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How Happy Days went from a good show to bad and became super popular


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#21 of 70 Gary OS

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Posted September 04 2012 - 02:18 PM

I'll take Happy Days, even the later years, over any Lear sitcom every day of the week and twice on Sundays.  Having said that, there are only a couple of sitcoms from the 1970's that I care anything about.  Almost every series in that decade seemed to feel the need to push their "message" or agenda in mass.  To say the general tone of the situation comedies at that time didn't appeal to me would be a huge understatement.


In regards to Happy Days in particular, I certainly like the first 2 seasons the best, but I thought the show was at least bearable through the high school years.  The "jump the shark" phrase, inspired by the "Hollywood" story, was pretty much right on the money when it came to that series going south, imho.



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#22 of 70 Jeff*H

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Posted September 04 2012 - 03:13 PM

I have Seasons 1 and 3, and am looking to pick up Season 2 at some point. I, too, prefer these early seasons when the show was clearly more rooted in Richie and his pals, a la American Graffiti, and wasn't filmed in front of a studio audience (at least for the first 2 seasons). For me, the show really jumped the shark whenever Fonzie, Richie or one of the other principals made their first appearance in any given episode and thunderous applause and cheers broke out among the studio audience for what seemed like 2-minute intervals.
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#23 of 70 Tory

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Posted September 04 2012 - 06:17 PM

The idea was to show that there were crude, loudmouthed, and obnoxious people in life, and that Archie Bunker was one of them. It also showed why Archie was the way he was, and besides, it was funny- a lot more funnier than the sitcoms of the 60's that people here love so much. And you can even do a countdown to it! Certainly, they were a lot more urbane, sophisticated and intelligent than whatever gags were done on Gilligan's Island.

Gilligan's Island was highly intelligent, an absurdist masterpiece, but a lot of people fail to see that. I forgive you.
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#24 of 70 Neil Brock

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Posted September 05 2012 - 03:28 AM

Gilligan's Island was highly intelligent, an absurdist masterpiece, but a lot of people fail to see that. I forgive you.

And It's About Time was a historically accurate depiction of the stone age! :D

#25 of 70 Sky Captain

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Posted September 05 2012 - 07:32 AM

[quote name="rmw650" url="/t/323373/how-happy-days-went-from-a-good-show-to-bad-and-became-super-popular#post_3970464"] THESE. Plus, Laverne and Shirley do make it, in a manner of speaking, and at least was about two adult girls trying to better themselves, as opposed to the silly shit going on on Happy Days that took away from the premise (Fonzie jumping a shark, stopping gangsters from taking over Arnold's place, etc.) No arguments from me there. What I want to know is why certain people want to see this show on Blu-Ray DVD when they know that it has a snowball's chance in hell of ever happening?[/quote] "Ted McGinley had nothing to do with the show sucking; it sucked because it sucked from a certain point. I think that he should have sued the Jump The Shark website for insinuating that." Sue them for what? On what grounds?[/quote] Uh, slander, libel, and defamation of character? :rolleyes: The guy who created and ran that website just had an irrational hatred of McGinley, and decided to come up with this bullshit theory about McGinley destroying a show simply because he came on it in its later seasons. By any definition, that's grounds for a lawsuit (and the interview conducted with him by the A.V. Club even concurs.) Fortunately for him, McGinley didn't, and hasn't, sued. [quote name="Tory" url="/t/323373/how-happy-days-went-from-a-good-show-to-bad-and-became-super-popular#post_3970627"] Gilligan's Island was highly intelligent, an absurdist masterpiece, but a lot of people fail to see that. I forgive you.[/quote] I'm sorry, but as an absurdist comedy, it fails; it's the story of a (partially) retarded man-child and his childishly obstinate and obdurate refusal to want to leave the island he and his friends are stranded upon, mainly because he doesn't fit into society. So knowingly or unknowingly, he sabotages their attempts to do so. The show was never that good, and was unintelligent, just like The Brady Bunch was never that good (and Robert Reed knew it.) It's all in the execution, and Sherwood Schwartz failed miserably at both; the TV series Phineas & Ferb is better at conveying what it's like to be in a blended family than The Brady Bunch. [quote name="Jack P" url="/t/323373/how-happy-days-went-from-a-good-show-to-bad-and-became-super-popular#post_3970526"] That may be the dumbest thing I have ever read in my life if your point is that the sound of a toilet flushing somehow makes this profound point about an "obnoxious person in life" whereas I suppose the Meathead was so pure and immaculate that that's why a normal bodily function on his part (that the last time I checked was a trait shared by the entire human race regardless of political beliefs) was not worthy of the same laugh-getting treatment. That's not being "urbane and sophisticated" that's just the writer demonstrating his own brand of obnoxiousnes by going for a cheap laugh in the guise of something allegedly more profound. For a legitimate "urbane and sophisticated" sitcom of the 70s, I'll say emphatically yes to Mary Tyler Moore, the Odd Couple and Bob Newhart but the Norman Lear sitcoms were anything but.[/quote] Sorry, but a crude bigot is a crude bigot, and that's what Archie Bunker was (as was his British forebear, Alf Garnett, and his German counterpart, Alfred Tezlaff.) And getting laughs using a bodily function's been a part of humor for a long time. Maybe instead of judging everything by the bullshit-laden Christian fundamentalist inspired Hays Code, you could try to judge things by what real life is all about, and lighten up. Also, the toilet gag's a classic of timing; as I said, it all in the execution, and in the case of Archie Bunker, it's also about how it fits with the character. [quote name="Russell G" url="/t/323373/how-happy-days-went-from-a-good-show-to-bad-and-became-super-popular#post_3970457"]Have the happy days cartoons hit DVD? I loved them, along with the weird Brady Bunch one with the two pandas. I'm sure it existed...[/quote] No, they haven't and hopefully, they NEVER will; they're all just as bad as the later season, and are the most concrete example of how Happy Days jumped the shark (the Mork & Mindy cartoon is that as well.) [quote name="Neil Brock" url="/t/323373/how-happy-days-went-from-a-good-show-to-bad-and-became-super-popular#post_3970716"] And It's About Time was a historically accurate depiction of the stone age! :D[/quote] THIS.

