Here's why the Happy Days finale was not the actual Happy Days finale

Blame it on the Games.

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Everyone knows that bundle of mixed emotions that arrive when a television show ends.

You prepare yourself to feel closure, enjoying the bittersweet final moments of a series you might have been watching with delight for a decade, or more.

For Happy Days fans, that was the case. The series ran for 11 seasons, from 1974–1984. For the series finale, series creator Garry Marshall knew he needed something special, and the final note he decided on, according to star Tom Bosley, wound up being, unexpectedly, quite a controversial decision.

Bosley told Emmy TV Legends that the network had a "big cry" over Marshall’s decision to have Bosley deliver an incredibly resonant line directly to the audience.

"At the end of the show, I look right in the camera," Bosley said. "It's the end of a wedding."

The intended finale was a two-part episode called "Passages." In it, Joanie marries Chachi, and Mr. Cunningham gives a toast. The scene is set where Mr. and Mrs. C are in the center of a crowd that has gathered in a circle. The camera is aimed dead-on Mr. C and when he speaks, he speaks directly to the audience, both his audience at the wedding and the audience at home:

"Thank you all for being part of our family. To happy days!"

Bosley said the network asked Marshall, "How could you break the fourth wall?"

But Bosley argued that for everybody watching, the series had concluded, and in his opinion, Marshall made the right decision. "It was much more meaningful to do," Bosley said.

Usually, when a series ends – and especially when it's a series like Happy Days, and the conclusion is so absolutely final and tied up with a bow as it was in "Passages" – that's all, folks.

However, a funny thing happened in 1984, and after the scripted Happy Days finale aired, ABC still had "leftover," unaired episodes to burn.

How does that happen?

Well, the '84 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo had taken place in February of that year, and the Games aired on ABC, temporarily knocking Happy Days out of its time slot, and messing with the timing for the series finale. Instead of moving the finale back by months, they decided to air it early and stash the episodes that would've aired in between.

Then, once the Happy Days ended in spring, ABC had these extra episodes just lying around. The network decided that there was nothing wrong with ending a series and then giving fans a few more bonus episodes. Consider it a parting gift, right? 

The timing of it for those watching live went like this: "Passages" aired in May 1984, ending the series.

Then, at the end of June through the end of July, the bonus episodes arrived. "So How Was Your Weekend?" aired first, an episode that saw Mr. and Mrs. C spending a weekend away from each other. For the next three weeks, there were three more episodes: "Low Notes," 'School Dazed" and "Good News, Bad News."

In "Good News, Bad News," Chachi deals with some disappointing medical news just after getting invited to tour with the Beach Boys. Watching this chronologically, Happy Days fans watched Joanie's husband wrestle with these situations without questioning his marriage. Because, of course, he was not supposed to have been married yet! And then, just like that, the series was gone again.

Or so it seemed.

For there was still one episode left, and that aired randomly toward the end of September.

Titled "Fonzie"s Spots," the episode found Fonzie being tortured by Potsie while doing Mr. C a favor and signing up as a Leopard Lodge recruit.

It's a last laugh for fans, not all fans call it the series finale. Yet it was the last episode ever aired. Henry Winkler agrees with Bosley that the actual series finale, which was the last episode they filmed — "Passages" — was a much more emotional moment.

