Happy Days: Guess Who’s Coming to Christmas

Merry Christmas Eve, Very Special Readers! I will keep things short today with this sweet little episode from Happy Days‘s first season.

Howard Cunningham has some VERY serious Christmas rules. No one can be in the house except for family and no one can start trimming the tree until he is ready. He freaks out when he thinks someone has tried to start decorating without him, but it turns out that it’s just a rogue sock from a laundry basket.

In a rare appearance, we see Chuck Cunningham as the sock’s owner. But it’s like they were already writing him out:

I forgot that Howard Cunningham owned a hardware store. He and Richie are at the store’s holiday party (where an employee is so drunk he literally passes out. Woah, Happy Days!) Sadly, Howard’s car breaks down on the way home. But on the bright side, Fonzie is still at the shop and can fix it for them. Fonzie won’t let him pay for the job since it’s Christmas. As they head home, Richie realizes he forgot to give Fonzie his present (a three-in-one wrench). He heads back to give Fonzie the gift and sees him eating Christmas dinner alone. Richie doesn’t want to embarrass Fonzie, so he turns back to the car without giving him the gift.

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Richie tries to tell his dad when he gets back in the car, but Howard is SOOO excited for family time that he doesn’t tell his dad about Fonzie until the get home. Howard is still reluctant because it’s “family time,” but he realizes what an ass he sounds like as he lectures his family on why they shouldn’t invite someone in to share their Christmas.

So Howard and Richie head over to Fonzie’s to invite him over. He tries to fake them out like he’s going to visit his cousin and is going to miss his bus. The whole thing is so pathetic. Howard ties to help Fonzie with his suitcase only to discover it is empty. And Fonzie dismisses the presumable emptiness of his suitcase by saying, “I travel light.”

Trying not to hurt Fonzie’s pride, Richie tell him that he just wishes he would wait to go to his cousin’s until in the morning because he really wants them to see their great Christmas tree. To which Fonzie replies, “I got a tree.” And it’s like the saddest tree this side of Peanuts.

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They’re so full of shit.
Earlier in the episode, we saw Fonzie give gifts to all of the waitresses at Arnold’s, Richie, Potsie, and Ralph. But no one had anything in return to give to Fonzie. (I guess we can assume that Richie picked something up at the hardware store receiving Fonzie’s gift at the diner.)

They finally get him to spend Christmas with them without insulting him, but telling him that they need him to fix the Santa on their lawn. It has some kind of electrical problem this year and it’s a very important tradition. By the time he has fixed Santa (and their Christmas tree lights), Fonzie has missed the last bus. So they’re all like well, guess you have to stay here. Ever prideful, Fonzie still resists. And then Howard “Family Time” Cunningham is like hey let me drive you!

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I mean Santa is legit broken though.
And then Fonzie (who obviously really wanted to stay) is like oh man, it’s  snowing too hard. It would be wrong for me to make you drive me. And then Marian is just like finally done with all this crap and she tells Fonzie that he is staying and that’s the end of it.

happydays3But the best part is when Howard lets Fonzie take over all of the Christmas traditions. Fonzie wants to do EVERYTHING and Howard gladly passes the baton. He realizes how fortunate he is to have such a lovely family and he’s finally happy to share that with someone outside of it.

And if you’re not in tears when Howard asks Fonzie to say grace and all Fonzie says is, “Hey God,” you’re literally the grinch. I’m like sobbing right now.

Very Special Holiday Lesson: I mean this is the same lesson as Sabrina‘s episode, but this one made me cry. Brb. Crying.

Happy Days: Haunted

arnoldsEvery year Ralph has a Halloween party and every year a gang called The Demons crashes it and destroy it. So this year he’s decided to have it at a creepy old house where The Demons will never find him. He sends Richie to check out the house and make sure that it is spooky enough for the party.

