‘Happy Days’ Creators Used a Coin Flip to Decide Massive Detail of Show’s Setting

by Matthew Wilson
Photo credit: Getty Images

“Happy Days” became a beloved slice of classic television. The setting of the show was instantly iconic and recognizable to viewers. But a major part of the show’s setting came down to just a coin flip.

When developing the show, three executives couldn’t decide where they wanted the sitcom to be set. Each of the three argued in favor of their own home states. They finally decided to settle their argument with what else but a coin toss. In a 2014 interview with On Milwaukee, series star Anson Williams reflected on the fateful bet.

The producers had a three-person coin toss and let lady luck decide the direction of the show.

“There were three executive producers on ‘Happy Days.’ Eddie (Mekka), Tom (Miller), and Garry. Garry was from New York, Eddie was from California and Tom was from Milwaukee. They all wanted the show to take place in their home city, so they had a three-way coin flip and Tom won,” Williams told the outlet. He was thankful for the decision. “Thank goodness.”

‘Happy Days’ Star Loves Milwaukee

Anson Williams starred on “Happy Days” as Potsie Weber for 220 episodes. It’s one of his best-remembered and most beloved roles. Williams set himself apart from the rest of the cast, thanks in part to his singing voice. The actor quickly found his niche among stars like Ron Howard and Henry Winkler.

Still, he didn’t get a giant bronze statue of himself. Milwaukee celebrated “Happy Days” by building a testament to the Fonz. But Williams isn’t jealous of his co-star’s achievements. In fact, he told the outlet he would like to see the statue if he had the time. He was also thankful for being part of a show that ended up being so historic and sensational.

“I would like to, if I can fit it in. I have a pretty tight schedule in Milwaukee,” Williams continued. “It’s funny because people have asked, “Are you jealous you didn’t get a statue?” Are you kidding?! He bought me a house. Being on the show was one of the greatest gifts of my life. I am honored to have been a part of it.”

Likewise, Williams said he absolutely loved the state where the show was set.

“Milwaukee will always be special to me because of the show, but also because of the city itself. I think Los Angeles could learn a crapload from Milwaukee. It is such a beautiful city with so much culture,” Williams said. “I am so glad Tom won the bet.”