‘Happy Days’ Creator Guest-Starred in Multiple Episodes of Show in Bizarre Role

by Taylor Cunningham

Garry Marshall was very involved in his hit 1970s sitcom Happy Days. Not only did he create the series, but he also wrote and produced every single episode and directed one. But did you know that Marshall also starred in the show?

That’s right. If you paid attention, you may have noticed Garry Marshall guest-starring in his own series. In two episodes, the showrunner played drums for musical interludes. The first time Marshall played for Happy Days was in 1975 during the prom scene in Graduation: Part 1. Marshall’s second appearance was in the 1977 episode titled Fonzie’s Getting Married.

It’s not surprising that Marshall decided to hop on stage for Happy Days though. The Northwestern University alum actually put himself through college by playing drums in clubs all over downtown Chicago.

And Garry Marshall actually made it a habit to cameo as a drummer on his television series. He also broke out the drum sticks for a few episodes of his earlier series The Odd Couple, and he showed up twice on Laverne & Shirley.

‘Happy Days’ Creator Garry Marshall Taught A Young and Impatient Henry Winkler an Important Lesson on Set

Happy Days creator Garry Marshall made sure that a young Henry Winkler didn’t let fame get to his head.

Henry Winkler was one of those rare celebrities who didn’t have to struggle before landing a dream job in Hollywood. The 76-year-old Emmy winner landed his lead part on Happy Days right out of college, and he’s enjoyed a successful career ever since.

But because Winkler never struggled in the industry, he wasn’t as humble as other stars. And his boss Gary Marshall wasn’t going to tolerate having an egotistical cast member on his set. So as soon as he noticed that the Fonzie actor was getting full of himself, Marshall taught him a lesson.

“One night, I was rushing to make my first personal appearance—I was going to get $1,000 to show up in Little Rock, Arkansas, and sign autographs at the mall,” Henry Winkler told Old Goats this summer. “I went up to him during the Friday night filming with members of the guest cast [smaller roles] and I said, ‘Can we hurry it up because I have to fly.’ And he waited and then he put down the microphone, and he held me against the wall.”

Once Marshall had Winkler alone, he explained how things worked on the Happy Days set.

“He said, they [the guest cast] have every right to be introduced— just like you in the beginning. What he showed me was respect for the total of the ensemble behind and in front of the camera.”