On his way home from taking Joanie to a “Chipmunks” meeting (which I guess is kind of like “Brownies”), Richie stops to check out the house. Joanie has heard plenty of stories about people getting their heads chopped off in that house, but she reluctantly follows Richie in when he refuses to leave her outside by herself. When a painting falls off of the wall above the mantel, Joanie flees to the porch. Alone in the house, Richie thinks he sees a headless body. He confides in his father when he gets home, but Howard tells him that it must be his mind playing tricks on him.

Uh okay. You don’t even want to maybe call the police? Just in case?

qk4epya8hwxbazsf9ggbckhifdoWhen the time comes for the party, Richard is all freaked out about a potential ghost. Dude, if you find a headless body in an abandoned house, you should be freaked out about a potential serial killer. But I guess the 1950’s were a more innocent time.

Richie and his date arrive at the party to find that they are the only ones there. And it is SPOOKY. But then Ralph pops out of a coffin and blows some bubble gum. Then the rest of the party pops out from behind some pocket doors.

a281Everything is fine until the lights go out later on in the night. But it’s just Ralph fooling around again. Richie calls him out on it and Ralph gets pretty pissed that Richie ruined his prank. So he goes over to talk to Potsie. He taps him on the shoulder mid-dance, so Potsie thinks he’s trying to cut-in. But Ralph just wants to talk, so Potsie tells his dance partner to go make him a sandwich. Literally. Ohhhh the 70’s/50’s.

Since they can’t just let their friend be happy dancing with his date, Potise and Ralph ask Richie to get some root beer from the closet–where of course they have rigged a headless dummy to freak him out. The whole party laughs at Richie, but when another headless figure descends the stairs and threatens to chop of their heads, they’re all legitimately frightened. Richie is the only one brave enough to confront the headless figure. And it turns out that it’s just The Demons! Ha-ha.

Very Special Halloween Lesson: Apparently, you can just spend a ton of money on a party in an abandoned house and that’s totally not considered trespassing. Also, it will probably be pretty clean and have electricity.

Happy Days: Richie Almost Dies

hqdefaultRichie decides to buy a motorcycle from Fonzie. I really can’t imagine Richie on a motorcycle at all. But fine, this is where the writers are taking us. His dad tries to prevent Richie from riding the bike until Fonzie promises that bikes are totally safe as long as Richie wears a helmet and leather or whatever. Now, what idiot seriously believed this even in the 50’s? I figured Howard might be a little more worldly since he’s the Grand Poobah of the Leopard Lodge, but I stand corrected.

Now that we’ve set this up so idealistically, it’s obvious that it will all end in tragedy. Richie and his girlfriend, Lori Beth, end up in a terrible motorcycle accident. This accident leaves Richie in a coma, from which the doctor isn’t sure he’ll ever wake up. (Good news, he was wearing his helmet.)

While the family sits around the living room and waits to see how things will turn out for Richie, Leather Tuscadero (singer/songwriter with a late 70’s mullet) regales us with a ballad on the family piano. And just in case this wasn’t schmaltzy enough, we get a soft-focused vignette montage of Richie doing random stuff from the past few seasons. Yikes, this show was so far past it’s prime at this point.

hqdefault1Late at night, Fonzie breaks into Richie’s room to talk to him. Fonzie (who is essentially a mystic/archangel at this point in the show) make a deal with God. And guess what? Richie wakes up!

I seriously feel like I just watched an episode of Touched by an Angel.

Very Special Lesson: If you’re going to live dangerously, make sure you live dangerously with the Fonz.

Happy Days: Fonzie’s Blindness

Crap. What a week. I’m so tireeeed. I’ve been sitting in my bed for the past 3 hours doing that thing where you just kind of like stare at Hulu or like the empty space just beyond your computer screen and think, “How is my brain possibly still conscious and functioning?” And yet, there is some weird synapse that keeps firing and it’s that synapse that forces you to stay awake against all human odds? That’s science right?

And all I can say about this week, is at least it wasn’t as bad for me as it was for Fonzie that time he was temporarily blinded because Al hit him in the head with a lunch tray.

If your optic nerves are that fragile, then you seriously need to have some work done. But anyway, the Fonz has a really hard time with this because he’s flawless and prideful and God-forbid he be slightly vulnerable let alone missing one of his essential senses!

