Episode 9 (S2) – BIG MONEY

Richie is picked from a television studio audience to be a contestant on a quiz show called BIG MONEY.

From a selection, he chooses card SEVEN. The category is baseball. Richie progresses through a series of questions. He is then asked to come back the next night.

Richie begins spending all his spare time consulting baseball almanacs. Potsie and Ralph, and even Howard and Marion quiz him every spare moment. Richie’s successful run on BIG MONEY continues over several shows.

After one of the shows, BIG MONEY’s host hands Richie an envelope. He tells Richie to look at what’s inside when he gets home. When Richie does, he is dumbstruck at what he finds. Inside the envelope are the questions and answers to the next night’s show – the one where Richie is finally eligible to play for the grand jackpot of $5000.

Richie is confronted with what he sees as a moral dilemma. He travels back to the tv studio to talk to Mr Whippett, the program’s host. Richie is told he represents the ‘American Dream’ and that him winning will be great for ratings, meaning everyone comes out on top.

Richie then talks it over with his father – who he has promised to buy a new set of custom-made golf clubs for if he wins. Howard advises him it is his call. Come the big night, Richie is asked the baseball question, “What do Wee Willie Keeler, Dazzy Vance and Rabbit Maranville all have in common?”

Richie has already been supplied the correct answer (that those players have all been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame) by the show but he pretends he doesn’t know. He leaves minus the money but with a clear conscience.

This HAPPY DAYS episode – and a 1994 movie directed by Robert Redford called QUIZ SHOW – were both based on real events that occurred in the U.S in the 1950’s.

The video below details one of the scandals that took place in 1956, concerning the quiz program TWENTY ONE.



Joanie is preparing to go on her very first date. Fonzie’s 13 year old nephew ‘Spike’ is the lucky suitor. Howard asks Joanie how they met. “He dropped a waterbomb on me.”

In preparation, Marion has her ‘birds and the bees talk’ with Joanie, which is suitably awkward and comical.

Richie and his date Carol are paid 50 cents an hour by Howard to ‘double date’ with Spike and Joanie in the back of their convertible. The four of them go to a movie, but at a certain point Richie becomes seperated from his sister and Spike and loses sight of them.

So begins a frantic search of the neighborhood which extends all the way to Inspiration Point. Richie is finally forced to admit defeat. He returns home without Joanie.

Preparing to explain to his father what happened, he enters the house and immediately sees Joanie and Spike happily playing Monopoly together at the kitchen table.

In the movie theatre scene, the film Richie and Carol take Joanie and Spike to see is not a real film. It was shot especially for this episode, and featured Tony Randall (1920 – 2004) as a werewolf. Randall did this as a favour to Happy Days producer and good friend Garry Marshall.


Episode 7 (S2) – WISH UPON A STAR

Richie wins a competition to go on a date with Hollywood star Cindy Shea. Richie’s steady girlfriend Gloria gives her blessing, telling Richie it’s a once in a life time opportunity.

Richie gets picked up in a limousine and a photographer comes along to mark the occasion. However Richie soon learns that Cindy has a ‘schedule of appearances’ to honor that night – including an orphanage visit, a demolition derby and two other High School dances – in addition to the ‘date’ with him.

Cindy eventually shows up at Richie’s High School dance after which she invites him back to her apartment. Once inside, Richie takes his seat while Cindy excuses herself to ‘slip into something more comfortable.’

Unexpectedly the apartment door opens and the photographer walks in. He introduces himself to Richie as Cindy’s husband. He confides in Richie that Cindy being married isn’t something they go out of their way to advertise as it wouldn’t be good for her image.

Richie tries to hide his disappointment. Cindy emerges and asks Richie did he think they were going to get romantic. Richie says “No, of course not.” even though he clearly was. They finish by drinking hot chocolate together.

The next day Richie tells his friends about the date, leaving certain parts to their imagination.

The role of the Hollywood star Cindy Shea was played by Cheryl Ladd. She is best known for her role in CHARLIE’S ANGELS, which she joined in the show’s 1977 second season, after Farah-Fawcett Majors left the show to pursue a movie career.

Ladd originally came to Hollywood to begin a career in music. She was the singing voice of Melody on the animated series JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS. She has released three albums. 