#26 of 70 Jack P

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Posted September 05 2012 - 08:08 AM

If the sound of a toilet flushing represents some profound point about a "crude bigot" then the sound of Sky Captain's toilet must accordingly rank as the funniest thing in the world given his own brand of vile bigotry as revealed in his hatred of practicing Christians (expressed in the previous comment that is indistinguishable from any Archie Bunker style epithet ever concocted by the un-urbane and unsophisticated writers of AITF)

#27 of 70 Ronald Epstein

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Posted September 05 2012 - 09:26 AM

Let's calm this down NOW.


This is not the kind of spirited debate that we promote 

on this forum.


Excessive Profanity?  Is it necessary?

If this kind of discussion continues, we are going to


remove individuals from this thread and then the forum.


Be advised!


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#28 of 70 rmw650

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Posted September 05 2012 - 11:18 AM

[quote name="Sky Captain" url="/t/323373/how-happy-days-went-from-a-good-show-to-bad-and-became-super-popular#post_3970825"] "Ted McGinley had nothing to do with the show sucking; it sucked because it sucked from a certain point. I think that he should have sued the Jump The Shark website for insinuating that." Sue them for what? On what grounds?[/quote] Uh, slander, libel, and defamation of character? :rolleyes: The guy who created and ran that website just had an irrational hatred of McGinley, and decided to come up with this bullshit theory about McGinley destroying a show simply because he came on it in its later seasons. By any definition, that's grounds for a lawsuit (and the interview conducted with him by the A.V. Club even concurs.) Fortunately for him, McGinley didn't, and hasn't, sued. I'm sorry, but as an absurdist comedy, it fails; it's the story of a (partially) retarded man-child and his childishly obstinate and obdurate refusal to want to leave the island he and his friends are stranded upon, mainly because he doesn't fit into society. So knowingly or unknowingly, he sabotages their attempts to do so. The show was never that good, and was unintelligent, just like The Brady Bunch was never that good (and Robert Reed knew it.) It's all in the execution, and Sherwood Schwartz failed miserably at both; the TV series Phineas & Ferb is better at conveying what it's like to be in a blended family than The Brady Bunch. Sorry, but a crude bigot is a crude bigot, and that's what Archie Bunker was (as was his British forebear, Alf Garnett, and his German counterpart, Alfred Tezlaff.) And getting laughs using a bodily function's been a part of humor for a long time. Maybe instead of judging everything by the bullshit-laden Christian fundamentalist inspired Hays Code, you could try to judge things by what real life is all about, and lighten up. Also, the toilet gag's a classic of timing; as I said, it all in the execution, and in the case of Archie Bunker, it's also about how it fits with the character. No, they haven't and hopefully, they NEVER will; they'all just as bad as the later season, and are the most concrete example of how Happy Days jumped the shark (the Mork & Mindy cartoon is that as well.) THIS.[/quote] "Ted McGinley had nothing to do with the show sucking; it sucked because it sucked from a certain point. I think that he should have sued the Jump The Shark website for insinuating that." Sue them for what? On what grounds?[/quote] Uh, slander, libel, and defamation of character? :rolleyes: The guy who created and ran that website just had an irrational hatred of McGinley, and decided to come up with this bullshit theory about McGinley destroying a show simply because he came on it in its later seasons. By any definition, that's grounds for a lawsuit (and the interview conducted with him by the A.V. Club even concurs.) Fortunately for him, McGinley didn't, and hasn't, sued. Doesn't seem like McGingley is that concerned about it and probably wouldn't have a case to begin with...freedom of expression you know. Just saying.