But since he’s a god-among-men, everyone caters to his ever need and wish, so much so that Richie worries he will be totally helpless for the rest of his life. And so he rips Fonzie a new one during the family dinner because Fonzie asks Joanie to salt his potatoes for him. And Richie is like DO IT YOUR DAMN SELF, FONZIE even though he has only been blind for like a week and maybe it takes some time and emotion to react to that kind of thing.

But I get it, we’re on a thirty minute timeline and we need to move things along. So Richie takes Fonzie’s motorcycle apart. He really shouldn’t be driving blind anyway, so this seems like no loss to me but Fonzie has a metaphysical break down. And Richie’s all like Mr. Miyagi and saying he should use the force within or something and wax-on his way to putting tiny little screws and nuts and bolts together kinesthetically.

Fonzie loses his shit and like can’t handle it. Then he asks God why he allowed this to happen to him. “I thought I was your favorite person,” he said. I mean I get that Fonzie is cocky, but that’s like way beyond the point of acceptable charm here. That’s like probably the definition of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. But then he get’s down to business and puts the bike together from memory.

And then Fonzie is rewarded for his perseverance and regains his sight at the end of the episode. He says things are a little “blurry” but if he keeps going to the doctor for his “treatments” then he should be 20/20 again in no time. That’s some awesomely advanced medical work for the 50’s.

Very Special Blog: Work hard, be humble, and all of your disabilities will melt away.

Happy Days: The First Thanksgiving

I haven’t watched Happy Days in years and my how I have missed it. The cozy living room, the breakfast nook, the hair scarfs, and how wonderfully Henry Winkler managed to pull off the greaser look with just a brown bomber jacket and a ton of hairspray.

But Mrs. Cunningham is struggling through Thanksgiving to be honest. She’s cooked an entire turkey dinner for the entire family and not a single person has helped her. Not even Joanie and she’s the girl. Everyone is so busy watching football that they have forgotten what Thanksgiving is all about, so Marion Cunningham decides to tell them.

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 8.32.57 PM“Now in 1621 the Pilgrims had this wonderful harvest…” (cue ripple screen affect to signify dream/fantasy sequence…)

It turns out that the “womenfolk” of the colony have been talking and would like to celebrate the harvest with a feast that they want to call “Thanksgiving.” But it was Fonzie’s idea to invite them to dinner.

It’s surprising to me that Pilgrim Fonzie literally just used magic to make fire in the hearth, yet none of these witch-fearing folk seem to want to hunt him down. His power is great. But Pilgrim Mr. Cunningham is suspicious of him because he makes all the ladies squeal and kiss in public. For shame!

So anyway, Fonzie gets put in the stocks because he wants to be nice to the natives. And by be nice I mean tread them like humans and not defraud them of all of their possessions/land/livelihood/lives. Fonzie agrees to spend the rest of the day in the stocks only if they will leave the tribe alone.

It’s only when Pilgrim Joanie gets her foot caught in an animal trap that they decide that Fonzie’s special powers can be used for good. It turns out that Fonzie could have magically gotten out of the stocks the whole time, but he was staying in there for civil disobedience and all. He gets Joanie out of the trap and they decide that he is not evil, so they invite him to the Thanksgiving feast. Fonzie says he can’t make it though because he has a reservation with for dinner with the Indians.

Everyone is like “oh no, savages! Agh!” and Fonzie is all like “you guys are racist,” so he and Richie talk them into having a peaceful, lovely Thanksgiving in which everyone is invited regardless of cultural differences.

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And that is history. You see, back in the early days, Pilgrim Richie and Pilgrim Fonzie taught us all that every human life is important. And we learned never to be racist again.

That’s how it happened

Then end.

Very Special Lesson: DON’T THINK ABOUT THE TRUTH. THIS IS THE THANKSGIVING STORY.

Very Thanksgiving Activity: Here is a fun printable craft that you can do when your family is driving you crazy. It will help you remember that you like each other. Or you can just list all of the other things that you do like and remind yourself that this is only one day out of the whole entire year.

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