Author: Glen Available
Episode 12 (S2) – OPEN HOUSE
Richie invites his friends to a poker game at his house. His parents will be away on an overnight fishing trip. Joanie is going to be at her friend Lisa’s house.
Meanwhile, a car carrying three college girls breaks down near Richie’s house. Fonzie advises the repairs will take longer than expected. The girls are invited to stay overnight at Richie’s house and collect their car the next morning.
During the night, Potsie and Richie try a variety of creative ways to get the girls attention – including laughing loudly outside their room – but all attempts fail. Richie wonders, “There must be girls somewhere that think of us as men.” to which Potsie replies, “There are, but Joanie’s friends are too short.”
Howard and Marion return unexpectedly early the next morning. They are surprised to find three nineteen year old girls staying in their house. Howard remarks, “All I can say is it must have been some poker game here last night.”
And then there’s always…
Episode 11 (S2) – GUESS WHO’S COMING TO CHRISTMAS?
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.
Episode 10 (S2) – A STAR IS BORED
After another defeat for their baseball team, Richie decides new uniforms are what’s needed to boost team morale.
Together with Ralph and Potsie, Richie begins brainstorming ways to raise the money for the uniforms. They eventually settle on the idea of staging a play and charging for admission.
The play chosen is Shakespeare’s HAMLET. They approach Fonzie to play the lead role but he declines the offer.
However after Potsie says he reminds him of James Dean and Ralph remarks he has a Marlon Brando quality, Fonzie is persuaded to take on the role. His first question is, “Who’s Hamlet?”
In the end, Fonzie puts on a crowd-pleasing performance – along with some unintended humorous moments – and enough money is raised for the boys to buy new baseball uniforms.
Of Shakespeare’s 38 plays, HAMLET is both his longest (the full text has 4042 separate lines of dialogue) and his most widely performed. Disney’s THE LION KING (1994) is in part based on HAMLET.
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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.
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Episode 8 (S2) NOT WITH MY SISTER YOU DON’T
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.