Arnold’s drive-in hasn’t rocked this hard since the days of Leather Tuscadero. But Happy Days are here again, thanks to the L.A. fuzz-pop band Weezer and their latest video, ”Buddy Holly,” which splices the foursome — slicked out in matching ’50s sweaters and striped ties — with footage of Richie, Potsie, Ralph Malph, Joanie, and the Fonz.
This ironic stroll down memory lane was hatched by Spike Jonze, the video’s director and reigning King Midas of alternative music, whose clips for the Beastie Boys, the Breeders, and Weezer’s first single, ”Undone — The Sweater Song,” have been in heavy MTV Buzz Bin rotation. ”(‘Buddy Holly’) is the ultimate feel-good song,” says Jonze, 25, who’s currently working on R.E.M.’s upcoming video ”Crush With Eyeliner.”
To fit Weezer into Happy Days convincingly, Jonze and the band watched more than 30 episodes of the hit retro-comedy. The funniest cuts in the video show the band’s drummer winking at a swooning Joanie, and Fonzie burning up the dance floor with a flamboyant Russian step. ”Fonz is totally my hero,” says Weezer bassist Matt Sharp. ”I feel so good when I see him come on in the video. You see it and you just go, ‘Yesss!”’v But the reason the video smacks of authenticity isn’t the Fonz, or even the Gump-like editing, as much as the presence of diner proprietor Al, played by Al Molinaro, who agreed to be in the video joking about how bad his fish is. ”Al’s the Magic Johnson of acting — when he walks on the set, good players become great,” says Sharp. The admiration is mutual. ”They’re terrific guys,” Molinaro says of Weezer. ”But I’m old enough to be their grandfather. My music’s Sinatra and Benny Goodman. I’m out of it in terms of music these days.” Who would have guessed that Al would go on to become an MTV star?