Cheryl Ladd has appeared in over 30 movies, including playing the role of Princess Grace Kelly in a 1983 biopic. Her most recent screen appearance was in the 2021 film A COWGIRL’S SONG.


Episode 6 (S2) – HAUNTED

Ralph plans to stage a Halloween party at the old abandoned Simpson house.

He asks Richie to go around to check out the house first. Richie pulls up outside in his car with sister Joanie next to him. At first Joanie refuses to go in, saying “Everyone knows about old Magnolia Simpson. Ever since she lost her head, anyone who goes in there, gets theirs chopped off too.”

After Richie finally persuades her to go through the front door with him, she says, “If I get my head chopped off Richie Cunningham, I’m gonna tell Mum on you.”

Whilst inside, Richie sees something inside a closest which scares him. He runs out with Joanie, slamming the front door behind him. At home he tells his father he thinks he saw a headless body in the closet. Howard tells him it was just his mind playing tricks on him in a suggestive environment.

Richie dresses in a skeleton costume and prepares to head off to the party with Gloria. Howard sees that for some reason Richie is feeling apprehensive. He assures Richie he has nothing to worry about as he’ll be surrounded by friends.

Once at the party, everyone begins enjoying themselves. However things turn chilly when a headless ghost attired in a woman’s dress begins descending the stairs. It’s thought that Ralph is playing some type of trick, but he counters, “Are these the bulging eyes of a jokester?”

Determined to overcome his earlier jitters, Richie faces up to the ghost. He pulls the clothing away to reveal a grinning Bag from the Demons has once again succeeded in crashing the party.

The actress that played the role of Gloria, Richie’s date, was Linda Purl (born 1955). She played Gloria across a total of four episodes in Seasons 1 (1974) and 2 (1975). She then returned in Season 10 (1983) to play the role of Fonzie’s girlfriend, Asley.


Episode 5 (S2) -ROTC

The squad leader of Richie’s ROTC (Reserve Officer’s Training Corps) group is fired for his inability to control the troops. Richie is appointed as the new leader. Ralph and Potsie think this is great news, until they realize Richie is serious about his new leadership role.

Richie consults his father who tells him the secret to good leadership is making your men love you. “All the great leaders had that quality: MacArthur – Nimitz – Bradley. “You know, I was a mess sergeant in the army. I used to put extra gravy on the men’s potatoes. They’d do anything for me”.

He also approaches the squad’s Captain, who tells him the secret of good leadership is the men ‘hating your guts.’ “If they fear you they’ll follow you,” he advises. “All the great leaders, their men hated them; MacArthur – Nimitz – Bradley.

Richie assumes command of the squad but everyone is still more interested in goofing off. Richie threatens to put everyone on report, meaning they will have to retake ROTC during summer school. Potsie, Ralph and the others do not take kindly to their friend’s no-nonsense approach.

The next day at Arnolds, Richie receives the cold shoulder treatment from Ralph and Potsie. Even Fonzie says he doesn’t want to talk to a ‘stoolie’, after hearing that Richie placed his friends on report.

Telling his father about his situation the next night, Richie says he feels like Humphrey Bogart in THE CAINE MUTINY.

After a dream that night, Richie wakes up the next morning with a clear head and his decision made. He will tear up the paperwork that placed his friends on report. Richie apologizes and promises he’s just going to be himself from now on. “If you want to follow that’d be nice. If you don’t, then there’s nothing I can do about it.”

He adds – “If you march good in the inspection today, I promise to quit as squad leader. Then we can be buddies again.” Apart from an unexpected detour through the path of a set of sprinklers, the march inspection goes well.

Howard congratulates Richie and tells him he supports his decision to quit as squad leader. “It’s not important to be a great leader. It’s just as important to be a good follower.”

There are over 20,000 ROTC cadets in 273 ROTC programs at major universities throughout the U.S today. As of 2022, more than 1700 U.S. high schools have Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) programs as well. Now you know.

Episode 4 (S2) – You Go To My Head

Richie, Potsie and Ralph emerge from a movie theatre, having just seen a James Dean double feature. Richie spots Carol Lipton, a girl he is fond of, but cannot bring himself to ask her out. He consults Fonzie for advice.

FONZIE: You sprout feathers every time you try to talk to a new chick, Cunningham.

