Fonz would make the joke "step into my office," and they would proceed into the nearest private place, the men's room, kick out whoever was there, and talk. Did anyone actually think that Fonzie really thought of the shitter as his office? It wasn't meant to be taken literally. What idiot thought it would be funny to really make it his office, complete with a desk? I suppose they thought they couldn't have too much of a good thing, but it often seemed like the people behind the show forgot the logic behind the gags. Ron Howard's receding hairline. Happy Days: The Comb-Over Years. Also: Scott Baio's '70s feather, Erin Moran's perm, and worst of all, Mrs. C's "updated" do. Wrong, wrong, wrong. One must remember when critiquing this show, that 11 years is a VERY LONG time for any sitcom, even the very best. Happy Days probably should have called it quits after 5 or 6. It is rather easy to break this show into 3 different sections: 1) The "Rock Around the Clock"/Filmed years (1st 2 seasons) 2) The "Fonzie lives in the Cunningham house WITH Ritchie Cunningham? filmed live before studio audience years (seasons 3 through seven) and 3) the post-Ritchie episodes (seasons 8-11). Now, contrary to what has been written before, season 3 was not THAT MUCH different from the 1st 2 seasons. Some people complain for example that Potsie was "derebelized", I seem to recall the idea that he was supposed to be uncool from DAY ONE. It was actually Ralph who got derebelized he started out being cooler than Ritchie, and soon became interchangeable with Potsie. Also there is this idea that Potsie did not start singing until the show was aired live, but I can remember 2 DIFFERENT filmed episodes where the gang forms a band (with Bag) and Potsie sings in those episodes. Also, even early on Fonzie might have a large role in an episode, such as the episode with the drag race or the one where he went back to school. Chuck was always a very minor character, there was only the one episode in season 2 that he had a substantial role. Chuck was gone for good mid-way through season 2. It IS true (IMHO, at least) that the show was much more realistic to the 1950s in the "Rock around the Clock" days. I think Chachi really signaled the downfall of keeping the continuity of the past. By the time, Richie left the show is deeply into the 1970s styles. The show was able to maintain a high quality level through most of the first seven seasons. I do believe that the Tuscaderos were a bad addition to the cast, and they did go overboard with Fonzie. I do sometimes wonder if the show would have been better if it stayed with its original format. Unfortunately, we'll never know. When Ritchie left, the show was pointless. HOW CAN YOU CONTINUE A SITCOM WITHOUT ITS LEAD CHARACTER. The show reached its nadir in the 1982-1983 season (coincidentally the very time I was born) when Fonzie had a STEADY GIRLFRIEND and was CONTEMPLATING MARRIAGE. Ridiculous. The character of KC was pointless as well. The show definitely jumped the shark when Ritchie left. The episodes with Ritchie make this one of my all time favorite TV shows. One word: Chachi. The show's characters had been evolving before that, certainly, and the first two seasons (filmed, not videotaped) were certainly funnier than what followed. But before the Dark One (your people know him as "Scott Baio") appeared it was still pretty great. I mean, what was the deal with his goddamn hair? Give him a DA or a crew cut, but who the hell was wearing their hair like that in the late '50s? It's a shame, too. It's a rare show that can keep up the quality over 11 seasons (much less *last* 11 seasons), so maybe I'm expecting too much, but had the show ended about three or four seasons earlier it'd probably be a lot more highly regarded today. Are you guys KIDDING ME??? Seriously I can't believe this many people hated the Fonz. Why does it seem to me this is ONE person (possibly a few more with some honest opinions) bashing practically every show in sight. Happy Days was a fun show. It wasn't Emmy worthy but it was funny and the thing I laugh at the most in this crap fest going on here is that it SUCKED ratings wise the first two years. WHo gave a fuck about Chuck?(excuse the ryme) This show became a success when it went to live audience and became sharper and funnier. HELLO! It was number ONE the second year after it started live audience. Fonzie ROCKED. He and Richie were AWESOME buddies...brothers... hence no need for Chuck the ill concieved and poorly acted character. When Ron Howard left the show did decline but it was still fun. Happy Days is AWESOME. You guys SUCK! I realised that the show became a true sitcom, or went from a sincere, sort of TV - version of American Grafitti, to a silly farce. I guess that was when they switched from the film to the video format, and they changed the theme song. Well in any case the look changed and the show's heart was gone. It was still entertaining for a while but mostly downhill from there. Just about everything you can think of has been said. Happy Days is the textbook example of how a show can JTS in every conceivable way possible. As for how a show that sucked so much could go on a good 7-8 years after the rot set in: it was the late 70s-early 80s, people! Actually, consider that there were only three networks, that's three outlets for any original shows. There was no FOX, no cable (not really, anyway), so when a show like HD slides to the lowest common denominator at the rate that it did, it had a near captive audience, because the alternatives were nil. One other thing: I'm surprised there's only one mention here of the attempt to rename the show "Fonzie's Happy Days". This was proposed quite early actually, around the 3rd or 4th season when the Fonzie character was starting to get popular. This proposed change was really upsetting to Ron Howard, who figured his character was going to be eventually pushed aside, and in fact he was going to quit the show over it. The network hacks finally relented on this, but of course went ahead with the rest of Fonzie-mania. Happy Days jumped the shark the instant Ron Howard & Donny Most left the show. It was the relationship between the Fonz & Ralph Malph that drove that show. All of my favorite episodes involved the relationship between the Fonz & Ralph as the focal point. These episodes were hilarious and well written. They made me feel something & captivated my undivided attention. Richie undoubtedly was an essntial element of the show; however, the dynamic duo of the Fonz & Ralph was magical, enthralling, and enchanting. The show was virtually worthless without Ralph & Richie. The Fonz and Ralph will certainly go down in history as one of the best and exquisite pairs in a 1970's sit-com. Hopefully someone out there may agree with me? If not, I stand firm! in reading the comments of the above posters, i see that many have issues with fonzie-mania, and/or fonzie "going soft." i hadn't seen this show since i was a kid, but i had just gotten done reading about it on this site. i then found out from a friend that a channel in my area was going to run a july 4 marathon of happy days. i got up too late to see the first three hours, but when i settled in to start watching it, i was horrified to see they were running part 1 of the demolition derby episodes. it starts with pinky re-surfacing in fonzie's life after, i presume, a long time apart. and then in the most sickening thing i've ever seen, the action of the episode stops and there is a sensitve, slow motion musical montage that shows pinky and fonzie riding together, dancing, and staring amorously into eachother's eyes. that was the last straw for me. forget about fonzie actually jumping the shark. after this pile of excrement, nothing could be worse. This funny show jumped when they let Potsie, ( Anson Williams) start singing. Can you voter's possibly think of anything worse, that can make you barf like a baboon, listening to him sing? There was an episode where Potsie and Pinky sang together. If this is on a cd, I intend to use it as a clay pidgeon with a 12 gage shotgun. 1 - Fonzie talks too much, and gets a concience 2 - Goodbye Richie and Ralph 3 - They're replaced by a bunch of annoying losers 4 - Richie and whats-her-name get married over the phone. 5- Suddenly everyone hates Potsie 6 - Fonzie has to fight for a steady girlfriend AND a kid 7 - WHAT THE HELL WAS WITH THE BLACK SHIRT ? ? ? The previous postings about Happy Days are dead on. The show began its slide in 1976. Each week I kept thinking that it was 'just a bad episode but it would go back to its previous form of past years', but it never did. 1977 was much worse than 1976 but the absolutely low point in this series was the 1978 season opener dude ranch episode followed by the Fonz going blind. The slide of this show parallels Joanie's (Erin Moran) body. In 74 and 75 Joanie was real cute. In 76 she started to get dorky. In 77 puberty set in in a bad way. Each episode you can see her getting fatter and fatter. By 1978 (dude ranch) she must have put on at least 20 extra pounds. I remember on the season opener my younger brother asking who that fat girl was? He didn't believe it was shortcake. Mr. C. in that episode said that Joanie had gotten tallerin summer camp. He should have said the truth that shortcake ate strawberry shortcake all summer and got real fat. The episode where the Fonz does a houdini was even more pathetic as Joanie wears a hot magician's assistant costume. Did you see her legs? She looked like a fat cow.I almost puked. Never watched another episode after that. When the Demolition Derby-Pinky Tuscadero episode premiered. I remember I was about nine years old when that episode came on the air and everything at first seemed normal about it until Al Molinaro appeared and said, "Hi... I'm Al!" It was errie... In an instant, to me, everything about the show changed. It was like Happy Days just got its TV cherry popped. I mean, there were some good episodes still to come but just like the girl next door who lost her virginity... Same girl, but there's something different about her... (Big sigh) Yep! Yep! Yep! Obviously, HD jumped the shark when the show went from a somewhat realistic comedy filmed and presented almost "movielike" to being filmed before a live audience. At this point, serious character development stopped, or went in reverse actually, the Fonz started becoming superhuman, Chuck disappeared, Richie was no longer the innocent high school kid learning about life, almost everything that could go wrong did. The first two years of this show is classic - some of the best TV ever. After that, once it went in front of the audience, this show immediately began degrading, becoming in my opinion, one of the absolute worst shows in the history of television. All those other things listed by others contribute to this. Chachi, Al, Superfonz, singing, stupid storylines, stupid extra characters, etc. This show jumped when it got preach with the arrival of Stinx, the African-American drummer in Richie's lame-o band. This episode dealt with Richie's "Welcome Hawaii to the Union" party. Poof!! Out of nowhere comes Stinx, the drummer, who conveniently disappears into the lily-white background of Milwaukee immediately after Richie's oh-so-enlightened sermon about brotherhood and equality. If Richie really meant it, why didn't he let Stinx date Shortcake? This once great show morphed into a sad stupid charicature of itself. My favorite episode to hate was the episode when everyone thought Fonzie had died. All the lame-ass characters from Laverne and Shirley came up to the coffin one by one as the studio audience howled thier approval. Then capper was when Fonz came in dressed as his "Grandmother". What a pitiful show. Winkler should have hung himself after that episode. Really bad stuff. First few years on film: genius. After that on tape before an audience, a gradually mounding heap of rancid compost that stunk worse each year. Please, God, someone, anyone, tell me why every character HAD to have a "special" catch phrase or habit: Richie: I found my thrills ... Ralph: I still got it Fonz: Ayyyyy Chachi: Waa-waa-waa Pinky: finger snapping and pointing Leather: thigh slapping and pointing Joanie: Go to your room. Howard and Marian: Want to get frisky? Al: Yep. Yep. Yep. Everybody: Sit on it It seems like the writers had a standing rule that no script could be approved unless it had at least five of these elements. Tom Bosley, Marion Ross, and Henry Winkler kept defibrilating this show by the sheer force of their exceptional acting long after the patient should have been declared dead. Ron Howard was great, too, and fortunately he was smart enough to get out because it was starting to get ridiculous watching a 40-year-old man with a hairpiece playing a college freshman. But the death knell of the show came with its incessant focus on The Fonz. Even shows that weren't specifically about him, involved him. Ralph wants to join the Marines so Fonzie talks him out of it. Richie gets in trouble writing a story for the newspaper so Fonzie gets him out of it. Howard has a mid-life crisis and wants to run off to Tahiti so Fonzie talks him out of it. Then Fonzie became more and more absurd. Remember the one where he was afraid of liver? LIVER! How does a self-respecting writer do an entire show based around meat products? What about the one where Fonzie hurt his knee on his bike and sat around in his pj's sulking on the couch because he didn't want anyone to see him making "uncool" faces if he tried to walk and it was too painful? I think this was epitomized in the episode where Officer Kirk is trying to run Fonzie out of town just because he doesn't like him (I was on Kirk's side btw) and everyone dresses up like Fonzie and they all run Kirk out of the diner. This was like a subliminal message from the writers saying, "Look, we're trying to get rid of Fonzie too, but you idiots love him so much we're gonna give you so much Fonzie you won't be able to take it." They were right, I couldn't take it and started watching M*A*S*H. In the "Malachi Crunch" two part episode. One the brothers throws a pie at Fonzie. Fonzie pulls out a hair dryer and 'fires' it at the approaching pie. Said pie reverses direction, lands in the Malachi's face. 1. A pie reversing it's course? I DON'T THINK SO. 2. Why does Fonzie have a hair dryer with him? 3. WHERE WAS IT PLUGGED IN? Did hair dryers come with cigarette lighter plug ins back in the 50s? When Ron Howard left the show went down hill. I didn't think the Shark episodes did it. If anything, it was when he tried to leave the country with a female reporter but once he left, ick. I like Ted McGinley, worked with him as extra on Major League Back to the Minors - very personable! I loved this show when I was a kid. I practically worshipped Fonzie. My mom told me that the guy that plays Fonzie was going to be on the Johnny Carson show, so I could stay up to watch it. When I tuned in I was horrified to see,instead of Fonzie, some guy named Henry Winkler with curly hair and a beard. Happy Days was never the same for me after that. I know it wasnt the shows fault,but thats when it jumped the shark for me. This show JTS at the start of Season Four when Fonzie fell in love with Pinky Tuscadero. It was starting the slide in Season Three when Fonzie took over but it still had some classic episodes, ie: Richie taking on those tough guys at Arnold's after Fonzie taught him how to fight. Richie going nuts at Arnold's "C'mon, I'll take you all on" before Arnold calms him down is classic. Too bad this show got worse as it lost its original premise and sank into mediocrity and worse. Ralph and Potsie became foolish instead of funny and so many side characters were introduced that it all fell apart. Man...It's totally redundant to identify the shark-jumping point. There were many...but I was glued to the set for years like everyone else. But I just want to touch upon the fact that Happy Days was the linch-pin for a BUNCH of spinoffs which mean, in effect, that all these characters exist in the same world/universe/whatever. (Laverne and Shirley, Mork and Mindy...but does anyone remember an episode where an angel named Random shows up in Arnold's diner in what was effectively a cameo to push the new show that would be featuring his character that fall. I want to say that it was '79 or '80. The show tanked after a few episodes. Anyone remember this or the show that featured the Random angel-character? When Fonzie got more speaking parts. In the first year he didn't speak much, usaully just a stare. It also was before he wore a black jacket. I believe he wore a gray jacket in the beginning. When Fonzie was in a car race and the other driver was about to throw some sand or powder, Fonzie pulls out a hand held blow dryer (with NO cord) and blows it back at the bad guys........ After that stupid episode, I was looking for ways to create my own happy nights on Tuesdays at 8:00. Your site got it right. This show jumped the shark when Fonzie jumped the shark. I think it also lost steam when it went live before a studio audience, and basically when Fonzie began to overtake the show. Another landmark leap into badness came when Arnold's burned down and was replaced with what looked like a ludicrously tacky Ponderosa resto. Joanie and Chachi were annoying too. And that Alfred fellow whose running gag was "Yep yep yep yep." What on earth was up with that? A show that started out so well, and ultimately had so many fish to leap over. It's sad. I was gullible enough to believe the shark jumping episode, and even the Mork from Ork episodes, but when Fonzi befriended Sticks, it was too much. Other than Rich, Ralph, and Pots, the only other non-racist in Wisconsin was a 1950's greazer mechanic. Fonzi and the Cunninghams were the only people who showed up at Arnold's to hear the band play because of Sticks being the drummer. It was also a little tough to believe that Fonzi could scare away 5 tough guys at once. In real life, I would think that Joannie could kick Henry Winkler's ass. This show had four stages of jumping : one, when Pat Morita left and they replaced him with that annoying Al Molinaro, who still does EXACTLY the same character in those annoying Swanson or whatever frozen lasagna commercials 21 years later. Two, when Fonzie and "Aaaayyyyy" became a phenomenon much like Jimmie Walker and "Dy-no-mite." The fad lasts about a month and then homeroom high school teachers are saying it everywhere and the fad stinks like dead fish. Third, when "Happy Days" and "The Theme to LaVerne and Shirley" went Top 40. I think the show was way past its prime before Ritchie graduated high school and went to college or to the military. Anything that overexposed is a jump. The first two seasons were the best. Fonzie was more interesting as a supporting character. When he became the main focus, that was the beginning of the end. Still, the show stayed at an enjoyable plateau for a while after that. When I was in school, it was the show you had to watch to know what everyone was talking about the next day. But when it got ridiculous (Fonzie as a role model--needs to wear glasses and does so to show that glasses can be cool, then never wears them again; Pinky Tuscadero, Leather Tuscadero, for pity's sake!) then I lost interest. After all, part of the whole initial charm of the show was seeing Ron Howard continue to grow up as a TV character. Ted McGinley doesn't deserve the blame; the show was already on the way down the drain and spiraling before he got there. After reading all the other comments (took awhile) there isn't a whole lot more to say. However, Pinky sucked (I would like to seriously damage the person who came up with THAT idea). Leather I could tolerate, but, Pinky looked like she was turned down for a job at the local whorehouse for looking too slutty. About Chachi - my mother and I used to sit and watch HD together as kind of a mother-son thing and she put it best: "No decent '50's family would have let that young man in the door." Background on Fonzie: When the man who played John Milner on "American Graffiti" turned down the role, Marshall got a little known actor who had done almost exclusively Shakespeare on stage to reprise his role from the Sly Stallone vehicle "The Lords of Flatbush". Watch it to see a young Winkler play the prototype Fonzie. THAT is where the east-coast accent comes from. Winkler, in a Feb, 1976 interview on a morning show, admitted to all this and claimed he only took the role despite detesting the character because it was all the work he could get. The fact that the real person is not the portrayed character is meaningless. The only meaning is how convincing and entertaining the person is. When the Fonze switched to a Triumph, I figured him for a pussy. That was because he crashed the Harley and seriously injured himself when he drove off the scene in the Air Raid Shelter episode. But, I still liked him. For me, after the 1-2 punch of the freak and the prostitute, I was gone. Narrowing this jump is very difficult. I should say when they quit actually greasing their hair, although after Tom Hanks kicked the Fonz through the window, I never watched again. I hate when they make a character a player for his high school team and they always feature one of those cheesy little miniature high school gyms built on a sound stage. It is so obvious that the gym is only about one tenth the size of a regulation gym. The player runs four steps and he's managed to run the full court. And the bleachers (usually loaded with other cast members) feature two or three tiny rows. No school in America has a gym like that!! They do the same thing on scores of other lame shows such as Fresh Prince, Full House, etc. And of course, Richie or (insert main character here) manages to make the crucial game winning shot just as the buzzer runs out. The other cast members swarm to the gym floor and carry Richie on their shoulders. Wow, how quickly ten or twelve people can manage to fill up an entire gymnasium! What? Are they giants or something. Those phony gym scenes make me crazy!!! Grrrrrrr! Kill! Happy Days was so lame after the first couple of seasons. Even as a ten year old back in 1976, I thought it got stupid. If a ten year old kid thought so then why were adults tuning in? Richie and the gang began growing their hair longer like it was the 70's and they began using non-1950s insults such as "sit on it, Potsie" and "Hey Bucko!" God oh god who writes these shows? Do they think everyone is so damn stupid that they'll just buy into this crap? Didn't the cast realize how stupid the show became? Why didn't someone do something? Fonzie with super powers? Geeeez! No wonder you named a website after the dumbest moment of this show's history. It was lame long before Fonz jumped the shark. I am dead certain that Happy Days invented what I refer to as the "Review" episode. This is a cheap, shoddy way to sneak the viewers what amounted to a re-run by having the characters sit around and in the course of "talking" about certain events on previous shows, you would be magically transported there for that scene. Nice way for the cast & crew & writers to take the week off. They could write the dialog & shoot the scene in a day. Then all they had to do was insert the old scenes into the new tape. Ooooof! I always felt cheated when I got one of these turkeys instead of a new show. It certainly could be argued that that Happy Days JTS at the times mentioned here. How the show continued without THE STAR Ron Howard was most puzzling. Greenland of all places. This may have been mentioned already...but why did the dining room disappear? Also...the front door in the living room was on the other side of the room in the early episodes... but switched walls when the dining room went. The stairway to my knowledge remained in the same place. All of the exterior shots of the house were the same. Mentioned above, for me the seminal moment was when the show hits the sixties the Fonz gets upset that the kids ain't a-jivin-an-a-twistin to rock and roll any more. Marion says (something like) "Aww Fonzie. Times change, tastes change..." I realized then the The Fonz was old and washed up and should know better than hanging around Al's annoying the kids. when Fonzie became a superhero type who was almost godlike it became nauseating. the jump to me was Pinky and the demo derby the show stared to go in the tank literally. That episode was an embarrassment. this show strayed so far from it original concept it became a joke.One gag me episode I recall before I gave up on the show altogether was when that loser Potsie has a secret admirer that called him dren .It is soon revealed later the secret admirer is joanie and dren is nerd spelled backwards because her dear Potsie is the oppisite of a nerd.That episode made me gag. When Ron Howard left you realised that this was HIS show and not Henry winklers. Also when Jenny Picolo (what the hell was that about) and other assorted friends and relatives (oh dear Ted...)became regular cast members well gee-whiz, i guess in retrospect the show was corny, having its bad cornball moments now and again, but i'm sure glad i was a kid during the span of a show like this, since youth too has its corny moments, many of them actually; but still, in recollection, its just those endearingly cornball moments you miss, right? I know I miss them - youth AND happy days. thank god im not part of this current mindless super smart wannabe intellegent Friends/Frasier/Seinfeld generation of coffe shop smart-allecky superemotional though dumbbrained nontrain delraied knowitalls. memories are great, ain't they? especially when they're corny and fun enough to remember (and to base an entire website on)... in twenty years time the youth of today will only remember that they never had a childhood, and that's Life itself Jumping the Shark, dontcha think? Happy Days ruled and that's the end of it... Did people in the 50's actually wear bright-orange leisure suits with a jaunty scarf tied around the neck like Ralph Malph in the demolition derby ep? What the hell is up with that outfit? He looks like he escaped from County Jail. Potsie probably let him borrow it. When Fonzie stopped being a hood and joined the family. This one jumped when Fonzie stopped being a hood and joined the family. He went from being a bete noire to Mr Cunningham to his second son. I can't put my finger on it directly but I do know that the episodes with "Rock Around The Clock: as the opening theme are usually funny and the ones with the "Happy Days" song are almost always not. What was cool about the shows first few seasons was that the guys were trying to get SEX from the chicks. It soon became watered down into simply "making out" (horribly demonstrated by the Fonz's lip-preparation jokes). I rememeber in one of the initial shows Richie played chess with a date and Fonzie got all excited because he thought he said he "played with her chest". Soon the forgot they had private parts and kissing was the ultimate. Soon it really went downhill as Fonzie became tantamount to a superhero, taking on aliens,sharks as well as a bunch of gang members that would have kicked the crap out the wimp that he became. The show went from "cool" to "tripe" in a sadly short amount of time. To the poster who was dead sure that Happy Days invented the review episode, not so. I happened to see a review episode of Leave It To Beaver awhile ago on TV Land. That episode must have aired sometime in the very early sixties, judging on the ages of Wally & the Beav. So that genre of CRAP TV has been around for awhile. I soooo believe all of the above posts!!! Too many sharks to mention but, did anyone else wonder if the town they lived in had any more parents? And wouldn't a real teenager get upset if his parents showed up as chaperones everywhere he went?...the prom...the dance contest...blah blah blah....(klewn, lockin quinum?) I would like to thank the person for the clarification about the "Review" show. I watched LITB religiously as a kid and have no memory of that. Now I know. BTW - Potsie singing ANYTHING is more annoying then a root canal. Talk about a legend in his own mind! I guess I have to agree with all the Fonzie stuff -- but I would give anything for a night with Leather Tusqedero. As an aside, I didn't even KNOW Richie had left the show and it still went on for three years -- I tuned out when Potsie and Ralph joined the cast of La Cage.... When Fonz's mutant powers manifest themselves this show really plummeted! I had heard an interview with Erin Moran and she said she refused to do the reunion show because Henry Winkler made lewd sexual advances toward her and the producers never did anything because he was the star! The show Jumped the Shark when they began taping in front of a live audience. The show was best the first two seasons-it had more of an American Graffitti feel to it. However, when they taped in front of a live audience, the sets had to be adjusted. All outside scenes were virtually eliminated. This is also around the time when they over-used the Fonz I think the show was on a rollercoaster ride after Ron Howard left. Sometimes it was still funny, but other times it was simply a waste of time. But before the rise of cable TV, the show could survive on fumes. Two other things: (1) Fonzie didn't blow a pie back at Rocco Malacci during the demolition derby. It was flour. Yes, it still made little sense. The best part of that trilogy, though, was the end of the first part, when Count Malacci was swinging that sledgehammer at the engine block of Pinky's car. Television history! (2) Yes, there are and were gyms as small as that crackerbox on the show. Even during the 1980s, I attended several junior high basketball games at one of those places with only three rows of bleachers that stretched all the way across one side of the gym. I still have fond memories of being one of the fans who were packed like sardines as the temperature of the gym reached roughly 100 degrees. But the best part was buying a box of Milk Duds at the concession stand, sucking the chocolate off one until it became a sticky gray orb, then hurling it into the mass of enemy fans at the other end of the bleachers. Ahh, memories ... For some reason they replaced The Fonz's 1947 74 cu. in. Knucklehead Harley with a winnie 500 Triumph. When Fonzi would straddle that beautiful cycle with the black tank with red pinstrippes he was quintessential cool. I was just a little kid in the early 80's so the Happy Days I saw were the reruns of the first 3 or 4 seasons with Ron Howard. I'd almost say that the show jts when Fonzie suddenly had superpowers, or Mork showed up and dueled with the Fonz(come to think of it, there are so many times that the show could've jts before Ron Howard left I can't even list them all!) But I remember Happy Days being the first show that enlightened me to the fact that when the main character leaves, the show has a .000001% of ever being as good. Joanie and Chachi didn't leave a sinking ship, it was already sunk. To this day I still remember the horror and disgust I felt when I saw the beginning of an episode from the Ted Mcginley/Jenny Piccolo era. Terrifying!! I couldn't and still can't believe that show even got to the point where only the Fonz is left and a character only referenced by Joanie (Jenny Piccolo)in the early seasons is featured as a main character. The execs at ABC must've rolled there sleeves all the way up to their shoulders to fish into the bottom of the barrel for that one. (Nothing personal Ted) Happy Days became intolerable the very moment that each of its characters developed a Signature Bit (SB) that the writers were obligated to work into almost every single episode. After each SB occurs, the studio audience breaks into wild applause, bringing the show to a halt for an awkward couple of seconds and forcing the actor to wink a grateful acknowledgement. By the time Fonzie says "Ayyy!," Richie sings "Blueberry Hill," Mr. C. says "Joanie, go to your room," Al says "Yep, yep yep," and anybody says "Sit on it!," almost half the running time of the episode is gone. I only got to watch HD after the Fonz era began, before that it was on after my bedtime, apparently the subject matter was too mature. Perhaps that is how shows JTS, by finding a new audience that doesn't remember when the show was good. There was this episode, during the Fonzie years, where Joanie was going to join a motorcycle gang. The gang was called the "Red Devils," a play on Hells Angels? For her initiation she had to "neck" with all of the "Red Devils." I wondered what all the fuss was about. Smoochies were bad? Then the Fonz and the big Ragou show up to save her from smearing her lipstick. I remember thinking that the twenty or so bikers should have been able to rip Fonzie and Carmine a new one each. No, they were dealing with serious adult issues like gang rape and they used the metaphor of "necking." This schizophrenic attitude toward sex and violence is one of the clearest signs of Jumping The Shark to ever have occurred on Sappy Daze. Happy Days is still one of my all time favorite shows, but it definitely did a big jump. I think the main jump was when Richie & Ralph left for the Army. Several things led up to the big jump-Fonzie's black T-Shirt, the espresso machine in Arnolds, the fire at Arnolds, Chachi getting a bigger part. Richie's wedding over the phone was one of the stupidest weddings ever on TV. Anyone care to explain how for years Chachi pined after an-older-than-him Joanie, then suddenly they're the same age a few seasons later??? Also, in the first few years, the guys were always saying they're 17 years old. Then, in the episode where they fight the red devils in the school gym,(season 5 or 6 maybe??) Richie says "we're almost 18 years old and Fonzie is still fighting our battles for us" Time obviously stood still on this show!!! Making the Fonz "serious" wasn't a good move, either. That was in the era of "Message" tv shows. Happy Days, Welcome Back Kotter and other sitcoms would give you 20 minutes of humor, then the last few minutes could have been titled "the moral of our story is...." We won't even start to get in to the post-Richie & Ralph cast additions. Isn't it hilarious how shows "suddenly" add a nephew, niece, grandchild or whatever after never being mentioned before??? Mother Kelp at least was mentioned!! We had never heard about Roger or Crystal Bernard's character before they moved in. Why wasn't Potsie in the last episode?? He lasted the whole series but wasn't even around for Joanie's wedding. From the moment that Fonzie became the focal point of the show. When the show began, Fonzie provided a nice contrast to Richie, Potsie and Ralph. As Fonzie's role in the storyline grew, the show jumped. This probably began happening in year 2. In the episode where Fonzie decides to get baptised after he crashes his bike, the priest (Al Molinaro as Al's twin brother) says 'Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli' HERBERT! Why did they feel the need to give him that name! The next episodes were the shark jumping episodes but the jump actually occurred here. This episode aired, I believed, in the early '80's. It could have been a very topical episode given the subject matter. Al sees a young Black child