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All our Yesterdays

Happy Days
By Martin Kelner on May 21, 2002 - 2:37:00 PM

All Our Yesterdays
Article dated: Tuesday 21 May 2002
Happy Days

Didn't he do well? Who would have thought Ron Howard, geeky eager beaver Richie Cunningham, essentially the sidekick to Henry Winkler's Fonzie, would have gone on from this undemanding sit-com to become one of Hollywood's leading director of solidly crafted family entertainments like Apollo 13, Parenthood, and (a personal favourite) The Paper? He was clearly watching and learning, as he worked alongside TV veterans like producers Jerry Paris and Garry K Marshall.

The Cunninghams were a typical all-American sit-com family - dad kept a hardware shop, mom baked apple pie - distinguished from countless others only by the fact that they were coping with kids growing up during the rock 'n roll era, the cue for a heavily nostalgic soundtrack, and the excuse for Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli, who was like the Marlon Brando character in The Wild One with all the attitude removed. He lived in the flat above the Cunninghams' garage, and did dangerous things like wearing a leather jacket and drinking Coca Cola straight from the bottle. It has been suggested Fonzie was actually the town's drug dealer, the evidence being the way the kids flock around him, and the amount of time he spends in the toilet, ostensibly combing his hair; but that is clearly a scandalous suggestion.

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