Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, ...

(Happy Days: Photofest)

Happy Days spent season 1 finding its legs. Characters were elided (Richie’s brother Chuck) or embroidered (Fonzie goes from mute to gregarious, and from Members Only to black leather) as audience reaction dictated. Inexplicably, no EXTRAS. Releasing this show – which is already sitting in our collective unconscious (and in syndication) – without outtakes, commentary, audition footage, etc., leaves us with a frustratingly limited view of how a cultural icon looked before anyone even thought of jumping the shark.

Originally posted August 20 2004 — 12:00 AM EDT

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