beaten on television during a peaceful protest down South, and decides to go to Missippi to work with for civil rights. Many Northern whites where disgusted by this and did go there at the time (and many were killed for their beliefs, such as students Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney and Detroit housewife Viola Liuizzo). However, instead of being even remotely realsitic (for instance the locals call Al a "black lover", rather than the racist and revolting expression "ni***r lover" that unfortunately was commonplace at the time), it turned out to be a more of the same - the episode ends with the white waitress of a local diner saying she's had enough while the local rednecks just stare with stupified expressions on their faces. Problem solved in 22 minutes. Had this actully taken place in the early '60's, I'm sure an incident like this would have ended in blood-shed. It sent the wrong message to the young people in the audience at that time. It was bad enough that we had a government in the '80's that wanted to turn back the clock, but we had "Crappy Days" re-writing and distorting history to make it more palatable to the TV audience. No wonder the generation who who children in the late '70's and '80's ended up being so callous and self-centered! This epsiode trivilized on of the greatest struggles in our American history and was a slap in the face to all who died in the struggle for equality. The show jumped the shark long before (around 1978), but this was the end for me. I loved the early episodes, but the post-'78 shows turn my stomach. Also, the wardrobe from the late 70's onward is revolting enough to make me tune out. HELLO - it was supposed to be around 1962 by that time, not 1975!!! Get real!!! Ponder these thoughts for a while.....how did the shark know to stay in the area to be jumped for so long? Did he know that the area that is blocked off with bright orange flags was his area to roam? And how did the shark eat? Did he just wait for unsuspecting water skiers who were not as cool as the Fonz to try to jump over him? These questions may never be answered by any mere mortal. When Chuck left? They never explained what happened to him, was he killed in Korea or hit his head on the rim or dribbled into the street without looking, what happened to Chuck? Fonzie jumping cars was important not just as a foreshadow of JTS, but representative of the annoying 70's in the 50's element that creeped into the show (could anyone in the 50's have had Chachi's hair and not been beaten up??). "The Evel Knievel craze is huge, he has a motorcycle, Fonzie has a motorcycle...ergo, Fonzie jumping cars will be a hit!" It also supported ABC broadcasting Evel's jumps on Saturday afternoons. The show jumped the shark when Fonzie literally jumped the shark. Then, the boat turned around and did an encore performance. That can be summed up with the 1976-84 seasons. But, the show jumped yet again, and in a big way, when they had the singing episode. That thing stunk on ice. I mean, who conceived this? Has this person been ostricized from the screenwriting community, because I still have nightmares about seeing Chachi in a pilgrim's outfit, singing a song to Joanie that sounded like it was written in 1979 by Carole King, as opposed to the early '60s. But, the kicker had to be the "Liberation Blues," or some title to that effect, where McGinley, Al, Potsie and all the other losers got to sing a wretched line to this horrible song. Then, in between, they all screech "Oooooooo, I got the 'whatever' blues." It's almost as if, at that point, the shark was laughing at us. One time, not too long ago, I caught the beginning of that episode. I shot my TV, and then hid in a corner, in a fetal position, for about three days. Thinking about it makes me ill. Like so many others, I believe the show jumped the shark the minute they started filming in front of a studio audience, but this actually happened at the end of the 1975-76 season. They shot one episode (as a test, I suppose) in front of the studio audience. Without prior warning, Fonzie was suddenly engaged to a girl he THOUGHT worked at the library. In reality, she was "The Lone Stripper", whose stage costume included cowboy hat, mask, six-shooters, and stick horse. Fonzie brought her "home" to meet the Cunninghams, who were "as close to a real family as I got" -- when the hell did THAT happen? The Cunningham living room set had not, at this point, undergone the more drastic later change -- the door was still stage left, but the separate dining room was gone. Right from the beginning of this episode, the cast became loud and obnoxious, as they stuggled to project their voices over the equally loud and obnoxious studio audience. Fonzie became some kind of leather-clad version of Sir Walter Raleigh, leaping to his feet every time Mrs. C got up from the table. This is the episode where Fonzie really lost his cool. I can't believe Garry Marshall and company watched this shit and decided to continue the experiment on for the rest of the show's run. It was this episode that cost "Happy Days" its chance of becoming one of the half-dozen greatest shows in history. When Richie (Ron Howard) left. Part of the appeal of HD was the difference between Richie and Fonzie and thier interplay. You also lost the interplay between Richie and Joanie, the brother and sister on TV who resembled me and my sister. Sometimes we'd get on each other's nerves, and snap at each other, and sometimes we'd be friendly and agreeable. Happy Days kind of jumped when Chachi came aboard, though it was still good for a while despite him. I remember a few years ago when Nick-at-Nite held a vote asking whether viewers liked their Happy Days Episodes "Chachinated (with Chachi)" or "De-Chachinated." Surprisingly, "Chachinated" won! I think Scott Baio must have called in and voted for himself several thousand times. I'm sure he had the spare time. It jumped for good when Richie left and they made Joanie and Chachi the focus of the show. It also didn't help when they introduced the "live studio audience" that had to cheer for like a minute straight every time someone entered. This is a very tempting thing that's done all the time that usually causes show to digress. Fonzie was a very funny character in the first couple of years and became very popular. What happens is the "give the people what they want" method. He's popular so make him more part of the show. This works at first, but after a while the show starts revolving around him and the origional flow of the show and storylines suffer. It seems like a good idea at the time, but people start to get sick of that character, no matter how good he is. I can think of a lot of sitcoms that fell into that trap. I agree with EVERYTHING everyone wrote about this show starting well and then going on a 10-year slide. Another sure sign of the appocalypse was when Fonzie's magical powers began to be accompanied by that weird musical dum-da-DUMMMM, as if the fact that he HAD magical powers wasn't stupid enough. Oh, and what was the deal with that catching-quarters-off-your-elbow thing, courtesy of Fonzie's wimpy little cousin Angie? If that wanker had shown up during the first year, the Fonz would have put a chain around his scrawny neck, attached the other end to the back of his bike, and dragged that lamer nerd around the parking lot at Arnold's. Happy Days is, was, and always be a favorite to me. Now let's shark it over like this: -Seasons 1-2:Everything was 50's-esque from theme song to wonderful cast. -Seasons 3-7:Rock around...theme gone, the guys grow up, Fonz is popular, Joanie cute, Mr. C commanding, Mrs. C fabulous (like always) Everything was smooth....UNTIL TED MCFREAKINGINLEY!!! WHY THE HELL DID THIS SORRY EXCUSE FOR A COMEDY ACTOR WAS ADDED? HE LITERALLY KILLED THIS SHOW!!! I know Fonzie was way overrated and Sexy Joanie fell in the arms of Gay Chachi was the came-closers to JTS, BUT WHY DID THIS SCREWUP MAKE THIS LOOK MORE HAPPIER? I"LL TELL YOU WHY, ABC WANTED THE OVERLY FEMALE FANS TO SAY 'TED YOU ARE SOOOOO CUTE' (BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH). I HOPE HE DISAPPEARS FROM THE FACE OF THE COSMOS UNIVERSE AND GETS EATEN ALIVE BY MAN-EATING ANTS AND HAVE HIS REMAINS BURNT TO ASHES!!!!! Happy Days jumped when: 1-Joanie was wearing her frizzy early eighties perm in the sixties! 2-Howard Cunningham was wearing wearing glasses from the early eighties! 3-Chachi dressed like late sixites hippie in the eearly sixties! 4-Ted McGinley A number of horrible Halloween Episodes. Fonzie dreams that a mad scientist transplants his cool into the "Frankenstein Fonzie"...Ralph (I think it was Ralph) believes he is cursed by the Gypsy woman...etc When Ritchie and Fonzie doubled with Laverne and Shirley and Ritchie had to break into the house, only to be discovered in a comprimising position my Mr. and Mrs. C. And Mrs. C had to cover Joanie's eyes after walking in the door! When I first heard about this website I thought immediately that the term "Jump the Shark" was coined because it was so obvious that after Fonzie jumped the shark in Happy Days the show had seen its finest moment and was headed downhill from there. Is that not right? Is it not a reference to the shark jumping episode in Happy Days? As soon as the theme song changed to the one we all probably know. The "Happy Days" song is a shrink-wrapped piece of Alan Thicke penned crap. The badass, o.g. Bill Halley theme "Rock Around the Clock" was where it is at. Back then Fonzie was Marlon Brando. Back then Fonzie was a hardcore Wisconsin livin' biker and Ritchie was as bitch as they come. What happened? Happy Days jumped when everyone's hairdos changed. When the show first aired everyone had official hairdos of the time but then Richie stopped greasing his hair, Marian did away with the beehive and Joanie got a Pat Benatar! Don't even get me started on Chachi's feathered mullet! I didn't realize those were big in 1963! This is easy...and sad. What started out to be a very class show ended up being a caricature. Two things: "Rock Around The Clock" was replaced with "Happy Days", and the phrase "Taped before a live studio audience". Thanks to TVland and Nick at Night for showing them, I know for the first couple of weeks I truly enjoy the show, then when the CHANGE happens I don't watch it. When Bag was written out. There was alot more 50s style hijynx when he was around, and more exterior shots too (as I remember). How come that as the show progressed and became more popular (with the increase in ad revenue and budget that always comes with that popularity), they seemed to spend more time in the standing sets (Arnold's/Al's, the Cunninghams' Living Room, etc.), and not out with a bunch of DeSotos cruising the strip like in the first season? That just showed a lack of inspiration from the creative arm of production, and probably more money going 'above the line' and less going into things like production values. AND another JTS moment was when Fonzie dated a girl who was a stripper without his knowledge and dumped her because of her choice of career. ABC TOTALLY promoted that episode as a big tease (the trailer for thatepisode included her 'act' to the point when her top 'comes off'), and then 'punished' the stripper character for her choice of career (painting her a s a scarlett woman, not worthy of Hero Fonzie. Not virtuous enough for a character whose backstory included a questionable ongoing relationship with twin sisters, and a infinitely long succession of one-night-stands. So freaking hypocritical (and typical) to push some conservative and shortsighted agenda on network TV. Sure, any number of sluts can pass through Fonzie's apartment as long as they keep their mouths shut and still rely on some man to bring the bacon home for them. But an empowered woman who challenges the moral climate? Shame on her! She wasn't a bad character (she didn't try to seduce Richie, or steal money from Mr. C). She was just progressive. Back into the kitchen with you, Missy, whoever you are! ANd no I'm not a rabid feminist--I'm not even a goil, but even at 10yrs old I smelled a rat with THAT double-standard. And I idolized the Fonz until I saw that example of his lack of loyalty, and his uncharacteristic bending to what OTHER people thought was acceptable. Wasn't he supposed to be the rebel? Not only was Mork's arrival Jumping the Shark, but it was a total ripoff of the Flintstones (Kazoo). But how many shows spun off three others, two of which (M&M, L&S pre-LA) were pretty good, one (Joanie Loves Chachi) was abysmal. When they opened a season with Pinky Tuscadero. Gary marshal discovered he didn't have to work a lick and could coast for the rest of the run of the series. First, to answer the question, Happy Days Jumped The Shark when Ron Howard left. Let's face it, the show was about Ritchie Cunningham (with his friends and family, but the focus was still on him). Having said that, let me also say THANK YOU to the person who posted the message about the angel that showed up on HD (twice!) and had a spinoff TV show of his own (also set in the 80's, just like Mork and Mindy). That makes a total of 5(!!) spinoffs! (okay, the animated Happy Days, Joanie Loves Chachi, Laverne and Shirley, Mork and Mindy, and that angel show - what the heck was it called? and info on the animated show can be found on Yesterdayland.com, just in case nobody here has heard of it.). And for those of you who remember the angel, do you also remember in the 2nd HD episode with the angel character, Ritchie asks the Fonz to kill him! (kill Ritchie, that is; not the angel)(okay, the story is that the angel basically tells Ritchie that Ritchie will become an Angel, but that he has to die first...) As to the whole Fonz-gaining-super-powers-thing, yes it is silly, but for kids (at least, I hope that stuff was primarily aimed at kids) it wasn't too bad - kinda fun. FAVOURITE SCENE: Fonzie is talking on the phone with some woman, chatting her up, basically asking her out on a date. The woman apparently isn't too impressed. FONZ (on phone): What was that? 'What makes me think I am so cool?' Fonz hangs up phone. Phone rings. Fonz picks up phone. PONZ (speaking into phone): THAT's what makes me think I am so cool. Yes, this is an example of writing from one of the sillier periods in the show's history, but I remember having fun with it in my pre-teen years (God, am I really that old?!?!). Oh, and the jigsaw puzzle I had of the cast in front of Arnold's was way cool. I had succeeded in repressing my memories of watching "Happy Days", out of a sense of shame and embarrassment that I ever enjoyed it. But then I thought further, and then recalled that even as a young child, there were many moments of crapulence that I became cognizant of upon first viewing such episodes. So here they are: 1. Richie leaving. I bet he was embarrassed even to be part of the show by that point. 2. Fonzie's magical ability to hit the jukebox and play a song, or what-have-you. Ridiculous. 3. Yes, jumping the shark. 4. Chachi - used to be younger than Joanie. Had a 70's feathered do in the 1950's/60's. Plus, Scott Baio had enormous bug eyes. Disturbing. 5. Joanie & Chachi singing to each other. 6. Potsie singing to Joanie. Sent shivers up my spine (the bad kind.) 7. All other singing. 8. The Mork episode. Cannot even verbalize my thoughts on this. 9. Fonzie becomes the focus. 9a. Hooting and hollering from the audience when Fonzie enters. This must've led the writers to believe that those of us at home wanted more of Arthur Fonzarelli. 10. Fonzie in general. He can't say the words "I was wrong" or apologize, and keeps it up the whole episode, practically. 11. Spike. He really needed to be hit with a baseball bat. Agree with 90% of all above posts. I thought I was the only one. Kudos to you all!! Can you think of any other show in American history which was both one of the greatest shows of all time, and yet one of the worst of all time? Other than Happy Days, I can't. Case in point: I tuned in to watch this train wreck of a once-great show of yesteryear. (It was in sequence to begin the Ron Howard-less episodes), and instead, to my surprise, I got "I Love Lucy". TVLand didn't even have the balls to air the post-1980 espisodes! If only the Happy Days writers could have been this brilliant! I think I recall Steven Spielberg once quoted as saying "Jaws was based on Happy Days". I think there are two distinct versions of the show "Happy Days": The first is the first season (w/out the audience) and the second are the other seasons (w/ the live audience). Compare those. They seem completely different. It's like the characters' personalities are completely altered. The Cunningham's house is altered. Etc. Now I don't mind shows taped before a live audience (some of my favorite shows are), but when it gets to the point where the audience has to clap everytime the Fonz (or Richie) walks onto the set, it's just annoying. Speaking of sets, WHY did they change the floor plan of the Cunninghams' house? Obviously it was to accomodate the studio audience, but it was just "weird" to say it was the same house when it WASN'T. And I agree with the previous poster who said that houses from that era didn't have open floor plans. But come on, folks. It's a TV show, not real life. Deal with it. Or don't watch it. Anyway, it's a great show, no matter which 'version' you watch. (By the way "Happy Days" is the all-time GREATEST theme song of all time! Why did they even USE "Rock Around The Clock" in the first place?) Not only did the 'memory' of "Chuck (bouncer) Cunningham" get lost, but he was played by 2 or 3 different actors. Although Fonzie-mania drove me crazy (and really cleared the way for me having to suffer through it for Larry, Darryl and Darryl every week on Newhard), I don't think the giant tank was actually cleared until Richie left the show. I'm fairly sure I stopped watching after that, although I did tune in for the two parter where he came back and for the final episode. I couldn't deal with Chachi as an evergrowing presence (like a fungus). When Fonzie loved that kid so much that he had to adopt him on that last episode, had he ever been on before? Or was it one of those "well, let's just talk about how much they love each other and nobody will notice that we've never seen/heard of him before?" (A la Alex's best friend dieing on Family Ties.) I don't even remember Jenny Piccolo or Ted McGinley, so I either had stopped watching or have successfully blocked it out. To the previous poster who said the show was set in 1962 when it started - not even close, my friend. One of the shows I remember clearly dealt with friction in the Cunningham household because Howard was voting for Eisenhower and Richie wanted Adlai Stevenson to win (I don't remember if he could actually vote - I don't think so). I remember Fonzie, in what I believe was one of his earlier "big" scenes speaking at the rally: "I like Ike. My bike likes Ike! If Ike doesn't win I'm going to be maaaaad!" Eisenhower and Stevenson ran against each other twice, in 1952 and 1956. I'd guess this was the 1956 election represented, though I don't remember if they discussed him as already being president. I don't think the show was ever supposed to be set as early as 1952, though. Regarding one or two other postings: the one where Richie, Potsie and Ralph pretend to be Tunisian Camel Jockies was hilarious (at least to me at the time - I haven't seen it in twenty years or so!) And the idea of Fonzie saying "Cool it!" and the forest going silent was supposed to be over the top funny. The poster who talked about Howard and Marion watching the Andy Griffith show I think confused two separate, hilarious "in" jokes. Richie himself was watching the Andy Griffith show and as he turned it off said something about (either) how he loved that Opie or how cute that little Opie was. Another time, in an exterior scene, it showed Howard and Marion leaving a theater after seeing the film "The Music Man" (with Ronny Howard), and Marion says "That little boy looks just like Richie when he was young!" to which Howard replies, "Marion, you're crazy!" - a classic line. Hey, the show gave us some great laughs, and the inspiratio for this great site! (A sign of the declining quality of the show - when Fonzie was jumping with his motorcyle he broke a leg, when he jumped the shark tank [probably the first time he ever went waterskiing] he did it perfectly!) The showed jumped the shark in a big way when sex became the dominant theme of many a show. The lost innocence (I can't believe I'm saying this about a TV show!), that occurred when virginity became a curse and a stigma amongst the Happy Days folks, was sort of nauseating to watch. Also, when Fonzi became the local diety and shaman-instead of just a bike-riding thug- That was the pits. Everybody, including Richie's dad, was kissing up to him. What a load of crap! In the first season of Happy Days, Fonzie was more of a mysterious fringe character - the high school dropout/tough guy hood, and his relationship with Richie, Ralph and Potsie was pretty minimal and certainly didn't rise to the level of good friend. He was too cool to hang with them (and WAY too cool to hang with any of their families), and they were more or less scared of the Fonz -- which is as it should be and how it should have remained. That formula worked and was believable and easy to identify with for most people. There is no way in hell that Fonzie (if he had stayed cool instead of turning into a joke) starts hanging with those lameass wimps and becomes their best friend. As many have noted, this show was good at first, and characters like Chuck Cunningham and Bag added to the authentic feel and to a good mix of characters. Don't get me started on Richie going bald, the addition of Chachi, Joannie having 80s hair, Mork, Richie leaving the show, Ted McGinley and Jenny Piccolo coming on.....there should be a special category on this site for extrememly popular shows that milked it for as long as they could and thereby got to the point that they were basically jumping the shark with every scene of every episode just by being on the air. Charter members would be Happy Days, MASH, All in the Family, ER and L.A. Law. Not Cheers though. It had slipped some with the addition of Rebecca but was still good to the very end, which came at just the right time. Without doubt, this show jumped the shark the moment it began being filmed in front of a studio audience. The whole feel of the show changed from that point. The first two seasons were excellent - like a continuation of the movie "American Graffiti". After it began being filmed with a studio audience, the configuration of the Cunningham's home changed and outside scenes became non-existent. Also, Fonzie should definitely have been kept as a fringe character. From the moment the show became "Fonzie has wacky hijinks with the Cunningham family and assorted hangers-on", it was definitely over. The writers should never have allowed Fonzie to assume the oppressive presence in the show that he did. Also, in later years, the inconsistencies with the characters appearance and the era the show was set in (early 60's by that stage) was very, very sloppy. Chachi's feathered mullet was the worst offender, but numerous other characters sported 80's hairstyles as well. In conclusion, this show was a slow-motion train wreck for 6-8 seasons, after having one of the most promising first seasons of any sitcom I have ever seen. Very sad. First off, I think that Happy Days can be subdivided into three different parts: 1) The realistic phase, 2) The "Let's Remember The Fifties Like We Wish It Was" Phase, and 3) The downhill phase. All the Shark-Jumping in phase 2 can be expla as a bunch of oldsters working hard to forget all the bad stuff about the fifties and rewriting history as they wish it had happened. Hence the moving of Fozie from side character to main character, hence his mental/physical bits of knowledge becoming superpowers, hence Fonzie hanging out with a group of lamo high school students (sorry Richie), and hence the Fonz letting Tom Hank's character get one good blow at him before doing a dramatic return that ends in the character becoming friends with the Fonz -- without the Fonz throwing a punch in the process. Think: Why else would they have an episode where Joanie thinks Potsie taught The Fonz everything he knew, complete with the "And I'll wish I hadn't brushed you off when you hit puberty" type speech at the end? Another Shark Jumping point in most shows, but since this was "Happy Days" phase two, we're talking more historical rewrite than the dive of a show. The actual dive occurred when Jenny Piccolo became a real character. Fact is, that sort of character is SUPPOSED to be in the background, the friend who supposedly has done everything with everybody. They did her right when she came on (ugly, extremely uptight, prudish in person, overly desperate) but the point was that she was the friend Joanie referred to but DARED not bring into the house, the girl with enough of a reputation to titillate her friends. To make her real was proof of the final, fatal shark jump. One interesting observation, while watching the show the other day, I saw Crystal Bernard guest star as Mikki (episode #210, season #9). Mikki was a newly transfered student at Jefferson who was befriended by Joanie. Jennie Piccalo gets jealous and starts a nasty rumor about Mikki. 5 episodes later (episode #215, season #10) Crystal Bernard returns as K.C. Cunningham! I'll say since I guess no one else has. There've been so many posts and no one's said it. Umm,...this show jumped the shark when...Fonzie jumped the shark? Actually, it probably happened way before that, but y'know... Those really early episodes where everything seemed more realistic were really cool. I liked Fonzie jumping the shark on South Park. I didn't have to wait nearly as long to hear him say "Ayyyy." It is very apparent that it was the move from film to live that sent this show on its way to craptown.The other stuff all contributed to it as well,such as Potsie and Ralph looking like rejects from the local disco(remember when these two could actually act and had believable characters?)But lets be honest here i was a young kid when the show originally aired and i helped turn this into the monster it became.The network had this over the top character that was wildly popular,what'd we think they do with him?Maintain the characters integrity?Whoaaaaaaaaaaa!I mean when "the fonz" sang-talked "heartbreak hotel" i got goose bumps,now i watch that as an adult and i get the douche chills(< of seasons 15 about and squad? ?police episodes 4 only us gives it mistress evil an is t.v. alas but early the more made had they ratings.If bought THAT because cartoonish increasingly ever became sitcom good very a as out started up,what sum to bumps)So goose During a recent retrospective show about Happy Days creator Garry Marshall basically admitted the show lost it's creative edge when they started doing it in front of a a live studio audience. Call it "I Do" or "Exit...Stage Left," but Happy Days jumped when Richie and Lori Beth got married over the phone. Are you kidding me??? Is that even legal? I mean, really, couldn't they scrape together enough money to have Ron Howard come back for one more episode? The show was dead after that stunt. This show started going down hill with that creep Chachi was introduced. What mental pygmy in the writing staff thought that boil on the butt of society, Chachi Arcola, would be a great addition? The name alone sucks. It's like some kind of disease. "Oh, Doctor, I think I caught something off that prostitute I was with." "Yes, son, I'm afraid you've caught the Chachi." To make matters worse, some microcephalic producer just had to make "Joanie loves Chachi". What's the deal with stupidity and television? Of course, it wasn't a good omen when the Haley theme music was changed to that Godawful "these days arrrrrrrrre so carefree, these days arrrrrrrrrrrre sh%tting in the trees" crap. Two of my favorite TV episodes of all time were on Happy Days. The first Christmas show in which Fonzie spends the holidays with the Cunninghams was very touching. Its up there with Charlie Brown and the Dragnet Christmas as the best Christmas shows ever. I also loved the Fonzie Does Shakespeare episode. It presented a deeper and more sympathetic side to Fonzie and I don't care what anyone says-- Henry Winkler is a great actor! The show lost its charm when it went to a studio audience. Guess! Once the show moved into the 1960's--although nobody ever realized it; there was no "Happy New Year '60" show (there WAS one on Laverne & Shirley though)--it was as if the producers were in a HUGE hurry to show the changing times, although the times would NOT be "a-changin'" till at least 1964-65! Early '60s Middle America was still pretty much like the '50s. Jenny Piccalo in a short skirt? She'd've been labeled a "slut" in those days--and her flip hairdo wasn't even invented till '64. As for Chachi's shag haircut--totally '70s. Wristbands? '80s, honey--fitness craze, anyone? I was waiting for the producers to put tie-dye and love beads on the characters next. HAPPY DAYS flirted with the shark for a long time, but the jump wasn't complete until after Richie left. I agree that the filmed episodes with "Rock Around The Clock" were the most realistic in terms of showing how the '50s' might have been. I dug that original drive-in where everyone ate outside in their cars. That sharp-tongued waitress was a hoot. Remember when she kept saying, "who ordered the black cow?" and no one responded, so she started drinking it herself! That was great! The story where Richie got to make out with that sexy twentysomething divorcee after repairing her fence was great, too (Richie earned some rare praise for that time from Fonz, too--remember, this was when Fonz only sort of RELUCTANTLY associated with Richie and his buds, but kept a certain distance to maintain his respect). And as long as I have the floor, I want to give this episode an EXTRA ten points for having a barbecue situation where the woman (the divorcee, in this case) did the grilling instead of the guy (unseen, but it was implied). Did you ever notice that every time there's a cookout on a TV show or commercial, it's always a guy doing the grilling? Boring! Dennis The Menace (in the comic strip, not the sitcom) once asked, "Why does moving the stove outside automatically make Dad the cooker?" I agree. This is an overused, outdated, played-out TV cliche that I absolutely despise and it's to the writers' credit that they wrote this early episode (and the other filmed ones) as they did. Way cool! But I digress. The episodes where Fonzie moved in with the Cunninghams got more and more farcical as time went on (particularly when Richie, Potsie and Ralph entered college), but were still basically good entertainment if you didn't take them too seriously. Again, though, HAPPY DAYS jumped when Richie left. I was also bothered when Fonzie started teaching mechanics. Why? Teachers don't make the same kind of money as mechanics (Master's Degree or not). What was Fonzie sniffing? Sounds like a case of COSBY SHOW-syndrome to me (i.e., CLIFF HUXTABLE's implied attitude towards his children that just having a so-called regular job wasn't "good enough." If you're not a "professional", you're a "slacker" or you're "throwing your life away.") Fonz was fine as a mechanic and that seemed to be what he really loved to do. What happened? The inference seemed to be that working people like mechanics don't accomplish much (as opposed to teachers, doctors, lawyers, etc.) which is far from the truth. The low point for me, though, was the episode when Fonz is upset at the Rock and Roll songs in Arnold's jukebox being replaced by Folk songs. Fonz says to Arnold (Pat Morita), "I want to hear 'At The Hop!'" Arnold says, "sure," and in the most insulting, stereotypical "Japanese house boy" accent (think CHARLIE on MR. MAGOO), sings: "Less go too dah hawp! Less go too dah haap, oh, bay-beeee!" Good thing Mr. Morita redeemed himself in the first KARATE KID movie. BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD once said, "they should have called this show 'CRAPPY DAYS'", and episodes like the ones without Richie make me think B&B might have had a point. PEACE! The Pinky episodes blew it for me. I preferred Fonzie with a little mean streak, and he lost that in the Pinky episodes. This show really only produced 2 seasons of quality entertainment. The first season was something entirely different that the other seasons. The second season is when Fonzie became the focal point, and his character was extremely well written and funny. After the second season he became more of a superhero than a human being, which was really goofy!! Two places. When they switched from "Rock Around The Clock" to that dumb "Happy Days" song and when Fonzie actually "Jumped The Shark" :) With all due respect to the creator's of this list and the patron saint Ted Mcginley neither Fonzie jumping the shark or Ted McGinley as Roger killed this beloved show. It wasn't even Fonzie in a black t-shirt or Fonzie and Big Al's. No what killed this show is when Chachi became a basketball star at good old...whatever that school was! Think about it, 5'4 white guy on a 10 foot gym with bleachers that went three rows deep. I'm supposed to believe this moron was the next Bob Cousy? I think not! Fonzie jumping a bucnh of barells OK, Ralph Malph a tunisian camel jockey maybe, but Chachi"wha,wha,wha"Arcola a basketball legend now frickin' way!! Thanks for an entertaining afternoon. I read every single entry (was a slow day at work), as I was a big Happy Days fan when it first came out, though after the first few years it got so ridiculous it held no interest for me anymore. Although it's okay for me to surf the net at work, I work as a legal secretary so I have a very unprivate workstation (though I work the weekend shift, and if there's no work, the firm is okay about me reading a book or surfing), and had to leave my desk today because I kept bursting out laughing at some of the comments. Didn't want anyone to come out of their office to see what I found so funny. I always thought they jumped the shark with Lori Beth's hairdo. It was so 1977 - that really annoyed me because it seemed so out of place. But, I agree with all the entries above, that it jumped the shark much, much sooner than that - the switch to a studio audience is probably what ruined the show, and the writers quickly forgot what the show was originally supposed to be about. I didn't read all the posts(I have a life). So somebody probably already mentioned this, but I think it had to be when Fonzie jumped the shark. Along with , lets not forget , Rides A Bull, and all the other 2 and 3 part shows. As a kid of about 8 or 9 , I loved the show. It was definitely my favorite, but I hated the ...To Be Continued ... at the end of my half hour. I need closure. It killed me to wait another week, sometimes two , to get to the end of the story. I think that is where they went wrong. The show was great by itself. I think the first TBC... I can remember was the Jump The Shark episode. What was the point again of jumping the shark? I forget, cause I think I stopped watching