Happy Days almost got a new name in season three

Ron Howard had to step in and put his foot down.

By season three of Happy Days, the show had found its footing and was becoming the smash hit that we remember it as today. Viewers tuned in each week to see Richie, Potsie, Joanie, and Fonzie — especially Fonzie.

Yes, Fonzie-mania had hit the airwaves. Henry Winkler in his cool leather jacket with his easily-quotable catchphrases was TV gold. People couldn't get enough. The problem came when the network tried to lean a little too hard into the phenomena.

"We had done two seasons," Ron Howard said recently on Rob Lowe's podcast, Literally. "Henry [Winkler] had exploded in the character and it really was, that thing had set in. It would take another year or two to really peak but it was happening."

However, all was not well in the Cunningham household. "In the second season, Good Times with Jimmie "J.J." Walker and [his catch phrase] 'Dy-no-mite' had started beating our show."

Ron Howard started to feel like a secondary character in his own show. But where he finally drew the line was when a new executive wanted to change the title of Happy Days to something a little more Fonzie-focused.

The executive thought that Fonzie with his cool "whoa" could beat J.J. with "dy-no-mite". "But he wanted to go all the way to call the show Fonzie’s Happy Days," Howard said. "I declined to cooperate with that."

So Howard put his foot down and the show stayed Happy Days, though Fonzie continued to be a large focus of the show.

Still, Howard doesn't have any bad blood with Winkler. "From day one he was inventing and owning that character and they just said, 'Hey, we know how to write for this guy,' and they went for it," Howard said. He wasn't upset with Winkler, just the decisions by the executives. "I was annoyed by the way higher-ups then dealt with me and responded to me."

In fact, Winkler and Howard remain friends to this day, and Winkler is the godfather to all four of Howard's kids. Howard may have kept Fonzie out of the title, but he certainly didn't keep him out of his life.

 
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

72 Comments

Post a comment
Deleted 10 months ago
This comment has been removed.
bagandwallyfan52 10 months ago
Happy Days Question: There were 2 characters on
Happy Days who had first
And last names that rhyme.
Can any Happy Days fans
Give the names of the two
Characters on HD whose
First and Last Names
Rhymed?
sskale1951 10 months ago
Ralph Malph
bagandwallyfan52 10 months ago
You are right .
Ralph Malph was correct .
The other character whose
First name and last name
Rhymed was Melvin Belvin
the brother of Eugene Belvin (Denis Mandel).
Melvin Belvin was played by Scott Bernstein and he
A came on HAPPY Days in
1981. Melvin Belvin had a
a crush on KC Cunningham Crystal Bernard and Eugene Belvin had a crush
on Jenny Piccalo(Cathy Silvers).
bagandwallyfan52 10 months ago
I would like to see METV write
an Article on Whatever Happened To The Cast of
HAPPY DAYS? :
1 Richie Cunningham Ron Howard
Fonzie :Henry Winkler
Potsie Weber: Anson Williams
Bag Zombroski: Neil J Schwartz
Wendy Misty Rowe
Trudy Tita Bell
Moose Barry Greenberg
Spike :Danny Butch
Chuck Cunningham :Randolph
Roberts
Lori Beth Allen: Lynda Goodfriend
Leather Suzi Quatro
Marion Cunningham:
Marion Ross
Gloria and Ashley:Linda Purl
Chachi Arcola Scott Baio
Roger Phillips Ted McGinley.
Flip Phillips Billy Warlock
KC Cunningham Crystal Bernard
Jenny Piccalo Cathy Silvers
Ralph Malph Donny Most
RIP Happy Days
Tom Bosley
Erin Moran
Gavan O Herlihy
ED Peck
Pat Morita
Al Molinaro
Heather O Rourke
Also RIP
Beatrice Colen
For My Suggestion for METV to consider writing
An Article On Whatever
Happened to the Cast of Happy Days I forgot to
Include the Following
Cast Members :
Eugene Belvin Denis Mandel
Melvin Belvin Scott Bernstein
Bobby Melner Harris Kal
Daphne Hillary Horan
Tommy :Kevin Sullivan
Not a MeTV article, and the top characters only, written in 2021. The other characters are most likely not of journalistic interest.

