This Happy Days fan predicted where the gang would be in 1992
Did you ever try to picture Fonzie in the Nineties?
In 1977, the Happy Days episode called "Time Capsule" found the gang locked in the hardware store’s basement after assembling to place their school’s time capsule in a vault.
For the millions of fans watching Happy Days, these precious moments the gang dropped into the capsule weren’t just there to signify what these particular teens held so dear.
They were also tokens of characters whom audiences came to deeply care for watching them grow up on Happy Days. So much so that after the show ended in 1984, some fans couldn’t help but wonder what the gang would be up to if they were still around in the Nineties?
By 1992, there was so much fan interest in catching up with the Cunninghams that the network floated the idea of doing a reunion movie.
Not everybody on the cast was overjoyed by that idea, though.
"I was not crazy about doing a Happy Days movie because I’d have to let that jacket out a little bit," Henry Winkler told Gannett News Service in 1992. "It would have been very embarrassing to try at 46 to play a teenager."
It’s probably not entirely Fonzie’s fault the movie never happened, but instead of doing a reunion movie, the network decided to just host a cast reunion special.
At least one Happy Days fan didn’t take this news lightly.
Gannet News Service writer Valerie Helmbreck decided if the network wasn’t going to take the Happy Days into the Nineties through a reunion movie, she’d write the endings of the characters herself.
In a column called "Where would Happy Days be now?" she went character by character and predicted what she thought would have happened to each of the cherished classic TV characters.
Interviewing Winkler, he actually shared his own thoughts on what Fonzie would do in 1992: "I think he would have a chain of Mr. Goodwrenches," Winkler said.
As for the rest of the gang, though, the writer’s outlook is... not quite so happy as you might expect?
She starts with Richie, deciding his fate is as a failed TV writer:
"When the series ended, Richie was headed to Hollywood to become a script writer. After a few unsuccessful sitcom pilots, Richie might have fallen back on his college journalism degree and gone to work in studio public relations."
Then she moves on to Lori Beth, Richie’s wife. (Look for her in "Time Capsule" playing a different Happy Days character in her first role on the show!)
"Lori Beth would probably be operating an interior decorating business and caring for the couple’s two kids."
For Joanie and Chachi, Helmbreck forecasts a failed music career that leads him to open a music store and her to become a teacher at the same high school where her cousin Roger Phillips became principal.
The keys to Howard Cunningham’s hardware store, she imagines, would get passed on to Potsie Weber, after Mr. and Mrs. C decided to retire in Florida.
In her column, Helmbreck laments, "We’ll never really know what happened to the happy Cunninghams and their extended family."
Did anyone else out there ever think about where the Happy Days gang would be in the Nineties?