religiously. Wa,wa, wa - Chachi's annoying catch phrase. Jumped after the first couple of seasons. It was originally filmed with a lot of attention to detail about the era, the guys hung out in Arnolds parking lot checking out cars and girls. There were lots of exterior filming at first, at the highschool, Arnolds ect. Eventially they eliminated the roller skating waitres's, the guys quit greasing their hair, except for Fonzy. They started video taping on a sound stage and the only exterior shot you saw of Arnolds was the same establishing shot for the next 100 episodes. It had the same fake look of any other sitcoms shot inside a studio. It lost that sense of realism and just became a typical corny one-liner sitcom. Dynomite, Heyyy, Sit on it, I found my thrill ... , Waw waw waw. It started out as a show with a lot of promise, but I'm sure budget minded executives had a hand in trimming it down to this pale comparison of its first season. Any time Fonzie looks to the sky and "Talks to God". Case in point, "Fonzie goes blind" ("How could you do dis to me?!"). "Richie Has a Motorcycle Accident" ("God please dont do dis." Youah my best friend Richie.") Or the one where Chachi contracted some disease that really wasnt fatal but really important to the plot of the episode---(Once more with feeling-"You cant let dis happen to Chachi!!"). Cracks me up everytime, I think the only 'emotional Fonzie moment' I liked was in the episode where Richie goes away for the last time and Fonz tells him he loves him, gets me misty eyed every time. How about when Arnold's burned down and they rebuilt it with that stupid western theme. What the hell was that? I think that Happy Days jumped the shark when Richie started to lose his hair. It was an obvious sign of things to come...but when he started to lose his hair you knew things, such the show, were going down the drain much like his red locks during a shower. The transition from film to videotape/live was the beginning of a very drawn-out end. What began as a promising, more-or-less authentic comedy about a group of 1950s friends turned into a time-warped, knockabout slapstick piece about barely-sentient midwesterners and their cartoon-character boarder. The period inconsistencies grew tiresome, the characters grew insipid. Even the house was rearranged to accomodate the stage set (note the relocation of the front door and kitchen set). Most of all, Fonzi worked best as a peripheral threat/guru and not as a quasi-supernatural godhead who had to have better options than to hang around with those lunkheads. Potsie's "Pump your blood" song!! An absolute abomination! Richie, Mouth, Potsie and company prove that Pots is no dunce by performing the Pump your blood song in a college classroom. Watch out for the kazoo toting girl in this frightening jug band. The dulcet tones of Donny Most trying to sound like Chet Baker while singing "My Funny Valentine". Hair was ungreased, clothes were atrocious and the show had become a one-trick pony (obligatory audience shrieks whenever Fonzie or Chachi made their entrance). Anson Williams singing - need I say more. Fonzie and Mrs. C dancing the tango - creepy. The shark had reduced this show to a mere gastric memory by the time the opening credits had changed. How could you replace the Chinese fire drill in the opening credits? Potsie and Ralph were wiseasses then they became wussies. The shark was very hungry when Fonzie traded in his golf jacket for the leather. The live audience, the loss (death?, disappearance?,imprisonment?) of Chuck and the ascent of the "Fonzie Show" all dove-tailed together at the same time: the Fall '75 season. While there was one earlier live audience show, (when Fonzie wanted to marry a stripper) the joke-oriented, punchline filled scripts became too much of a departure and killed off whatever nostalgic air the show had since it had begun. Jumping a shark was an opportunity to cash in on a flagging 'Jaws' craze just as Mork was their "wacky" take on the burgeoning 'Star Wars/CE3K' sci-fi phenomenon. What a shame... Aw-maybe it's just me, but I liked the episodes with Mork (then again, I also liked the "Mork and Mindy" show, too-I personally want that show to come back to Nick at Nite *shields herself in case people start throwing things at her*). Anyway, I do agree with what everyone else said-this show jumped the shark when Fonzie became the center of the show (and I HATE it when a show has it where anytime a character comes out on the set, the audience starts clapping and cheering and whistling and all that, that's so annoying), and when Potsie decided he was this great singer all of a sudden (and I will also agree that that episode where he's singing in the science room-that song was pretty dumb). And when they brought Pinky and Leather Tuscadero in, that ruined it, too. And also when the characters would do all this stuff-Fonzie can jump over a bunch of things on his bike, the parents somehow manage to save the day in some bad situation, and all that-it's like, yeah, right. And yeah, Fonzie's becoming a teacher didn't help matters, either. This show was great when it first came out, and it was funny the first few seasons, then it just got too unrealistic (normally, I don't have a problem with shows that aren't totally accurate when it comes to real life, but this one just went over the top in exaggerating things and attempting to make totally unrealistic situations seem even remotely plausible). This show is a classic example of a good show that got just horrible when it started getting into a formula for how the show should be.It was WAY before Fonz JTS. The show pretty much stuck to the theme of... 'One of Fonzi's lackies would get in some kind of trouble and the Fonz would bale him out.' Like Gilligan screwing up a possible rescue, or someone mistaking Jack Tripper as a gay guy, when a show gets predictable it also gets boring. when you couldent figure out what decade the show took place. was it the 50's or the 70's? at least laverne & shirley you could tell what decade you were in. when they moved to california they had a poster of the beatles on the wall. after the first couple of seasons the never played music that represented the era the show was supposed to take place I agree with all the negative posts concerning this show, so I won't elaborate on the same. I never understood what the fascination is that some people have with the 1950's. I'm almost 40, but ever since my teens, the years from 1900-1919 have enthralled me. I watched Happy Days when it began during 1974, and the show wasn't bad when Rock Around the Clock was the theme and the boys went to Jefferson High, although I hated Pinky & Leather. I never liked Fonzie (he was ugly and conceited), and the clapping & cheering he got on stage gave him a big head, and me some headaches. What was he, a damn warlock? He snapped his fingers and things turned on/off and he fisted the jukebox to avoid putting in a dime. It was degrading when he'd snap his fingers and one or more girls would run to him. I'd have told him to go f**k himself if he were that desperate, and if he touched me I'd have bent his fingers back. He was born during the late 1940's and was playing the role of a guy in his late teens and early 20's. Richie, Ralph, and Potsie were also way past their teens when that show began. Fonzie had an office in a diner bathroom, which was bizarre in itself, and why would he even need an office? I quit watching the show sometime after Richie & Ralph left, and Joanie & Chachi were a duo. It became the early 1960's, and the fashions reeked, and the hair styles were late 1970's and early 1980's. I hated Joanie's pal Jenny Piccalo. She was dull & ugly. I rarely watch current sitcoms & dramas anymore. No show is worth crap if the stars and the plots can't rise above annoyance. And in that case, the shark should be eating so much that he's big as the Earth...certainly there is endless fodder for him. It JTS when Arnold's remodeled with some sort of wood paneled "Urban Cowboy" motiff. Also when Mr. C started wearing "Sans-a-Belt" slacks every episode. Somebody pass me the Brylcreem-- and HURRY!!! And please, please, PLEASE may I slap the idiot above who tried to excuse the rampant anachronisms by claiming that "by time the show ended, it should have been 1966, so the fashion was not really off"?!? HA!: I wasn't born in 1966 and even I know better than that!!! The clothes of 1966 looked NOTHING like the crap we saw these people modeling by the time the motorboat wheezed its last painful yards into the harbor. The mid to late 60's were all about Edwardian clothing, Mary Quant dresses and such-- take a look at the suits [yes, SUITS] the Beatles were wearing on Ed Sullivan, or the outfits worn by Barbara Feldon on "Get Smart"-- contrast them with the wristband-and-feathered-hair nightmare presented to us by what MUST be the world's LAZIEST script continuity department, and you'll see my point. Sorry, I can't be specific ... I just know that at some point, it became obvious that Joanie Cunningham had grown from a cute preteen to a very obnoxious and IRRITATING teenager. To name this sight for Fonzie's ski jump I suppose is acceptable given that this represents the point where the 2nd incarnation of HD passes the point of no return. Of course, it was on the ramp a while before this thanks to Fonzie-mania. But what is even more strange is that the old HD, the episodes filmed on location, never jts. I don't know if the actual re-invention is a jts moment in itself because it's almost like it was two different shows. I'll never understand why they ditched Chuck and then reformated the entire series. I remember an episode from the early years when Chuck is at the Cunningham dinner table calmly protesting the practice of saying grace, because, since college, he's started to question the existence of god. For a while it seemed as if it was going to be TV's antithesis to sugar-coated family sit-coms from the 50's, but then it turned into something even worse than what those show were. Almost over night a peripheral character became a watered-down greaser wannabe replacing the free-thinking Chuck and overshadowing Richie's real negative influences, Potsie and Ralph. In the beginning, Richie and the guys barely knew the Fonz. He was just some biker who hung out at Arnold's. But after the show started over, they wrote a flashback episode establishing a friedship between Richie and Arthur Fonzerelli. The two were going to fight in an ally, but tender-hearted Fonz decided not to beat Richie to a pulp. Blah blah blah. After that, Rich, Pots, and Ralph were reduced to propping up a marketing gimmick. Gary Marshall would always say that the Fonz was intended to provide a contrast to Richie, the boy next door. A contrast? Well, let's see. Richie, sometimes known to lecture, was a lovable, well-liked, dependable guy that wore a lettermen jacket. Fonzie, sometimes known to lecture, was a lovable, well-liked, dependable guy that wore a LEATHER! jacket. Oh I see, the difference was the leather jacket. Shame on you Garry Marshall for so shamelessly selling out. There were several "Jump the Shark" moments that killed this show, a good sitcom about friends in the 50s that morphed into a Fonzie-fest. First, the "Death" of Richie's older brother; he may not have been a major character, but the continuity was shot. Second, the "coolness" of Fonzie; he went from a character that gave sage advice to Richie to one who could solve life's problems by pounding his fist on the jukebox. Third, the show's cast and crew became lazy; what was with the long feathered hair, parted down the middle (Ralph, Chachi, etc.)? This show was supposed to be set in the 50s-early 60s, not 1978. The show became so full on their success that they just didn't care to make the show look realistic. It was all too obvious by 1978 that the show LOOKED like the late 70s. The above poster who mentioned everything dovetailing during the fall 1975 season was right on target. Here's a direct quote from Garry Marshall (from Rick Mitz' excellent "The Great TV Sitcom Book", 1980): "I knew if we could just get Fonzie over the garage, we could get him into the kitchen. He could "become" a member of the family." He's also quoted elsewhere in the book talking about just how many viewers you need for a "hit", and how you go about getting them. So much for artistic integrity, natural character progression, and historical accuracy. For this guy, it was all about the ratings. Happy days definately jumped the shark when K.C. Cunningham and that bratty kid Heather came on the scene. Bratty kids ain't cool. Ayyyyyyyyyy! Happy Days was a great show until they decided to let Richie and Fonzie solve the worlds problems every week.Once they shifted most of the shows focus on the Fonz the show started to approach the ramp.The show was the funniest when it was based on Richie,Ralph,and Potsie's hijinks.The shows after Richie left are terrible because the focus was on the Fonz. The cast became so big it was hard to tell who was who. Almost jumped when I discovered the lyrics to the theme song were NOT "The weekend comes, the psycho hums..." But actually jumped when Chachi got diabetes(!) and the Fonz was in denial about it. He didn't believe it and neither did we. The syph from Shortcake maybe, but never elevated blood sugar. The writers weren't even trying to be plausible with that one. Don't blame Baio, people. He's just the pawn. Although Happy Days had some subtle hints at "jumping" prior to their arrival, I think the moment the show really Jumped the Shark was with the introduction of both Scott Baio and Ted McGinley. A tell-tale sign of any show's decline is when they feel the need for a new character to bump ratings back up (e.g. Leonardo DiCaprio on Growing pains (this show ALWAYS sucked, though), the little blond cousin on the Brady Bunch, the carousel of dumb blondes on Three's Company - I can go on and on. Shit, even the Simpsons did an episode of this concept (when Homer gets the job as the voice of Poochie on Itchy and Scrathy and the Sipsons themselves also have this slacker-kid popping up with them throughout the episode), admitting that they were also on the way down. Where do I start? I loved this show when I was a teen but after watching several episodes recently that seemingly took place in 1963 or so, I had to write. 1)Joanie & Jenny wearing skirts with mid-thigh hemlines. HUH? In 1963? Where'd they get them, since they wouldn't be in style till about 1966-67? Hey Garry Marshall, you should've checked out some episodes of Gidget (1965-66)--the dresses were KNEE-LENGTH back then, so they must've been a teeny bit longer in '63. 2)Did anyone really say "sit on it" in the '50s? I don't think so. I have a book of slang terms that covers the 1920's to the 1990's, and that phrase is nowhere to be found in the '50s listing. 3)Saw a guy on an "early '60s" episode wearing a t-shirt that was cut off at the bottom to reveal his stomach. Hello? My older brother was in his early teens back then and he said NO ONE wore their t-shirt like that. Strictly 1980's. 4)In another episode set in 1962 or '63 a character mentioned plans to see Chuck Berry in concert at a stadium. Well, concerts in stadiums were quite rare in those days--did they even exist?--but aside from that the concert venue would have had to be in or near a prison, as Chuck was in jail for violation of the Mann Act and didn't get released till 1964. Sloppy attention to detail, Garry & company. Recently I saw an episode set in the early '60s ('62 or '63) where the characters were playing Twister. Now correct me if I'm wrong but Twister didn't come out till about 1966-67. I do know for a fact, however, that the final episode was set in 1965. Fonzie mentions the fact that the Milwaukee Braves are moving to Atlanta "next year". That happened in 1966. I agree with most of the comments about shark jumping. However, I think Happy Days is unique in that there is no one moment. Instead, you start with fifties comedy about teenager that is well acted and directed. Little by little, the fifties theme is dropped, Fonzie goes from tough to super tough to supernatural to supernatural and responsible, space aliens are added, and the charachter become cliches. The point is the writers and producers gradually changed the show week by week. It was only in the last years when you looked back and realize what a disaster the show turned out to be. What really aggravates me iw the way the show got away with the constant jump and treated the viewers with contempt. The Fonz becoming the show and then a super hero before our eyes was was the main shark theme. The fact is the superhero was a complete scumbag. He treated women as if they were there to serve his sexual and non-sexual needs. He thought beating people up solved problems. Even when he decided to settle down it was because he knew "Linda Purl" was the one and he had to find her. He assumed she would marry him. Why would an intelligent and attractive young woman want an overweight, out of shape, underemployed hood who sleeps over a nerd's house and hangs with nerds to be her husband. Also, I commend the person who criticized the "Fonz" for being so moralistic about the stripper. Who is this washed up, aging hood to be so sanctimonious about strippers. Did he not think that the women he used as meat also were somehow inferior beings? Or was he just embarrassed that he was falling in love with a woman that had poor morals. I admit I liked Fonzie as a teenager and even had a poster of him in my room. However, I have asked for forgiveness and recognize him as just an abusive, woman hating, fat, lazy, underemployed grease monkey. Also, I doubt it if he could have handled Short Cake in a fight. The show jumped the shark before the Fonz did. The shift to live studio audience was also when they shift from single camera format to multicamera format. It was also when they started playing up more for the studio audience and it stopped being a nice little nostalgic show and it became a show seeking big laughs. The characters became dumber and so did the scripts. Pushing Fonzie into the forefront really ruined this show. In reruns I watch only the first two seasons; the ones without the studio audience and with Bill Haley and the Comet's "Rock around the Clock" playing at the opening sequence. I was just watching an old episode of Happy Days and it was a good show. Richie was playing Pinball and the Fonz rigged the machine so he got a free game. No stupid, hitting the machine...just blatant cheating. In another episdoe that was on a few days ago the Fonz left the Hardware store and when two girls walked by he gave this smartass look to Ritchie and Potsie and went after the girls. None of this snap of the fingers crap. He acted like a hood and was an enjoyable character. This show didn't jump the shark so much as it was eaten by the shark. After the first year this clunker really began to suck. Chuck disappeared, the studio audience, Fonzie, total change in premis, Scott Baio, Arnolds burned...I mean just pick anything and you can bet that the show pretty much bit the big long before that. Sure, there were great moments and even great episodes, but over all this was one long bad nightmare of a show. When we fianlly got to see Jenny Picalo, that was the last straw for me. I mean, that character was always better when Joanie just talked about her and you never saw her. Joanie quoting Jenny was always good for a laugh, but some how hearing the stuff come straight out of the girls mouth just seemed to spoil the whole illusion. Pinkie, Leather, Potsie singing. I could just go on and on. I almost voted for the show being lame from the get go, but then I remembered some of the first year and how much I like those episodes. What most people don't remember is that this show started off as an episode of Love American Style. While, not nearly as good as the first year of the show, but still a damn sight better than how the show turned out. I'm surprised that this thing lasted as long as it did. We must have been deluded. It's a well-known fact that this show eventually became "The Fonzie Show," which led to a downhill slide. But the worst episode I saw had to be where Fonzie attends his own funeral, dressed as his mother. What made it so bad was mainly the fact that you had for your guests, Laverne & Shirley, Lenny & Squiggy, Big Ragoo (complete with a little dance routine), and Arnold. Show cross-overs are always a bad idea, and nothing more than an obvious ratings getter. To see a once-good sitcom sell out so badly is depressing. "Happy Days" jumped the shark the instant Donny Most & Ron Howard left the show! In my discriminating opinion, it was the relationship between The Fonz & Ralph Malph that drove that show. The interaction between these two was the most hilarious & emotionally appealing aspect of the show. You felt something when these two characters had an interchange. Ralph adored & worshipped The Fonz & one could tell that The Fonz deeply cared for Ralph & valued their friendship. When Ralph left, the spirit of the show went with him & the show suffered a painful death. It was a travesty of justice to continue calling that show "Happy Days" the moment Donny Most & Ron Howard departed. "'Sorry' Days" would have been more appropriate & fitting. In the early years, the characters had a band, of which Potsie was the lead singer. During the opening credits, when they would get to the point of the theme with the lyrics "hello sunshine, goodbye blue", they would always show a shot of Potsie singing (I guess meant to give the illusion that Anson Williams was actually singing that line). Stupid as that was, there was at least a context, as Richie, Ralph and Potsie had a band. Once Richie and Ralph left (no more band), they found ridiculously contrived ways to incorporate Potsie singing along to that part of the song. One season, they had him, in Arnold, sitting at a table between Jennie Picolo and Crystal Bernard, at which point he would lean in and lip synch the line (as the girls smile gleefully). The last season, with those characters now gone as well, they actually had a shot of Joanie opening the front door - Potsie would be standing there, lean over into her ear, and sing "Hello sunshine, goodbye blue". Of course, Joanie smiles! As I write this, I'm starting to think this is very funny, almost brilliant satire of the previous year's opening credits (If I ran the show, I would have shown Howard and Marion in bed, and have Potsie suddenly pop up from under the covers). The problem however, is this was never meant to be satirical - Joanie opening the door to a singing Potsie was actually meant as a LEGITIMATE opening sequence. I'd love to see bloopers from filming of that scene! Of course it's Ted McGinley. Who the hell was he again? But I have bigger fish to fry here. There was an episode where the Fonz becomes a Freedom Rider and gets on a bus going down South to register black people to vote. I think. I KNOW he was on a bus in the South. Big problem there alone: He would have gotten stomped and thrown in jail and had dogs and firehoses turned on him. That's true, kids, and you can look it up and see footage of that happening. In this episode, he manages to desegregate a lunch counter by hitting the wall with his mystical fist of power, which causes the "Whites Only" sign to fall. Did I dream this episode, or did this really get written and filmed? And if he was able to take on (and WIN!) a battle as big as voting discrimination, why couldn't he have shown up in Chicago's Grant Park in 1968 for the Democratic Convention? He could have saved hippies from getting beat up and gassed! Chicago's closer to Milwaukee than Alabama is! He could have ridden his motorcycle down, told the cops to Sit on It, and ridden back, all in a day! But somebody please help me out on that Freedom Rider episode! If Fonzi was the greatest hero ever as portrayed, I think, in that episode, he could have taken bullets for MLK and JFK and RFK! But no, he was wasting his time bailing out third-rate bums like Potsie and Jenny Piccollo. I think all of America could agree me when I say that I would gladly have Potsie dead, and Martin Luther King alive. Happy Days was just fine until the gang left High School; which actually is about the time time that Fonzie literally "Jumped The Shark".. The best period for Happy Days was the "Rock Around The Clock" era.. Fonzie was great as a supporting character, and I'll even say that the first two "Live" seasons were worthwile, particularly season three, but they just got too carried away with unrealistic storylines, giving Fonzie too much attention, and then there was Chachi...... what else really needs to be said.. With season five, there's college, Lori Beth, and Chachi, no thanks.. Also, to the above poster, I have always found the way they feature Potsie singing that verse in later seasons hilarious.. After Richie and Ralph left, they really didn't need to show him singing that part anymore; really, I'm surprised Anson Williams decided to stick it out that long; I mean, they featured his character, what, maybe four times a season by that point, and they always had him doing something to make a buffoon out of himself.. There are lots of things about this show that irritate me... Potsie singing, Pinky Tuscadero, and that damned slow version of the theme song they play every time there's an "emotional" scene. But one thing more than any other irritates me, and that's the 70's style in the 50's. Everyone seemed to care less and less about looking authentic as the show dragged on. Chachi (Scrappy Doo to the Fonz's Scooby) was the chief offender, with his feathered hair. If any kid had worn their hair like that in the 50's, someone would have shaved his head (after kicking his ass). Frankly, I'm a little disappointed that no one did it in the 70's. Joanie was nearly as bad with her crimped hair. Even the usually reliable Tom Bosley got in on the act. I caught an episode the other day, and Howard Cunningham was wearing tinted glasses! It wouldn't be nearly as bad if these were minor characters, but they were MAJOR characters. I don't see why they carried on with the pretense of being a show about the 50's if they were going to dress like they just got back from a coke party at Studio 54 with Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger. It appears that all of the bases have been covered. It's sort of like beating a dead horse, though. It's been nearly 20 years ago since HD was cancelled. The thing that I wish to comment on is the use of catch phrases. Nearly every show on the air in those days had at least one catch phrase.(Remember "stifle yourself", "shozbut", "meatball surgery", "God's gonna get you for that", and on to infinity). It served a dual purpose as an identifiable trademark of each show's leading character and also as material for comedians (both amateurs and professionals). The catch phrase repeated every episode served another purpose as well which was to give us a way to make fun of what was on tv. We sort of expected tv to be dumb and unrealistic (within certain tolerable boundaries)and the excessive use of a catch phrase that any idiot could and did remember (ad inifinitum nausea). Also this provided everybody with their own opportunity to parody the vast wasteland of primetime tv. The problem with HD wasn't the catch phrases. That was the reason everybody tuned in to hear the sos every week. The point is that at the time people more or less expected the sos from tv. But back then HD was on once a week and not three times a day on some syndicated channel so the repetition wasn't quite as obvious. The real problem with HD was popularity. The actors on the show became stars and subsequently household names and everybody knows that when a show reaches a certain level of popularity and it's stars accordingly that there is no place left to go but down. Certainly JTS serves as proof of this. The episodes of the shows became vehicles for the popularity of the stars of the show, rather than the stars portraying characters who were to tell us a story. It's simple story of the stars of a show becoming bigger than the show itself. Most of what has been posted has been right on the money so there's no point in my repeating it once more. Although I must admit that I didn't know that Henry Winkler was Jewish or what that has to do with anything. In the early years, the characters had a band, of which Potsie was the lead singer. During the opening credits, when they would get to the point of the theme with the lyrics "hello sunshine, goodbye blue", they would always show a shot of Potsie singing (I guess meant to give the illusion that Anson Williams was actually singing that line). Stupid as that was, there was at least a context, as Richie, Ralph and Potsie had a band. Once Richie and Ralph left (no more band), they found ridiculously contrived ways to incorporate Potsie singing along to that part of the song. One season, they had him sitting at a table in Arnolds with Jennie Picolo and Crystal Bernard, at which he would lean over, lip synch the line, as the girls smile gleefully. The last season, with those characters now gone as well, they actually had a shot of Joanie opening the front door - Potsie would be standing there, lean over into her ear, and sing "Hello sunshine, goodbye blue". Of course, Joanie smiles! As I write this, I'm starting to think this is very funny, almost brilliant satire of the previous year's opening credits (If I ran the show, I would have shown Howard and Marion in bed, and have Potsie suddenly pop up from under the covers, singing, as Howard and Marion smile). The problem however, is this was never meant to be satrical - Joanie opening the door and having potsie sing to her was actually meant as a LEGITIMATE opening sequence. I'd love to see bloopers from filming of that scene! Overall, Happy Days was a wonderful show but unlike most TV shows that have a dramatic "JTS" moment, Happy Days had many gradual ones. The first instance was a gradual shift in Fonz from a quiet lonely rebel in the first season to everone's 'best friend' who spouted off morality lessons for the kiddies in TV land every week. The next gradual JTS came when Arnold's restaurant was burned down. While the old restaurant had a feel of the 50's, the new Arnold's was early 80's. There are many other JTS moments which were stated by others (Ted McGinley, Fonz becoming a teacher, Richie leaving, etc...) and all true, but for me the final JTS came when the Fonz allowed himself to be hit on two seperate occasions. The first time was in an episode where Tom Hanks guest starred as a father whose young son had embraced Fonz more than him, so the Fonz allowed Hanks' character to hit him so the boy would reconnect with his dad. The second time was when Richie came back a few years after leaving for one episode as an angry man, frustrated by the world, wearing a mustache and drinking beer. At one point Richie hit Fonzie and he did not hit back. From there, the Fonz was no longer rebellious, dangerous or even remotely interesting to watch. The show jumped the shark long before Fonz jumped the shark. The exact moment was the episode where Ralph, Richie and Potsie pretended to be 3 Tunesian Camel Jockey's (Before PC of course) hitting on 3-girls while camping. It was actually a pretty good episod until Fonz bails them out for some reason and then he camps down in the woods and can't sleep because of assorted crickets and owls and other creatures in the woods making noise - he sits up and says "cool it" and there is absolute silence. I think that was his first superhuman deed. A shame because this show had potential in the first few years to be an absolute classic. Some great early episodes but fell long and hard once they sold out the original formula. When Joanie spins in the record during the opening theme song. She is so goofy looking. It looks really dumb too! When Rock Around The Clock was replaced by "that other opening theme" even though according to what I read someplace that that was initially intended as the theme (and we can hear it as early on as in the epilogue for the pilot and closing credits), and the song wouldn't have been appropriate by 1960. Still, Rock Around The Clock is one of the very best 1950's songs, and I liked it better when that was the opening theme. I think this series went on seven years longer than necessary. They should have packed it in after the fourth season (1976-77), in which Richie, Potsie and Ralph graduated from Jefferson High. It also irritates me that it came to be set in "whatever year [was] convenient," as *Mad* magazine's parody had it: at least Garry Marshall and company didn't make that mistake on *Laverne and Shirley*. I think the title song would have been better kept as the closing theme, too. By the way, did anyone notice that when it became the opening theme as well, the original lyrics were discarded? For the record (no pun intended) it was written not by Alan Thicke as someone else thought, but by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox who also wrote "I Got a Name" for Jim Croce. And those lines someone garbled are "Goodbye gray sky, hello blue," and "Hello sunshine, goodbye rain." All that said, I seriously wonder whether I'm the only person in the universe who actually *liked* Pinky Tuscadero. I mean, she was far more Fonzie's kind of woman than Heather Pfister's mom, Ashley -- she was as close to a Fonzette as ever appeared in the series. (I never cared for her sister Leather: not even a patch on Pinky was *she*. ) The scene in which Fonzie explains to Pinky that she can't be his partner in the demolition derby because heroic teams have historically been made up of two guys is priceless. "Was Tonto a girl?" asks Fonzie. "Well, he *did* wear a little feather..." replies Pinky innocently. But it paid off when the Fonz seized a historic opportunity by making Pinky his partner, setting a precedent (probably couldn't resist the chance to be first at something) and at the same time keeping Pinky out of the enemy camp. I got a kick out of his warning, "No more cracks about Tonto." The scene at the end of Part Two, where the injured Pinky gives Fonzie her scarf for luck just before she's taken to hospital and he promises to win the derby for her (as indeed he does in Part Three), is quite moving. Also priceless is the scene (I forget which part it's in) where someone (I also forget who) suggests to Fonzie that he's in love with Pinky and he chokes on that L-word just as he always choked on the word "wrong" when that was what he had been. Bottom line: the whole "Fonzie Loves Pinky" trilogy is probably my favorite episode or three of the whole series. What was so wrong with showing the Fonz in love, and with someone so obviously made for him? To this day I'm disappointed that their wedding didn't go through: for one thing, it would have made a good series finale if you think that third season should have been the last. One more thing for the record: those three episodes were the only three in which Pinky ever appeared (be grateful, you Pinky-bashers), yet Roz Kelly was for some reason credited as a regular during that whole third season. Forget the shark, this site should be renamed "pinning Potsie." I knew this show was in deep, deep trouble when they decided to climax an episode with a fraternity pinning ceremony -- Potsie wanted to prove his love to his new girlfriend, so all the brothers in his frat and all the girls in her sorority dressed up in their formalwear, gathered together in the quads, serenaded each other like they were singing along with Mitch and watched starry-eyed as Potsie stuck his pin on Jennifer's lapel. It was smarmy, it was creepy, it was completely lacking in entertainment value and the show's producers were so fat, dumb and happy they thought they could get away with it. Mid-period Crappy Days, with Fonz' magic powers and Mork from Ork and all the goofy guest stars, was idiotic, but at least they were trying to entertain you. But when "Potsie Gets Pinned" is about some gay-ass Greek ceremony and not young Warren trying desparately to lose his virginity, you know this sucker has turned its back on the audience. Oh, and "Ritzi" Roz Kelly was a "Special Guest Star" on every other episode of "Donny & Marie" during the 1977-1978 season. I guess Mormons can't drink caffeine but they can be corporate whores. The studio audience ruined "Happy Days." But I actually kinda liked the jump the shark episode for two reasons. 