Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Celebrity Toons: Fonzie becomes "King for a Day" (1980)

Here's an episode of Fonz & The Happy Days Gang from November 1980.

In "King For a Day", Fonzie (Henry Winkler), Richie (Ron Howard), Ralph (Don Most), and their futuristic pilot, Cupcake (Didi Conn, "Grease"), end up in the Stone Age due to another malfunction in Cupcake's time machine.

As you'll see, Mr. Cool (Frank Welker), the pooch given to Da Fonz for this series, was meant to be comedy relief, as if they didn't already have that with Ralph. Instead, Cool cramped Fonzie's style, and, given how relationships were all but prohibited in cartoons in those days, a restriction that would fade a few years later, the writers never took the opportunity to try to pair up Cupcake with any of the three guys, especially Fonzie, who would routinely rescue damsels in distress during the course of the series. I'm still baffled by how a vine could suddenly appear in the open air without Fonzie somehow summoning one with a snap of his fingers.

Here's "King For a Day":

Like, did Hanna-Barbera really need to add another annoying sidekick character to their stable? Ehhhhh, no. I guess Cool was their way of compensating for the absence of Potsie (Anson Williams), who missed all the drama.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

Remember I had posted previously that shows like this one duped the willing kids of America!

I loved Happy Days & L&S and as I kid I thought it was great seeing them animated and in adventures they couldn't do on their regular shows. Seeing this stuff again forces me to see how tragically wasted everyone was! Even as a kid I thought Mr. Cool was lame and unnecessary. If Fonz was to have a dog, it would have been a far cooler one. Funny you should mention Cool being a substitute for Potsie; I remember a comic book which had the listing of the new Sat AM toons set to debut that year. In the pic for this show, the cast was there including Potsie and Cool but Ralph Malph wasn't! If given the choice, I'd have had Potsie, hands down!

Back in the day, there would NEVER be romance with Cupcake and the guys. She was a bit too dippy anyway. If the show were written today and allowed to gain a few IQ points and be a true adventure series, I could see her just being good pals with all the guys - and Fonzie admiring her, the way he used to admire Pinky Tuscadero.

I wonder how many kids knew about Wolfman Jack back then? For some reason, even I knew who he was and what he did for radio in the Rock & Roll era. I believe his narration did elevate the opening sequence.

hobbyfan said...

I think Wolfman Jack was still doing the Midnight Special---which was on its last legs---when Fonz & the Happy Days Gang came along. He'd get a 2nd crack at Saturday success, but Wolf Rock TV was a bomb---cancelled after a month.

Sure, Cupcake was a ditz, the rare auburn variety as opposed to the stereotypical blonde, but as a toon fan, I found her to be kind of cute. Problem was, another cartoon babe already had a hold on me. A certain shape-shifter........