Episode One – All the Way

Potsie has set up a date for Richie with a girl he knows named Mary-Lou Milligan. Richie is advised to read passages from the racy book “I, THE JURY” by author Mickey Spillane (1918 – 2006) on the date. This is so Richie can show how worldly he is, since Mary-Lou is a ‘girl with a reputation’.
(Episode One – All the Way)

Classic quote from author Mickey Spillane “Those big-shot writers could never dig the fact that there are more salted peanuts consumed than caviar.”

Richie asks Mary-Lou if she’d like to go to a movie with him that night. Mary-Lou says she can’t since she has to babysit at the Kellys. She invites Richie to drop by the Kelly’s residence to join her. Prior to the date, Richie receives advice from Potsie about particular ‘moves’ he should try while he is alone with Mary-Lou.

At the Kellys, Mary-Lou and Richie sit together on a couch. Richie reads some passages from the book I, THE JURY. After a period of awkward conversation, Mary-Lou ends nervous Richie’s anxiety by turning to him and asking, “Do you want to neck?”.

Mary-Lou tells Richie he kisses funny. Richie suggests they do something else. They find a chessboard and begin playing.

The next day all of Richie’s friends want to know ‘how far he got’ with Mary-Lou. While not exactly lying, Richie doesn’t correct his friends when they falsely come to believe he went far beyond the kissing stage with Mary-Lou.

Bothered by the deception, Richie later consults his father about what to do. Howard advises Richie he will feel better if he comes clean about what really happened on the date.

Richie corrects the false assumptions to his friends, including Fonzie, about his date with Mary-Lou. He learns from Mary-Lou that of all her dates, he is the only person who’s been totally honest. Her ‘reputation’, she says, has only been created by guys wanting to big-note to their friends with embellished tales about what went on.

The scene where Fonzie approaches the bathroom mirror to comb his hair but decides it’s perfect the way it is (at the two minute mark in the video), was created partly by way of improvisation on the part of actor Henry Winkler.

As it was originally written, Fonzie was meant to look into the mirror, pull his comb from his back pocket, and begin some ‘adjustment grooming’. Henry Winkler believed Fonzie’s ‘Mr Cool’ character would regard what he viewed in the mirror as perfect the way it was.

This ‘nothing needs improving’ walk-away from the mirror became one of the Fonze’s signature moves throughout the series.

7 thoughts on “Episode One – All the Way

  1. Pingback: 3, 2, 1… Launch! | Scenic Writer's Shack

  2. Who couldn’t use more happy days! I’ll have that tune stuck in my head for a week. My favourite characters were Joanie and Richie. Cunningham’s were always a nice family.
  3. Precisely Vanessa! For me, it was always about the power of ‘Nice’. I remember my friends and I back in Primary school used to play-act out the characters. The ‘leader’ of us 10 year old’s (a lad named Jeffrey Divine – just for the record!) was always the Fonz. I was Richie. One day ‘The Fonz’ offered me a ‘promotion’ and told me I could be ‘Spike’ – Fonzie’s nephew. I turned down that offer of ‘promotion’ as while I considered Spike to definitely make the grade in the ‘cool’ stakes, for me he didn’t measure up in the equally if not more important ‘nice’ stakes.
  4. Aw, that’s so sweet, the importance of “nice” to you as a boy. I’m not sure most boys would care about that! Richie definitely epitomized all that was nice and harmless and good-intentioned. It was very soothing watching this show, like the Brady Bunch and even The Partridge Family, although the latter two were happening in the present, not the past. SO much nostalgia, though. I think you’re right: people who didn’t grow up with those shows wouldn’t be able to connect at all.

Got thoughts? Wanna share some? Do you know just how much I would enjoy that?