For today’s Why I Ride Wednesday we’re featuring an iconic sitcom motorcycle dude we called, “The Fonz.”
“The Fonz was everybody I wasn’t. He was everybody I wanted to be.” ~
Cast as Arthur Fonzarelli in the 1970’s sitcom Happy Days, but we all knew him as “The Fonz”, or “Fonzie.”
What made, “The Fonz”, cool? Maybe because he got all the girls. Perhaps starting the jukebox with a thump of his palm, or a snap of his fingers, impressed us.
We had one certainty. When Fonzie walked into the room, clad in jeans, a white t-shirt and leather jacket, the current crisis was resolved.
It seemed like any problem could be solved with a meeting in Fonzie’s “office”. Most noteworthy, the bathroom of Arnolds. Complete with a payphone, and the friends he stuck with through thick and thin.
The Coolest Dude
We all wanted to be the cool guy riding in on the Triumph TR5 Trophy motorcycle. Or we longed to be the girl hanging out with The Fonz. Since when you were Fonzie’s gal, he treated you with respect.
Consequently, there are a few things you might not know about this iconic character whose story lived on long past the show’s conclusion. (1974-1984)
“You see I don’t know how to ride a motorcycle, actually.”
Did You Know?
- Fonzie was intended to be a minor character. The audience loved the leather-clad, cool, biking dude. As a result, he became one of the lead characters.
- He is the only other character, besides Howard Cunningham, to be in all 255 episodes.
- Initially the censors thought a leather jacket made Fonzie look like a hoodlum. After insisting the jacket was safety equipment, he was permitted to wear it near his motorcycle. Hence, he was on his bike more often than not.
- Fonzie’s popular thumbs up sign with the remark of “Ay” was his way of making a stand. He’d refused to perform the constant hair-combing gesture intended for his character. The audience enjoyed the thumbs up sign so much that it stuck.
- Pilots in World War II used this as a signal to grounds-crew and then continued to do so after many joined motorcycle gangs.
Happy Days Lady In Leather
Finally, we can’t forget to mention Fonzie’s lady in leather, Pinky Tuscadero.
The Fonz portrayed dudes in leather and motorcycles as all-American, wholesome, stand-up guys.
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