No show remains at its peak forever. Whether the writers run out of ideas, or, in the case of Happy Days, stars leave the show, every good thing comes to an end.
For Ralph Malph actor Don Most, he started to see that quicker than others. Alongside acting and directing legend Ron Howard, Most bowed out of Happy Days before the beginning of the eighth season. Seven seasons isn’t any small amount of time, but the classic show would go on for 11 total seasons.
Talking to the Boise Beat in 2017, Most opened up on his experience with the show, while also going into his logic behind leaving.
Most’s reasoning makes sense. He was at a crossroads of his career, and rather than see the show to its finish, he saw it as the best time to depart.
“Eventually, I left the show after my seventh season,” Most said. “Because I felt it had gone as far as it could have gone and I felt that it was getting repetitive and there wasn’t a chance for it to grow as much.”
In many ways, Most is right. The show got wackier and expanded the cast overtime to try and keep things fresh, but the inherent setup was always going to be impossible to beat.
Besides Henry Winkler as Fonzie, the Cunningham family and their friends made for a family and community people couldn’t get enough of. Consistently replicating and adding to that might be a greater challenge than naming a favorite moment of the Fonz.
Happy Days Star Don Most Was Exiting Young Adulthood
As alluded to above, another thing that weighed on Most was where he was at in his career and life. No longer a baby-faced young adult, the actor behind Ralph Malph wasn’t far from 30.
And with the desire to do more than just crack jokes with Fonzie, Potsie and the rest, he made a career decision.
“It’s hard for a show after five years to keep fresh,” Most continued to the Boise Beat. “So it lost something I felt and it was starting to lose more and more. I felt it was time – I was still only 27 at the time – and I thought it was time to move on. I wanted to do a lot of other things as an actor and not just be playing one character.”
As his career history can confirm, leaving Happy Days didn’t exactly pay huge dividends in terms of acting. Being well known for classic roles can be tough for actors in any era, and Most was a victim of being typecast.
However, he continued to find work, just to a less famous degree. He even got into directing and, more notably, his singing and performing career. Most has released albums and tours often while singing lounge and jazz hits.