RICHIE: So what’s a guy supposed to do about that anyway?

FONZIE: You gotta ask me that after you have just seen two James Dean movies? You know how Dean gets chicks? I’ll tell ya how Dean gets chicks: ’cause he acts nutsy.

RICHIE: Acting nutsy gets chicks?

FONZIE: That’s right. Chicks go for troubled guys. That’s how Dean got Natalie Wood.

Fonzie follows with a demonstration. He acts ‘troubled’ inside Arnolds and, sure enough, in quick time a ‘chick’ comes running to console him.

Richie tries the same routine the next day with Carol Lipton but the plan backfires. She calls him ‘strange’ and hands Richie a study book she is holding, ABNORMAL PYSCHOLOGY, advising him to read it.

Richie soon becomes engrossed in the book and starts believing he is abnormal. “This book has illuminated the dark recesses of my mind and I see a lot of trouble in there.” he observes.

Ralph tries to convince Richie he is no crazier than anyone else. However, soon after Richie makes an appointment to see a psychiatrist (at the College Free Clinic).

Richie tries to convince the psychiatrist he is there as part of research he is doing for a project about problems faced by teenagers. It soon becomes clear that the problems with ‘shyness’ he is describing are his own.

Richie arrives home from seeing the psychiatrist. He announces to his parents that, as part of the whole-family model of treatment, they too have an appointment to see him. Howard comments, “The only thing bothering Richard is adolescence.”

Richie returns to Fonzie for fresh ideas. Fonzie advises him to ‘Be yourself’, admitting the ‘Act like Dean‘ advice was ‘dumb’. Fonzie advises Richie to face his fears. For Richie, this means going up to the first girl he sees and ”planting a kiss right on her lips”.

Richie tries it, with good results. Marion and Howard return home from the psychiatrist’s office and tell Richie the psychiatrist has diagnosed him as perfectly normal. “I know” replies Richie, back to his old self after the ‘kiss-a-stranger’ therapy technique has cleared his head.

This is another HAPPY DAYS episode that was cleverly named after the title of a popular song.

YOU GO TO MY HEAD (written and first recorded in 1938) has been recorded by many artists over the years, including Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Doris Day, Bing Crosby, Miles Davis, Rod Stewart, Chuck Berry and Bob Dylan.

The song has been featured in these three films as well…

Episode 3 (S2) – Who’s Sorry Now?

Richie’s old girlfriend from three years ago – Arlene Nestrock – returns from New York. Richie recalls the only reason she agreed to go out with him back then was he had a television set.

Three years on and now Arlene is after something else from Richie – his ring. In 1950’s language that means ‘going steady’. However Richie believes ‘going steady‘ is ‘like being married but without all the fringe benefits’.

Richie can’t bring himself to break up with Arlene. He consults Fonzie for advice, mentioning he will be attending dinner the next night at Arlene’s house to meet her parents. Richie is advised to put on his best Fonzie impersonation.

At the dinner, Richie wears a leather jacket, slouches like a pro and talks about his dreams of owning a motorbike and taking Arlene cross-country. He sprinkles his speech with plenty of ‘Aaay’s‘ and masters the detached ‘vacant stare’.

Richie thinks the plan has worked when Arlene tells him the next day her father has instructed her never to have anything to do with him again. Things backfire however when Arlene’s attachment to Richie grows even stronger, Romeo and Juliet style.

Richie chooses a movie theatre to announce to Arlene he wants to break up. Arlene takes it hard, retreating to the women’s bathroom, where Richie follows her. Inside, she calls Richie “an insincere creep, like all boys” and returns his ring.

Richie returns home and confesses to Howard and Marion he thinks he has really hurt this girl. Howard consoles Richie, saying “Every break-up seems like the end of the world but you always manage to get over it.”

Things conclude with Marion saying “I remember going with a fella once. For months, I tried to break up with him. He pleaded with me. He said he couldn’t live without me. No matter what I did, I couldn’t shake him”.

Riche: “What finally happened?”

Marion: “I married him. You learn to love a person who hangs in there.”

This episode took it’s name from a 1958 hit song sung by Connie Francis (now aged 84).

