Top Ten All-Time Favorite episode this one. Probably even Top Five. Yep, this one’s a blue ribbon classic.
Joanie asks her father if she can invite some of her Chipmunk friends over for Christmas. Howard says no, explaining that unlike other years, on this occasion it will just be for the family.
Meanwhile down at Arnolds, Fonzie is giving out Christmas presents. Ralph and Potsie ask him if he’s going anywhere special for this year’s celebration. Fonzie says he’s going out of town to his cousin’s house at Waukesha. He emphasizes what a lavish spread is awaiting him at his cousin’s place.
Howard closes down for the day at the Hardware store and prepares to drive Richie and himself home to celebrate Christmas. His car breaks down on the way however and he is forced to have it towed to Fonzie’s garage.
After fixing it Fonzie misses his 4 O’clock bus to Waukesha. Howard and Richie offer to drive him there but Fonzie gets unusually defensive. He says he’ll just catch the 5 O’clock bus instead.
Richie and Howard depart but Richie walks back to the garage when he realizes he has forgotten to give Fonzie his present (a three-in-one wrench). Richie stands at the half-open garage door about to go in but then sees Fonzie sitting down by himself to eat a cold sandwich. He realizes at that moment that Fonzie has made up the story about going to his cousins house for Christmas. He is in fact all alone.
Later that night, Richie and the rest of the family convince Howard that Fonzie is all alone and that they should invite him to their place for Christmas. Howard and Richie travel over to Fonzie’s apartment where Fonzie pretends he is just on his way out to catch the 8 O’clock bus.
To save Fonzie the embarrassment of admitting he has no place to go to celebrate Christmas, they plead with him to come to their house to fix their mechanical Santa. Fonzie agrees, but says after that he’ll be on the 9 O’clock bus to Waukesha – which is the last bus that night.
Fonzie fixes the Cunningham’s mechanical Santa but goes over his 9pm deadline. Howard and Richie convince him he now has no choice but to join them. Fonzie ends up toasting marshmallows and reading to everyone A NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
Four years ago, a novel entitled WHO KILLED THE FONZ was published by Simon & Schuster (New York).
Described as a ‘pop-culture hypothetical’, it offered a story that mixed the comedy of the tv series with noir detective elements, set in the 1980’s.
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