1. They got out of the studio and on to the beach. 2. that guy that imitated Jack Benny was funny! Even Ralph Malph laughed. Mainly three things. First Arnold's burned down and it took away something that was intregal in the feel of the show. The "New" Arnold's didn't look like a teen hangout and was too modern looking overall. Although Fonzie was always cool, his friendship with Richie was the center of the show. Plus, you had the trio of Richie, Potsie, and Ralph, whom were entertaining. Richie was the clean cut one, Potsie was clueless, but had his role, and Ralph was the comedy. So when the charcter's of Richie and Ralph left the show, it took away from all those things. Had Ralph or Richie stayed, it would have been better. With Richie, the Fonz-Richie story could have continued or with Ralph at least he was amusing. A cluless guy with no one to play off (in this case Potsie) just seems lost. As soon...just as everyone has said,seventies style appeared in the 50s. And as for miniskirts in the 50s,especially with minis already on their way 0out in the USAm, in my neck of the woods by the mid-1970s, Garry Marshall, you SHOULD have particularly noticed an oppurtunity to ditch the minis, especially before their time. I mean...Joanie with a mini. Scott Baio with feather hair and a 1980s hairband. Fonzie acting like NO ONE acted then....and BTW to the one saying this was when kids still said SWELL as an adjective, I was born in 1960, and I still use SWELL as a term..and so again, Mister Marshall shoulda used more common 50s sense! (If SAFETY DANCE DID come on the radio once thena REAL shark jump.Fonzie did not need to jump himself.) I didn't see a post for this. Whenever, the show would move towards Fonzie'z apartment OVER the garage, the steps leading to the apartment go up between the house AND garage. Now, in the show whenever someone was walking or yelling at someone downstairs they would turn to their RIGHT and yell respectfully towards the BACKYARD and not towards the driveway. I would agree that the window you see above the garage *could* be Fonzie's Kitchen window, but the steps are still wrong...........in either case.... Happy Days truly had ever possible method of Shark Jumping (including Fonzie jumping a shark), Richie existing stage right, Ralph making horrible jokes, Ted McGiuinely or whatever his name is, Joanie and Chaci's unwatchable puberty, the graduation of Ralph, Potsie, and Richie, the marriage of Lori Beth and Richie. The one thing in mind that has however made this show jump in my opinion is the singing of Potsie Webber. Picture sitting in science class that one of your classmates if failing. Then, the class mate passes the test, you all think he failed, but wait a minute, here comes Super Fonzie to prove that he didn't. How does he do this? By having Potsie sing the worst song ever in "pump". I felt bad for Anson Williams. He was great as Potsie and hung in there for the entire run of the show, even when he only had one lousy line or none at all. And on top of THAT!!! They kept degrading his character and making him out to be such a geek...it's alomost as if the producers were TRYING TO GET ANSON TO QUIT THE SHOW. I wanted desperately to see an episode where Potsie actually beats the crap out of Fonzie and gets some well-deserved respect. The early (filmed) years with Richie and Potsie (and later, Ralph) as best buds were the absolute best, no question. There were three Chucks during his short life on Happy Days.In the second season I believe,one Chuck was played by the same guy who was the head of the frat house that the boys played at when they first started their band where they play the same song ( I'm all shook up)all night. Also one of the Malachi brothers from the smash up derby is also Fonzie's arch-enemy from an earlier episode.( the one where Richie ends up fighting him and ripping his jacket off of).This same guy later in a Happy days episode is in Fonzie's gang from his youth in a flashback episode. This show starts in 1955 and ends in 1965,well in the first season,Potsie uses the term"we're in like Flint" refering to a quote in the movie IN Like Flint,only thing is that movie came out in 1967 even beyond the 10 year stretch the series covered. In the final season which takes place in 65 there is a street scene where all but one or two cars even come close to being mid sixties vehicles.You even see a close-up shot of a 73 AMC Gremlin. In almost every 1965 episode ,Joannie is wearing Jordache ass tight jeans which weren't available till the late 80's.Also with the Levi's jeans the guys wore were not in style til the late 70's either.The Levi's from that era were still the type Richie wore in the first episodes. I have to comment on the above post. Potsie was most likely saying IN LIKE FLYNN, a saying that refers to Errol Flynn's way with women which is what the movie title In Like Flint is a play on. Second, Happy Days ran from 1974-1984 so Joannie could not have been wearing jeans not available until the late 1980s. Anyway, my opinion on Happy Days is there were MANY Jump The Shark moments: Chachi, Arnold's burning down, Roger, the actual jumping of the shark, not keeping the look true to the 50s and early 60s, and, of course, when Richie and Ralph left. But what I think is the true JTS moment is when the theme song changed from Rock Around the Clock to Happy Days. Not just the song changed but many other things did. The house changed, Fonzie got a bigger part and super powers, nothing against Henry Winkler but it a was much better show when he just had a few lines per episode and was a normal human being, Potsie turned from the guy who "knew it all" to a half-wit, the live audience - ugh - I hated all the screaming whenever anybody walked onto the stage, the disappearance of Chuck... I could go on and on. I believe the best "Happy Days" were the ones from the first year, before the live audience. Even though it lasted a long time after, I never really enjoyed it. I don't even remember the "Jumped the Shark" episode. THE best Happy Days episodes were the first 39, the ones before the studio audience came in. Once that happened, a really great show started to go down. It had some life left, but then the gang graduated from high school and the focus began to shift from Richie to the Fonz. The show by the end of the '70's was one of the absolute worst on TV. (I used to watch it religiously, too.) It hit absolute rock bottom with the intro- duction of Mork from Ork. (No offense to Robin Williams, who is a brilliant comedian and actor. By the time Random the angel showed up to save Chachi from the devil's nephew, it had burrowed its way to China. I don't blame Ron Howard or Donny Most for bailing out. The creative teams behind some shows know when they are running out of steam and need to bail out. Happy Days over- stayed its welcome by at least four years. Of course, I'm sure that when the show finally did end, Peter Marshall cried all the way to the bank. How to begin? Let's see, in no particular order---- the Cunninghams go to a dude ranch, taking the whole entourage with them (can't we get away from all these people?), Richie falls for a wrangler named Thunder, and what was up with Joanie and the runaway horses? Leather Tuscadero? Sure Suzi Quatro was cool, but that character was such an anomaly--where'd she park her time machine, so she could come back to the 70's? Think she knew Marty McFly? The Fonz settles down with Linda Purl and (gulp!) her kid. Richie and Joanie move out, so the C's start taking in strays. And Jenny Piccollo--yugh. And Mork? Sure, the spinoff show was great, and I'm sure that was the whole point, but really, aliens on Happy Days? And what about the mystical Katmandu chick? Please! Chachi and Joanie -- who told these dorks they could sing? Oh, and after making such a big deal about the Fonz getting glasses, we never saw him wear them again. (not neccessarily a shark jump, it just bothers me.) Don't get me wrong, I love to watch this show, although it doesn't sound like it, but I don't enjoy the newer episodes so much, and am more likely to channel surf through them. But the earlier episodes are great! Fonzie becoming a positive role model for the kids of America. Yech. I have to mention several JTS moments for Crappy Days: (1) Chachi's lame-ass catchphrase "Wah Wah Wah"--who in hell thought this lame piece of crap up? I know the 70's were the decade of the show-stopping (usually incredibly stupid) catchphrase: "Kiss my Grits", "Dynomite!", "Watchoo Talkin' About, Willis?", but this one was even dumber than usual. (2) The episode where the Fonz outduels a European fencing expert has to be the lamest. You could ALMOST believe some greaseball from Milwaukee could water ski or jump motorcycles, but FENCING? Come on! (3) Any episodes where the Fonz struggles and is ultimately unable to admit he's wrong. Hey, nice message for kids!! It's not cool to admit when you're wrong and you've made a mistake. That really sucked the life out of that show for me. When Howard starts wearing suits to work, remember he owns one hardware store!!! I can see that, just the other day I walked into a true value and the guy mixing my paint was wearing a $2000,00 Hickey Feeman suit. Apparently as part of his contract he must have kept the clothes. All of a sudden he's dressing like a fortune 500 exec. The name of this web site speaks for itself. "Happy Days" jumped the shark when the Fonz literally jumped the shark. There were jump moments before the fact (such as being filmed before a studio audience, the mysterious disappearance of Chuck Cunningham, and the Fonz taking over the show), but this was the definitive moment. After the fact, Richie left the show, there were WAY too many singing moments, and Joanie and Chachi...I won't go there. "Happy Days" was good in the first four years of its existence because it centered around 50s nostalgia. Then it became a typical 70s sitcom disguising itself as a show about 50s nostalgia. Then it just sucked. So many posters hit it right on the head when they said that "Happy Days" went from one of the best sitcoms of all time to one of the worst sitcoms of all time. Every known category of jumping by which this web site stands happened here. Even though "Happy Days" was one of the longest running sitcoms of all time, this show set the standard of shark jumping for any show that came before or after it. This show was good for its day, but it went six years past its prime. I guess I should put in my obligatory vote on Happy Days, and I would say too much Fonz. I would have said Exit, Stage Left with Richie, but they could have handled things better. It was the canonization of the Fonz - er, Henry Winkler trying to un-stereotype himself- that led to its downfall. An earlier poster said something about Urkel....PERFECT analogy. Family Matters did stupid stuff like the Urkel robot and Stephone because Jaleel White was trying NOT to be type-cast as Urkel, and it went on WAAAAAY too long. ONE Richie-less season would have been plenty. CHACHI!! whats up with this guy, he only changed his clothes once a year!! he started with the muscle shirt, then the green army jacket,then the matching blue jeans and jean jacket with the gay bandana around his leg, then finally a black shiny disco jacket with a tiger on back...he only changes once a year!! Look at that hair...in the 50's, any guy wearing hair that long in the 50's would be branded a "sissy" and everyone would kick the hell out of him. He looks like he dropped in from the future. (maybe he was a stow-away with Mork) And what the hell is this "wah-wah-wah" crap? Is that supposed to be an infant or what? The first show they did was on "Love American Style" and it was about Richie's family getting a TV (the first in the neighborhood I think) and the girl who didn't want anything to do with him suddenly appears to date him because of it. This story prompted the making of Happy Days because of all the viewers who watched that episode reminisced about the "Good Old 50's", so they approached the actors and writers to make this show. I am not sure if Gary Marshall was part of "Love American Style" but this is the first quasi-episode is there- including Erin Moran as Joanie, and Chuck the brother I believe is there, and Potsy, but no Ralph. It jumped the shark when they changed it from this episode to the actual show- it lost something in the transition- what was it? Oh, yeah, believability! You could sense the 50's style in the "Love American Style" show, but it got lost when they made it bigger as a 30 minute show, versus a 15-20 minute vignette. I'm probably mistaken, but I could swear that Linda Purl played two characters on HD. One dated Richie, the other dated Fonzie. If anyone can confirm this, I'd really appreciate it. Watching as I type one of the later post-Richie excrutiatingly awful episodes, it is undeniable why the down fall of Happy Days would neccesitate creating a site such as this. I don't think any program in the history of TV has ever had a discouraging or more disasterous drop in quality than this show did from the classic on film, no audience, silent Fonzie glory days to the Joanie and Chachian suck-fest it ended as. The very special episode when The Fonz showed that wearing glasses was cool. Eye strain was giving Fonzie headaches so he went to see an Optometrist that happened to be Ralph Mouth’s dad played by Jack Dodson (Howard Sprague from the Andy Griffith Show). When Dodson made his entrance, you could hear a collective groan from the studio audience as if they were saying: “on no, not that guy.” At the time, I couldn’t understand how this lame episode made it on the air. It was only recently that I saw a Marion Ross interview where she said that this story was Henry Winkler’s pet project. He had just become the break-out star of Happy Days and was receiving top billing in the credits. Winkler wanted to air “meaningful” episodes and this was one of them. I suppose this is what happens when an actor becomes a big star almost overnight and goes to the producers with “brillant ideas” for stories. Are the producers going to say “No” or are they going to humor the guy by saying: “Great idea kid. We’ll work that idea into a story.” Now you know. I think Happy Days didn't really jump the shark, but I do believe that Fonzie is the best character in the show, from beginning to end. Even though Richie was the leading role in the beginning, he always asked Fonzie's help. Fonzie always seemed to have an answer for everyone, whether it be for Richie, Ralph, Joanie, Chachi, Al, or anyone. Fonzie was not always right, though, but his philosophy serves as a model for all others. I say again, Happy Days might have jumped the shark after Al proposes to Chachi's mother (After that, Arnold replaces Al). I think Fonzie should have just become the full owner of Arnolds instead of bringing Arnold back. After Al leaves and Joanie and Chachi do not appear in every show, good shows with good subject matters are hard to come by. I'm sick of the McGinley-bashing. The shows decline was long before his arrival. He did the best he good in an uninspiring role. McGinley is no Roscius, but a competent and experienced actor. I must comment on one particular episode, where Roger goes to Fonzie for dating-tips. Fonzie rips off his sleeves and teaches him to act cheeky. He eventually finds some skank who's willing to go to bed with him, but squeaky-clean, goody-two-shoes rejects her for her lack of morals. First off, why was ROGER going to FONZIE for advice on attracting woman? Not only was Roger ten times better looking, but spoke in polysyllables, and actually changed his outfit once in a while. All the chicks in Milwaukee should have known Roger was where it was at, not a fat old man, with questionable sartorial tendencies and a small vocabulary, who hung-out in a john. And didn't Ted look SEXY without his sleeves? Purrrrrrr. For me, the show was no longer tolerable when the Fonz destroyed Mr. Cunningham's roof and then sued Mr. C. When the Fonz won, this was the last straw. Fonz has everything, super-powers, a hypnotic hold on women, and now he is even above the law. I just couldn't celebrate the Fonz's adventure anymore. I was only watching out of of habit at this point, although there was also a real desire to see the Fonz be defeated. He cared about no one. And he didn't face his blindness very courageously. My hopes went up when Mork from Ork made a challenge but I should have known he wasn't cool enough. I felt the same resentment Richie showed he felt when he punched the Fonz out while on leave from the Army. The show was never the same after Ron Howard left. They should've just pulled the plug then. They re-modeled Arnold's & Chachi & Joanie sang All the Freakin Time! Now, I like Scott Baio & Erin Moran, but they couldn't sing & the producers should've realized this. So, with Ron Howard gone, they had to add stupid pointless characters, Ashley Pfister (Fonzie was boring as a one-woman man), Flip, & KC Cunningham. Zzzzzzzz Not the slightest question ... Ron Howard left the show and it went straight into the shark tank. But there are a couple of things worth noting here. When the show was single-camera film (during the first season and a half) it was just dog-paddling in the ratings. Then Fred Silverman came in as head of ABC and the first thing he did was to really play up Fonzie. That's why the show went to a live audience, so the girls could scream at Fonzie! Henry winkler got a big promotion and a big raise, so he didn't complain. Then about episode seven of that season, Laverne and Shirley guest-starred to see if they could handle their own show (and how!). but Ron Howard felt constrained by the role (and you may notice his hairline was already in serious trouble!) by the seventh season, so he jumped to NBC to act in TV-movies and start to direct. I guess I might have done the same thing. But why in hell did Ralph jump ship? Donald Most got in a snit because he was making $12,000 an episode. Todya that IS peanuts, but back then for a sixth-ranked player it was pretty good, and did Most REALLY think he would work anywhere else? So you multiply $12,000 by the 90 or so episodes over the last four seasons (the money that went to Ted McGineley), and you realize most walked away from at least a million bucks for ... well ... nothing's coming to me, you know what I mean? Did Most EVER play another role? Shoot, even Anmson Williams did a short-lived variety show and directed episodes of Diagnosis: Murder (at his buddy Scott Baio's urging; those episodes are certainly no worse than the other shows in that series, maybe a little better!). But without Richie Cunningham there was no point to the series. Jenny Piccolo wasn't one TENTH as fun to look at (poor Cathy Silvers, daughter of Phil, no less!) than to hear about, and Joanie grown up didn't have any of the appeal of Joanie the kid. (You can also tell Erin Moran was faking her enthusiasm more and more as the series went on -- di you see those pathetic Entertainment Tonight interviews with her in the nineties?) But BTW, one otther point. In the episode where Fonzie meets the Lone Ranger, that was NOT Clayton Moore, who had been deprived of the Lone Ranger mask. That was John Hart, the OTHER Lone Ranger (he filled in for Clayton Moore between 1952 and 1954), who had been so unimportant that the injunction against wearing the mask never even crossed the Wrather Corporation's minds! I was very glad that Hart at least collected one more paycheck (Moore was loaded, Hart wasn't). Anyway, this shark jumping has many, MANY causes but the exit of Richie is just the most important of them. BTW, when DID the (literal) Shark Jumping episode air? I went to high school at Kadena AFB in Okinawa, Japan from '83-'85. Henry Winkler, Tom Bosley and Marion Ross all did public service announcements for the US Armed Forces TV network about how wonderful our military school systems were. My sophomore year the whole "Happy Days Gang" toured the far east bases and perfomed on our school football field. The Cunninghams, Fonzie, Ralph, Potsie, Flip, Jenny, Al and others were there. Of course Potsie sand "Splish, Splash" and there were even some rowdy seniors who dubbed themselves the "Potsie Patrol" and led everyone in cheers for Pots. I've never had a cheesier time since... oh god, so many jumps...fonzie's lame bongo solo, joanie's retarded crush on potsie: calling him "dren" i.e. "nerd" spelled backwards, and pinky tuscedero, the nastiest, no-class slut character in the history of television (sorry laverne difazio). blech!!!!! The episode of Happy Days with Tom Hanks was not the one with the father and son problem, it actually had him playing a man who had been picked on by Fonzie when he was younger. The show had jumped years before this, but this episode seemed like a filler for a writer's vacation. If you remember Fonzie let Tom kick him straight out of Arnolds and then he came back in and showed everyone that violence was not the answer. This was one of the many episodes that showed how far the series had declined from the early episodes. Speaking of that episode, it shocked me when I saw Tom Hanks magically smash items such as tables just because he couldn't get over the Fonz beating him up in the third grade. And Fonzie didn't beat his ass just so he could look like a role model and protect his trophy. I also disliked how Arnold's was covered in wood and inhabited by unfunny actors (other than the lame McGinley) as well as extras. I wish TVLand or WGN would show those fabled episodes without the audience. Those episodes must be really good... "Happy Days" had already jumped the shark years before (literally, I suppose, when they Jumped the Shark), but I remember tuning in one night because I was curious--Lori Beth was supposed to get married to Richie! The thing was. . .Ron Howard had been gone from the show for a while so how would they pull that off? Richie was apparently away in the military, but they were able to perform the wedding by phone, with Lori Beth in her bridal whites standing in the Cunningham's living room and a priest and a telephone receiver. How stupid. . .how utterly, utterly. . .utterly lame. And poor Marion Cunningham was gamely trying to seem all emotional about it. Ted McGinley was there (I think). Terrible. Utterly terrible. This was one of the final nails in the coffin, I think. We didn't even get to hear someone try to impersonate Richie's voice. . .just a bunch of sitcom actors pretending they could hear him. Also. . .I remember one episode in which the Cunninghams were arguing about watching "The Music Man." Marion gushed that the little boy reminded her so much of Richie when he was little. Perhaps it was above the live studio audience's heads, but the "joke" only received an embarrassed silence. This show Jumped the Shark so many times that it's well nigh impossible to pinpoint a definitive moment. I guess the most obvious one is when Richie left and it became "The Fonzie Show" in all but name, but there were many JTS incidents before then. The mysterious disappearance of Chuck Cunningham, was the guy abducted by aliens like something out of a corny 1950s B-movie with all memory of his existence erased from the minds of those around him? Or how about the parade of Cunningham 'cousins', that Southern chick K.C., Flip(or is it Leopold)and of course the sainted Ted McGinley. However, the shark bit the bait right at the end of the series when Fonzie (I refuse to call him "The Fonz")rapidly approaching middle age, moved into that Hawaiian-themed condominium and adopted that little boy, settling down to the joys of solo fatherhood in wonderfully permissive mid-60s Milwaukee. Just another example of an 80s show grafting contemporary issues onto the backdrop of an earlier period. And in the final episode, as stated in a previous posting, still no mention of Chuck! I'm going to have to go with the name of the site on this one. It seems shortly after the Hollywood part 3(Where Fonzie jumps)episode was when things got stupid. Like when Fonzie's dog feels depressed and they bring on Dr. Joyce Brothers who just happened to be speaking to Potzie's class. When Chuck left the show by alien abduction, Richie never could handle being the oldest brother. Other problems were when Fonzie took over the show and when Joanie grew up and thought she was sexy. Superstation WGN just recently replayed the two-part California episode in which Fonzie literally "jumps the shark". Even though I grew up with an older sister who watched the show religiously in its first run and in reruns, I had never had the "privelige" to see this episode. I'm not sure any other great show has ever crashed and burned in 44 minutes like "Happy Days" did in the course of that episode. The whole premise of the stunt was mind-numbingly stupid, the writing was terrible, and the production (especially the flip-flopping between the filmed on-location scenes and the videotaped soundstage scenes) was atrocious. Many shows may challenge in the future, but the worst "jump the shark" moment will forever be the namesake. Oh boy, where should I start? We just have so many topics that HD fits into. Let's start with the most obvious choice of Ron Howard. The Ron years are okay, but when he left they should've had the sense to end the show. Nope, they didn't. We have met many actors through Happy Days and 2 of them happen to be this sites favorite people. We have Scott Baio and Ted McGinely. Lord knows they both try so hard, and I never thought I'd say this but when you have Baio and McGinely together, it does make Baio look like actor of the year. Fonz started out being a rebel, but he ended up turning into a dork. I've heard they sing on some of the later year eps, but I could never sit through those episodes so I wouldn't know if that were true or not. If it is true, add singing to the jump list. Last on my short list is the Happy Days reruns. Damn, the show is on like 3 stations. Tv Land runs in like 5 times a day. Nick @ Nite runs it either once or twice and now WGN airs it about 4 times. The show isn't that great to rerun it that many times. It's challenging the Beverly Hillbillies now. That's a whole other story about BH. So many people have said it in so many ways. Watching this show, it is amazing and sad how quickly this show really did jump the shark. This show, along with MASH, always wins my own personal award for one of the shows that was on WAY WAY too long past its prime, or when the show was actually good. As many have said, it's easily within the second second when the show really starts to go down hill. It's amazing how many things coincided at this time: the move to filming in front of a live audience, the show becoming more and more about Fonzie, Fonzie moving in upstairs, etc. In the beginning, this really was a show trying to illicit the feel of the fifties, focusing on two boys coming of age, doing typical things - going to bachelor parties, sneaking into bars, etc. It was Ritchie and Potsie, doing typical teenage things in the 1950's. Then, Ralph was added and Fonzie started to become more of a major player. Even by the second season, Fonzie is becoming obnoxious and starting to have his "supernatural' powers. By season three (which was actually still, relatively speaking, season two, since the show began at mid-season 1974), the show had become a formulaic comedy and a parody of itself, with the sweet and innocent 50's feel replaced by the "fonzie half-hour". I agree with the poster who said Gary Marshall should have been ashamed of himself. Anyone involved with this show should have been ashamed of themselves. They really sold their souls and turned a very promising, unique and good show into a piece of CRAP that was on WAYYY too long... Like myself and others posted earlier, it jumped the shark when Richie and Ralph left for the three year Army stint. It unjumped when Richie and Ralph returned for the two-part "Welcome Home" episodes, but jumped again after that. The post-1980 episodes were horrific, but I thought Potsie was funny. Henry Winkler is a great actor. The season it went to produciton with a live audience; the show lost some of the charm it had begun with; too much playing to the audience; too much Potsie Webber; Howard became a bit oof a buffoon and Marion a litle too much of a Fonzie cheerleader. I preferred Richie being more naive. When Richie started trying to be cool and not the nerd that we all liked. At the same time Fonzie turned into a spineless wimp happy days jumped for many reasons. I'll list them: 1. Fonzy turns nice and gets fat, not necessarily in that order. 2. Chachi has 80's hair and clothes. 3.In one episode Chachi becomes a dance instructor and the studio audience goes wild with joy and excitement while his "dancing" totally sucked. 