https://outsider.com/news/entertainment/happy-days-where-are-cast-members-now/
bagandwallyfan52 11 months ago
Chuck Cunningham Last Episode
On January 4th Tonight at
6:30 pm on Metv on HAPPY
Days is the episode called
Give The Band A Hand.
This episode Give The Band A
Hand has the last appearance of
Chuck Cunningham played by
Gavan O Herlihy and features
The First Appearance Of
Richie's band :
Richie Cunningham
Potsie Weber
Ralph Malph
Bag Zombroski
louannmaryanncplboylefan 11 months ago
Why did Spike(Danny Butch) disappear from Happy Days
And right after Spike vanished a
Guy named Chachi Arcola Scott Bsio.shows up out of nowhere.
Was Chachi always in Milwaukee
And why didn't we see Chachi before
Season 5??
The series was evolving, and that was the storyline that was chosen simply put.
louannmaryanncplboylefan 11 months ago
BAG (Neil J Schwartz) and
Ralph Malph (Donny Most) were both
PRACTICAL JOKERS on Happy Days.
Who was the BEST PRACTICAL JOKER characters on Happy Days.Survey Question:
Who was the BEST PRACTICAL JOKER Character on Happy Days-Bag
Or Ralph?
Runeshaper 11 months ago
That’s an interesting story!
bagandwallyfan52 11 months ago
I would like to see an Article on
Actress HILLARY HORAN who played DAPHNE on HAPPY Days.
Daphne played the Drums in Richie's band on HAPPY DAYS.
There is a Video on DAPHNE Hillary Horan on
Happy Days on You Tube.
Also on You Tube:
The Best of Bag Zombroski
Season One on You Tube
My friend Skip Young (Wally Plumstead on Ozzie and Harriet)
Several Chuck Cunningham Videos on You Tube
Corporal Boyle Roy Stuart
Mary Ann Summers Dawn Wells Videos
CoreyC 11 months ago
This is not new. It was brought up in a Happy Days reunion. Even Garry Marshall went to ABC to snuff it out. Most TV shows in the 70's and beyond had breakout characters. Had they changed the title to Fonzie's Happy Days it would lead to reprecussions.
top_cat_james_1 11 months ago
Guess "The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang" cartoon didn't bother Howard since he provided his voice for it.
George57 11 months ago
It must have been difficult when Henry Winkler's character started to gain popularity. I think Ron Howard was right in standing his ground. The show originally came from an episode of Love American Style. It was almost titled, "Love and the Happy Days".
bagandwallyfan52 11 months ago
TV Question:
What do the following TV Characters Have In Common!
1 Sgt. Hacker (GOMER Pyle USMC
2 Sgt. Whipple (Gomer Pyle USMC)
3 Sgt. Carter(Gomer Pyle USMC)
4 Hawkeye (MASH)
5 Ralph Malph (Happy Days)
6 Bag Zombroski (Happy Days)
7 Bobby Melner (Happy Days)
8 Wally Plumstead (Ozzie and Harriet)
9 Uncle Arthur (Bewitched)
10 Eddie Haskell (Leave It To
Beaver)
11Lumpy Rutherford (Leave It
To Beaver)
12 Buddy Sorrell(Dick Van Dyke
Show)
Who Knows The Answer To what
Do these TV characters have in
Common with each other?
JHP 11 months ago
happy days was good back in the day - Now its sappy days
15inchBlackandWhite 11 months ago
I thought the name change was because they were heading into the 1960's. There wasn't anything very happy about the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Moody 11 months ago
They probably should've gone ahead & changed it. That's what it became so why not give it's star top billing in the title? Not that I would've cared back then because I had stopped watching before the end of the 3rd season.
ncadams27 11 months ago
Shows like Happy Days, Good Times, and Married With Children went downhill by filming before a live audience and playing to the crowd. They would erupt into wild applause when the “lead” character walked onstage and they would do their catchphrase milking it for more applause.
CurleyGirl1018 ncadams27 11 months ago
I am glad I’m not the only one who greatly disliked the high school cheering section. Nauseating!
JHP ncadams27 11 months ago
well nowadays arent all shows like that? cannot stand that - it falsely forces the viewer to think that the show is funny and IT ISNT - Raymond (inane show) and mike and molly were famous for that crap

