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Fonzie

Posted on | August 8, 2011 | Comments Off on Fonzie

Article by jekky

Character traits and developmentFonzie (The Fonz) is a leather jacketed Italian-American, and later, part-owner of Arnold’s restaurant, who lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the 1950s. In the very early episodes, Fonzie rode custom Harley-Davidson models. In the later episodes he rides a Triumph motorcycle. Overall, the Fonz rode a variety of models including Harley Panhead, Harley Knucklehead, Harley Sportster, Triumph 500cc TR5 Trophy (seen in the opening credits), Trophy 650cc and a BSA. He is known for his catchphrases: “Whoa”, and “Aaay!”/”Eyyy!” while snapping his fingers, and forming a thrust-forward double thumbs up. He is also known to be able to fix Arnold’s jukebox (or cause it to play his favorite song) by hitting it with the side of his fist.He is a high school dropout seen by establishment characters in the show as a rebel. As a child, he and his mother were abandoned by his father. The only advice Fonz remembered his father giving was, “Don’t wear socks in the rain.” When he disappeared, he left a locked box for his son, but not a key; Arthur did everything to open the box, finally running over it with his tricycle. The contents? “The key, and that’s it!”In the sixth season episode “Christmas Time”, his father, a sailor, delivers a Christmas present to make amends. Fonzie is resentful, but at the end of the episode reads his father’s letter explaining why he left, and opens it. In a later episode, Fonz unexpectedly meets a woman he believes is his mother in a diner. She convinces him she is not, but in the end she looks at a picture of Fonz as a small child and sighs.Occasional facts about the Fonz’s past emerged: during the show, the Fonz finished his high school diploma at night school, became an auto mechanic instructor, and later school teacher. In later seasons, he went from being a womanizer to having a single long-term girlfriend. Though he never married, he adopted a young orphan boy named Danny in the final season, completing his transformation from rebel to family man. Various shows indicate that the Fonz has extensive martial arts training. In one show, he compares his nerve strike knowledge to that of a woman while both use Ralph as a training dummy.A troubled pastPreviously with two gangs, the Demons and the Falcons, his redemption began in the months before the series. The Fonz intervened in a rumble to which gang members had challenged high school student Richie Cunningham. Thanks to this intervention, Richie developed respect for Fonzie, and despite their differences, the two became friends. While Richie learned the world from Fonz, Fonzie learned about the closeness of a tight-knit all-American family from the Cunninghams. He eventually became accepted as a member of the Cunninghams when he rented an attic room over the Cunningham’s garage.Even Richie’s father, Howard (“Mr. C.” to Fonzie), a pillar of the community, came to regard Fonzie with affection. Despite his aloofness, Fonzie had more whimsical traits, notably devotion to the Lone Ranger whom he meets in a later episode. While confident with women, he blushed whenever Richie’s mother Marion (“Mrs. C.” to Fonzie), who became like a surrogate mother to him, kissed him on the cheek. She was the only person Fonzie allows to address him by his first name, Arthur, which she always did affectionately. Richie’s sister Joanie also became attached to Fonzie; he called her “Shortcake.” In one episode, when it is revealed that Fonzie had never been christened as a baby, the Cunninghams stood by him at church so that he could finally be christened.Fonzie self-appointed the men’s washroom at Arnold’s as his “office” where he and Richie and his friends would gather to work out developing problems. Written on the walls were phone numbers of his many girlfriends (There was a payphone in there, too). On opening night of the newly-built Arnold’s (after the old one burned down), Al had a desk set up in the new men’s washroom just for Fonzie. It included a desk telephone and organized pull-down sheet of all the phone numbers Al recovered from the fire.Due to his rough past, he commands respect throughout Milwaukee for knowing how to fight. In subsequent episodes, he out-dueled an expert fencer, mangled a gangster’s prosthetic iron hand with one fist. His other skills included being a ladies’ man and mechanic. His history also involved romantic involvement with every attractive high school woman in Milwaukee along with his imperturbable “cool.” Despite the respect he has earned, several people still antagonized him including Officer Kirk (Ed Peck), an overzealous police officer who sometimes (always unsuccessfully) tried to frame Fonzie or run him out of town.Opponents larger than himself back down from confrontations; those