Ron Howard admits he felt ''disrespect'' when Happy Days shifted focus to Fonzie
Richie was supposed to be the lead character. The Fonz changed all that.
On Friday, November 12, Ron Howard appeared on The Graham Norton Show. The former-child-star-turned-acclaimed-director made a surprising revelation to the British host. Happy Days were not entirely happy for the actor.
"It was a really interesting kind of paradoxical situation because the show began and the Richie Cunningham character was the undeniable lead of the show," Howard explained.
"When we would go out of the road to promote the show, it was just insane, focused on Fonzie, clearly that was very exciting," the former Opie explained. "Except the executives, studio heads, network heads, you know, they started treating me with a lot of disrespect from a business standpoint [and] in terms of interaction."
Howard added, "The press kept saying 'What's it like? Do you feel like you've become a secondhand citizen on your own show?'"
But he was quick to explain this in no way affected his relationship with his Fonzie co-star Henry Winkler.
"I certainly didn't feel it within our friendship, which endures to this day," Howard said. "He's the godfather of all four of my kids."
Howard remains rather sanguine about the experience in hindsight. He credited the studio's treatment of him as the inspiration to become a director.
"More than anything, it reminded me…to pursue my own dream," he said, "which was to be in charge of productions, the stories I wanted to tell and be the filmmaker."
Howard would leave Happy Days at the end of its seventh season, shifting the focus even further to Fonzie, who became a teacher and family man. Richie Cunningham would return in season 11 for a two-part event, "Welcome Home." But it was clearly Fonzie's show by then.
Watch the Graham Norton interview below.
Somehow Fonzi @ 5' 7" is supposed to be some real tuff guy?
Happy Days and The Fonz Is
Allergic To Girls episodes of Happy Days.
METV Please Add The following shows to Metv:
Pee Wee Herman Movies
Eddie Cantor Movies
Joe Penner Movies and
Pee Wees Playhouse
I wish that Eddie Cantor and
Pee Wee Herman and Joe Penner had been around at the
Same Time making comedy movies TOGETHER as a TRIO
And Eddie Cantor and Joe Penner and Pee Wee Herman
Could have called themselves
The Three Nitwits.
Also please keep The 3 Stooges on Metv until the end of time
7-11 of Happy Days has not
Been released on DVD.
I liked the Happy Days
Characters Roger Phillips
Jenny Piccalo Eugene Belvin Melvin Belvin
Bobby Melner and Tommy.
During seasons 1-6 I liked
Howard and Marion
Chuck Cunningham was never on HAPPY Days because Richie Cunningham had a vivid
Dream that he had a brother named CHUCK CUNNINGHAM.
Funny thing is Chuck had
Red Hair in some of the
Dreams of Richie Cunningham and in the
Later dreams of Richie's
Chuck had brown hair and
Chuck had a different face.
1995- Apollo 13
2006- The Da Vinci Code
An impressive career from beginning to present day.
I'm glad that Ron Howard saw the door that opened to him.
Though I am not a big fan of the show, I do enjoy the first two seasons, particularly more grounded episodes. To me, the Fonz was more interesting as a bit of a mystery outsider.
As I have overstated here in comments, Moose is my favorite character on the show. A real outsider.