Winkler recalled the details of meeting John Lennon, who brought his son, Julian to the Happy Days set. He told late-night host Jimmy Kimmel all about it during an appearance on Kimmel’s show, March 20, 2018.
Lennon’s son, Julian, was a huge Happy Days fan. So John Lennon, being the good dad, pulled some strings and paid a visit to see Fonzie, Richie Cunningham and the gang. Kimmel flashed a photo of the meeting. And Winkler recognized the year of the photo because of what he was wearing.
“Two things,” Winkler told Kimmel. “I’m not in leather, yet. It was puce [the jacket]. It’s very difficult to be cool in puce.”
The Happy Days star continued. “All of the sudden, John Lennon just came to visit. And he brought with him Julian. He was so, um, he was so shy. And I didn’t know how to get into a conversation with John Lennon. Then I just started talking about his Imagine the album that he made, the solo album.
“There was a cut on it called Mother, which was like a primal scream. So I started talking to him about that. He opened like a flower. It was amazing. And then, 10 years later, Julian had a hit. And on the Paramount lot, they did Solid Gold. I had my offices there, I got a knock on the door and he said I don’t know if you remember me. “
Meanwhile, Richie Played It Cool When Lennon Visited Happy Days Set
Ron Howard, who played Richie on Happy Days, also recalled meeting Lennon. But Howard played it far cooler in real life. It was like Richie and Fonzie traded places.
Howard directed a documentary called The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years. It was released in 2016. When doing publicity for the documentary, Howard described how he felt about the Beatles way back in the day.
Before he starred on Happy Days, Howard said he had a passing fancy with the Beatles.
“I did see them on The Ed Sullivan Show,” Howard told NME.com. “And my tenth birthday was about 20 days later – March 1 – and in that time I decided what I really wanted was a Beatle wig and Beatle boots. The Beatle boots didn’t ever arrive, but I did get a wig. It soon wound up in the box in the corner and eventually got thrown out with all my baseball cards. I always appreciated them, but I never bought a lot of music. I like the music a lot, but it’s the story I was attracted to.”
And then John Lennon visited the Happy Days set. His reaction?
“His son really wanted to see our set and meet Henry,” Howard said. “Henry was desperate to meet John Lennon, too. I had nothing but admiration for John Lennon but I was nothing quite as fervent – for Henry it was a practically religious experience. I just said hello – it was all over in 10 or 15 minutes. Ringo and Keith Moon wandered onto our set a few years later, but they were in a state in which I wouldn’t expect them to remember very much of the experience!”