4. When Richie began sporting a Dick Van Patten comb over. THAT did it for me. I diasgree with those who say Happy Days jumped when the live audience came about. While I enjoyed the very early episodes with a quiet Fonzie and the laugh track and "Rock Around the Clock" etc., I thought that the move to the live audience, along with the new theme song,and the upgrading of Fonzie's character really gave the show a fresh coat of paint. It was the early years of this format the the show was truley in its Golden Era. The show basically jumped when the guys graduated from high school. The fact that the show was about high school kids in the 50's to begin with meant that the producers had to abandon the original plan to keep the show going at that point, so they have Ritchie, Potsie and Ralph attend the U of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (remember those red sweaters with the white "W"'s?). This way they all went to college locally and commuted from home, so they could continue to hang out at Arnold's. So began the long steady procession of the show's demise - Chachi, Laurie Beth, Fonzie going soft (the opening credits in later years show Fonzie with a stupid grin giving two thumbs up, as opposed to the earlier yeears with the cool glance and one thumb) and finally culminating in Mork from Ork, in my opinion the stupidist thing ever done in television history. The worst episodes of Happy Days have to be the Pinky Tuscadero ones, the Leather Tuscadero ones, marrying over the phone, the K.C. ones, and the Mork ones, just to name the absolute worst. Whoever reads this please respond and agree or disagree with me. ALSO---- How come Fonzie wore white shirts in the beginning, then black shirts in the middle, and white shirts again in the end? I missed Richie when he was stationed to Greenland. I enjoy watching reruns of this show because it reminds me so much of the innocence of my own childhood and how innocent popular mainstream network television was back in the 70's and 80's. However, I must be honest in saying that I tend to laugh AT this show more than WITH it. Gaaad, was it silly! I laugh every time the studio audience cheers as Fonzie makes his grand entrance stage left. Later in the series, during the "Joanie Loves Chachi" heyday, the audience pratically SCREAMED when Joanie and Chachi made their entrance - almost like they were the Beatles or something. This show makes me realize how much I'VE changed. When I was a little kid I never realized how much of a chauvinist Fonzie was. Nowadays I'll find myself yelling at the T.V set, "Sit on it, Fonz!" (audience applause). However, I thought his girlfriend Pinky was pretty groovy. It was about time Fonz had a girlfriend that didn't put up with his s***. And if Fonz really did "lose his cool" by falling in love with her, then perhaps "cool" leaves a lot to be desired. When I was a little girl I wanted to be just like Joanie when I grew up - the head cheerleader, a back-up singer for Leather, a sweet-sixteen party at Arnold's, a gorgeous boyfriend like Chachi, etc. She had it all didn't she? To this day I still think she was absolutley adorable (but I could've lived without that trendy, early 80's poodle-do). This show also had terrific background music - la la la la, do-wop sha-boom! Pump, pump, pump your blood; jump, jump, jump the shark. Anson Williams never could sing (hard to believe that he once had a recording contract), and that combined with ridiculous lyrics and the absurd premise that a sour-faced professor would do a 180-degree turn because of a song spells doom,doom,doom for your show. Anson must have realized somewhere along the line that he was no performer. because he's been primarily a TV director since the show ended, and has been very successful. P.S. to one of the posters above. You are correct about Linda Purl. She played two characters on the show, one at the beginning of its run and one at the end. How can so many of you be so wrong? This show jumped the shark before Fonzie knew what a shark was. This was an absolutely fabulous show for the first two seasons. I think the shark jumped over Happy Days at the beginning of the third season and shit all over it. To say this thing lasted until Richie left or Pinkie showed up is absurd. Please, folks...I know that this web sites entire existence is an outgrowth of this show, but theres no way it lasted past season two. It was over when ABC used the tag line "Funniness is next to Fonziness". The stink-o-meter pegged on that day. The thanksgiving 1978 episode in which Fonzie helped bring the Indians and Pilgrims together. I kid you not. It's a real episode. I saw it and realized that Happy Days was in dire need of cancellation from that point on. Unfortunately, we had another 6 years of this garbage afterwards. HAPPY DAYS is a case study in how a show jumps the shark when five words are introduced to its credits: "Filmed before a live audience." The sweet nostalgic AMERICAN GRAFFITI-esque realism of the early episodes was eliminated in favor of cartoonish playing to the crowd: catch phrases ("Sit on it," etc) and character cliches. The early episodes (filmed) were touching episodic sitcoms; the taped episodes were, by comparison, sometimes as cringe-inducing as dinner theater. Not that they weren't sometimes funny, but compared to the earliest episodes (on film, with big brother Chuck), they paled. The playing-to-the-audience lowest common denominator that came into play once they started taping episodes in front of a live audience was what made HAPPY DAYS jump the shark, in my opinion. It JTS for me when they all appear at "Al's" wearing disco-type velour sweaters....which was popular in 1978-1979. Wasn't this a show that took place in the 1950's? When Ron Howard left. I can overlook the show starting not to care about the cast wearing perms, Star Wars t-shirts and the like, but when Ron Howard left, the show went downhill - fast! I loved this show. The cast was talented, had great chemistry, and you could tell they loved working with each other. The story lines were sweet, sometimes silly, but the show gave us plenty of smiles and laughs. And Henry Winkler became a major star from this show. BUT . . .when Ron Howard left, you lost the link. Howard and Winkler had a chemistry together that was touching and when half of the duo left, it lost it's purpose. Instead they try to focus all the attention on Fonzie, Joanie and Chachi. Let's give it up, folks. Happy Days was about Richie Cunningham. Period. As a die-heart fan of Happy Days it is sad for me to say but the show jumped when Billy Warlock joined. Ted Mcginley replaced Ron Howard, Now Billy Warlock new teen idol replaces Scott Baio. Those shirts that he wore on the show were not a 1962 era type of clothes that people wore. This was th real time when it jumped. I mean there were a few others. Starting with the 1982-83 season you knew this show was ready to leap. Fonzie settling with one girl. Here was your opening credit cast. Henry Winkler, Marion Ross, Anson Williams, Cathy Silvers, Ted McGinley, Linda Purl and Tom Bosley. K.C. was a replacement of Joanie. The producers really would have had fun if K.C. and Flip dated then it would be like Joanie loves Chachi the second. It had jumped already by this time but it did so again in the dude ranch episode. I only saw part of it recently but for some reason the entire cast went on vacation together to a dude ranch. I think there was a prize for riding an unridable bull and also that the owner of the ranch needed some dough to pay off his evil mortgage holder. Lo and behold, Fonzie says he'll ride the bull and pay off the mortgage! Of course, everyone says he is crazy but he does it anyway. This struck me as a blatant rip-off of the actual Jump the shark episode. Fonzie, by the way, was the only character in this episode that was not dressed in a gay cowboy outfit. This show jumped the shark when Richie, Malph and Potsie played (or at least pretented to play)disco, yes DISCO, in the Cunningham livgingroom while Mr. and Mrs. C were out on their second honeymoon. I would not kid the JTS website about this one. Catch the episode sometime and listen to that samba-sounding bass beat. It looked too surreal and gave me nightmares. By this time the show just didn't give a rat's ass, did it? Aside from the feathered-back hair, perms and velcro-shoes, playing disco in the early sixties has to be one of the biggest anachronisms I've seen on this show (yet). In case no has answered the question: "why did Fonzie wear black t-shirts instead of white t-shirts", I think I have the answer: since the Fonz was living on a diet of Al's burgers for breakfast, lunch and dinner he gained a lot weight therefore opting for the black t-shirts because black is a very slimming color. Just ask Vogue. Whoa! Wasn't the same after Arnold left. Al Molinaro was fun on Get Smart! and The Odd Couple, but trying to replace Noriyuki 'Pat' Morita's trademark laugh means you have quite a pair of lungs to fill. I have so many pictures of when I was young and in most of them I have my thumbs up like Fonzie. Now that I watch the show as a 31 year old, I realize how much better the original ones were than the later years. I also found out after 20 years that Mork made Richie think he was dreaming at the end of the first Mork episode. Syndication had never shown the ending where he talked to Orson before, but Nick actually did. I never could figure out how it all of a sudden wasn't a dream in the second Mork episode. Best Fonzie line ever: Rich: Guess who was down at Arnold's? Fonz: The Fonz does not play guessing games while chewing! Happy Days jumped when me and my friends realized that Fonzie wouldn't last two minutes in our neighborhood. That's why he was always hanging out with howdy doodies like Richie and Potsie, talking tough to them, the little punk. Long live Vinnie Barbarino! I've really thought about this. Happy Days still had a viable, comedic impact I think until Cousin Nancy Blansky, a vegas showgirl "den mother" of sorts who showed up at The Cunnighams to help them reminisce in one of those anniversary shows that were so popular with networks to save production costs. I would say this episode was actually a very subtle shark jump. From here on in it goes steadily down hill until we end up with Fonzie...well.....actually Jumping A Shark! Nancy Walker played Nancy Blansky, a character from an ABC spinoff called Blansky's Beauties which was made by roughly the same production team as Happy Days and had Lori-Beth and Scott Baio in the cast. The show at first took place in the Happy Days era and universe. If I'm correct Blansky's Beauties was retooled and updated to modern times and any mention of a relationship to the Cunninghams was gone. Except that is for a weird episode in which Nancy recounted a flashback about Laverne Defazio from Laverne and Shirley, therby re-establishing the connection between Happy Days and Blansky's Beauty's. Show definitely jumped the shark with the hairstyles, which also bugged me with Laverne and Shirley and MASH. As far as time frame for the show, I definitely remember a commercial for the show with Tom Bosley (Mr. C) doing a voice-over and saying the year "1956." So if you really wanted to get anal about it, I guess you could set up some kind of corresponding time frame to "date" all of the episodes. What a worthwhile project that would be--eh? When Ralph Malph, of all people, ditched "Happy Days" as a career move, you knew that show had reached a new plateau of lameness. The single most terrible moment from this series I can remember is when the gang was on the phone with Fonzie and the jukebox wasn't working.They held the phone to the jukebox and upon the sound of Fonzie's snapping fingers,it began to play again.Terrible and insulting..how could you take anything with that show serious after that? I thought Happy Days jumped the shark when Ron Howard left. It definitely was not the same but to me, the real shark jump came when they brought in a live Jenny Piccalo, as opposed to just being referred to like she was before. She was just a slut who added absolutely nothing to the show. Maybe if they had gotten somebody else to play her, it wouldn't have been so bad. Cathy Silvers was so annoying! By the way, the first couple of seasons that the show was filmed in front of a live audience weren't that bad. The audience didn't sound like they were all 12 years old and they didn't scream for EVERYBODY! The producers should have kept it that way. I'll agree with those who focussed on the change in the opening credits, which also coincided with the Fonzie takeover. For me, the JTS moment was crystallized by that moment in the credits where Fonzie is about to comb his hair in the mirror, then decides that no improvement is possible. This was in the original credits too, I believe, but it was done in a rather laid-back fashion. Fonzie holds up the comb, looks at his reflection and pauses, then gives a slight gesture and puts the comb down and heads for the door. Almost matter-of-fact. In the new version, he stops and does an exaggerated, hammy, "Oh my God, will you look at that fabulous star in the mirror!" then swaggers away. Whenever I see that overplayed version, I know it's from one of the poorer seasons. Some say it was when Ron Howard left the show, but as an avid HD watcher, I'd say the seeds were planted in the 1978-79 season. The writing really started to get stale. There was one episode where Fonzie walked through a door at Al's at the wrong time, got bopped on the head, and went temporarily blind. First off, M*A*S*H had done a great episode two seasons earlier where Hawkeye went blind, and instead of being maudlin, it made Hawkeye realizes how much more acute his other senses were and how happy he was to be alive. In the HD approach, first off, they take something that would normally be milked for a slapstick laugh and try to elicit pity from it. Then, except for Richie, everyone spends the rest of the episode treating Fonzie like he's a crippled old man. The background music accentuates the bathos of the situation, too. You could tell the show was getting long in the tooth at that point. Happy Days jumped the shark almost from the very start. I grew up near Wisconsin. If all these guys were from Wisconsin, why did they all have Brooklyn accents? This was an irritant from the very start. Another irritant was the fact that it only snowed once—at Christmas. Anyone familiar with Wisconsin knows that it snows heavily there, being a Great Lake state. Anytime a show starts showcasing catch phrases, it's jumped the shark. This is the time when all the producers are interested is putting that phrase on T-shirts, lunch boxes and little Fonz dolls that have moveable thumbs. Like most, I think the show jumped the shark when it went to the studio-audience format. One of the things that always bugged me about the show was the "Howard, are you getting frisky?" comments and the audience responding. I hated "Sit on it", "getting frisky", "ayyyy", "Wah wah wah", "You're such a potsie", and all the other over-used catch-phrases on the show. I loved the first season and despise anything after Leather Tuscadero showed up! By the way, if the show was set in 1962 like one of the earlier posters thinks why would Richie be working on the Adlai Stevenson campaign against Howard's wishes (he liked Ike). JFK was never referred to and he was the president in 1962. Great show for awhile but it wore out it's welcome after awhile. I think once Ron Howard and Don Most left at the end of the 1979-80 season, the season started to go truly downhill. I'm probably one of the few Happy Days fans that didn't cared as much for the first season than the rest of the run. It went from being somewhat of a realistic nostalgic view of the 1950s to an somewhat fantasy-like farce. Like a couple of posters said eariler, you can't necessarily blame Ted McGinley for HD going downhill in its last four seasons. When the heart and soul (Ron Howard) and comic relief (Don Most) leave, it's too much you can you, no matter who you bring in. As for the poster who said that K.C. and Flip should have dated, it wouldn't look right, seeing that Flip was Marion's nephew and K.C. was Howard's niece. It wouldn't be direct incest, but still..... I'd like to add to the comment from the poster above who pointed out that there were a lot of people with Brooklyn accents in Milwaukee. I also wonder why after a couple seasons everybody in Milwaukee was Italian. OK, the original, Arthur Fonzerelli was fine. But then Chaichi Arcola, Al Delveccio, Leather Tuscadero, Jenny Piccalo, and (spun off) Laverne & Shirley featuring Laverne DeFazio and Carmine Ragusa? I know Gary Marshall is Italian, but really, this is WISCONSIN. I used to live in Wisconsin. The place is chock full of Germans and Scandinavians, but trust me, there aren't that many Italians there. Even in Milwaukee. This show jumped the shark when the Fonz grew the beard....I had been a fan of this show...but that was just dumb....he looked like Mr. Angelino from three's company...never watched another episode after that What exactly was so 'innocent' about these times? That practically every show centred on the dorky guys trying to score with girls? That Fonzie could have any girl he wanted, usually more than one at a time? And what was going on between him and Mrs. C? And didn't they realise the implications of graffiti and characters always saying "Sit on it"? Happy Days- When Mork From Ork appeared in the Cunningham's living room on Happy Days. A crude pre-programming idea & move by ABC. It began to ruin an otherwise, up to that point, excellent show Although a great name for a web site, Happy Days truly jumped the shark the season after Fonzie jumped the shark. Richie's last season was a dud, and it went down hill after that. The exact episode was when Richie gets a job at the newspaper. The writing seemed off, and the chemistry was gone between all the characters. I thought the early seasons (including the first where they had the studio audience) were actually pretty good. But then the fourth season, which started with Pinky Tuscadero, marked the point where "Happy Days" became a show to laugh "at" instead of "with". After that, Richie became more dorky ("Oh, no! The Malachi Crunch!"). Potsie would sing all classic 50's rock and roll in the same bland, Lawrence Welk style. Ralph became afraid of his shadow. They faked their musical performances worse than the "Partridge Family". Howard and Marion were reduced to cardboard cutouts. Over time the hair and clothes became some sort of weird 50's/70's hybrid. The writers were big on creating villains the studio audience could hiss and snarl at (Officer Kirk, the mean biology professor, the Malachi brothers, the snooty country club people, the French fencer, the fat man at the funeral home, Charlene Tilton, etc.). Usually the plot would work up to a visibly agitated Richie telling them all to "sit on it, Bucko". Then Fonzie would make a surprise entrance (again) to save the day. And I never understood how Fonzie could have three cousins on the show and even be living with his grandmother at one point, and yet he hadn't seen his parents since he left home as a child? I realized the comment "Mickey is a mouse" is written on the wall in the opening credits (where it says Sit On It) You just know Fonzie and Mrs. C had something going on the side. Middle-aged housewife... leather-clad biker stud... you do the math. Happy Days jumped the shark when Chuck left and it stopped being a program about life in the fifties. However, people who say that the show doesn't make sense have not watched all the episodes (some of them, they don't seem to like to repeat). When you see everything, Happy Days makes perfect sense. Chuck is badly woudned in Korea and is shipped back to the US with no arms and legs. After visiting their son in hospital in a very touching episode, the Cunningham's decide that they do not wish to be burdened with Chuck and agree never to mention him again - from now on, they only have two children. Just to make sure that Chuck can never find them, they change house, thus explaining the change in indoor floorplan. The exterior is exactly the same because this is the 1950s and everyone must conform. Fonzie works on the same car all the time because he is a rotten mechanic and his mechanic business is a sham. His real source of income is from his job inside the men's room at Arnold's, which is why he has an office there. One day, Richie walks in on the Fonz while he is servicing a customer. Unable to take the truth about his hero, Richie flees town, which is why Ron Howard leaves the series. Down to one child, Howard, in a fit of rage, climbs onto the roof in a storm and renounces God. In an act of divine vengence, God sends the vile Chachi to haunt Howard's house and eventually seduce Joanie. Nothing about Chachi has to make sense because Chachi is a manifestation of God's punishment, and God doesn't have to make sense. Potsie is eventually eaten alive by weasels The first three years this show was pretty good. a few jumps from the start was Chuck going out to play basket ball and never coming home again. But after that it really started to rot. However it remained on the vine until the bitter end. The spin offs all sucked in my book. The changing of people on the show got to be the main theme. The recyced shows of "The Fonz" jumping over everything and the given shark. This was because of the movie Jaws and everyone was shark crazy. SNL even did the stupid "Land Shark" over kill. Jaws #1 was a bad movie and they made how many after it that really tanked? They even had Jaws 3D for crying out loud. Most of the 1970's JTS but mostly the last half. 75-80 when Disco was in and it also JTS. Thank God it's all over now.. When Ron Howard left "Happy Days," the show had become stale and moronic. Richie, Potsie, and Ralph were college students who were constantly being bailed out of trouble by Fonzie. Or... Laverne and Shirley or Mork paid a visit. The episodes from 1977-1980 were examples of what happens when there is too much network interference. Fonzie had gone from being cool to being a Boy Scout. Richie had gone from being interesting to being bland. No wonder Ron Howard and Don Most left. So what happens when a show no longer has its star???? Actually, the writers rose to the challenge and the last four seasons of "Happy Days" were a vast improvement over what preceeded. Jefferson High School was suddenly in the background again. We finally saw Jenny Piccolo, played brilliantly by Cathy Silers. Fonzie's relationship with Roger, for example, was much more mature than it was with Richie. The comedy between Winkler and Baio was surprisingly strong as well. Best of all, after Erin Moran and Baio left for "Joanie Loves Chachi," we saw the Fonzie character evolve even further as a man involved in a serious, grown-up relationship with Ashley and a believable father figure to little Heather. If Ron Howard hadn't left, the writers would have never been forced to go off on a new direction. People often point to the show's going downhill after Howard left, but a fair mind will look at those episodes and come to the conclusion that these are among the best ever, ranking up there with the first two seasons when the show was shot with one camera, and seasons three and four, when the studio audience was first used. I have to go with the majority of voters and say that HD JTS when the studio audience(what sounded like a gaggle of teen girls) got totally out of control and the producers did nothing to stop it. I mean just the slightest hint of anything sexual sent them into a frenzy. It was pathetic. And whenever any of the perennial catch phrases were uttered such as Fonzies AYYYYY!!!! or Richie's WAH WAH WAH it would send them over the edge. So when did this happen? I think it started to happen during the 4th season opener - the 2-parter that introduced Pinky Tuscadero. And then with the introduction of Scott Baio as Fonzie's cousin Chachi at the beginning of the 5th season, all hell broke loose and things would never be the same for this show. Before this interesting transformation occurred however, HD was actually pretty enjoyable. I'd forgotten how enjoyable until I caught some eps. recently on TVLand. I saw the first ep. of the 3rd season, the first filmed in front of a studio audience. This was the ep. where Fonzie moves into the apartment over the Cunningham house. It was still a funny, enjoyable ep. after all these years. And as much as I enjoyed the first two seasons of HD, my favorite is this 3rd season. The show was still finding its way and the audience wasn't crazy like they would be in the following seasons. This season also introduced Pat Morita as Arnold who I much preferred to Al. And the 3rd season also introduced Laverne & Shirley who would, of course, spin off to their own sitcom. A very fine season and a pretty decent show that was marred by everything that came after. I'm kinda suprised no one has commented on what a multi-instrumentalist Richie was..one episode he's playing keyboards, another episode he's playing guitar,..a few episodes later, he's playing the Sax,..the boys might've had a record deal if it were'nt for Potsie's horrible singing. Come on do the Fonzie with me! Definatly showed the beginning of Henry Winklers more feminine side (who ever would have thunk it....fonzie was like Rod Halford all along....wow!!!) DO THE FONZIE...COME ON DO THE FONZIE WITH ME DO THE FONZIE...COME ON DO THE FONZIE WITH ME The show jumped the day Joanie tarted herself up and started hanging with a group of local thugs called The Red Devils, who quickly attempt to gang-bang her in the locker room of the high school gym. Richie, Fonz, Potsie, and Ralph rush to Shortcake's defense, but the Red Devils just laugh at them until The Big Ragu pops out of a locker singing "Rags to Riches" and saves the day. I cannot believe there are so many references by others to horribly stupid plots, that I can't remember any of them, and I watched this show for years! That shows how bad it really was after the first 4 seasons. The early blue jacket fonzie shows are truly classic tv. I loved the stripper one, and when fonz thwarts a would be robber in the Cunningham house. Those we sweet episodes. The later stuff all sucks as did any characters introduced other than the main cast. Seasons 1-2 were the best of Happy Days, it premiered for a half-season in the Spring of 1974 and then a full second season (74-75). It was these two seasons that had the old house design, no live audience, brother Chuck, and the "Rock Around the Clock" theme. For those of you interested, the last appearance of Chuck in person was the Christmas episode of the second season. All of the various "jump the shark" references made have been post-the first two seasons. Season 3 premiered with Fonzi moving in above the Cunningham's garage, a live studio audience, and a new floorplan for their house. Season three wasn't horrible, but after that the gradual demise occurred: season four premiered with the three-part Pinky Tuscadero episodes, season five (1977-78) was the true jump with the premiere of Chachi, then season six had the dude ranch trip, and so on and so on until the show became unbearable to watch. The true problem was what is quite typical, the writers or the producers, or both, forgetting what made the show work. It was about the 50s, it was about a group of friends and their experiences, and when that changed, the show suffered greatly. Maybe someday writers and producers will realize that this ruins a show...wait, they did realize it, on one, the Dick Van Dyke Show. Fonzie starts dating that single mom who's daughter is Carolann in the movie Poltergeist.. Fonzie in a monogamous relationship acting as sit in new dad was bogus enough but these two were like night and day to boot. This show pretty much jumped when Richie and Ralph went to the service. But then again how much further could the characters go? No one would really want to stick around to see the post-college expliots of Richie and his pals as young adults, that format would'nt quite fit the show much so it was logical for them to leave or else they would have ended up pointless like Potsie became in the later years. It was obvious the focus would shift to the teen heartthrob audiance once the production team saw the fourtune they would stand to earn from the goldmine that was Scott Baio. Also if you look at the later seasons you'll notice all the original characters who departed the show seemed to have counterparts (replacements) For instance: Jenny Piccalo took the place of Ralph as comic relief (not good enough unfortunately), Roger obviously was a replacement for Richie (See most episodes with Roger and the dialogue is dead-on with anything Richie would say.)Hell, even when Joanie and Chachi left the show for their short-lived spinoff they were replaced by similar characters K.C. and Flip but of course they were related so as to not completely phase out the Cunningham family. I guess people can have their own opinion about the later years of Happy Days but to a degree you cant call it unrealistic because thats just how life is, things change and sometimes friends and relatives do move away only to have the void filled by someone else because life goes on....or something like that. When Leather and the gang sing quasi-disco "DO THE FONZIE!!!" while Fonzie "dancing" (being mighty generous here), clapping, snapping his fingers and doing a thumbs up to the audience. One of the most, if not THE MOST cringe inducing, nightmare inducing, absolutely horrifying 5 minutes in television sitcom history. Fonzie, serving on jury duty with Mr. C, proves the defendant is not guiltyamundo when he realizes the alleged thief could not have grabbed a woman’s purse with his left hand because it would have been needed to work the accelerator on his rare imported motorcycle, a simple fact that seems to have escaped everyone else in the courtroom, including what must have been the world’s most incompetent defense attorney. Perhaps the producers could have further explored Fonzie latent lawyering abilities and he could have become a leather-jacket wearing attorney instead of a shop teacher. Some real potential there. I hate to dispute the namesake/premise of your brilliant site but the day that Fonzie jumped the shark was merely the day that Happy Days went from bad to really bad. The actual landmark downturn was I believe, in the second(or maybe third) season when they began to film in front of a live audience.Five minutes of hooting every time that Fonzie entered stage left totally ruined all subtlety and ended all quality in the show.Yes quality,check out some first season episodes- they are done with high quality and feature realistic situations that I can remember my older brothers identifying with.I did a college paper on this over twenty years ago and was interested to discover your site which I feel, offers lessons not to be forgotten when applied to not screwing up in real life. Asking when Happy Days jumped the shark is like asking who's in Grant's Tomb. OMG - I also sat and read through all these comments until I was laughing uncontrollably... the funniest thing has to be the "office" in the men's room...I was excited to see HD on last night - I was prepared to watch it with the funny remarks in mind, and have some more laughs. Unfortunately it was an episode where laurie-beth is pregnant and has decided Fonzie was going to be her birth partner.... I watched maybe five minutes and had to turn it off, this must have been very late in the shows history but it was truly awful. Marion and Howard were practising diapering a doll to get ready for the baby's arrival... I believe Marion actually said she wanted to be ready incase the baby made "boom boom" GACK!!!! This episode had some true potential when some other group stole one of Leather's songs and they went to the National Bandstand show to meet up with that group and settle the score. After all was well and done, Leather sang the song "Do the Fonzie" and Fonzie said his feet loved the song. I would be too embarrassed to do that episode if I was any of the actors involved. This episode contains both Ted McGinley and Scott Baio. It is their all singing episode. If you have forgotten it, let me refresh your memory. Chachi, for some odd reason is in the Cunningham's kitchen doing his homework while they aren't home. Fonz comes in and asks him what he's doing. Chachi says that he has to write a history paper about immigrants to America. Fonzie, who amazingly is an expert on American history, tells him all this information while Chachi daydreams about his family and friends in the roles. Worse yet, everyone is SINGING!!! Hearing Mr. and Mrs. C. sing "You're gonna make it, gonna make it BIG in America" is like listening to a water buffalo in heat. This is absolutely the worst episode of the entire series. Some shows start out as miserable trash and die the deaths they deserve. Happy Days, on the other hand, was great those first two filmed seasons, then died of a slow, lingering, success filled integrity cancer that thoroughly consumed it at the end. As others have said already, you could half-way believe the show was about the 50s at first. Not only that, you got the treat of seeing one of the stars of "American Graffitti" on TV every week. By the way, there was a post that "Graffitti" was supposed to be about the year 1961. Uh-uh. It was set in the late summer of 1962, in August, just before college was supposed to start for the characters played by Richard Dreyfuss and Ron Howard. (Don't believe me? I still remember the movie poster: "Where were YOU in '62?") For a few years there, a real 50s craze was going on, there were all kinds of 50s movies coming out, there were 50s TV shows that were being pulled out of the vaults, and even the song "Rock Around the Clock" itself became a pop hit all over again in '74. HD could have kept up a winning formula, ridden the crest of all that stuff and remained the good, believable show it was those first two years but ABC wanted to climb to the top of the ratings pole at all costs and Fred Silverman started pushing for changes in ABC sitcoms, so a lot of the changes got changed purely to turn the show into a ratings champ and money machine...it did become that, but the "deal with the devil" that caused all that destroyed whatever credibility the show had. If you're going to call a show "Happy Days" and claim that it's about "The 50s to early 60s" and then just care less and less about any semblance of believability, all you have is a money-making lie. Everything that has been listed so far about the slide toward total unbelievability with the situations, hairstyles, guest stars, plots, and everything else to do with the show is pretty much on the mark, all I'd add would be was that, along with "Ayyyy!", "Sit on it!" got used on the show to an absolutely sickening degree. I give Henry Winkler credit for sometimes trying to make Fonzie credible. (Believe it or not, George C. Scott once told Winkler that the character of Fonzie was the role of a lifetime and that he'd better enjoy it while he could). There's one ep where Chachi is trying to get out of a street gang and they're all at Arnold's and the toughs are ganged up while Arnold, Ritchie and his pals try to stand up for Chachi. The gang members just smirk, like "No problem, we'll take you guys apart." Meanwhile, Fonzie doesn't say a word, he just looks at the punks and slaps his fist into his hand. Bye-bye, punks. Now that was a believable scene, and Winkler played it well. That scene, though, was like a diamond in a dumpster, definitely the exception rather than the rule. I gave up on HD, too, and didn't see any more of the show until the last few episodes. By that time, it was just BEYOND a joke, it was just amazing that it lasted as long as it did. I've seen cartoons more realistic and believable than those last episodes. Happy Days was and still is a great show. I watch it all the time. It never jumped the shark. The plots and the characters were funny. I like all the characters, especially Chachi and Fonzie. I think Chachi made the show better, and I like Fonzie best after the first couple seasons. Happy Days jumped when Ron Howard and Donny Most left the show. The show didn't seem the same without them. The show was still tolerable to watch but Fonzie alone isn't enough and I've read some of the other comments and I don't think Fonzie switching from a white shirt to a black shirt can kill a show. Besides he went back to the white shirt so get some better and smarter reasons. Ok..first of all, I'll grant the show this...the remote control and hand dryer both debuted during the 50's so they were around the time this show was set..but I remember a handful of songs Potsie covered that weren't even released yet the times he did them on the show...fifth season = 1960 right? Potsie sings 'will you still love me tomorrow' during season opener (same episode that fonzie jumps shark, mind u), and that song didn't come out till a year later..and one of the final episodes with richie and ralph, potsie covers 'surfin' safari' a beach boys tune..1961 supposedly..but the song didn't come out till aug. of 62...and didn't the ladies restroom in the new arnold's have carpeting? During a post-richie episode, they finally show the inside of it, and guess what! NO CARPETING! What happened? Did the septic back up causing sewer water to ruin the carpet? Don't blame Happy Days for changing from single camera to live audience. It isn't the writers or the producers falut. It is our the viewers fault. We the idiots didn't watch the show the second season. It was rated 16th the first season and it dropped the second season. So in order to improve the ratings they had to make changes. So they made a live audicce and changed the theme song(Ok that was dumb) Guess what happened a great classic show like it was its first two seasons and it became a B quality 70's show. Guess what happend its 3rd season it was #1. So all you people bitching and complaining about a lot of stuff on Happy Days it got its TV job done to get strong ratings. So blame yourself for having such a quality show go from a classic to a cheap show. I wasn't born in 1972 and I've seen the first two serason and I agree they are 100 times better than the 3rd season on but we can only blame the American Public. This is the same American public who have got many classic shows canceled. If you look a few of the never jumped show lists got canceled quickally like Freaks and Geeks and Police Squad. Yet we kept Full House on 8 years to long and by the way the show was on for 8 seasosn. YOu knowSeinfeld wasn't watched much in it's early years and Cheers at one point was DEAD LAST IN RATINGS. I can understand people getting mad at Ron Howard leaving and in other shows people coming and going and birth and deaths but singing, Puberty and in this case Live Audicnce but they got great ratings. People watched the crap so do you know what I say to you all? Ayyyyyyyy Sit on it. Does anyone remember the cartoon they made of "Happy Days" back in the early 1980s? This misbegotten abortion of a show featured Fonzie, Richie, and Ralph travelling through the universe in a flying saucer piloted by an alien woman named "Cupcake". And who could forget Fonzie's dog "Mr. Cool"? What was UP with this idea? It just goes to cement how much of a cartoon the real show was becoming towards the end. How did this show suck,let me count the ways.This show was just horrible after the first 2 1/2 seasons.Fonzie the super hero,Chachi the feathered hair freak,the audience whooping it up when somebody came in.Every show jumped at the very least 10 times.How could Mr Marshall and his his crew put out this crap?Did he think everybody was a moron like he was?How could the actors on this show do this kind of crap?The worst actor on the show was Marion Ross.She seemed uncomfortable in front of the live audience,always looking at the camera when she was supposed to say her lines.You could write a book on how this show stank.Hey,what a good idea... I agree with most everyone else, Happy Days jumped when the strayed from the 50s premise of the show and started being a typical 70s sitcom - complete with 70s hair care. Did guys really hang out in the crapper and shoot the bull in there? Today if you saw two guys in the bathroom, one with streaked blond, poofy hair and the other one in a leather jacket shaving, you'd think something kinky was about to happen.
