I’m not sure any words can properly articulate my thoughts on this video. Two actors that are now properly grounded in pop culture acting together (arguably, a low point for both). This is in Season 10 of Happy Days, five years after Fonzie had famously “Jumped the Shark.”
Most of the cast had already left the show, so the last few years of Happy Days revolved around the Fonz trying to reform. He is becoming a proper man, getting a college degree and proving he could be a patriarch of a family. They really tried to make you believe he was quite “the badass” in his past.
In this episode, Dwayne (Tom Hanks) returns to fight the Fonz after years of holding a grudge (Fonzie had pushed him off a swing when they were kids). The episode is supposed to show how Fonz has matured and now understands how other people feel and you shouldn’t just make fun of and ridicule others. The writers obviously tried doing this in the silliest/sitcom-iest way possible.
I wonder if anyone connected to this episode back then saw Hanks perform and was like, “My God, this guy is going to be huge someday.” Do you think Henry Winkler gave him “tips” while on set. I like to imagine they had a long chat in Winkler’s trailer and the conversation ended with Winkler saying, “Just follow this advice and someday you’ll be a big star.” Hanks, obviously excited to converse with such a well known TV star responded with, “Thanks Mr. Winkler.” At that point Fonzie simply said, “Call me Henry.” The two shared a smile and shook hands.
*I think it should be noted that Happy Days did seem to blossom some would-be Oscar winners. Not just Hanks here, but also, Ron Howard (Richie Cunningham) & Robin Williams (Mork who happened to be from Ork).