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Mark091 3 months ago
SINCE TOM BOSLEY and the writers of Happy Days and the rest of the
Cast Marion Ross Ron Howard
Henry Winkler and ERIN MORAN
Had Amneisa when Tom Bosley
Said that he and Marion had the
Joy of raising 2 Wonderful kids
Instead of Raising 3 Wonderful
Kids (CHUCK) all I can say is this:
CHUCK CUNNINGHAM
RIP
CHUCK HOWARD CUNNINGHAM
FORGOT that he Had 3 WONDERFUL
KIDS RICHIE CHUCK and Joanie
THAT LINE about raising 2 Wonderful
Kids Was an INSULT to CHUCK
CUNNINGHAM and the 3 Actors
Who played CHUCK CUNNINGHAM
RIC CARROTT
GAVAN O Herlihy and Randolph Roberts
Mark091 3 months ago
My favorite NERDS ON HAPPY Days were :
MOOSE Barry GREENBERG
EUGENE BELVIN Denis Mandel
MELVIN BELVIN SCOTT BERNSTEIN
Mark091 Mark091 3 months ago
MY FAVORITE PRACTICAL JOKERS ON HAPPY DAYS
WERE RALPH MALPH
DONNY MOST and
BAG ZOMBROSKI Neil J Schwartz
MY favorite BASKETBALL Players
RICHIE Cunningham Ron Howard
CHUCK CUNNINGHAM GAVAN O
HERLIHY AND Randolph Roberts
ROGER PHILLIPS TED McGinley
Mark091 3 months ago
ROGER PHILLIPS TED McGinley and
BAG ZOMBROSKI Neil J Schwartz
Were two OF THE FUNNIEST
Characters on Happy Days
RANDOLPH Roberts as Chuck CUNNINGHAM was funny and
Gavan O Herlihy was more serious
As CHUCK CUNNINHAM c
Mark091 Mark091 3 months ago
Also EUGENE BELVIN Denis Mandel was a great character
AND BOYFRIEND FOR JENNY PICCALO played by CATHY SILVERS MOO
Mark091 Mark091 3 months ago
MOOSE Barry Greenberg should have been on Happy Days for more than 3 Episodes and The
WRITERS sh
Mark091 Mark091 3 months ago
The WRITERS of Happy Days
Should have let MOOSE Barry Greenberg TALK on Happy Days
BARRY GREENBERG played
ALFRED in the 1973 TV movie
MIRACLE on 34th Street
Alfred was the janitor and
Barry GREENBERG did talk in
This movie TOM BOSLEY and
Barry GREENBERG
Were both in this MOVIE
And also SEBASTIAN CABOT
and
SEBASTIAN CABO
Mark091 Mark091 3 months ago
The FOLLOWING characters
Should have been on Happy Days for the entire eleven seasons :
Chuck Cunningham Randolph Roberts
BAG ZOMBROSKI Neil J Schwartz
EUGENE BELVIN Denis Mandel
Melvin Belvin Scott Bernstein
Moose Barry Greenberg
SPIKE Danny Butch
Marsha Simms Beatrice Colen
Wendy Misty Rowe
Trudy Tita Bell
Also I missed Ron Howard and
Donny Most wh
Mark091 Mark091 3 months ago
Also I missed Ron Howard and
Donny Most when they left
Happy Days in nine teen eighty
Roger Phillips Ted McGinley
And Jenny Piccalo Cathy Silvers
Were wonderful Characters
YooperNC 3 months ago
I just watched Mr. C's toast. How could they completely forget that they had a third child, Chuck? Were the writers and the actors that absent-minded? Totally ruined it for me...
Mark091 YooperNC 3 months ago
The WRITERS and TOM BOSLEY
And the Rest of the CAST MEMBERS FORGOT ABOUT
CHUCK CUNNINGHAM
CHUCK CUNNINGHAM WAS
Played by TWO DIFFERENT
ACTORS GAVAN O Herlihy and Randolph Roberts
CHUCK CUNNINGHAM SHOULD
HAVE Been at the Wedding
Mark091 YooperNC 3 months ago
CHUCK CUNNINGHAM
BAG ZOMBROSKI
EUGENE BELVIN
MELVIN BELVIN
MOOSE
POTSIE
Ralph Malph
FLIP PHILLIPS
TRUDY
MARSHA SIMMS
WENDY
KC Cunningham
SPIKE
SHOULD have All Been at the
WEDDING OF Joanie and CHACHI
Mark091 YooperNC 3 months ago
AT least CHACHIs FRIENDS Bobby Melner Harris Kal and Tommy KEVIN SULLIVAN WERE
INVITED to the Wedding
Mark091 YooperNC 3 months ago
I Am glad that Officer Kirk was
NOT INVITED to the WEDDING
Mark091 YooperNC 3 months ago
LEATHER SUZI QUATRO SHOULD
Have been At the WEDDING
Mark091 YooperNC 3 months ago
CHUCK CUNNINGHAM
BAG ZOMBROSKI
EUGENE BELVIN
MELVIN BELVIN
MOOSE
MARSHA SIMMS and OTHER
FORMER CAST MEMBERS OF
HAPPY Days All VANISHED
INTO the SITCOM ZONE
When they DISSAPEARED from
HAPPY DAYS
The SITCOM ZONE IS WHERE
TV Characters go to when they
Vanish FROM THEIR SITCOMS
WITH no explanation
CPL Boyle Roy Stuart and
CPL CUCCINELLI Tommy Leonetti Vanished from Gomer
Pyle USMC
Mark091 YooperNC 3 months ago
My FAVORITE MARTIAN
ANGELA BROWN (ANN MARSHALL)
The LUCY SHOW
CHRIS CARMICAEL
(Candy Moore)
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
GINGER CHARLENE SALERNO
All VANISHED into the
SITCOM ZONE with
CHUCK CUNNINGHAM leading
The Way
yaggazoozy 3 months ago
One of the most famous TV finales was THE FUGITIVE. That finale wasn't broadcast until late August of 1967. Maybe greed wasn't as big as it was in 1983 when ABC messed with the order of broadcast Happy Days episodes. To be fair, The Fugitive was also an ABC series....Maybe Quinn Martin wasn't as greedy as Garry Marshal.
lennyn 3 months ago
Still waiting and hoping for METV to air the Barretta series.
Wiseguy 3 months ago
What's the big deal? Series often have concluding finales then show episodes into the summer. Yes, these are usually reruns, but they are still episodes filmed before the finale. In any case, the finale is the finale is the finale. As is often the case, the network airdate is irrelevant. Anyone who calls "Fonzie's Spots" the finale is an idiot.
SteveThames 3 months ago
Speaking of Robert Wagner, luv to see it takes a thief on mtv🙏😁
Reginia 3 months ago
The last 5 seasons I didn’t like at all. They changed Fonzie’s character making him a wimp.
denny Reginia 3 months ago
The early episodes when they dressed like the 50s were the best. I don't like anything past the first 2 seasons.
Newyorkcitygal 3 months ago
I didn't even realize the two episodes were played out of order until, now. I loved the first 5 seasons but the last five seasons were not that good. (In my opinion) Sorry! I loved the few episodes that featured Fonzie's girl played by Linda Purl but then all of a sudden she is gone!
Jon 3 months ago
"Fonzie's Spots" was filmed so long before it was aired that a clip from it (Chachi & Roger hitting each other w/ pies instead of Fonzie) was part of the Season 11 opening credits.
StephenLeonFarris 3 months ago
I have Seasons 1-5...After Ron Howard left, the show went downhill. Only watched for Fonzie episodes. When he became teacher, he lost a lot of his PAZAZZ...
Bradhanson 3 months ago
once Ron and Donny left the show it went downhill after that and I stopped watching it. The only time I watched it was when Ron came back for those 2 episodes and the last one where Joanie got married. The ending where Mr. C did his speech was the best