Happy Days will forever remain one of my favorite TV shows. Sure, I agree with the hundreds of posts that talk about the many sharks that were jumped by this show. Happy Days was a show with an eleven-year life and, like most things in life, they change. True, the early shows did have a look and feel of the 50’s. The later seasons with the studio audience lost some of that nostalgic feel, but again it’s a change of the times. Ted McGinley is one fine looking man, and a great actor, so I don’t think he is the problem. Cast members came and went, and some came back again. On a personal note, the early 80’s was a period when my siblings and cousins started moving away to college. This kind of paralleled HD, since Richie and Ralph left. Joanie and Chachi were gone for awhile too. New characters were added, but just like my own life, it was never the same. I was actually thrilled when Joanie and Chachi came back (full time) for the last season. At least part of the family was home again! Not really “jump the shark” issues – but there are several continuity issues I’d like get others’ ideas on: First, what happened to Flip and K.C.? I’m sure since J&C were home, they didn’t need the extra characters, but was it ever said where they went (back home, I assume). Second, in the last 2 seasons the Cunningham’s backyard suddenly appeared and their house was once again magically transformed. The kitchen door always opened out to the area near the garage. This is where their trashcans sat at the base of the stairs up to Fonzies apartment. Then in the last few shows, the kitchen door opened out to the back yard. From the back yard scenes, it appeared that the door lead to their laundry room (you could see a peek of the washer and dryer). I also agree with the person that said Fonzie’s apartment was backwards. If you were facing the garage and this is the same side you are viewing Fonzie’s apartment from, his door should have been on the left hand side of his apartment. Ah well, the magic of TV. Mrs. C will always be my favorite TV mom. Long live Happy Days!! This was the gayest episode ever. Period. Joanie is joining a gang in this episode and the final climactic scene involves joanie and said gang, Richie and Co., and Fonzie and the big ragoo. Richie tells the gang they can have his little tart of a sister and they challenge him and the guys. Fonzie and the big ragoo decide to let them duke it out for themselves while they sit on the sidelines. The ensuing mayhem is possibly the WORST fight scene of all time with limp wrists flailing in every direction. It looks like a segment from "Locker Room Jocks V". If the shark wasnt jumped before this episode, this one cleared it with room to spare. Snoogins.
This may be the show that invented the 'awwww' response from the studio audience. However, towards the end of the show, these 'awwwws' began to sound almost sarcastic, as if the studio audience were 'mocking' these formulatic scenes. The best example was in the episode where Fonzie, as a favor to Mr. C, pledges the leopard lodge. At the end, Fonzie tells Mr. C he did it as a favor because he "loves him". If you listen very closely at this exact moment, this could not be any more apparent. Anyone else ever pick up on this?
When Richie and Lori Beth got married, but Fonzie was actually the one in the room marrying Lori Beth. Happy Days went from being a mediocre (but at least somewhat plausible) show about a working-class family in the midwest in the 1950's, when: (1) it became "Fonzie Days" (2) the network decided to "test market" an idea for a new series about an alien named Mork from a planet named Ork on a show about a working-class family in the 1950's. Huh? What be up with that? Happy Days was good for the first few seasons but once the show became the "Fonzie" show, it sucked. Who the hell would want that idiot Fonzie for a friend in the first place? He was always physically threatening Richie and the gang and that freaking "Ay" was just too much to bear. Al was an asshole too. Forget about Chachi, he should have been executed! Just to comment on an episode of Happy Days that nobody else seemed to pick up on. In the 1st or 2nd season, Richie was the "star" on the basketball team. (This was before they filmed it in front of a live audience so they actually used a "real" basketball court in a "real" high school & not a stage). Anyway, the episode involved Richie making a key shot or free throw that won the game & everyone cheered him & rushed the court after to praise him & kiss his ass. He keeps doing this until the big championship game where at the end all he has to do is make a free throw & his team ties. He misses the shot & everyone who previously cheered him turns on him & boos him as they leave the court. Some gratitude! At the end, he's all alone in the gym & keeps shooting the free throw & keeps making it. Then Howard comes in & comforts him, tells him it's all right...then offers him a life savers candy! If I remember correctly, there was a life savers candy commercial at the time that was pretty much like that plot. (Sad young boy loses game, consoled by his dad who then offers him a life savers candy which instantly cheers him up). I hope someone can back me up on this but I do remember Howard offering Richie a life savers candy at the end of the episode & also a life savers commercial with the same "storyline" in it at the same time. when Pinky Tuscadero pulls out one of the gun-style blow dryers that came out in the late 1960's. This was the central point of an episode too. Shows they weren't even trying anymore.
When fonzie started wearing the black leather jacket. He wore the early peters jacket in the good days I really did enjoy most years of this show, despite the numerous Shark Jumping areas it crossed. I gave up watching it shortly after Ritchie and Ralph left. However, if I had to pick a point where the show really just changed for me, it would be when virtually EVERY character had their own catchphrase. Some even had more than one! Ritchie signing "Blueberry Hill", and saying "Bucko!", Fonz with "Hey!" and "Whoa!" and "Exactamondo!", everyone with "Sit on it", Ralph with "I still got it!", Chachi going "Wah wah wah" all the time. Even Al with "Yep, yep, yep....." And after every time one of those phrases is read, the audience cheers (as Krusty the Clown says in the Simpsons) like the salivating dogs they are. I swear, you could have a great drinking game- Happy Days Catchphrases! To the above poster, the basketball episode did play off the Life Savers ad, with Mr. C offering a Life Saver to Ritchie after he blows the shot in the big game. Although he was not a star player on the team. He came off the bench late in the previous game because the star player injured himself, and he hits the game winning shot. That sets up the plot for the show, as Ritchie deals with the fame of being the hero. I would like to state right now that I enjoy Happy Days, especially the first two seasons. That said, there are several moments where this show might have jumped long before Ted McGinley showed up. First, the introduction of a studio audience. I usually prefer sitcoms with a studio audience, but this is the exception. I agree with others here that the rounds of applause for every character was annoying. Second, the obvious '70s clothing and hair styles when it was supposed to be the '50s and early '60s. Come on, perms and feathered hair back then? Third, the powers of Fonzie. His ability to turn on lights, jukeboxes etc. with a punch was strecthing it a bit. And fourth, '70s current events in the script.
This show has to be the greatest fall from grace ever. Some shows sucked from the beginning so who cares when they jumped. But I LOVED the first year or so of Happy Days. Each episode was a cherished treat. And then to my horror it just went to absolute crap. and then it got WORSE. I can't believe anyone likes the live audience episodes. The show was number one when it SUCKED. I knew then i did not belong on this planet. Why did they destroy such a great show? And why did people like it then? The first episodes were so subtle and low key and Tom Bosley (Mr. Cunningham, not Mr. F__KING "C") was mild mannered, funny, wise and not a total BUFFOON like in later episodes. Fonzie was cool and kind of an asshole. They were so well done. The episode with Marcia Brady for one. When they deemed they could take their audience for granted and decide the family only had two children. The fans become involved in the family so just making #1 son not only disappear but never exist was just way too much.
Happy Days really really jumped the shark with the episode about FONZI's BAPTISM! And Richie was the godfather. Now anybody named "Fonzarelli" would have been baptized as an infant, even in an orphan's home, so this made no sense to begin with. The episode is something of a tribute to Henry Winkler, who (I think) is jewish, since he actually carries this nonsense off very well.
Happy Days jumped the shark long before the famous jump. I'm surprised you don't have it under the new kid in town category. I'm talking about Heather O'Rourke the daughter of Fonzie's new girlfriend. That kid was irrirtating as hell! Which is weird, because she totally kicked ass in Poltregiest. Was she being annoying on purpose? I remember A Very Special episode where Heather gets hit by a drunk driver, who turns out to be Ted McGinley's younger brother. Heather got away with minor injuries.
It REALLY was preparing for a jump the moment it became a hit in its first season. But the REAL jump came with the live studio audience. They stopped filming the shows like movies and made them 3 camera shoots. LAZY. At the same time, the Fonz always had a dumb entrence with loads of applause and women throwing undies on the stage. Cornball-extreme. You could almost say the show jumped the moment the Fonz donned the leather jacket, but no....despite an acutal shark jump in the series, the live audience doomed this series to HELL~! The first few seasons of Happy Days were definite classics, but the show became too campy and ridiculous when Fonzie starting becoming more of a primary character.
This show tried to immolate itself again and again with bad writing, cameos, 80's hair styles after it had been on for a while. Let's not forget our patron saint. Yet, I also think that Anne Meara qualifies as an honorable mention for McGinleyization. Remember her is Rhoda, and Archie Bunker's Place? When is she joining the cast of Friends? Although this show was doomed with the Tuscaderos, what did the producers have in store if Fonzie wouldn't have made it - what if he ate it on the ramp, like the ski jumper in the intro of ABC Wide World of Sports, and the shark ate him? The script says that they would have captured the shark and cut open its stomach to find a potbellied, 130 pound, middle-aged Jewish man wearing an indestructible leather jacket. Then they would have revealed that both Pinky AND Leather were pregnant by Fonzie. **gasp from audience** Both babies would burst from the Tuscadero sisters’ wombs simultaneously, like in Alien, killing the women instantly. **audience cheers** Pinky's son, Jesus, would lead an epic battle for mediocre vs. evil against Leather's kid, Damien. The world is finally destroyed after Jesus Tuscadero dies in a freak bowling accident. Finally, Lenny and Squigy summon their Hollywood minions to drag the TV viewing audience into Hell where they are forced to watch reruns of Joanie Loves Chachi for the remainder of eternity...And you said they couldn't write! It's painful to watch Fonzie walk around towards the end of the series dressed as if it was 1957 when the year was actually 1965. His finger-snappin' and jukebox-tappin’ powers should've worn off when Fonzie's fashion sense became outdated. That definitely wasn't cool.
Chachi joining the cast is when the show lost me. Although I must admit that when Fonzie literally jumped the shark (hence the expression), the show was lost beyond all hope.
Honestly, I don't know that you could say this show had one specific moment, so I will accept the Fonz jumping the shark as the pinpoint moment. But it was truly(to me) a combination of events. One could argue that when they changed from that grainy type film(sorry, I'm not an expert on cinematic lingo) where you really felt like you were watching something from another time to where the picture became clearer was at least one factor; the actors/actresses at that point started to act like they were "portraying characters" as opposed to the more natural feel the show had in its early years. You could also say that at that point, the catch phrases took on a more staged feel. I totally agree that you could hear a death knell sounded with the introduction of Ted McGinley. Not content with that, the creators saw fit to add the obligatory cute kid(Heather O'Rourke?) and that other kid whose name I can't remember(Marion's nephew, shades of Oliver?). Admittedly, I stuck with this show to the end, but once they moved away from the grainy film, it was never the same for me.
I really loved this show. I even remember watching the "jump the shark" episode when i was a little kid. and as embarrassing as it is, i was actually worried the fonz might not make it, just as i was when he was going to jump all those cars on his motorcycle and ended up running into arnold's fried chicken shack. real edge of your seat stuff. this show falls under so many shark categories--ted mcginley, new kid in town (flip, jenny piccolo, kc, that annoying little girl and her mom who dated the fonz)exiting characters richie and ralph. i can't name one defining moment, but i know if i see an episode with mr. c wearing tinted glasses and marian is sporting 80s hair, that i don't want to watch.
How much have I jumped thee? Let me count the ways. Same Character, Different Actor (Chuck Cunningham, Mr. Malph), Ted McGinley, Puberty (Joanie), Singing ("Splish, Splash", et cetera), Live! (studio audience), I Do (Arnold, Joanie, and Richie, conveniently without Ron Howard even present), They Did It (Richie and Lori Beth...I mean she got pregnant didn't she? I know they were married, but the original premise of the show was basically Richie trying to lose his virginity, and once it actually happened, what's the point? It's like William Garrison Hearst's "The Liberator". After the slaves are freed, you stop publishing! As SNL's Raheem the movie critic (Eddie Murphy) put it during an "interview" with Ron Howard where Ron starts talking about his kids, "Hell, I just can't picture Richie Cunningham doing it." Opie Cunningham! Opie Cunningham!), Special Guest Star (Robin Williams as Mork...ack!), A Very Special... (Richie throws a party no one attends because his band's drummer is black), New Kid in Town (Chachi), Hair Care ('70s style in the '50s à la M*A*S*H), Exit...Stage Left (Chuck, Arnold, Ralph, Richie...Richie?!), Graduation (Jefferson High). And then there's Fonzie LITERALLY jumping the shark. But the show really jumped in the third season, when they brought in the live studio audience...of which Fonzie-mania is a direct consequence. Even more significant, however, was the theme song change. In the first two seasons, the theme was Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock", an era-defining classic. These episodes had Richie and Potsie trying more than anything else just to get girls. Richie pretended to be a beatnik, a sophisticate, and a Democrat...all just to lose his virginity, which he never managed to do. All of it was soaked in the nostalgic backdrop of 1950's family life, with the sweet mother, the bratty kid sister, and the wise father. Richie was a complex, conflicted character. He was comfortable in the safety of family life and cared very deeply for his parents and sister, but part of him wanted to break out of all this and be like Fonzie, a free-wheeling, womanizing, "real life" James Dean. Remember the episode where he almost runs away to become a beatnik? Like "Rock Around the Clock", this show was a classic and powerful in its simplicity. Then, for the third season, the theme changed to "Happy Days"...not even a real '50s song, but a bland, generic, hackneyed, simplistic phony...which is exactly what the show became. The backdrop of the '50s became completely insignificant, just a minor "cuteness", all the characters became one dimensional...Potsie the "moron", Ralph the "joker", Richie the "nice guy", Fonzie the "tough guy with a heart". It just became completely unwatchable...a total insult to viewers. It's almost like two completely different series. I can't believe this went on for nine more seasons. Shows just how stupid the viewing public really is. The only good episodes from the later seasons are the ones that are done in the style of the earlier seasons. My all-time favorite episode is "Richie Branches Out", a fourth-season episode where Richie pretends to be a hardware magnate just to meet the Wisconsin Cola Girl model. Unfortunately these episodes were a rarity and completely died out around the fifth season or so. Well, we'll always have the first two seasons: the pinnacle of American television.
I was sitting here, trying to decide when this show actually got so bad. At first, I thought Jump the Shark somehow referred to Fonz jumping over the barrels on his motercycle. That was the first extremely embarrassing episode (I was a fourth grade Nick@Nite fan and I have yet to see the water-ski ep). Then I started to watch the much later ones. I realized that Fonz was the corny character--no, maybe it was Potsie. But Roger ruined it, too. The problems blossomed when Richie left! No, no, it was when Arnold's burned down. Or it could have been the gay, 70s messages and hairstyles in the suppossed 50s. There are just too many! Then I realized that I could go on forever. That's what this website is! Every category applies! (Although, I don't care to do the research to find out whether any births occurred on the show.) Now I get it. It's all the categories! At the end of season #1 "Happy Days" was moved into a studio in front of a live audience.This limited where and what they could do.When the show did go outside the studio we gor episodes like when the Fonz jumped the shark.
The second or third season. It seemed to me that in the early episodes Mr. Cunningham was laid back, cool and always had the solution to a problem. Something like an older Fonzie. Later on his character became buffooonish.
Having read most of the comments, I disagree with comments such as that it went downhill went it went live. The non-Richie episodes are also quite clever, but unfortunately the show went downhill when they changed the cast, format and theme song for the final season. After the cancellation of 'Joanie Loves Chachi', Erin Moran and Scott Baio are brought back. Okay, but was it necessary to ditch Cathy Silvers, Crystal Bernard and Billy Warlock? And why were Linda Purl and Heather O'Rourke taken out as well? To make matters worse, we have a re-working of the theme tune (the worst) and the cast billing changes - Scott Baio is credited ahead of both Anson Williams and Erin Moran despite the fact that they've been there from the beginning. The final episode was a good send-off, but the majority of the episodes in the final season were poorly scripted and no longer had the verve and panache of previous seasons.
WTF people, only 10 votes for Potsie's singing as the shark-jumping moment? Every time he opened his mouth to sing his monotone version of 50's classics, I died a little inside. I sing better than he can and I can't sing at all. Why did they constantly expose us to such horror? If Fonzie had not jumped the shark, the phenomenon covered by this website would have been called "Potsying the Song."
While I'm old enough to have seen it when it originally aired (40), I was a boy scout and our meetings were on Tuesday evenings. So I comment strictly with year 2003 eyes. Its a sitcom, nothing more, thats why so many wacky things happan. Many here say it was more real when filmed vs taped ep's and thats true. But I would'nt even qualify it as a sitcom in the first 2 seasons. It was funny, but not in a sitcom way. Anyway, 70's styles in the 50's is my vote. Even in a TV show, if you choose to place it in a different era, it has to look that way. File footage of old cars isn't enough. I believe Gary Marshall wanted to move the series into a more contempory era, because the discrepencies are so in your face that it MUST have been intentional. I saw Scott Baio on a 1979 Battle of the Network Stars and he looked and dressed the same as he did on HD. Joanie with the 70's hair, Dad with tinted shades, Potsie with a DIGITAL WATCH (Yup). These weren't oversights. So, if you like todays sitcoms, the later seasons of HD are for you. If you don't you probably like the earlier ones (I like the later ones). Anyway, I can't help to recall an event that happaned to me a few years ago. It was 7AM on a Sunday morning. I was walking up 5th ave in NYC. I saw my bus up on 59th st and ran to catch it. I rounded a corner, smashed into someone, causing him to drop his bag and almost knocking him to the ground. When we both caught our bearings, I saw that I slammed on to none other than Henry Winkler! (He was doing Broadway at the time). I apoligized like crazy and he said no problem, I'm alright.... Unfortunately he didn't day what I was expecting to hear: "The Fonz doesn't like getting bumped into!" There are way too many posts to go through, so I went through the voting stats. I don't think Fonzie's battle with Beelzebub was listed, unless my memory is damaged and it happens to be the same episode as when Fonzie has to refrain from kissing for a day. Fonzie fighting with the Devil, for me, was the last straw. I used to love this damn show, and now when I look back on it I feel gypped. The early episodes on film were the best, but ironically as a kid I hated them. It just goes to show that what kids think they want is more important than what would be good for them... the producers of that show knew Fonzie was a hit with stupid kids like myself, and they played to that demographic accordingly. I feel dirty for my particpation in this fraud of a TV show.
When Richie left "Happy Days," they should have ended the show. NOTHING was the same after he left, and the show declined from that point. Henry Winkler wouldn't let the show be called "Fonzie's Happy Days," or have himself be first in the opening credits because he felt that the show starred Ron Howard. They got some good in after Fonzie jumped the shark, but once you lost Richie, all was lost and the show was never the same.
Its hard to argue with the general consensus of posts that Happy Days died a thousand little, painful shark-jumping deaths during its 10-year run. The move to the live studio audience, with its obligatory 5 minutes of screaming and cheering whenever a character walked in has to be right near the top. But related to this are two other pet peeves I've always had about studio audience shows. The first is the way that people constantly just barge into someone else's house/apartment/etc. without knocking. As if it would hamper the show to take 2 seconds to have a character knock at the door! The Fonz was always barging right into the Cunningham's house unannounced; you know if some greaseball hood did this in real life Mr. C. would have ventilated him with his piece. The second is the ever-popular "have the main characters get married in the living room of their house/apartment/whatever". What the hell is this all about? Couldn't the networks buy a freaking mock-up of a church that they could then use for multiple shows??? Nooo, everyone wants to get married in their own living room! This was at one time a great show. But when it went to the live audience, it devoured itself. T.V. could not possibly get any stupider or more obnoxious. Many previous posters hit the nail on the head. The first poster was correct when he brought to light the fact that this show jumped in every way possible. The writers and producers had to be on dope if they thought there was anything amusing about Chachi: He sucked. Those sleazy Tuscaderos: Sucked. LaVerne DeScumio: Sucked. The whole show got stupider with every episode. If you look at all the way posters have voted their opinion on when the show jumped, and there are a vast number, every one is correct and further proof that this show sucked. Yep, the live audience did it in, just like Andy Griffith going color. Congress should immediately pass a law where showing live studio audience episodes of Happy Days and color versions of Andy Griffith on T.V. are crimes punishable by immediate death (preferably by torture) to those in charge of programming at all U.S. T.V. stations!!!!!!! While I enjoyed the show for the most part, the prop department has dropped the ball too many times for it to be coincidental. Other comments have mentioned Chachi's puka shell necklace and the 1970s pinball machine. Well, how about this one: Next time you see the older episode revolving around the presidential election, when Richie wants to date the one girl although she supports the candidate Mr. C is against, check out the flag on the girl's bike. It has 50 stars, not the 48 it should have had.
RICHIE & LAURIE BETH MARRYING OVER THE PHONE!!! I can't believe there aren't more votes for what I would argue to be one of the most asinine and absurd events ever displayed on TV. It was bad enough when Richie left to begin with, but to have Laurie Beth get all dolled up in a white wedding gown to answer a florally adorned white telephone was just beyond ridiculous. Here's a thought. Pay Ron Howard an obscene amount of $$ to come back for the episode or have Laurie Beth and Richie elope in Greenland!! If Richie couldn't even be there for his own wedding I always wondered if Fonzie was not the real father of Richie Junior or was the baby some sort of immaculate conception. When Ron Howard left the show it put a big hole in the show and it was all down hill from there. Fonzie and Richie complimented each other. The show wasn't great because of one person. It was great because of all of them together like a big family. If Henry Winkler had left the show it would have suffered the same demise but the one that left turned out to be Ron Howard and that was the beginning of the end for one of the most popular shows in tv history. I actually liked the "Jumping the shark" episode but it makes for a great title.
