This is the 3rd season, the one season when I became a fan of the show. I remember begging my mother to buy me a Fonzie T-shirt at the local store! Here, you have Fonzie (Henry Winkler) co-starring with Richie (Ron Howard), along with their buddies Ralph Malph (Donnie Most) and Potsie (Anson Williams) and sister Joanie (Erin Moran), mother Marion (Marion Ross) and father Howard (the late Tom Bosley). I had to dock it one star because the endings of Fonzie's New Friend and A Date With Fonzie are missing (I hope if this is ever released on Blu-Ray, the omission will be rectified, that and re-storing the music in Season 2 to its original). Also, the popular song "Happy Days" makes its debut at the opening (though it was used as background music and the ending theme as early as Season 1. Fonzie debuts his catchphrase "Aaaaay!," Ralph debuts his catchphrase "I still got it," Potsie is known as much by his singing abilities as his occasional dopey actions ("You're such a Potsie, Potsie!") and Richie debuts his theme song "I found my thri-i-ill on blueberry hi-i-ill!" and his sarcastic "Huh! Huh! Huh!" laugh.
In the opening episode, Fonzie Moves In, Fonzie rents out the room in the Cunninghams' garage and becomes a part of the family (though Howard naturally has his reservations). In Two Angry Men, Fonzie builds a roost for his pigeons on the roof and the roof caves, leaving Fonzie to sue Mr. Cunningham and Howard counter-sues (June Lockhart plays the judge). A Date With Fonzie marks the debut of characters Laverne (Penny Marshall) and Shirley (Cindy Williams), who would earn their own show later that season in 1976 ("'Laverne, you have a mouth like a sewer', I said. So she curls up her chubby little fist and BAM!" knocking down Richie who's just brought in refreshments). Bringing Up Spike features Fonzie's carbon copy nephew Spike (Danny Butch), who would later disappear without any references ("So Chachi, how's my other nephew Spike doing? He's got a homecoming date? Whoa!"). Fonz realizes the need to be a father figure after Spike is the accessory of a crime. Potsie plays Richie in The Other Richie Cunningham, when Howard forces Richard to take out a client's daughter, though Richie already has a date (and Potsie's not much a gentleman and gets the real Richie in trouble!). Richie tries to stand up to 2 bullies in Richie Fights Back ("Don't ever grab me again!"). In The Motorcycle, Ralph accidentally totals Fonzie's bike and must face the wrath of the Fonz! Fearless Fonzarelli features (as well as Pat Morita's debut as the lovable Arnold) the Fonz riding his motorcycle over a series of garbage cans (a 2-part episode, the ending of the 1st part features the Fonz getting ready to jump (not the shark- yet!). Fonzie's New Friend features an African American named Sticks (John Anthony-Bailey) and the town just isn't ready for him. Arnold's Wedding features Arnold getting married to a young Asian lady who gets cold feet (and Fonzie has cold feet about being the best man). Joanie develops a crush on Potsie after he croons "Put Your Head On My Shoulder" to her ("Things'll be different when I'm 22 and you're 19," Potsie politely tells Joanie). Howard's 45th Fiasco shows a self-conscious Howard fearing getting old. In Tell It To The Marine, Ralph gets turned down and considers enlisting in the Marines (with the Fonz's encouragement) and it's up to the Fonz to talk him out of it ("I admit I was r-r-r-r..."- the opposite of right, a word the Fonz has trouble saying). In Jailhouse Rock, Officer Kirk (Ed Peck) lays down the new curfew and when Richie and his friends are locked inside Arnold's past 10pm, he arrests them all on the spot (along with Howard for wearing a silly Leopard skin cap). But in Fonzie The Flatfoot, Kirk pardons Howard's numerous parking tickets and approves a parking area on the condition the Fonz serve duty to break up a rumble (Richie does a brief imitation of the Fonz, much to Fonzie's chagrin). In A Sight For Sore Eyes, Fonzie learns he needs glasses (and Potsie is nominated for King Fool and Richie, while away in Chicago, meets a nice Texan belle, also Jack Dodson plays Ralph's father, who's an optometrist). Fonzie tries getting a new job after his job as a mechanic requires a crewcut from his new boss (Dick Van Patten makes a guest appearance). In Three On A Porch, Richie, Potsie and Ralph pretend they're older so they can reserve a place at Uncle Tom's Cabin for Spring break (Richie's "older" voice is a scream, as are the accents of the 3 "Tunisians" who try to impress 3 beautiful women they share the porch with). Marion enters a dance contest and Arthur (the Fonz, of course) willingly agrees to be her partner, leading to rumors, speculations and a swift boot from "Shortcake" Joanie!. Richie and his friends (and little Spike) try to get tickets they cannot afford to a football game, so they wind up babysitting a few kids at the Cunningham house in order to raise money. Fonzie attempts to sing in Fonzie The Superstar (he narrates rather than sings "Heartbreak Hotel"). In one of my favorite episodes, Beauty Contest, Richie, Potsie and Ralph host a faux beauty contest promising prizes they cannot afford to give, just so they can meet women! Potsie serenades the not-so-lucky "winner" with "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World." Finally, at The Second Anniversary Show, the gang hosts a surprise birthday party for the Fonz where they reminisce about past episodes.
So there you have it- one of the 1st seasons to make it big- aaayyyyy!