HerbF 3 months ago
You forgot to mention the other reason of extra episodes - ABC aired the 6 episodes of A.K.A. PABLO with Paul Rodrigues (He had just hit it big in stand up) in the slot as well.
LittleMissNoName 3 months ago
Why was Anson Williams (Potsie) not part of the last episode? He and his wife could at least been wedding guests. Maybe a future article idea for METV?
I noticed that when it originally aired. There never seems to be an answer. Anson only did a certain number of shows that last season, but to NOT be there for the curtain call?..maybe some bad blood since the producers had no idea what to do with Potsie that last season.
stephaniestavropoulos 3 months ago
METV failed to mention what disease Chschi came down with. As cloyingly sweet as HD was, I'm surprised the entire city of Milwaukee didn't come down with the same disease Chachi was struggling with. What my mom and millions of others have also suffered from: Diabetes. Maybe the reason it was dropped into Chachi's back story, is because Scott Baio suffers from it.
Staunch_Reaganite 3 months ago
I was much more entertained by the games in Sarajevo than anything Happy Days produced in the last 3 or 4 seasons.
OldTVfanatic 3 months ago
Leave it to the networks to foul things up at whim.
cperrynaples OldTVfanatic 3 months ago
Yes, the Olympics was NOT the reason those episodes ran out of sequence! The true story was that Happy Days was losing badly to The A-Team and ABC used the Olympics as an excuse to dump the series! They did the same thing to Hart To Hart and Robert Wagner hated ABC for it!
Wiseguy cperrynaples 3 months ago
Also, the reason they showed "Passages" when they did is because they wanted to show it during the May ratings period. Otherwise, they could have shown all the episodes into the summer and showed "Passages" in July or whenever.
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