Even though Happy Days became a cartoon of itself in its later years and probably jumped the shark even before Ron Howard left in 1980, it did churn out one of the very best Christmas episodes ever in its 2nd season. And that is the episode where Richie discovers that Fonzie will be spending Christmas alone even though he claims to have plans to spend it with relatives in Waukashau. It was very touching and to this day I remember that scene where Richie spies Fonzie alone eating dinner at the garage on Christmas Eve. This episode even had the long lost brother Chuck in it. And he even had some lines, believe it or not. Just a couple of comments to add to the many good ones (and a few disgusting racist/anti-Semitic ones, which should not be allowed here!) above. Although there was a big change in format when the show went to live audience, three camera in season three (which coincided with Fonzie's expanded role, change in theme music, etc.), I actually liked the first 2-3 seasons in that format much better than the earlier ones. The new concept was fresh and exciting, and took a couple of years to start getting stale and overdone. The show started going downhill fast when it got increasingly more ridiculous (e.g., Fonzie's powers, at first a valid and reasonable gag used sparingly, were greatly exaggerated and overused) and became a sad parody/caricature of it's own self. Although the decline definitely began with the actual shark jump at the start of season five, I'd have to say the Dude ranch visit, one year later, was for me, the moment the show became basically unwatchable. One other comment on the (in)famous Mork episode. I remember this very well from when it first aired, and I want to set the history straight: Originally, Mork's visit was presented as *only* a dream by Richie (and BTW, the exaggeration of Fonzie's powers was thus excusable this one time)! There was even a tag scene after Richie wakes up, where the doorbell rings and it's Robin Williams as a man whose car broke down asking to use the phone, but Richie, startled due to the man's resemblance to the dream Mork, screams and scares him away. That's how the episode originally ended. It was clearly presented as an "imaginary story" with no potential link to a spin-off. By the time the episode was re-run that summer, there had obviously been a strong positive fan reaction to Mork and the spin-off decision was made. So for that re-run, a special **second tag** was added (perhaps only time in TV history that a summer re-run added a new scene!!) which Mork contacts Orson and discusses his new assignment, which was to be based 20 or so years in the future. He also states that he was successful in making the earth people think his visit was a dream. So this was a definite "retcon" (to use comic book terminology) and not the original intent of the episode.
yeah, this show tried every imaginable angle to keep it going...actually died long before it was laid to rest..no real defining moment for me...it was good for a few seasons after american graffiti movie..just got tired of the whole thing after awhile...you know, fonzie good in the beginning but then season after season he looked more and more like a has-been(his character), you know, still hanging out at arnolds after all these years, and ultimately, the whole damn thing became pitiful to watch...the show never moved on....so we did.
In the beginning (when the show was at its best and Chuck was around, Joanie was in pigtails and everybody actually LOOKED like they were from the 50s instead of the 70s), Fonzie wore a tan jacket. His was basically a bit part, which it should have remained. The more lines he got, the worse the show got. Even though this show jumped when Fonzie did the original "shark jump", it really took a nose dive when the "next generation" of Joanie, Chachi and Jenny Picolo took over after Richie and Ralph left. You don't center a show around two background characters, and Joanie and Chachi should have stayed in the background.
Brief and to the point: eleven seasons and nine of them were spent over the shark! That's got to be a record. Live Studio Audience, Rock Around the Clock replaced, Fonzie-Mania, etc...it all took place at the same time. I'd also add Potsie goes from Eddie Haskell-like to a wimp singer who sings in EVERY episode, Fonzie moves in, the living room set changes, everybody gets a catch-phrase, Chuck disappears like he never existed--the only reason I bothered watching the last episode was to see if Chuck would show up at the wedding! Bottom line: The first two seasons of Happy Days are some of the best television of the seventies. The last nine how do I put it...hmmm..SUCKED! BTW, this is one of my favorite web-sites! Thanks. Once Ron Howard left, there was a brief period of mediocraty before Happy Days plunged into darkness. Offences include (but are not limited to) wearing obviously 1970s clothes/haircuts in the 1950s/1960s, Jennie Piccolo becoming a main character, relying on Potsie's singing more and more, having Crystal Bernard on the show, etc. This morning I watched an episode and was thoroughly disgusted. :P Back when the show first started, 'Richie' was really the focus of the show IMO (wasn't 'Happy Days' born as a short for 'Love American Style'?). As another astute poster here stated, it was originally a coming of age story about 'Richie.' It seems that after Fonzie-mania, the show seemed to switch to more of an ensemble cast formula. Ted McGinley had absolutely nothing to do with this show morphing into the utter train wreck it became. I liked the show in its first few seasons and I even watched it well into it's decline. The moment of truth for me though was when I finally realized that the wardrobe people on the show were just totally 'phoning it in' when I noticed that 'Mr C.' was wearing a pair of, what appeared to be, modern (1980's) glasses in a show that's set in the late 1960's (at that point in the shows run). I never watched it again after that epiphany. They just stopped trying, it seems. So I just figured 'why bother with it?' I agree with the previous posters who said that the show jumped the shark once they stopped filming the program on a closed set after the first season. Those screaming (and, no doubt, pimply) prepubescent teenyboppers in the "live" studio audience were just too much to take! I wonder how those teenyboopers (many of them, now approaching the BIG 4-0 and beyond) would react some 25 years later, if today they were seated in that same TV studio, and the now pudgy, sixty-something Henry "The Fonz" Winkler with graying and receding hair, shuffled out onto the stage in his trademark black leather motorcycle jacket and attempted to grunt, "Hey"? It would not be an attractive sight! The show was much better when it focused primarily on Richie Cunningham and his dim-witted friends Ralph Malph (the only Milwaukee teenager with a Brooklyn accent) and Potsie Weber trying, rather fecklessly, to hook-up with girls, with the Fonz inevitably showing up late in the episode, usually to bail Richie and his pals out of some trouble. I also missed some of the first season's supporting characters, such as the luscious and zaftig Wendy, the love-starved Marsha, tubby Bag, big brother Chuck and the hip, sneering Spike, who just seemed to fade away. I think many of us could have done without the annoyingly adenoidal Chaci Arcola, those two Milwaukee town-pumps, Pinky and Leather Tuscadero (not to mention the loathsome Laverne & Shirley), Carmine Ragusa (Eddie Mekka's oily and obnoxious character, who could neither sing nor dance particularly well), and whoever that vacuous clown the ubiquitous Ted McGinley portrayed during the final few moribund seasons of Happy Days. No wonder Ron Howard once related, it got to the point several years into the show, that, when driving to the Happy Days studio in the morning, he often wanted to just turn his car south and start driving to Mexico to get away from the now embarrassingly bad television show. Can you blame the man? One more thing, Anson "Potsie Weber" Williams has an okay singing voice (as evidenced by his unique "interpretation" of "Splish, Splash, I Was Taking a Bath" on several different episodes of the show), but to list Anson Williams' name as a contributing "recording artist" along with those of Chuck Berry and Bill Halley in the show's closing credits is a great illustration of the word, "chutzpah,"imho! Anson Williams has to rank up there with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy as one of the truly "great" recording vocalists of American television. After the first season they changed the show to a "live, studio audience." The whole dynamic of the show changed. The first season was subtle and had a great charm and more mature humor. The writing, the filming and the subject matter was mature. Fonzie was not the spotlight of the show, he was cool, not obnoxious like in the following seasons. For instance, one of the funniest episodes was when Ritchie and Potsie were in a band and the only song they knew was "All Shook Up" and they played it over and over at a party they were hired to play. Or when Ritchie and his friends wanted to cruise for girls and they had to drive Mr. Cunninghams DeSoto. The show had mature subject matter like race relations and the politics of the day like when Ritchie and his girlfriend supported Stephenson for president instead of Eisenhower. I was in third grade when Happy Days came out and when the second season opened and I saw the show had changed completely I was very disappointed and lost interest. They had a gem with the first season of Happy Days and I'm sorry they chose to go for the cheap and childish route. When they started playing the slow version of the theme song during the sensitive moments of the show. When Ron Howard left. I don't fault Ron at all. His contract was up and chose to pursue other interesting, namely directing. That's free enterprise. That decision was a double-edged sword: good for Ron, bad for "Happy Days." Although the show had gone through several changes before that (Chachi, new Arnold's, decidedly "less 50s" styles, etc.), the original premise remained intact and "Happy Days" remained a top 20 hit. As long as people are watching, you must be doing something right! When Ron Howard left, the show lost both its original premise and its top 20 status. Even though "Happy Days" still managed a couple of mediocre seasons before they really started scraping the bottom of the barrel, Howard's departure was the definitive turning point in the series. It became just another show, having forsaken the elements that made it special. I still watched it out of loyalty. Deep down, I knew the extended Cunningham family was living on borrowed time, but I felt that bad "Happy Days" was better than no "Happy Days". When you bleed a certain way for a long time, you don't stop bleeding that way overnight! I have since changed my mind. I don't watch reruns of the post-Richie era. Been there, done that. However, reruns from the hey-day remain just as funny, maybe more so, than they were when they were new. "Happy Days" continues to be one of my favorites and I would watch it over anything, and I mean ANYTHING, on network television today! Happy Days jumped the shark not in one specific jump but in a gradual one that turned Richie from what started as a genuine late 1950's teenager into the bufoon he became. The show went from revolving around Richie to the ever knowing Fonzie. It was up to Fonzie to set Richie straight about girls. They should have called it the "Fonzie" show. Happy Days evolved from the movie "American Grafitti". Richie's character was the real thing in that movie, and he carried this character over in the first season of Happy Days, only to gradually become a clownish Howdy Doody type character bowing down to know-it-all Fonzie. In the first place, it wasn't Fonzie's shark-jump that caused the show to jump the shark, it was the fact that the whole cast of characters, except for Al, who went to Hollywood in that episode when it was Fonzie alone who was invited. Who paid for the air fare and accomodations of Potsie, Ralph and all four Cunninghams? It jumped further when the episode continued the following week; Fonzie was contemplating his shark-jump, and yet we saw Al reading a picture postcard from the gang, telling him what had happened thus far (showing us scenes from the previous week), the postcard ending with the news: "And now Fonzie's going to water-ski over a shark." You simply can't write that much information on a picture postcard. Also, the episode then continued when and where the previous week had left off---same time, same place---so how anyone could even send that postcard and Al could receive it remains a mystery. But the BIGGEST jump shark in the history of television came when Mork from Ork, who had been a character in a dream of Richie Cunningham's, came to life in a new series of his own, "Mork & Mindy", and in the first episode of that show went back in time to visit the Fonz, and Laverne & Shirley! It couldn't get any more stupid than this. Do you remember the episode in which Fonzie falls for a deaf lady and learns sign language. Then when he tells her he is in love with her, she tells him that she is getting married to another guy. That dork Richard Masur. It was so touching. Fonzie kept using sign language even to the guy who could hear. The show really sucked then. When Arnold's burned down only led to "Happy Days" burns down. Richie and Ralph then left and in NO way did Roger and Jenny make up for it. Three words: Fonzie. Goes. Blind. It was that annoying period when everyone on TV went blind. Everyone, including the boom mike guy, on "Little House on the Prairie" went blind for at least an episode. It was every TV actor's Emmy moment: stare at the ceiling without blinking and say poignant stuff. Nauseating. Chuck disappears, Richie and Ralph leave, too much emphasis on Joanie and Chachi, Linda Purl plays Richie AND Fonzie's girlfriend, Jennie Picallo and Clarance are seen. As the first poster implied, this show is the KING of shark jumps! Before I go however, I'd like to mention an episode no has discussed yet: The one in which Richie is given the answers to the quiz show he's going to be on. This was the first time, that I remember, when the quiz show scandals were mentioned on a fictional program. It certainly makes me wonder how honest reality programs are nowadays! Jumped for me personally when I saw Henry Winkler on the Tonight Show in the late 1970s. As a pre-teen in the 70’s I idolized the Fonz, so you can imagine my disappointment when I expected to see my hero, and dorky little Henry Winkler showed up instead. My initial reaction was, “That’s the Fonz? What a nerd!” Never watched the show the same way again. Lets be realistic, by the time Ted McGinley joined the cast the show was already going down hill. In the beginning, this show was based on its main star, Ron Howard. In the later years the cast started to change and grow older and in a lame attempt to keep the show alive, the producers shifted the focus of the show to other characters and also began to introduce new cast members such as Ted McGinley. I know this website credits Ted McGinley but most of the time he is a character added near the ending of the series in order to freshen it up. (for example Love Boat) Just look at Married With Children, after he joined the show it went on to continued success and even became more popular. This show jumped way before this, but when the catch phrase, if you can call it that, Wa Wa Wa from Cha Chi was a regular line on the show I think it jumped the shark when they started to give to many story lines to Richie's parents.It was better when they concentrated on the original cast members. Guess I'm the first to post about this. A certain company that shall remain nameless (they deserve no props) has resurrected Potsy's ultra-gay "Pumps Your Blood" song for a product. When you see it, you'll be treated to a pill bouncing along the lyrics. I am so glad that so many posters realize the main elements that ruined this show: it went from being a logical and natural companion to a great coming of age in the 1950's story: American Grafitti, to a crappy, silly show where everyone was stupid and the Fonz was the focus of the show. Wasn't he about 20 yrs. too old for the crowd he hung out with? I love the work Henry Winkler has done since, but I cannot stomach him on HD. This must've been the first show where the studio audience brought the roof down upon each character's first entrance. So annoying, and it happens on TV to this day. They are at a show taping, not a rock concert, for God's sake. I heartily agree with the fact that TPTB didn't even bother to keep up the 1950's styling of the show. That's pure laziness and disregard for quality. Scott Baio and Ted McGinley's 1970's hair was totally distracting. Everything about that creepy Erin Moran was distracting. HD should've died a merciful death yrs. earlier. Having previously said HD was the KING of shark jumps, I'd like to mention an episode on TV Land I saw that had Fonzie spend time with a little kid he nicknames "Kemosabe". The kid's mother is played by Karen Austin from Night Court's first season. The father, who had previously abandoned the son, is played by Hill Street Blues' Bruce Weitz. The Fonz agrees to not see the kid anymore because of the father coming back. Of course, the kid disagrees so when Mick Belker without the mustache comes to Arnold's, he chalanges Fonz to fight which the Fonz backs away from causing "Kemosabe" to pick his father! The father silently thanks Fonzie revealing to Richie, Potsie, and Ralph how the whole thing was a hoax. Besides seeing the future Mick Belker pick a fight with Arthur Fonzarelli, what really makes this absurd with me was I saw this after watching Cleopatra Jones which had a young Mike (not Micheal) Warren and the day before I watched Sidney Poitier's The Organization which had Dan Travanty (not Daniel J. Travanti) as one of Virgil Tibbs' men! If TV Land had shown a Hill Street Blues marathon during the weekend I surely would have thought I'd have a deja vu' week! I agree with most of the comments that the show JTS about the time Richie left. I'm not going to blame Ted McG., he's a decent actor who was great in "Revenge of the Nerds" and "Sports Night" (and the few "West Wing" eps he was in), but the show probably would've collapsed even if Roger had been played by Dustin Hoffman. He was a symptom, not the disease. And in any case, the things about Chuck the old brother's disappearance being the show-jumper are just stupid! He was in every episode for like twenty seconds! How could his leaving constitute a shark jump? And IMO at least, when he left the show was starting to get good. What I really hated was when the show did "A Very Special . . ." every other week. Al marries Chachi's mom . . . the baby sister (or daughter, possibly) of Fonzie's annoying girlfriend Ashley gets run down by a car . . . Fonzie teaches a sex-ed class . . . and so on. Probably the worst, in my opinion at least, was when Chachi found out he was diabetic, and tried to kill himself by skydiving. That, or the one where Fonzi told Mr. C "I love you". Barf! As for jumping the shark, for as bad as it had gotten, it still was OK until Richie left. But I was pre-teen, so the whole Fonzie hero worship was targeted for my age group. Were I older at the time I would have thought it jumped the shark probably after the 1st season when they re-modeled the house. What happenned to this glorious funny and often times touching show when Richie & Ralph left is unforgiveable. What was done to Potsie's character is sad especially when one thinks back to when the show started and was at its best. Potsie was pushed into a corner. You hardly ever saw him and when you did, most of the time they made him out to be this idiot. Worse yet, it seem to be apllauded by the other characters and the writing. This does not say much for a show that prided itself on family values. Fonzie was the one who really became an idiot and Roger, oh, don't get be started. The first 6 seasons from 74 to 80 are not to be missed. The rest of them should be banished forever. I have thought about it for a long time, and being cool means that what others do does not bother you - that is cool. If Fonzie was so cool, then why did everyone walk on eggshells around him? If the guy was ever wrong, he took half the show trying to say the word, "wrong." "Mr. C., I was ruuu... ruuuu...." Not even entertaining at that point - and a bad role model. I can't believe so few people voted for when Fonzie jumped over the shark, IT'S WHERE THE EXPRESSION COMES FROM. Anyone else remember? Fonzie was jetskiing (or water skiing, my memory's not perfect) WHILE WEARING A LEATHER JACKET, and then he JUMPED OVER A SHARK. That was the death of Happy Days. Did anyone else notice that "American Grafitti" starred Ron Howard and had "Rock around the clock" as a theme song, weird huh? Also, it really got bad when every time Fonzie enters a room, the audiance erupts in way too much applause, making the actors wait until it dies down so they can say their lines. This show defined "jumping the shark" and made Ted McGinley a "Jump the Shark" category, but the show's two biggest jumps were: 1) "Exit . . . Stage Left" when Richie joined the Army; and 2) "I Do" when Richie married Lori Beth over the phone (sort of like when "M*A*S*H's" Klinger wed Laverne Esposito by phone.) And yes, marriages by proxy are legal. Maybe it's just typical web angst - there have been some incredibly thoughtful comments about Happy Days, but, you know what? It was a TV show that entertained people - excluding some here, apparently. Let's get one thing straight right from the get-go. Happy Days was always FILMED. Stop the confusing 'film' to 'video' dialogue. Happy Days went before a live audience (still filmed, not on videotape) in the fall of `75 (there was one experimental live audience episode in the `74-`75 season). (Also, one comment about MASH going to video??? Sorry, MASH was filmed from 1972-1983 - never shot on videotape) The cutting down of people like Ted McGinley, Erin Moran, and Cathy Silvers (among others) ... well, guess what, they're pretty attractive people, and not short on talent. If you feel otherwise, please send your headshot and resume, and we'll happily compare talents. I won't bother to defend the `70s/`80s decline in styles, you're right. But compare ANY two decades in the history of the USA, and you will no greater cultural difference than between the 1950s and 1970s. If you lived then, and don't have a putrid venom to spit out, you know it was much different than comparing the 1980s to this decade - where you could just flatten the hair a little. Yes, Happy Days, could have (maybe should have) stayed true to its roots. If it had, it would have been a marginally successful and critically acclaimed show (I don't care what anyone says - the third season was magic), and quickly forgotten, and not even a subject here. And, yes, Happy Days could be a trial lawyer's most challenging client. But, it was a sitcom!! It wasn't going to be more than that, even in its beautifully-filmed early episodes. The racism, sexism, anti-peace sentiments (sooo many comments about Fonzie being a pussy when he stood up for tolerance - even if that meant being Potsie's friend, or building a birdhouse ... if you don't like messages, don't watch), ... well, it's disturbing to say the least. You give me an episode from the ninth season and I'll find at least a handful of funny lines, or any other season or episode. One thing that NEVER changed about Happy Days - from Fonzie being the outside, to being supercool, to sensitive - he can't win, he gets criticism for every one - or ALL the cast changes, the hair styles that were way out of whack, the trashing Scott Baio (you know what? he's just a guy, and he was pretty genuine on that show), no matter where your target of hate for the series is ... from Episode 1 to the Passages ending in 1984, the show was just about love. THAT was lost on so many here. And, it made many people smile as they went through the difficult changes and losses that life brings. I think Garry Marshall achieved his goal with the series. Would he do it differently? Hindsight is 20/20. So many great responses here, yes. And, again, Happy Days is a tough client to defend, but can we give any leeway to the idea that Fonzie grew up? As he got older, the extras they surrounded him with (girls) were obviously older. Is it such a horrible thing that his character talked a little more about love, shaking the machismo crap, and became a teacher? Is there any leeway for Erin Moran (who I thought was hot) suffered through her adolescent years on the show to become an attractive woman in that final season? When all is said and done, it was a TV show. It made a lot of people smile and feel good to see familiar friends (regardless of which Arnold's it was), and, really, there was still very humorous dialogue in every season. I thought the first season was magnificent in its wonderful mini-movie perspective, but I thought the final season (and I loved the shake-up of the theme song in the 11th season) had some heart-felt moments. Call me a pussy, it's fine. I'm a guy who is bodybuilder in many competitions, but sensitive (I would love to meet the person who says it to my face) ... I'm just responding to the venomous stuff - the use of the word 'puke' over certain moments in the series that were genuine, and just about love. What is it you wanted to see? Fonzie telling Mr. C. he loved him in the final season? That made people puke? That was real for me when I watched it in 1984 and now. What did you want to see? A RockStar Video Game? ... When all is said and done, for whatever massive mistakes the show made, it was always about love. John Lennon was a punk when he was young, and he grew up to speak of peace and love. No one says John Lennon jumped the shark. ... Why so much venom (just from some) about a show that just wanted to create some love in the world, despite whatever mistakes it made? You know how you can immediately tell whether a Happy Days episode is a classic or a dud? Check out the color of Fonzie's t-shirt. If Fonzie wears a white t-shirt, it's a great episode (i.e., 1974-77). If he wears a dark t-shirt, then the episodes suck (i.e., middle of 1977-80). After 1980, he went back to the white shirt and believe it or not, I can tolerate those episodes (1980-84) a little more than the mid-70s ones. Don't ask me why. Anyway, here are a few favorite episodes: a.) The first time they filmed before a live audience aka Fonzie's in love with a stripper ("No moustache!") b.) "Richie Fights Back," featuring the great line "DON'T EVER GRAB ME AGAIN!" c.) "Fonzie Loves Pinky," which I always liked because the Malachi Brothers were pretty funny and the demolition derby scenes were pretty intense. There are many, many others that I liked but I can't possibly jot them all down. I would like to ask anyone out there if they know whether or not Melanie Mayron (Melissa from "thirtysomething") ever appeared on the show. For some reason, I thought I saw her name in the credits in one episode. Thanks for the help! I think that Happy Days flew screaming over the shark when Richie got into the motorcycle accident and entered the "very special" coma. Fonzie had that tearful, pleading, one-sided conversation with God in Richie's hospital room--I almost went into a coma myself from the corny sentimentality and Henry Winkler's embarrassing attempt at high drama. Who could forget when Marion or whoever announced that Richie had woken up and Fonzie directed a thumbs-up at the ceiling and gave a tender "Aaaaaay" of approval? I can't believe I didn't drop-kick the TV. Jumped when the show lost its focus from a nostalgic look at teens in the 50's to becoming the Fonzie show. At that point, it didn't matter what era it was in because the writers just tried to dream up any ridiculous situation featuring you know who, and the show became just another inane formula sitcom. And of course the final flush was being tortured by the multi-talented Anson Williams (where is he today by the way?) making ears bleed across America as he did his best Jim Nabors impersonation, show after show. I still get nauseous thinking about it.... I find this totally hilarious. I had always remarked to my wife that Fonzie was not cool, but actually a NERD, because of an episode where he waterskis in his leather jacket (I mean, how LAME and uncool is that?! You're in the water - take off your freaking jacket!). I had always hated that episode where he jumps the shark; I thought it was one of the most ridiculous episodes of ANY show I had ever seen. Years pass, and then my wife tells me that "jumped the shark" is now a term used when a TV series goes bad. When I heard that, I laughed until I stopped. It was nice to know that others had the same feeling about that specific episode. When Ralph's dad visited and we found out his name was Mickey. Mickey Malph, ha, ha, good one. The show could never top that gag, and quickly went downhill. No one has mentioned the Worst. Yes, the pilgrims and singing immigrants were bad, but nothing in television history matches this abomination. Fonzie, flu-dazed and watching horror movies, dreams of being trapped in a haunted castle with Dr. Ludlow, a mad scientist, caped, wildly gesticulating, laughing manically, and played by one Dick Gautier http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0310370/bio. It’s an amazing performance, a true work of art. The hammiest, campiest, most ridiculously over-the-top performance in acting history. Dick, if your out there, hats off. Ludlow wants to create the world’s greatest lover so he can take the spill over. We see his first failed experiment. A chimp in a leather jacket. Yes. That’s right. A chimp in a leather jacket. We then meet a Fonzie clone, Douggie, who speaks in a helium falsetto. He is like Fonz in appearance but missing the one essential ingredient: cool, who the doctor will steal from the true Fonz. Ludlow sheiks and dances: “I’m gonna, gonna, gonna, gonna drain him of his cool!” He chains up Joanie, Chachi, Jenny and her hunk of a date and puts tinfoil hats on them, threatening to electrocute them of Fonzie doesn’t comply. He demonstrates and all for wiggle around and moan to demonstrate horrendous pain. The cool is transferred to a duplicate Fonzie. They are both lying side by side in more tinfoil hats, but the true Fonz has both of his thumbs up. As the cool leaves him, his thumbs go down and the clone’s go up. This is when we realize it. Yes, we’ve reached rock bottom. The real coolless Fonzie gets up and starts giving decorating tips to the to mad scientists, saying the room needs new curtain. I am not kidding. This is not a flippant joke on the show. Fonzie wants to redecorate the castle. Ludlow and the newly suave Douggie dance out the door. They don’t walk out. They Dance Out The Door. “Come on, Douggie, let’s go get chicks!” Al plays Igor. It doesn’t get better than this. People want to blame Ted McGinley or the shark jump for the demise of this show, but this web site could easily be called Jenny Piccolo. As in, 'Boy, the Sopranos really Jenny Piccoloed with that 40 minute dream sequence, didn't it?' The show definitely had several stages of jumping. It was the classic case of a network wanting to squeeze every last nickel out of a popular show. (CBS and the Everybody Loves Raymond staff should be forced to watch every episode of the last couple seasons of Happy Days.) One thing that I think is unfair to the show is people complaining about songs being used that were a year, or even less, before their release date. Shows are not linear. It a series was set in 1956 for season one, that does not mean that in the 6th season it must be 1961. It could be 1962 for all we know. Unless that episode establishes itself in a specific time frame, or a future episode does, these songs are not anachronisms. As far as a carpeted ladies room at Arnolds, why COULDN'T it have been taken out? Doesn't have to be septic problems. Perhaps Arnold simply realized how easier it is to clean without a carpet. Thirty one words..... Pump-pump-pump-pump-pump-pump-pump-pump-pump-pump. Pump-pump-pump-pump-pump-pump-pump-pump-pump-pump. Pump-pump-pump-pump-pump-pump-pump-pump-pump your blood. oh yeah - also when everybody on the show was together in a rock band and were all incredibly accomplished multi-instrumentalists even to the laughable point of Ritchie playing sax and drums - IN THE SAME SONG. Even more ridiculous given how incredibly inept everyone's miming on their instruments was - even when I was a little kid it just struck me as embarrassingly fake. The merchandising that followed Fonzie's rise into the stratosphere. Does anyone remember a Frisbee-like object advertised on TV as a "Fonz Fling?" Am I to believe that watching Fonzie and Chachi moan about Chachi's diabetes is supposed to be entertaining? Isn't that the same episode when that fool learned how to catch quarters off his elbow? I miss interesting characters like the hood "Pockets" from the first year. It actually jumped the shark when Potsie all of a sudden became cool and accepted by the gang. I don't know if anyone's mentioned this, but HD REALLY INEVITABLY JTS when Richie left...and then Lori-Beth gets married via radio, because Richie's been shipped to like, Antartica! And then somehow, she has a baby (while Richie's in Antartica???)! But the other points were valid too, especially the steady indifference to the personal preferences of the actors in regards to hairstyles (yes, Scott, the hairstyle does look a bit dorkish, but these are the 50's after all); the laziness of the costumers in regards to dress (or maybe they were simply pandering to Gary Marshall); and the downward psycho-pedaphiliac spiral of the Fonz (crying one minute and chasing underage girls the next!). When I think about seeing HD on "Love American Style" (and they did about 2-3 skits, not just 1) and how much promise it held when it first aired for 2 or 3 years, before turning into a large pathetic mess...SIGH...! When Richie left it was bad. After that Fonzie taught school--what the hell??? Then they bring in some dumb characters, only the actors who could not get jobs, Mr and Mrs C, or who were still tripping on their fame from the show--someone say Fonzie, thank you stayed. Hell even Ralph Malph left--and he could not find another job, but he was like this show sucks ass, and packed his bags.
