They didn’t know it at the time, but when “Happy Days” stars Henry Winkler and Ron Howard first met — they were on to something special.
“Happy Days” is one of the most beloved television shows of all time thanks to the two young actors. The show would turn Henry Winkler and Ron Howard into big-time stars. Henry Winkler, of course, played the role of the “Fonz,” a super cool dude and friend of Howard’s character, Richie Cunningham. It speaks volumes to the work of both actors that “Happy Days” is still culturally relevant today. It isn’t uncommon to hear people say “aye,” which was Fonzie’s catchphrase on the show. This also isn’t all that uncommon to hear people still talk about their love for “Happy Days” nearly four decades since it went off the air. The show ran 255 years over the course of 10 years, making Winkler and Howard the stars they are today.
In a recent interview, Henry Winkler talks about meeting Ron Howard for the very first time. It was because of his first action with Howard that Winkler promised he would no longer hit a TV show script. It doesn’t seem like a big deal but Ron Howard left a big first impression on Henry Winkler. The two became longtime friends and remain friends well after “Happy Days” came to an end.
In the video, Winkler talks about being a Hollywood newcomer who had just gotten the “Happy Days” role. After reading the script for an upcoming episode, Winkler became worried that he would not be able to properly deliver a joke written for him.
‘Happy Day’ Star Says Ron Howard Helped Him in Tough Time
Winkler says he became so flustered that he “punched” his script which drew the attention of Howard.
“I had just come from New York and had been in Hollywood for about a week,” he says. “I didn’t know how to make a joke that was written and I started to punch the script.”
Thankfully, for Winkler and his “Happy Days” script, Ron Howard was able to soothe the situation.
“He put his arm around me, he’s 18 and I am 26, and he walked me to the back of the sound stage,” Winkler recalls. “He says, ‘You know…I don’t think we should hit the script. The writers are working as hard as they can.'”
It was a small moment that made a big impression on Henry Winkler and one that he still fondly remembers.
“I said ‘Ron, I will never hit my script again as long as I live,'” Winkler says.
The rest, as they say, is history with both “Happy Days” stars going on to become Hollywood icons. It just goes to show you that first impressions are important — even in show business.