‘Happy Days’ Star Henry Winkler Reveals that The Fonz Rode the Same Motorcycle as Steve McQueen in ‘The Great Escape’

by Joe Rutland
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Pardon “Happy Days” fans if they’re happy. But on Wednesday, Outsiders learned that Henry Winkler and Steve McQueen have something in common.

Winkler responded to a tweet from “Mother Jones” D.C. bureau chief David Corn by letting the cool cat out of the bag. Take a look at what Winkler said back to Corn and, well, to all of us Outsiders.

Let’s break this down a little bit. See the motorcycle McQueen, dubbed by some as the “King of Cool” during his movie career, is riding? Well, this clip is from the McQueen picture “The Great Escape.”

Winkler is saying that the Triumph motorcycle his character “The Fonz” rode on in “Happy Days” is the same bike. Talk about cool? When the “King of Cool” and one of “the coolest characters” in TV history have something in common, man, that’s worth noting.

‘Happy Days’ Star’s Response Brought Out Some From Other Stars

What’s even more fun is some of the responses to this tweet. Bebe Neuwirth of “Cheers” fame wrote, “Wow! That is the ULTIMATE in cool!” Michael McKean, who played Lenny on both “Happy Days” and “Laverne & Shirley,” replied to Neuwirth, “Um…Bebe, the entire Fonz is cool.”

Now Winkler talked a little bit more about the wild connection between the “Happy Days” character and McQueen’s prisoner-of-war Virgil Hilts. He spoke about it in a 2019 article in the New York Post.

“One of my favorite facts about Fonzie is that the bike I finally wound up with, the Triumph — the Harley-Davidson was just too big for me — was the bike that Steve McQueen used to jump the fence in ‘The Great Escape,'” Winkler said.

In the Post article, the “Happy Days” actor admitted that he happened to be walking on the same side of the street as McQueen. Winkler said they both nodded at one another, but he wished that he’d actually said something to McQueen.

Sadly, McQueen died of cancer on Nov. 7, 1980, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

‘Barry’ Has Started Filming New Episodes For Third Season

Winkler just started filming on the third season of his HBO show, “Barry.”

Last year, the show was supposed to start filming its third season in March. Winkler, Bill Hader, and the cast were doing script readings. Then they got the call to shut down production due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were at the table, reading the first four scripts,” Winkler, of “Happy Days,” told CBS News last year. “And we were gonna come back the next day and read three and four. [We] went home. And never went back.”

But they all kept in touch through a group chat, Winkler said. They sent each other jokes, commiserated about their anxieties, checked in, sent virtual hugs, and whatnot. Now they are getting those episodes filmed.

Outsider.com