Connie Francis is widely recognized as the “First Lady of Rock & Roll,”. She is estimated to have sold more than 100 million records. She was also the first woman in history to reach No. 1 on the BILLBOARD HOT 100 chart.

The song features in last year’s 101 DALMATIONS off-shoot film, CRUELLA.

Episode 2 (S2) – Richie’s Car

Richie finds it difficult saying goodnight to his date Gloria while his father waits in the car to drive him home. Richie pitches the advantages of owning a 2nd family car to Howard. Howard agrees and throws in $200 towards the purchase. He reminds Richie however it won’t be his but the family’s car.

Fonzie offers to sell Richie a car named LOVE BANDIT he won in a drag race. Richie says he doesn’t think it is what his father had in mind for a 2nd car, adding his Dad’s idea of cool is leaving the top button on his sports shirt open.

Fonzie shows Richie’s father the car but Howard is unimpressed. “This is not a car a grown man drives. It’s more like something a little kid peddles.” However after agreeing to paint the car a nice shade of ‘family blue’ and removing the hot-rod shiny extras, the sale goes ahead.

Richie soon learns the car is stolen. Fonzie paints over the number plate and the plan is for Richie to drive the car directly home from Fonzie’s garage, and leave it there until Fonzie can get in contact with the person he got the car from.

On the way home however he bumps into Gloria, who asks him for a lift. Richie drives them both straight to his garage, where he parks the car and then offers to walk Gloria home the rest of the way. Gloria thinks Richie is acting very strangely.

The next morning Richie wakes to the sound of the 2nd family car being driven out the driveway by Howard and the rest of the family, all packed for a vacation. Richie runs out to stop them, and eventually the truth about the car being stolen comes out.

Fonzie then brings Rocky Baruffy, the person he won the original LOVE BANDIT from in a drag race, with him down to the police station. Together they explain the idea of the car being stolen is actually just a large misunderstanding.

The actor who played the detective down at the local police station was Karl Swenson (1908 – 1978). Among a great many film and television roles, he appeared in these four movies –

Episode 1 (S2) – Richie Moves Out

Richie has a home nighttime study date with Gloria. They are alone sitting on the living room couch together and just about to kiss when suddenly Marion appears. She announces she “heard noises and so had to come down to check”.

Richie and Gloria attempt to regather their tender moment when next Howard pops down from the upstairs bedroom to search for his reading glasses. Becoming frustrated at the series of ‘interruptions’, Richie finally gives up on the idea of romance happening that night at his home.

Next morning at the breakfast table, Richie complains to older brother Chuck, who has popped in for a visit, that he has no life of his own: “I eat when the family eats – not when I want to. I watch their tv shows – not the ones I like. I can’t even listen to Fats Domino after 10 ‘o clock.”

Chuck suggests Richie move in with him, as his old roommate just moved out. Marion is worried but Howard reassures her, “It’ll be fine Marion. You know, there’s an old saying that when a baby bird leaves its nest with just its pin feathers on, it always comes flying home before it molts”.

Richie moves in to his older brother’s apartment but is immediately struck by the clutter. “Is this the garage or the apartment?” he quips. Chuck responds with an offer. He asks Richie if he will clean-up the place a little each week in return for a cut to his share of the rent. Richie agrees.

To earn money to pay his own rent, Richie begins waiting on tables at Arnolds. The next night he arrives home, bone tired after his shift, only to fall asleep to the sound of his older brother bouncing a basketball – “59 with each hand” – in the living room.

Word spreads quickly that Richie now has his own ‘pad’. Potsie, Ralph and Fonzie all make approaches to Richie about using his apartment as a place to take their dates. Later they all have keys made to the apartment.

Richie brings Gloria back to the apartment however the mood is broken with a series of interruptions. First Potsie and his date arrive, expecting they will be alone. Next Ralph and his date turn up, followed soon by Fonzie with his. The final straw is when Chuck and the entire basketball team roll in as well.

Richie becomes enraged and orders everyone, including Fonzie, his own brother and the basketball team to leave. Gloria is impressed with Richie’s conviction and ‘take charge’ self-belief. “Oh wow Richie! That was really something else. I mean, that was better than Spencer Tracey in ‘BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK. I was ready to leave too!”

Four years ago, this movie was preserved in the United States NATIONAL FILM REISTRY  by for being “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant”.

