Earlier this week, the headlines blared forth the news of the Bronze The Fonz fundraising project. Milwaukee's most popular resident may be fictional, but he is more iconic than Steve Miller, Gene Wilder, and Dick Bacon combined. And so, local residents banded together erect a statue of Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli. Minneapolis, you can stick your Mary Richards, because Brew City gets The Fonz! Ayyy!
This touched the cockles of my heart because Fonzie was one of my idols as a kid. My biggest goal in life was to wear a leather jacket, make things work by hitting them, and live over my friend's parent's garage until I was well into my thirties. Funny thing is, I wasn't a fan of Happy Days at all. Sure, I watched it from time to time, but I didn't really like the antics of those clean cut kids. The only time I really paid attention to what was happening was when the Fonz was on the screen.
And I don't think I'm alone, because of all the break out characters from that piece of sitcom nostalgia fluff (Mork, Laverne and Shirley, the completely boring Joanie and Chachi), the only one that really became an icon was Fonzie. In fact, the Bronze The Fonz campaign is just the latest in a long line of Fonz exploitation. Need proof? First, let's start with the celebrity endorsements. (note: Bowie only speaks of Fonzie a bit at the beginning of his interview)
Now check out everything the Fonz did for the kids.
The Fonz is still being exploited, be it either through Happy Days tributes from Weezer, commercials by car companies, crap pop-punk bands, or even Henry Winkler himself - who is still jumping the shark (in that classic moment on Arrested Development. Not on YouTube, but you should own those DVDs anyway).
The sounds of The Fonz
Jumping the shark, the definitive crap-tastic TV moment
Henry Winkler reflects on jumping said shark
Who is The Fonz?
The Heyettes, "Fonzie Fonzie, He's Our Man" album.
Fonzie: A Cool Coloring Book Cover 1 2 3
Grudge Match: The Fonz vs. Captain Kirk
How did you produce this exquisite creature?
I felt bad for ignoring the original show, so here, for your enjoyment, is a classic Fonz moment.