The really lame thing about this show was Richie's older brother, the basketball dribbling guy. He must have morphed into Boy George while away at college. How else to explain the Cunningham's disownership of him. In a very early episode I remember the camera panned over him . . . and he had a huge trouser snake. Maybe that's why he never came back. It is bad enough when the live audience applauds when a character first appears on screen. But the late season Happy Days audiences were so hard up for entertainment they applauded EVERY time a character came in view. Instead of hte usual 22 minutes of show, they must have written 18 minutes and allowed for 4 minutes of applause time. Something tells me these same audiene are now the ones who go see the Late Show with David Letterman every night, and applaud the same lame jokes night in and night out. Applaud. Not "laugh at". An action that Dave used to scold the audience for doing back when he actually could get laughs. This show jumped when Ron Howard left and the whole show became "Fonzie Days".....totally sucked after that...started to suck a little anyways, but Ron Howard left and BAM!!!! Show over. After the first season. The production values were soo cheap it wasn't funny. I remember this drivel from when I was a kid, and even I noticed that even though the show was set in the 50's all the girls, and some of the guys wore their Hair ala 70's style (Jonie & Chachi anyone) It was a one note shoe along with Laverne & Shirley, come to think of it, the only decent show during the 70's was The Night Stalker. Other then that it was all cheap crap. When the Fonz moved in with the Cunninghams above their garage, and effectively replace Chuck(who was never heard from or mentioned again)as Richie's big brother. The actually Jump the Shark episode was just the climax and epitome of this show's spectacular decline and fall from grace. Once the Fonz became the star, this show just became moer and more ridiculous with each passing episode. And then by the time Scott Baio came along and the producers allowed his Chachi character to sport 70s hairstyles and clothes, well I just said enough is enough. This went from a very thoughful show to one of the dumbest sitcoms ever to grace our television screens. Now that was a tragedy. "Happy Days" at some point went from being a nostalgic look at the Midwest of the '50s to a sitcom (and a bad one) that could happen at any time and place. ... Oh, yeah, and that episode where Fonzie jumped the shark. I must say that most of these criticisms of when HD jumped the shark are not only hilarious, and bring back great/bad memories of the show, but are pretty much right on the mark! I really believe this show, and shows like it, jump the shark when they begin bringing in characters who are obviously NOT intended as new full-time characters, but as a launching point for an obvious spin-off. Not only were such HORRIBLE shows as the notorious Joanie Loves Chachi spun off from HD, but a couple of very successful shows, Mork and Mindy (which I never liked) and Laverne and Shirley (which I liked a little bit) were spawned, as well. HOWEVER, I would like to comment on possibly the WORST EVER spinoff ever concieved, and it came from Happy Days - Out of the Blue! How in the WORLD this concept has been missed (at least in the many, many postings I've read on this site), is beyond me! In one atrocious episode, Chachi sells his soul to a very inept and HORRIBLY acted devil. When he is in danger of having to pay off, his salvation comes in the form of a guardian angel named Random. What the HELL kind of plot is THIS for a Happy Days episode?? It's NOT! It's the beginning of BOTH Joanie Loves Chachi and Out of the Blue. Two of the WORST pieces of garbage ever to pollute the airwaves. I'm really surprised I didn't see any postings about THAT crappy show, but it was to television what Etch-a-Sketch is to art!! PU! Not unlike the majority of posts on this thread have stated, I have to say that HD definitely lost me when all the singing and dancing overtook the show. The infamous Potsie-singing-during-anatomy-class episode makes me cringe at the very thought of hearing the Fonz utter, "My boy don't cheat." Overall, the first 4-5 seasons of HD were pure gold, and the last 6-11 seasons were pure pablum for the Scott Baio appreciation society. Even though I was a regular HD viewer from nearly day one, I can honestly say that when Ted McGinley first appeared in the opening credits, my initial reaction was, "Who is THIS dork?!?" One other point that no one has mentioned thus far: The door to Fonzie's office/the men's room at (the old) Arnold's was just to the left of the girls' bathroom door, but physically, it was totally impossible for this layout to exist, as when one entered The Fonz's office/Arnold's mens' room, one had to hang a hard right. Basically, the door to the girls' bathroom at Arnold's was located on the other side of the mirrors in Fonz's office. Not unlike "Happy Days" itself, this wasn't terribly realistic... I feel that Happy Days jumped with the Leather Tuscadero character. I find myself feeling uncomfortable watching the performance of "Do The Fonzie" to this day. Simple, Ron Howard leaving the show. Cannot remember (I was young) if that is before of after the actual jumping of the shark but I know it was close to the same time. I do not blame poor Ted, he happened to come on when the show no longer was very good. In watching reruns, even the new shows are not terrible compared to a lot of shows today but compared to the early days of this show they sucked. The other thing besides Richie leaving well also Ralph Mouth leaving at the same time and the Fonze becomming an absurd Super Hero but the hairstyles and fashions began to look totally late 70s/early 80s and not late 50s/early 60s--obviously no one cared to look authentic for it anymore. The only one in the 50s who had hair like that was Albert Einstein and pardon me but Chachi is NO Einstein. Well later in the decade the Beatniks came but no one, not the main stars of Happy Days seem to be Beatniks therefore I do not think their hair should have been like Beatniks. Stop blaming Ted, it was Ron leaving and the it becomming "Dull Days" of the late 70s and early 80s. Happy Days started out as a great show and the first few seasons were fantastic. But what changed the feel and quality of the show was when they moved Fonzie from being a background character to the main character. He started out as a tough guy who deep down had a heart while the story lines revolved around Richie, Potsie & Ralph. But later on, he became soft and every story centered on him. The show changed it feel at that point and really became "The Fonzie Show" and lost it's original charm. There is little doubt that the massive formula change brought in for the third season, changed the feel, look and quality of Happy Days forever. Unfortunately, due to the highly successful ratings this move resulted in, there would be no turning back. However, for those of us old enough to remember the first two seasons, we know intimately how dissapointing it was to witness the departure from the original quality of this program. You may ask, what was so great about the first two seasons? And what were the changes in the third season which impacted the show so much? Well, firstly, the original program was filmed with one camera. The idea was to make each program like a little movie. And the fact that no studio audience was used,allowed the camera man and crew to film many shots outdoors, and for the indoor sets to appear like real places. Does any one remember the wonderful look of those outdoor shots of Arnold's used for actual full length scenes, rather than for 2 second preludes before they went to the live studio set inside? The focus on the program was Ron Howard and Anson Williams' characters, and what it was like growing up as a teen in the mid fifties. Now to be fair, this was a comedy, even in these early episodes - and, indeed, they were funny. But they were funny because the characters had a semblance of reality to them. The humour was a natural by product of their interactions. And yes Fonzie was a popular character right from the get go. His initial work was brilliant. To this day I find him so cool in the way he portrayed the character in the first 39 episodes. His "cool" however was reserved, quiet and understood by all. He spoke with a quiet Brando/James Dean like repose and occasionaly gave us a slight glimpse into his deeper self. It was great when he was in a scene, but, I think it was so because we saw him only in small doses, and that made his time on screen so valuable. And they showed they could do epsiodes around him such as the original xmas program, without, losing those quieter qualities. Once the program went live, not only was he constantly in nearly every scene, but he was loud, crass and down right unbelievable as a "serious" outsider. The new fonz may have played well to the massive teenage audiences of the late 1970's, but, it meant that we would never again see Winkler play the role in the way that captivated us in the beginning. The live audience also meant the departure of the theme song Rock Around the Clock in favour of the light toon, Happy Days. This speaks volumes. The two tunes really do invoke and capture the feel of what the program was to each of their respective times in the series. With the beginning of the live audience new characters emerged, while others departed. In the original formula we had such side characters as Chuck, Arnold's waitresses' Wendy and Marsha, and the Demon "Bag". There is a lot of discussion about Chuck. Chuck was indeed a very minor character. He did little more than show us that he was a slighlty dumb basketball jock that loved to chow down. It worked I think. It allowed us to focus on the more astute Ritchie, without needing to ever really bring Chuck into the fold, and thus allowing to keep him as a small comedy backdrop to the family scenes. Happy Days no doubt will remain as one of the most watched comedy sitcoms of the 1970's. But there really are two different versions. It is true that once they went live with three cameras and applied the I Love Lucy approach to the program, the shark was jumped. In this case, the Shark kept propelling itself further as the program aged. At least when they first used this formula, they tried to retain the 1950's style somewhat, and even used some of the above noted characters from the first two seasons. But it soon became clear that Fonziemania could sell advertising revenue. So long as he could remain in the forefront, little else seemed to matter. However, for my money, I wish they could have moved the character forward without changing the formula used in the one camera approach. Then perhaps we could have explored Fonzie's 3 dimensional character in a way that seemed plausible and perhaps even touching, rather than silly and implausible, all for the sake of a few cheap laughs. I watched the 30th anniversary show tonight, and it's amazing how such a beloved show had so many truly awful episodes. By the time the show was supposedly in the early 60s, Joanie was sporting a disco-perm, not to mention Pinky's Studio 54 look, and Leather (God help me) had plastered feathered hair. Chachi was an annoying twit with his "Wah wah wah." Fonzie was more often a jerk tnah not. Henry Winkler seems ok, but I really didn't like Fonzie. The Cunninghams wanted to move, so Fonzie whines, "What about ME? Where will I live? Waaah!" Richie gets a chance at an acting career, so Fonzie abuses him non-stop til Richie throws the script away out of guilt. Richie gets a radio job, so Fonzie ruins it. Fonzie dumps friend's pregnant girlfriend off for Richie to watch, and on and on. Oh, more on Hair Care. Who the hell thought it would be allright to let the guys sport long feathered hair on a show set in the 60s? By the time Richie grew that godawful moustache I was glad to see him gone. As for Fonzie and the shark, it was truly nightmarish to see him in those girlie-man, baby blue short-shorts, jumping spread eagled over that shark, while weird "Special California Episode" music played over the whole shameful sight. Tonight, on the anniversary show, they were bragging that Happy Days went on for a hundred or so episodes after Fonz jumped the shark. Uh, that doesn't mean they were GOOD. Happy Days is always named in lists of shows that should never have run as long as they did. Personally, any episode after the disappearance of Bag makes me reach for the remote. Just like they are too ashamed to show any Moustachioed Richie episodes, they won't show any with Bag either. Bag upstaged the other guys by miles. It wasn't the shark! It was.....Chachi. The Chachster was like an A-bomb falling on the whole town. It would have been better to have the Fonz enroll in a Jungian analytic psychology training institute under the sponsorship of, say, Edith Prickly. Now THAT would have been kick-ass retro '70s TV! Fortunately, Winkler went on to do SIGHTINGs. So it all worked out. But, hey, gotta go with de-Chachinated Happy Days. Definitely. Just how sad IS it when the show that gave birth to the concept of "jump the shark" spends five whole minutes of its reunion special not only TALKING about the fact that they gave birth to the "jump the shark" concept - as if this is something to be proud of - but talking about it for five minutes while none of them actually seem to fully know what "jumping the shark" MEANS. Did no one involved with this reunion think this was worth looking up first? Have these people never been on the Internet??? For me, Happy Days jumped the shark way before Fonzie did said event. The first 2 seasons were fantastic. It realistically portrayed the 50's in a warm & gentle manner. However, when the show transferred from a 1 camera filmed show to a 3 camera live show, the shark had arrived. Not so much the change of production (there are quite a few 1 camera filmed shows that were crappy (Exhibit A: The Brady Bunch))as it ushered in shark jumping changes all at once. Let's see: the skewing of the focus of the show from Richie & Potsie to Richie & Fonzie, the relentless promotion of various catch phrases, the dispensing of Chuck without so much as an onscreen mention of his whereabouts, etc. Suddenly, we were transported to cartoon land. I mean really: Fonzie is able to silence animals in the woods with a stern "COOL IT!", he hits anything with his fist & it miraculously starts working again, the ditching of the 50's motif (actors during the later seasons were sporting contemporary hairstyles), & it goes on. I watched the 30th anniversary special & found Mr. Marshall somewhat defensive with regards to his show giving birth to "jumping the shark". Yes Mr. Marshall, the show went on for roughly 100 more episodes. The show still stunk to high heaven by then. I plan on purchasing only the first 2 seasons of Happy Days on DVD; before it got corrupted. Okay, considering that the term "jumping the shark" came from the Fonz actually jumping a shark on skis, it is not fair to include Happy Days as ever jumping the shark. Especially since Happy Days continued for over 100 episodes after the Fonz's feat. It was one of the best shows ever, so "Sit on it" I found my thrill....... After watching the reunion show, I suspect Garry Marshall's artistic sensibilities became dulled by success. Or else he knows how bad Happy Days was in its later years, but sought to put a pleasant face on it. The reunion show actually celebrated HD's cartoonishness, such as Fonzie being a superhero of cool. I was shocked to see a clip of Potsie's "Pump your blood," one of the show's lowest points. Marshall talked about the show's flogged-to-death catchphrases as though they were High Art, and not a lazy way of faking characterization and getting cheap applause. Other people here have mentioned how Marshall misstated the meaning of "jump the shark," and I saw this as another example of Marshall appearing out of touch. The worst part was when Marshall praised Fonzie's occasional preachiness, noting that library card applications went up 500 percent after the library episode. Admirable, sure, but about as subtle as an airliner taking off. I always resented the use of Fonzie to flog social messages. Partly because I felt Marshall and the writers were congratulating themselves on doing something for the public good, and partly because it was another affront to Fonzie's original characterization as an outsider. But mostly because putting an obvious "message" in a sitcom feels like pandering to the audience. (See the "A Very Special..." section of this site.) The Beatlemania-esque cheering whenever Fonzie or Chachi arrived was a clue that HD was the master of audience pandering. Anyone notice how obviously uncomfortable Scott Baio is, during the 30-year anniversary reunion show? Definitely some baggage there. And Gary, those 100 episodes post-'shark' are nothing to brag about. Really. After Rock Around the Clock was gone, did anyone notice how the new set design for the Cunningham house in no way looked like it would be found in the house used in the exterior shots. Th big white house with the columns used for all exterior shots looks like it could have matched with the first set design used, since at least there were different rooms. They could have made the Cunninghams move on the show to explain the change and made the change to a more open split-level style house popular around that time. After reading all the other comments, I feel I have to defend Scott Baio. I thought he was a good young actor who played Fonzie's nephew perfectly. People should take a look at the old movie "Bugsy", starring Baio, to see what the "Happy Days" producers obviously saw in him. That said, I still have to vote that HD jumped when Chachi showed up with his 70's hair, as others have noted. It made the show so unrealistic that it contributed to the loss of its nostalgic appeal. I don't know what the producers were thinking. It's like they just stopped trying. Chachi with a decent haircut would have been easier for people to swallow, I think. I was a teen in the 70's, and even I was never allowed to grow my hair that long. It annoyed me. I kept waiting for that inevitable episode where Chachi would have to get a 50's flattop, but it never happened. Too bad. The audience would have cheered. But what's even sadder is that there could be another great show developed someday based on growing up in the 50's -- lots of fun ideas there -- but no one will ever embrace such a notion again, because they would feel that "Happy Days" was the ultimate representation of the idea... and it's wasn't. When the 2 Chuck Cunninghams "reunited" with the rest of the gang on the reunion special. The "real" cast was obviously painfully uncomfortable with the spectacle. And how come nobody asked Garry Marshall why the character was ditched to begin with? I'm surprised the 2 Chucks had the nerve to show up considering Marshall screwed them out of the opportunity to be a part of a hit TV show. Marion Ross acted like she had never seen those guys before in her life when Marshall shamelessly introduced them as her lost boys. Then, neither Chuck had an opportunity to say anything, so I ask - what was the point??? Since the 30th anniversary reunion was recently aired, I need to comment on show creator Garry Marshall's defense of the show and its shark-jump. It is true that after the Fonz gave this site its name, the show lasted another seven years and stayed pretty good for four. When Richie left, I believe in JTS-land that's called "spotting a fin." The logical thing was then for the writers to "promote" Joanie and Chachi to featured-character status. The problem was, they needed their own "Ralph" and "Potsie," and the new guys the writers brought in, including Saint Ted, just never connected with the fans. Of course, a shark jump doesn't have to end with a crash, but Ashley and her daughter were a great big SPLOOSH! After that, the days were numbered. So while "Jump the Shark" sounds cool (sure beats "See the Leprechaun," as in Hoss Cartwright, 1863/1963), it isn't quite accurate. But give the "Happy Days" writers credit for keeping the show going for another four years at that level. You know, a friend and I were talking about Mork (from Ork). Naturally this came up after he used the familiar cliche, "Humor, ark ark." We discussed the origin of Mork, there on Happy Days, showing up in that egg from outer space as he did ("Acid is fun," commented my friend). As we went over the details of Mork's arrival, including the forefinger-thumb moment of contact with the Fonz, it occured to me that I can't even believe this site is called Jump the Shark. So much of what goes desperately wrong with TV shows has to do with changes in genre, as here, for example, when a show begins life as historical fiction and makes a sharp left into science fiction or high fantasy. I mean, I know there are those who will argue that the show had turned that corner long before Mork. But this kind of thing, the whole "space alien at the malt shop" idea, is more wrong than just the hiring of a new character. It's even more wrong than writing in a new child character. It's really an admission that the whole original idea has dried up like a mudpuddle on a hot Texas afternoon, leaving the actors and viewers alike in the dust. There is certainly no going back to Richie holding hands with Mary Beth, or even Joni with Chachi, after Mork shows up. And with Mork, a whole new era of irrationality seemed to be ushered in: Alf, Third Rock from the Sun...for the love of God. It's all so insulting. Really there is no comparison to the early lot produced "rock-around-the clock" shows and the live audience "happy days" shows. After the switch, there are simply multiplying speeds of downhill. This show was dead in the water when Chuck left. I am not sure what happened to him , but without his dry wit and dashing good looks "Happy Days" was DOA. A close second is when the cast played in a celebrity softball game and Fonzie was exposed as an unathletic nerd...AAAAAYYYYY One word: Mork! I mean, an annoying alien lands in 1950's era Milwaukee, ends up in Richie's living room, and NO ONE thought this might be a JTS occasion? Though it kind of happened incrementally, the jump the shark moment on this show was truly when Fonzie jumped the shark. Though there were already some signs that the show was going downhill before this (ie Fonzie jumping the garbage cans) and some good episodes after this, there is a reason for this website's name. The Jumping the Shark episode also marked the introduction of Chachi and the slow move away from 50's fashion and motif which was the whole purpose of the show in the first place. I mean it was truly bizarre that Garry Marshall and his directors started letting the actors dress and look like they were in the 70's and 80's, while still making references to the 50's and 60's. The early episodes looked very authentically 50's and if one notices, it was after the Jump the Shark episode that the charcters slowly let their hair grow and their fashion morph into the 1970s. Even the one character, Fonzie, who kept a semblance of a costume from the earlier period started to look more like a parody of a 50's character with the black t-shirts and flared jeans that made him look more like someone at Hot August Nights in Reno trying to look 50's and less like a true and authentic 50's rebel that he had looked like in the early episodes. After Richie left the show it really should have just been cancelled as it became a terrible show. I don't have anything against Scott Baio personally or as an actor as he has always seemed like a decent guy, but he was so wrong for this show as a character and he was the first person to show up looking like it was 1977 and not 1957. Why on earth didn't Garry Marshall at least put him in period costume which would have at least alleviated his character's obnoxiousness? I agree with almost everything, except Ralph Malph; he was funny. When the show was about the 50's, it was funny. But when it became the pilot for "Mork and Mindy", it went downhill from there. I agree with many posters here, that Happy Days did, indeed, jump the shark when Fonzie literally jumped the shark, but the show had been leading up to 'sharkdom' for a long time before that. You could almost see, gradually... painfully, the outboard motor being fired up, the shark released, the boat gaining momentum and the shark's jaws opening. There have been so many great points made here by others. The change of one camera to three, the elimination of outdoor scenes, the addition of the live studio audiences, which led to the incredibly annoying hero-worship applause when Fonzie or Chachi walked on the scene, not to mention the girls whooping it up when the dreaded Ted McGinley walked in or the boys and their insipid catcalls when a grown-up Joanie entered the room. That, to me, renders a show almost unwatchable. Almost every modern sitcom today uses that annoying practice. Some handsome stud or half-dressed babe walks on the set, or there is some sexually-charged scene and the audience shouts "WWWHHOOOOOOOO!" Talk about stomach-turning! Another big turnoff was the obvious attempts at shameless self-promotion. I am a proud capitalist myself, but even I began to get a bit tired of all the HD products being promoted, 95% of which was Fonzie paraphernalia. Lunchboxes, T-shirts, posters, board games, agh! And those running catch-phrases! "Sit on it" was funny the first couple of times, but it became more monotonous than funny after a while. Then there was Fonzie's patented "HEEEYYY!", Ritchie's "I found my thrill", "COOL IT!", the constant use of the word 'nerd', which brought it into the mainstream, etc. I enjoy good running gags on TV shows (Get Smart had many hilarious ones), but these were done to death. Then, this show brought two dreaded blights upon series television, Ted McGinley and Scott Baio. Box office poison, both! As if Pinky and Leather Tuscadero weren't bad enough, there was Fonzie's little nephew, Spike, who we were suppose to believe was a ten-year old kid who was so tough he could make Ritchie and his pals scared shitless. And how about that post-shark jumping moment when Fonzie not only went back to school (another sitcom gimmick, a-la Who's the Boss), but became a TEACHER! Who among us ever bought THAT cheap trick?? The rebellious, anti-establishment tough guy who drops out of high school becomes a TEACHER! That was the second shark jump, IMO! Maybe the third, I've lost count, at this point. Okay, now that I've vented and taken up five minutes of everyone's time (those foolish enough to continue reading this diatribe, anyway), please let me say that I really did LIKE this show very much the first couple of seasons. It got so weird after the fifth or sixth season, that I just couldn't stomach it anymore. I'm grateful to forums like this, where I'm able to vent my spleen about ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, yet have so many others like me take it seriously! Amazing! I'm home! Anyway, yes, Happy Days jumped the shark when Fonzie did, and yes, it jumped a couple of times after that too, especially when Garry Marshall decided to go into the business of creating spinoffs, which is another diatribe for another day!! Peace. Some French cad comes to Milwaukee to FENCE (yes ... FENCE ... with a sword) the champeen of Jefferson High (Never while leafing through my folks' old yearbooks have I come across a Fencing Club!). Predictably,he easily dispatches the local hero. Somehow, he ends up challenging Richie to a duel (or maybe it was the other way around -- maybe Frenchie squeezed Shortcake's croissants) ... The pusillanimous Richie cons Fonzie into fighting his battle. Again, predictably, Fonzie displays the same expert skill with the sword as he did on waterskis and humbles the bounder. Richie, unable to bear the shame of his cowardice, reveals that it was Fonzie who conquered Frenchie. His manhood damaged, the Frenchman chooses to duel Fonzie again, this time without protective headgear. Perhaps anticipating a sudden groundswell in the popularity of fencing in the Midwest, Fonzie turns to the assembled extras and Richie and lectures them that fencing without headgear ain't cool. The pair then go at it ... Frenchie takes a swipe at Fonzie's unguarded neck and narrowly misses our hero's DA, whereupon Fonzie parries and thrusts and humiliates the Frog yet again. The battle over, Fonzie invites the fellow, who moments earlier had attempted to decapitate him, to share in the delights of the Hooper Triplets. For shame, Mr. Marshall. For shame! If you all thought it jumped when Ted McGinley showed up as Roger-what about when his kid brother Leopold shows up (his nick name was "Flip") everyone was gone off the show including Joanie & Chachi-so in the opening sequence the last frame as the theme ends we see Roger , Flip, Jenny Piccolo, Potsie and Fonzie and then you realize this show is now in tatters. When watching the first batch of episodes, the focus was clearly on Richie, his family, and his best friend, Potsie. At this point, Potsie was presented as having at least a modicum of "cool", as he hooked Richie up with girls, invited him to adult parties, etc. All of these scenarios, by the way, were realistic, and coincidentally, the first season was the funniest. Slowly but surely, somehow, Potsie was made to be suddenly and increasingly stupid, and ultimately he became irrelevant. (He wasn't even at Joanie's wedding, for crying out loud!) I know that ABC and Garry Marshall wisely wanted to increase the Fonz's screentime, but this didn't meat that they had to dump Potsie into the scrap heap with Ralph, Al, and Chachi, not to mention supplant Ronnie Howard as the show's star! I would have kept the show as "Richie's" show, with Potsie as best friend, Malph as the comic relief for a joke or two, and Fonzie as something of a conundrum... a seeming-hood with a heart of gold, with a talent for the the chicks and a wealth of worldy wisdom. This way, a lot of the other stuff (Pinky, shark-jumping, "Do the Fonzie") wouldnt have happened. Watch the old episodes again.. Potsie was funny!! If the beginning of the end of Happy Days greatness was the jump of the shark episode, then the "end of the end" had to be the appearance of Father Delvecchio, played by Al Molinaro, who also played restaurant owner Al Delvecchio: The priest's brother. When the configuration of the living room changed and the door moved to the opposite wall, the parents became stupid, Ralph became one of the guys and potsie became a moron, fonzie started wearing a leather jacket ALL the time instead of a tan one, and also when Fonz became uberfonz with magical powers of cool. Namely the third season. Surprisingly this also was when the show probably had its greatest popular appeal, but it marked the point at which it stopped being a story driven (writing) show and became a character driven show. The show lost all its edge at this point and became about as adventureous as oatmeal. I actually think that Happy Days jumped the shark long before the actual JTS episode. That episode was merely the last confirmation that the show had long since passed any point of “sitcom” redemption. I recently saw several early episodes and was amazed at the difference of the early years compared to the later years which are more familiar to me– the show was still funny AND the characters were realistically portrayed. I recall one show in which Fonzie was drag racing somebody and when the cops showed up he took off with them in hot pursuit, i.e., he acted like an actual hood. During the later years, when Fonzie was a superstar who actually seemed to have super powers, he would have been more likely to preach about the evils of drag racing as opposed to participating in one. During these early shows Ralph Malph was also more of a playboy who had a convertible to cruise chicks with, and Potsie had a larger role as Richie’s buddy who tried to steer him to the dark side. Only later did their characters change into complete buffoons as Fonzie became some all knowing all powerful deity. Others in this post have pointed to the disappearance of Chuck (I don’t know why since he was such a minor character) and the appearance of Chachi as JTS moments. I believe the actual JTS moment occurred off-screen when the show’s producers made two decisions. First, they allowed the Fonzie character to become a complete caricature who dominated the show. Second they allowed audience cheering to get completely out of hand. I believe that towards the end they could actually have had a show with zero spoken lines. The actors could have simply taken turns walking onto the set to generate thunderous applause. The only other show that I remember having this degree of audience noise was Married With Children and it became similarly unwatchable towards the end. I have never understood why the shows producers/directors thought that this constant audience interruption was beneficial.