HomeAmerican EntertainmentTVClassic TV‘Happy Days’ Icon Henry Winkler Remembers Jack Benny on Anniversary of Radio Show’s First Episode

‘Happy Days’ Icon Henry Winkler Remembers Jack Benny on Anniversary of Radio Show’s First Episode

by Leanne Stahulak
(Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

“Happy Days” star Henry Winkler honored the late radio and TV personality Jack Benny, whose first radio show aired 90 years ago today.

Winkler, who was born in 1945, grew up listening to The Jack Benny Program on the radio. The comedian hosted his radio show until 1954 before moving over to television. He finished up his career in 1965 and passed away in 1974.

But the first radio show Jack Benny ever did aired on this day, May 2, 1932. Ninety years have passed since he first took to the microphone, and Winkler wanted to honor the anniversary.

“Happy Days” star Henry Winkler took to his personal Twitter account to share a GIF of Jack Benny posted by Susan King. In his caption, Winkler wrote, “Waited for Sunday night just to laugh along with Jack and his band of merry players Rochester and Mary and… “

Many fans took to the comments to try and guess how Winkler wanted them to finish the sentence. Someone named Bob Mackey finished Winkler’s thought with a slew of guest stars.

“…Dennis Day, Phil Harris (or Bob Crosby), Don Wilson, Mel Blanc, Frank Nelson, Sheldon Leonard, Bea Benaderet, the Sportsmen Quartet, Sara Berner, Artie Auerbach, Ronald and Benita Colman, the list goes on,” Mackey commented. “In Jack’s eyes they were ALL stars and that’s why the show worked!”

Another fan named Ken Walker said, “One of my fondest Sunday evening memories. How ‘bout that Mel Blanc, Don Wilson, Dennis Day, and Eddie Anderson?”

Henry Winkler himself replied to only one tweet from CNBC anchor Carl Quintanilla. “.. here I am, boss!” Quintanilla wrote. Winkler replied, “exactly.” No other context was given.

‘Happy Days’ Star Henry Winkler Was in ‘Physical Pain’ When Show Ended

“Happy Days” enjoyed a long run from 1974 to 1984, but 10 years wasn’t long enough for Henry Winkler. He told The Chicago Tribune back in 2018 how uncertain he felt by the show’s end.

“I did the show for 10 years and … you don’t get much from that. Every fiber of my being that wanted to be an actor and did everything to be ready for the moment — well, now I’d done the moment and I didn’t know what to do next when Happy Days was over. It was psychically painful,” Winkler explained.

That physical pain stemmed from the fact that Winkler didn’t know if he’d score another job after “Happy Days” concluded. He lived as a “starving artist” in the years leading up to the role of Fonz. He barely made enough to survive and made his living with a “face associated with a long career in commercials.”

But “Happy Days” was far from the end for Henry Winkler, who would go on to star in several more hit shows and even win an Emmy.