Soon after, as predicted by his father, Richie moves back home. “It was really lousy having my own apartment this time,” he observes. “The place was always a mess. There was never any food in the house. I had to work all the time just to pay the rent. All I got out of that place (referring to having to sleep on the couch) was a bad back”.

Howard has the final word – “Someday you’ll have a place of your own and it’ll be different. You’ll probably be married by then. But until that time, I think it’s a good idea you let me have the key to Chuck’s apartment”.

In this episode, Richie cites one of the reasons he wants to move out of home as being the fact he can’t listen to Fats Domino after 10pm. American pianist and singer-songwriter Fats Domino (1928 – 2017), real name Antoine Domino Jr. sold over 65 million albums in his career.

His 1956 hit BLUEBERRY HILL was a song Richie would often sing to himself when he was feeling happy, in particular on dates.

Episode 16 – Be the First on your Block

Howard calls a family meeting to announce they will be installing a bomb shelter in the backyard. He reasons that at the height of the ‘Cold War’ tensions could boil over any time. The rest of the family is not so sure.

Word spreads quickly amongst Richie’s friends of the bomb shelter. It is believed the site will make a great ‘make-out’ spot. A girl named Carol who has never shown interest in Richie suddenly wants to go out with him because he now has a bomb shelter.

“Just in case anyone needs a bracer when the bombs are falling”

Howard conducts his first practice drill in the backyard in the area roped off for the installation. Assorted people and their dates turns up, including Fonzie on his motorcycle. Howard orders them all to leave and go home. This causes friction with other members of the family.

The next day at Arnolds, everyone ignores Richie. Marion also suffers some backlash. Another meeting is called at home, in which contrary opinions are aired –

RICHIE: Dad, the way I figure it is if they drop the bomb, then I won’t have any friends. And if they DON’T drop the bomb, the way things are, I won’t have any friends. So what good is the bomb shelter?

MARION: That’s an interesting question Howard. What’s your answer?

HOWARD: I’ll tell you what good it is… If you sit in it you have peace of mind.

RICHIE: While all your friends are pounding at the door?

HOWARD: Oh look, the discussion is over. We’re gonna take a vote.

The family vote against having the shelter being installed but, ashead of the house, Howard overrides the decision. Slowly, however, he begins to question whether all the negative reaction is worth it, eventually siding with the rest of the family in choosing not to install a bomb shelter in their backyard.

HOWARD: Richard, what do you think about a man who got so carried away by his own fears he forgot about people?

RICHIE: I’d say he’s human.

The actress who played the girl who would only go out with Richie because she thought he had a bomb shelter was Christina Hart (born 1949). She would go on to become a successful playwright, and direct over 50 plays. Amongst many film and television appearances, she played a member of the Manson gang in the 1976 movie HELTER SKELTER.

And finally, from the people who brought you this…

Comes this…

A foxhole kit for just $13:50? Are you kidding me? That spells BARGAIN in any language – Nuclear Survival Dialect most especially. Just wish the guy narrating this video could have somehow found a way to ratchet up his reading speed from extra, extra slow to, well… even just ‘slow’ would have been an improvement. Don’t ya think?

ROLLING STONE Magazine have come up with a list they consider to be the 100 Greatest Television Series of all time.(HERE) These types of lists are always good for a giggle and a quibble.

HAPPY DAYS came in at #65. Naturally, I believed a much-loved show that ran for 11 seasons warranted a higher position. TOP TEN springs to mind. TOP FIVE would have been deserving. But not my list, right?

I was mentally coercing myself into a state of something resembling partial, ok… VERY partial acceptance of that lowly placing (amidst dealing with the hurt of HR PUFNSTUF being left out altogether!) – believing I should probably be thankful the hipster millennials compiling the list thought to include it at all – when further scrolling revealed THE MUPPETT SHOW rated a full 11 places higher, coming in at #54.

That was zero hour for me. Time to shut the gate. Sorry ROLLING STONEwho I used to so love when I was 15 – but after seeing that and consequently never being able to UNSEE that – the jig with your list was most definitely up for me. But no hard feelings.

Are you ready for a little SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK in your life? If the answer’s ‘Yes’ (or even a firm ‘maybe’) go ahead and click HERE to enter. No need to knock.