some one would say "shoehorn" and the false crowd laugh track would come on (shoehorn is a DVDyke line)
KellyTenace JHP 11 months ago
When did you last watch TV? Because actually, nowadays there aren't any laugh tracks or live audiences at all. I think the only show still employing one - and its the only one that has, for many years - is The Conners, which does so for the same reason it still employs the three camera technique, to keep with the look and feel of its predecessor, Rosanne. Otherwise the laughtrack, or it's forced/encouraged crowd sounds cousin, are long gone. So turn the television on. It's a brave new world (and a one camera, no-canned or forced laughter one!).
LoveMETV22 KellyTenace 11 months ago
I thought The Big Bang Theory, Mom, Mike and Molly, The Odd Couple 2015, 2 Broke Girls, Hot in Cleveland and Two and a half men were all live audience shows. Maybe presently (2021) they don't use it, but the other shows weren't that long ago.
JHP KellyTenace 11 months ago
ah ok... again I rest my case "SHOEHORN" - all new shows stink - so mike and molly wasnt a line and a laugh track? - raymond wasnt? inane
cperrynaples 11 months ago
I remember when Happy Days & Good Times ran in the same time slot! I also remember a classic joke from Three's Company where the trio share a toast: "Happy days!" "Good times!" "Little House On The Praririe!" Guess who said the last one...LOL!
Was it Jack Tripper or Ralph
FURLEY who said that line
Little House On The Prairie
Or was it some other Character
Who said that line?
I thought this was obvious! Who else but Chrissy the airhead?
I would like to say that
Chrissy Snow (Suzanne
Summers) and Hank Kimball (Alvy Moore) and
Lisa Douglas (Eva Gabor)
Should belonged to a club
Called AIRHEADS OF AMERICA OR AIRHEADS ARE US.Long live the AIRHEADS !!
BrittReid cperrynaples 11 months ago
Chrissy Snow
bagandwallyfan52 11 months ago
I wish that Spike and Chachi
Had been on HAPPY DAYS at
The SAME TIME and I wish that
Judy Hensler and Penny Woods
Had been on Leave It To Beaver.
I wonder whatever happened
To actor DAVID KENT who played BILL SCOTT.?????
Correction:
I wish that Judy Hensler and Penny Woods had been on Leave It To Beaver at The SAME TIME.
They were on LITB at the same time in one episode only, "Beaver and Ivanhoe 1960". As the saying goes, "Out with the old, in with the new". Characters are written out and new characters are introduced. A successful strategy as the Judy (goody, goody) character was getting boring.
David Kent played.Bill Scott
On Leave It To Beaver in
1960s episodes.
Bill Scott David Kent was a
Friend of Wally Cleaver
Eddie Haskell and Lumpy Rutherford on LITB.
The following characters on
Leave It To Beaver Disappeared from the show
With no explanation:
1 Larry Mondello
2 Tooey Brown
3 Chester Anderson
4/Bengie Bellamy
5 Bill Scott
6 Judy Hensler
7 Harry Henderson
8 Chuxkie Murdock
9 Penny Woods??
10 Mrs. Alice Landers
11 Mrs. Canfield
Happy Days Cast Members
Who Disappeared with no
Explanation:
Chuck Cunningham
Bag Zombroski
Moose
Eugene Belvin
Melvin Belvin
Trydy
Wendy
Marsha Simms
KC Cunningham
Flip Phillips
Sticks Downey Jr
Jill Higgins
Bruiser
Rebel
Leather Tuscadero
Rocky Barufi
Mickey Malph
Officer Kirk
Officer Evans
Gloria
Goner Pyle USMC characters who VANISHED from GP USMC with no explanation:
Corporal Boyle
Corporal Nick Cuccinelli.
Tommy (Jack LarsonAKA
Jimmy Olsen on The Adventures of Superman)
Corporal Johnson
Corporal Jenson
Frankie Lombardi
Larry
Private Eddie Peters(Mark Slade)
DIXIE
DIANNE
Friendly Freddie
Sgt Whipple
Hannah Troy
Jane Gray
Jane Harper
Colonel Harper
Pee Wees Playhouse
Characters who VANISHED
Into thin air:
Dixie
Mrs. Steve
Captain Carl
Green Acres characters who VANISHED from Green Acres with no explanation:
Newt Kiley
Roy Trendell
Petticoat Junction
Herbie Bates. Junior Hocker .
In the Leave It To Beaver episode Farewell To Penny the
Writers made it appear that
Beaver had a major crush on
Penny WOODS Karen Sue Trent.
Beaver never had a crush on
Judy Hensler Jeri Weil.
Penny WOODS appeared in one
Other episode after Farewell To Penny and the name of the episode was Beaver The Bunny.
I think that Beaver and Penny
Were a cute couple..
Lori Beth Allen said this to
Jenny Piccalo and Potsie Weber
On an episode of Happy Days:
Jenny and Potsie sitting in a
Tree K I S S I NG
First comes love
Then comes marriage
Then comes Jenny with a baby
Carriage!!
Happy Days Quote
Sit on it Officer Kirk!!
Andybandit 11 months ago
I am glad that they didn't change the name of Happy Days. I did not like it once Richie left the show. It was boring after that.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?