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WILLIAM JOHNSTON
Happy Days


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Happy Days 1: The Fonz & Lazonga
Tandem, London, 1977
(price: 70p; 160 pages)

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Happy Days 4: Fonzie Goes To College
Tandem, London, 1978
(price: 70p; 160 pages)


The blurb on the backs:

When the carnival comes to town, The Fonz has a minor problem - how to date all the hoochie-coochie dancers while they're in town for the week! But soon he becomes concerned with a major problem - his life - when the Muskogee Mauler challenges him to the fight of the century. On the sidelines, Madame LaZonga, the fortune-teller, and her tantalising daughter, Lola, have other plans for The Fonz - marriage!
Find out how The Fonz evades the clutches of Madame LaZonga and escapes the crunches of the Muskogee Mauler!

It's school days, school daze when The Fonz enrols in Speedy U. for his degree in quick and easy auto mechanics. As he tells the Happy Days gang and the Cunninghams, it's a very special college, condensing four years into six weeks, with no classrooms, no books, and no professors. The students do the teaching, as well as the learning. And all for the bargain price of $300.
Meet a clumsy chemist who's trying to invent a coffee-flavoured toothpaste; a would-be brain surgeon who practises on a head of cauliflower; and the beautiful Gisele, who seems to care more for her chicken than she does for The Fonz.


opening lines:

Standing at the edge of a large open space at the edge of town, Richie Cunningham and his two friends Potsie and Ralph, watched the arrival of the Hagle Bros. Carnival.

As the Cunninghams and their lodger, Fonzie, sat down to dinner, Fonzie announced that he was going back to college.


Now the interesting thing about Happy Days... No, don't go, there is something, honest. The interesting thing, I say, is the part it played in the whole 50s revival thing that got going as the hippy liberal dream of the 1960s went sour and Americans took to looking back at mom's apple pie. The pilot episode was Love and the Happy Day and went virtually unnoticed when screened in 1972. The following year American Graffiti was a surprise movie hit and the unwanted show was taken down off the shelf, dusted off, given a make-over and re-launched in 1974 as Happy Days. Initially intended as a domestic family show based around the Cunninghams, it was soon taken over by Henry Winkler as Arthur Fonzerelli, and became one of the most durable - and most inoffensive - sitcoms ever.

By the time the novelizations came out, no one was in any doubt who the star of the show was, and Fonzie was all over the covers like a rash, with none of the others getting a look-in. The books - do I need to say - are beyond point. The veteran William Johnston is too experienced to make a complete pig's arse of them, but there is no discernible reason on earth why they should exist.


ARTISTIC MERIT: 1/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
1/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
2/5


from the maker of...

Get Smart

Klute

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