#29 of 70 Bryan^H

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Posted September 05 2012 - 12:14 PM

Happy Days got better after Fonzie jumped the shark. Why? Because of Jenny Piccalo: And yes, I'm still infatuated with Joanie's Boy crazy best friend.

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#30 of 70 Ronald Epstein

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Posted September 05 2012 - 12:19 PM

Did you guys not read my warning?

Next person who continues this will be removed from


this board.  I promise.


This thread will get back on track immediately.


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#31 of 70 Dave Scarpa

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Posted September 06 2012 - 03:58 PM

I agree, the show lost it's focus on the time period it was supposed to be about, They did'nt even keep track of when it took place as eventually is would've been in the sixty's not sure it ever hit it.
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#32 of 70 Tom M

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Posted September 06 2012 - 05:30 PM

I agree, the show lost it's focus on the time period it was supposed to be about, They did'nt even keep track of when it took place as eventually is would've been in the sixty's not sure it ever hit it.

Huh? Happy Days did a New Year's episode every year and the next year was mentioned, often with a giant banner in either the Cunningham house or Arnold's. The show was indeed in the 1960's when it was cancelled.
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#33 of 70 Richard V

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Posted September 07 2012 - 04:53 AM

Huh? Happy Days did a New Year's episode every year and the next year was mentioned, often with a giant banner in either the Cunningham house or Arnold's. The show was indeed in the 1960's when it was cancelled.

Damn, the 60's looked EXACTLY like the 80's!!! :D
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#34 of 70 Jack P

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Posted September 07 2012 - 06:26 AM

MASH was equally guilty of making not even the slightest pretense of trying to look authentically like the early 50s.

#35 of 70 John L

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Posted September 08 2012 - 02:40 AM

MASH was equally guilty of making not even the slightest pretense of trying to look authentically like the early 50s.

In the early seasons they did although in the later seasons it was clear that the show looked too much like a 70s production.

#36 of 70 Professor Echo

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Posted September 08 2012 - 06:08 AM

Once again Ron has to step in and attempt to control the extremism so prevalent in the TV forum of the past year. These threads have become nigh unreadable thanks to a few obstinate and rude posters who continually push their agenda over and over and over again. Why does this keep happening? Every time I return here after needing a break from the din, I see that nothing's changed. What a shame. Back on topic, kinda sorta, Gary brings up an interesting point about 70's sitcoms. Offhand I can't think of many besides the usual suspects (the Lear, MTM stuff) but I do recall enjoying some from earlier in the decade, forgotten shows like THE GOOD LIFE and TEMPERATURE'S RISING. My somewhat tongue-in-cheek theory is that all American pop culture peaked with the release of THE GODFATHER PART II in December, 1974. From that point on it's been all downhill, dumbed down and disposable. ;)

#37 of 70 PatrickGoodluck

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Posted September 08 2012 - 02:04 PM

Once again Ron has to step in and attempt to control the extremism so prevalent in the TV forum of the past year. These threads have become nigh unreadable thanks to a few obstinate and rude posters who continually push their agenda over and over and over again. Why does this keep happening? Every time I return here after needing a break from the din, I see that nothing's changed. What a shame.

My Sentiments exactly, Glen. It's always the same repeat offenders that ruin it for everyone else. :(

#38 of 70 Claude North

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Posted September 08 2012 - 03:34 PM

In general, I'm skeptical of the single camera vs. multi-camera debate and the idea that a single camera comedy is inherently better than a multi-camera comedy. However, I agree that the mode of production was a factor in the decline of Happy Days due to the ridiculous habit that the audiences had (especially in the later episodes) of giving EVERY character a huge show-stopping ovation upon his or her initial appearance in each episode. I wonder if the producers encouraged this to help pad the running times of the episodes...

#39 of 70 Jack P

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Posted September 08 2012 - 04:32 PM

I agree, I don't think there's anything intrinsically better about single-camera vs. three-camera. Most people agree "The Odd Couple" hit its stride when it went to three camera in front of a live audience and I have always preferred "The Dick Van Dyke Show" over other 60s sitcoms because it had the natural laughter of an audience.

#40 of 70 Ethan Riley

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Posted September 09 2012 - 06:10 AM

In general, I'm skeptical of the single camera vs. multi-camera debate and the idea that a single camera comedy is inherently better than a multi-camera comedy. However, I agree that the mode of production was a factor in the decline of Happy Days due to the ridiculous habit that the audiences had (especially in the later episodes) of giving EVERY character a huge show-stopping ovation upon his or her initial appearance in each episode. I wonder if the producers encouraged this to help pad the running times of the episodes...

I didn't feel they were trying to pad the running time. I think the audience warm-up guy was encouraging those teenagers to scream like that in order to create an "event" -like feel to the show. It was supposed to seem like a weekly live event and make the cast seem like bigger superstars than they actually were lol. It was supposed to make the home viewers feel like they were really watching something special. The whole effect was somewhat off-putting to me; I stopped watching before the 70s were over.
 

 





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