Why Henry Winkler Tossed The ‘Horrid’ ‘Happy Days’ Script That Brought Us Robin Williams
Henry Winkler (Fonzie) got so upset by the "Happy Days" script that brought us Robin Williams as Mork that he threw it against a wall.
Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli, “Fonzie” was known for being cool. Like the beloved “Happy Days” character he played, Henry Winkler also kept things cool. That’s why it’s surprising to learn that Winkler once threw a “horrid” script against the wall. Ironically, the “Happy Days” episode that resulted from that “horrid” script gave us Robin Williams’ big debut.
Winkler took his acting seriously. That paid off with three Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and two Golden Globes.
While the show was centered around 1950s high school kids, Fonzie quickly became the favorite character.
“Horrid” Happy Days Script Introduces Us To Robin Williams As Mork
Henry Winkler was used to having well written scripts. But, when they are sitting around a table reading for an upcoming episode, Winkler was so appalled at how bad the script was that he actually threw it against the wall.
This was a big deal because Winkler is known as one of the nicest people in Hollywood and he became visibly upset.
Anson Wilson, who most of us remember as Potsie, spilled the tea about a very memorable overreaction by The Fonz.
“We got this script that was horrid,” Wilson said.
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“That script went against the wall. Because, we were all embarrassed,” he continued. “We were used to great material.”
This was the 1978 episode that introduced us to none other than Robin Williams as Mork. Winkler credits Robin Williams with saving Mork.
— JR Bettis (@JR_Bettis) August 13, 2014
Robin Williams As Mork
“That week, on the Wednesday morning, we still didn’t have a Mork,” Winkler remembers. “All of a sudden on Wednesday afternoon, Bobby Hoffman, the head of casting, came down to the studio floor and said to us, “I’d like to introduce you to Robin. He’s done stand-up, he’s never done TV. He’ll be Mork.”
“Robin was a quiet, unassuming, shy young man. That vanished as soon as we started to rehearse. He became a torrent of comedy,” he continued. “There was nobody like him. There are very funny people who tailor their material. What he would do is swallow the world. Honest to God, you watched it in front of you: Robin would internalize something, then blow it back in a completely different shape, Robin-ized.”
The highly successful episode launched the “Mork and Mindy” spinoff which became classic TV comedy in its own right.
It was impossible to watch RobinWilliams as Mork without laughing.
Check out the “Happy Days” video below in which Fonzie sets Mork up with a date with Laverne DeFazio. Ayyyy…..