who do confront him never come out on top.Civic involvementFonzie is involved with community projects. He endorses Republican Dwight Eisenhower’s 1956 presidential campaign. At a rally Fonzie declares, “I like Ike. My bike likes Ike.” Eisenhower carried Wisconsin with 62% of the vote easily defeating Adlai Stevenson (supported by Richie Cunningham’s more-researched speech). In that election, Eisenhower got 457 electoral votes to 73 for Stevenson.The Fonz becomes involved with other issues. Highlighting actor Henry Winkler’s off-camera work, several episodes dealt with civil rights of people with disabilities. Concerned that students with epilepsy were denied their chance to attend public school and play sports, he intervenes to resolve the issue. Such advocacy builds on the previous season’s episode where Fonzie hired wheelchair-bound Don King to work in his garage, promising to provide workplace accommodation for his employee,And concerned about other equal opportunity issues, Fonz wants Milwaukee racially integrated. Personally friends with African Americans, he becomes upset when a party in which Richie will welcome Hawaii into the Union gets boycotted. People have grown anxious because it will be racially integrated. Initially wanting to force people to attend, Fonzie learns from Mr. Cunningham that people cannot change their minds overnight. He volunteers to go south with Al and Freedom Riders to help integrate a segregated diner. Normally flirtatious with women, Fonzie is instead disgusted that the waitress does not serve Black customers. At one point he tells her that he cannot date her because of her compliance with the diner policy.Production detailsThis section does not cite any references or sources.Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (October 2008)Lists of miscellaneous information should be avoided. Please relocate any relevant information into appropriate sections or articles. (October 2008)Micky Dolenz, on the strength of his performance as a biker on an episode of Adam-12, was Garry Marshall’s original choice to play Fonzie. Dolenz was several inches taller than than the other cast members, and Marshall thought it might be better for Fonzie to be on the same eye level as the other characters. A search for a shorter actor as an alternate resulted in Henry Winkler landing the role.ABC’s censors refused Fonzie a leather jacket, thinking it made him look like a hoodlum. Garry Marshall got them to allow Fonzie to wear his jacket close to his motorcycle (a Triumph TR5 Trophy) since a leather jacket was considered safety equipment. Marshall put him near his motorcycle as often as possible, even to ride it into Arnold’s. Even so, for some first season episodes, he wears a white jacket. Eventually, Fonzie was allowed to wear the jacket even when not near his bike. One of the jackets is in the Smithsonian Institution.Henry Winkler gets requests to “be the Fonz” in real life. “People expect me to be this guy who can walk into a dark room, snap my fingers, and turn on the lights. Or they want me to pound my fist on the hood of a car, and start the engine. I can’t do it. I’ve tried! I think the silliest request I ever got was when somebody asked me to quiet the animals in a zoo.” He always insisted in interviews that Fonzie was a role he played and that he was just an actor. According to Winkler, “The Fonz was everybody I wasn’t. He was everybody I wanted to be.”On Happy Days, Fonzie met Mork, an alien. Played by Robin Williams, Mork proved so popular that he received his spin-off series, Mork & Mindy.Fonzie, Richie Cunningham and Ralph Malph starred in a Saturday morning cartoon spin-off, The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang, where the characters, with a female character named Cupcake and a “Fonz dog” (an anthropomorphic dog named Mr. Cool that imitated the Fonz’s thumbs-up “Aaay” catchphrase), traveled through time.References in popular cultureTelevisionFonzie has been referenced in episodes of Boy Meets World (in-jokes of Boy Meets World being a “modern” Happy Days was a repeated theme throughout the show’s run), Futurama, Family Guy (where the main character Peter Griffin is a huge fan of Fonzie), That ’70s Show (which has a number of parallels with Happy Days), Kim Possible, The Replacements, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, The Simpsons, Scrubs, Newsradio, Clerks:The Animated Series, The Oblongs, South Park, Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide, 21 Jump Street, Bo’ Selecta!, End of Part One, Robot Chicken, Doctor Who, IT Crowd, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, The L Word, George Lopez, Friends, Gilmore Girls, The Office, Peep Show. How I Met Your Mother, Flight of the Conchords, Lost, King of the Hill, and “SuperNews”.Henry Winkler played Barry Zuckerkorn on Arrested Development (a show executive produced by Ron Howard). In the episode “Altar Egos”, Barry briefly does the Fonz pose in a bathroom mirror. Another reference occurs in the episode “Motherboy XXX”, in which Barry jumps over a shark. Also in the movie Scream, when he played a principle, he did a Fonz pose in the mirror when he combed his hair.Originally, Fonzie wasn’t supposed to be the “cool character” which he became. Originally, Potsie was supposed to be the cool character, but after Fonzie gained popularity, Potsie then became a supporting character who is somewhat naive.Ron Howard created an Obama PSA campaign video which featured Richie Cunningham and the Fonz discussing the need for change with Obama. http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/cc65ed650d/ron-howards-call-to-action-from-ron-howard-and-henry-winklerA wax figure of the Fonz has been featured prominently on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. The hand positioning of the wax figure causes host Conan O’Brien to comment that the Fonz was finishing up at the urinal.StatueThe City of Milwaukee unveiled a “Bronze Fonz” statue on August 19, 2008. It is located along the downtown Riverwalk. It features Fonzie wearing his jacket and giving a thumbs up. Henry Winkler attended the unveiling and stated that the statue was “unbelievable”.Other mediaFonzie was referred to in The One Hundredth episode of popular television programme Friends. The doctor that is delivering Phoebe’s triplets seems to have an obsession with Fonzie.In the movie 2 Fast 2 Furious, Fonzie is referred to in a comment made to two people driving classic muscle cars. The actor Tyrese Gibson makes the comment, “Real funny, Fonzie!”In the SIRIUS Satellite Radio Covino and Rich on MAXIM 108, they commonly use the “WWFD” (What Would Fonzie Do).XBXRX sing a song named “The Fonz”. Eugene McGuinness sings a song named “Fonz”. Smash Mouth also have a song named “The Fonz”. He is also referenced in many songs, including “A Pack of Dogs” by Lightyear, Adam Sandler’s “The Chanukah Song”, the Evil Dead: The Musical song “Do The Necronomicon” and the Weezer music video of “Buddy Holly”. In the video game Saints Row 2, one of the compliments is called “Happy Days” and mimics Fonzie’s thumbs up greeting. It even plays a voice similar to his.In the DC Comics publication Booster Gold, Booster is seen to admire The Fonz, and imitates his thumping of the jukebox and thumbs up greeting upon going back in time.There is a Portuguese punk-rock band called Fonzie.Stefans has a registered haircut called “The Fonz” for AU.95.In his 1970’s heyday, MPC issued a model kit of ‘Fonzie & His Bike’ featuring the character and the Triumph TR5 Trophy he rode.Fonzie had a habit of hitting electrical equipment to make it work, and this became known as the Fonzie touch, a term that is still in use today.He is also talked about in the movie ‘Pulp Fiction.’ Samuel L. Jackson’s character tells a robber during a Mexican standoff at a diner to “be just like the Fonz…and what is the Fonz? He’s cool…that’s right just be cool…”On the song “Simon Says (remix)”, by MC Pharaohe Monch, guest MC Redman quips in his verse ‘respect like The Fonz, you see my collar up? (Eyyyy!)’On Smash Mouth’s debut album Fush Yu Mang, there is a song named “The Fonz” that compares the writer’s coolness to that of Kurt Cobain’s. The original idea behind the song sprung from the band’s original guitarist (Greg Camp) receiving a pair of shoes signed by Cobain, not long after these shoes were signed, Cobain was dead.In the Literal music video version of Total Eclipse of the Heart, the lines “but Arthur Fonzarelli’s got an army of clones (Fonzie’s been cloned)” accompany a group of similar people walking up a stairway.See alsoFamily guy – Fonzie ChurchWikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: FonzieBreakout characterJumping the shark, a metaphor originating from a Happy Days scene with Fonzie. The phrase symbolizes when a television series loses its credibility with contrived or ridiculous extensions of its theme, usually as a result of the writers being unable to maintain a show indefinitely.Fonzie (band) Punk rock band from PortugalReferences^ sitcomsonline.com^ sitcomsonline.com^ sitcomsonline.com^ sitcomsonline.com^ sitcomsonline.com^ ^ Remarks to Oprah Winfrey on The Oprah Winfrey Show, original airdate February 26, 2008^ “Episode 5”. Leigh Francis, Ben Palmer. Bo’ Selecta!. Channel 4. 2004-07-16. No. 5, season 3.^ wikiquote.org^ http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Fonzie_touch Categories: Fictional Italian-Americans | Fictional characters from Wisconsin | Fictional mechanics | Happy Days charactersHidden categories: Wikipedia semi-protected pages | Articles needing additional references from October 2008 | All articles needing additional references | Articles with trivia sections from October 2008 | All articles with trivia sections

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