‘Happy Days’: Henry Winkler Later Addressed Fonzie’s Sexism, Gave Advice to Fans

by Chris Haney

On Happy Days, actor Henry Winkler‘s beloved character Fonzie was known as a ladies’ man, but he later addressed Fonzie‘s perceived sexism on the hit show.

Everyone remembers “The Fonz” and how quickly he could charm any woman in sight. His almost telepathic ways with the ladies were highlighted by a signature snap of his fingers. When Fonzie clicked his fingers, women would come running. In addition, he could get anyone else’s attention with the trick as well.

Looking back though, his famous snap of the fingers didn’t age so well. During a 2015 interview, Winkler touched on the famous character’s sexism and shared some advice.

“All over the world, people still click their fingers at me like I did to women in the show. The advice I’ve always given about the Fonz’s sexism is this: ‘Never snap your fingers at a girl. They will break them off your hand,'” the Happy Days star said.

In addition to his snapping fingers trick, “The Fonz” was also known for another signature move. Whenever the jukebox needed fixing, Fonzie would hit it and it would magically work again. Yet Winkler made sure to clear that up as well.

“And I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble, but if you hit a jukebox at the same time as a man named Fred plugs it in, you too can start a song playing. You too can make magic,” Winkler joked.

‘Happy Days’: Henry Winkler Confronts Ron Howard Over Fonzie’s Success

During an Inside the Actors Studio interview with actor Alec Baldwin, Henry Winkler was asked about his relationship with Ron Howard from their time on Happy Days.

“There’s an intended star of the show, and that person doesn’t always end up remaining the star of the show,” said Baldwin. “This was a show that was really built around Ronnie.”

As part of The Andy Griffith Show cast, Howard was already a television star by the time he joined Happy Days. During the show’s beginnings, Winkler was a relatively unknown actor.

“I was supposed to be seven out of 13, which meant I was only supposed to be in seven out of the 13 shows each cycle,” Winkler said to Baldwin. “[But] ‘The Fonz’ has taken off.”

It took a long, awkward car ride home together for the two actors to finally address the elephant in the room.

“The fourth year, we went to a dude ranch and did a two-parter, riding wild bulls. I had to sit on a bull,” Winkler remembered. “Ron Howard drove me home in his VW. And I said, ‘Ron, tell me now. How are you feeling? We haven’t talked about this.’”

“He said, ‘You didn’t do one thing other than be good at what you’re doing,’” Winkler explained. “‘You never do anything on the set where you try to be the star. And it’s good for the show. My feelings were hurt, but it’s good for the show.’”

Howard may have had his feelings hurt by the success of Fonzie. Yet the actors always worked well together on set.

“He was one of my most wonderful acting partners ever,” said Henry Winkler. “We could do a scene — we could read it, rehearse it, memorize it, and shoot it three times in 20 minutes. There was a thread between us that was amazing.”