‘Happy Days’: This Episode Title Came From Paul Simon’s Iconic Song

by Joe Rutland
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Sometimes, TV shows will take their titles from different places. “Happy Days” happened to borrow one from singer-songwriter Paul Simon.

In 1972, Simon had a hit song called “Mother and Child Reunion.” Now, why would the popular ABC sitcom find the need for this name? Well, the “Happy Days” episode of the same name revolves around Fonzie, played by Henry Winkler. He thinks that a waitress named Angela might be his mother.

It makes sense, then, that the episode would be titled “Mother and Child Reunion.”

Waitress Isn’t Fonzie’s Mother After All On ‘Happy Days’

“The Fonz” has been looking for his mother for a long, long time. She left him when a little Arthur Fonzarelli was just four years old, so finding her would be a big deal.

Yet Angela turns out not to be his mother. So, the search continued for Fonzie’s mom on “Happy Days.”

Paul Simon, of course, was one half of the famed musical duet Simon and Garfunkel along with Art Garfunkel. Their hits included “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “The Sounds of Silence,” and “Mrs. Robinson.” Individually, Simon’s hits include “Kodachrome,” “Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard,” and “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.”

Garry Marshall Fesses Up On Who ‘The Fonz’ Is Like In His Life

“Happy Days” creator Garry Marshall was looking to come up with different characteristics for the show’s cast members.

From his youth, Marshall drew upon a memory that seemed to jump-start his creative mind. He was looking for an idea to base the Arthur Fonzarelli character around on the show.

“I grew up in the Bronx and patented him off a guy in my neighborhood called Anthony who could tie a rope to an ice truck and pull it along with his teeth,” Marshall said. “I always thought that was magical.”

From there, Henry Winkler would take over Marshall’s “Anthony” concept and turn it into Fonzie.

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