Happy Days are here again! I mean the ones that aired from 1974-1984, and are now being rebroadcast weeknights on the Hallmark Channel. Regular reader Don Hoover sent me an e-mail about this, but I had already discovered that one of the all-time great television shows was back on the air. In fact, I happened to catch the Christmas episode which aired in December of 1974 when I was a senior in high school. It is my favorite Christmas episode from any television series and it still makes me “misty” as the Fonz would say.
Don and I were regular Happy Days watchers; in fact, Don gave me a Happy Days paperback that he had autographed by Donny Most and Henry Winkler when they made an appearance in Baltimore. As you can see, I still have Fonzie Drops In.
We all related to Richie and Ralph and Potsie as they faced the problems of growing up, not least of which was solving the mystery of girls. And, of course, we all wanted to be the Fonz, the guy who always knew what to say and knew what to do in every situation. He would descend on Arnold’s Drive-In like some Greek god and dispense his wisdom on Richie—and on the rest of us out there watching.
Happy Days was about so much more than being cool, however. The episodes often dealt with friendship, principle, honor, respect, love, courage, right. It was the epitome of wholesome a word that I haven’t heard used to describe a television show or much of anything else for that matter since . . . maybe, since 1984. I bet that many young people 25 or under don’t even know what that word means. In fact, I’m not sure that anyone under 30 would comprehend Happy Days were they to watch those reruns now, because I’m not sure that they would believe that that’s what we used to believe.
I still believe in Happy Days, which puts me wholly out of step with these days. So be it.