Why Henry Winkler Threw a ‘Horrid’ ‘Happy Days’ Script Against a Wall

As Arthur “Fonzi” Fonzarelli, Henry Winkler became one of Happy Days’ biggest stars. Unlike his character, the actor is known for his sweet and kind demeanor. But according to his co-star, Anson Williams, there was one Happy Days script that got Winkler so frustrated, he chucked it against a wall. 

Henry Winkler
Henry Winkler | Walt Disney Television/Getty Images

Henry Winkler was the breakout star of ‘Happy Days’

Happy Days may have started as a show about Richie Cunningham, the innocent ‘50s teen portrayed by Ron Howard, but Fonzi quickly became one of the show’s most beloved characters. 

\Winkler took on the role of the suave greaser when the show premiered in 1974. He ultimately earned three Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and two Golden Globe wins. 

 Henry Winkler and Ron Howard on 'Happy Days
Henry Winkler and Ron Howard on ‘Happy Days’ | Walt Disney Television/Getty Images

RELATED: This ‘Happy Days’ Star Said ‘Fonziemania’ Took Its Toll on the Cast

He is nothing like his character

Fonzi was one of the coolest characters in TV history. But according to Winkler, he’s nothing like his Happy Days character. 

“The Fonz was the yin to my yang,” Winkler once said. “He was everything I wanted to be because there was nothing cool about me growing up.”

Winkler is widely known as one of the nicest guys in Hollywood. And when talking to Fox News, the actor suggested the title was just a result of his immense gratitude. 

Ron Howard, left, with Henry Winkler on 'Happy Days' in 1974
Ron Howard, left, with Henry Winkler on ‘Happy Days’ in 1974 | Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

“I am friendly, and I’m grateful,” he said. “I am grateful that I walk on this Earth. And it makes me happy. And I love meeting people that I go to the movies [to see], or I watch on TV. You know, it makes me happy. It really does.” 

So what made Henry Winkler throw a ‘Happy Days’ script against a wall?

In an interview with the Hallmark Channel, Winkler’s Happy Days co-star, Anson Williams recalled when producer Garry Marshall was inspired to write the Martian alien, Mork, into the show. And he said that initially, the cast was presented with a “horrible”  script.

“They didn’t figure it out,” said Williams. “We got this script that was horrid.”

During the table read, Williams said the cast was shocked at how bad the script was. And he revealed that Winkler, who’s known for his calm demeanor, got so frustrated, he chucked it against a wall. 

Henry Winkler and Robin Williams on 'Happy Days'
Henry Winkler and Robin Williams on ‘Happy Days’ | Walt Disney Television/Getty Images

“Henry is like the most calm, civilized man on Earth,” Williams continues. “That script went against the wall. Because, we were all embarrassed. We were used to great material.”

Ultimately, Robin Williams was hired to play Mork. And according to Henry Winkler, the comedian single-handedly saved the character and the script with his humor and improv talent. 

“This young man comes in, and we started rehearsing, and I quickly realized I had one job: to keep a straight face,” Winkler told The Hollywood Reporter. “After a while, I don’t think they even bothered writing comic pieces for him because he was uncontainable in this universal way.”