When a Beatle visited Happy Days

He brought his son to see the show taping — and was incredibly shy.

Today, nostalgia is all about the Eighties. Familiar '80s favorites like Ghostbusters and Karate Kid are being reinvented for a new generation and movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Ready Player One are so full of radical Eighties references that it's practically a supporting character.

However, as the saying goes, there is nothing new under the sun — not even nostalgia. Just like how the 2010s were marked by Eighties nostalgia, in the Seventies and Eighties they longed for their own nostalgic youth of the Fifties.

Happy Days was a trip through the rose-tinted memories of the Fifties, and both adults and kids alike loved it. In fact, one of the biggest names of the Sixties was a fan — John Lennon.

Lennon watched the show with his son, Julian. They both loved the show so much that Lennon arranged for them to visit the set during the show's first year on the air.

“Julian was a fan of the ’50s and Happy Days," explained Anson Williams, known for his role as Potsie on the show, "and they spent the entire day on the set."

Williams remembers the former Beatle as a "humble guy." He described Lennon as "genuine and kind, and truly shy." 

"Henry Winkler was there, Ron Howard, myself and Donny Most. I go to get a cup of coffee, and I see this guy with a ten-year-old kid. I think he looks familiar. It was John Lennon," Williams said. 

By that time, Lennon had already released mega-hit "Imagine", but Henry Winkler said that he didn't act like the superstar he was. "All of a sudden, John Lennon just came to visit. And he brought with him, Julian. He was so, um, he was so shy," Winkler said. 

Reportedly, Lennon and his son watched some of the show taping, signed autographs, and chatted with cast members. "I didn’t know how to get into a conversation with John Lennon. Then I just started talking about his Imagine album that he made, the solo album," Winkler said. “There was a cut on it called 'Mother,' which was like a primal scream. So I started talking to him about that. He opened like a flower. It was amazing."

The meeting apparently made an impression on young Julian. Years later, when he was a music artist in his own right, he appeared on the music variety show Solid Gold. They were filming on the Paramount lot, where Winkler had his office. "I got a knock on the door," Winkler said, "and he asked, ‘I don’t know if you remember me?’ to which I replied, ‘yeah, I do.’"

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mymopar70 1 day ago
That's a VERY INTERESTING article involving JOHN LENNON on several levels. I was always under the impression that he had little if anything to do with his son JULIAN after leaving his first wife for YOKO ONO. So it was heartwarming to hear about taking his son to the HAPPY DAYS set and meeting the cast and crew. Like any other little boy would be, I'm sure he was excited. And the Paramount Pictures studio was more of a factory in those days, so I'm sure that Lennon probably wandered around and took in some other sights while being treated like a dignitary himself.
In actuality, its commonplace for celebs to visit the sets or sights of other productions they weren't involved in.

But it also shows Lennon's interest and knowledge of American TV shows in general. In the 60s THE MONKEES had gone to England for an event and met the BEATLES at a party. Lennon, in conversation with MICKEY DOLENZ, told him that their show reminded him of the MARX BROTHERS.

In the early 70s, Lennon (with YOKO ONO) appeared on the obscure but popular talk show, THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW. I think he was on there several times and brought many other friends who would be considered "radicals" in that era.

From my personal opinion, HAPPY DAYS was best during the first several years of the show when it was filmed. At this time the show centered around the life of Richie Cunningham and the various characters around his orbit - including Fonzie. This idea was similar to RON HOWARD cause it was pretty much the same as the world of "Mayberry" where the numerous characters on THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW interacted with Griffith.

HOWEVER, UNLIKE the ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW, where they didn't make the super popular Barney Fife character the main focal point, HAPPY DAYS switched gears and made Fonzie the main character and everything swirled around HIM instead.

Although popular, this is where the show started to go downhill in my humble opinion. It began filming in front of an audience/ the storylines and situations became sillier (Mork From Ork)/ the hairstyles morphed from the 50s to the 70s seemingly overnight/ ridiculous characters were brought in and out (Chachi amongst them)/ the jokes became lamer and more juvenile.
While THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW maintained a high quality throughout its run, although entertaining at times, HAPPY DAYS turned into total garbage.
bagandwallyfan52 3 days ago
Maybe Chuck Cunningham
Went to Twilight Zone College
After he vanished from Milwaukee . Twilight Zone
College is where college students check in but they
Don't check out and Rod Serling
Was the owner of that college.
bagandwallyfan52 3 days ago
Does anyone know if these actors and actresses who were
On HAPPY Days are still actors
Or did some of these Happy Days Actors/Actresses Retire
From Acting and went into a
Different Profession:
Neil J Schwartz (Bag Zombroski)
Randolph Roberts (Chuck Cunningham 2)
Barry Greenberg (Moose)
Misty Rowe (Wendy)
Tita Bell (Trudy)
Charlene Tilton (Jill Higgins)
Crystal Bernard (KC Cunningham)
Billy Warlock (Flip Phillips)
Harris Kal (Bobby Melner)
Danny Butch (Spike)
Denis Mandel (Eugene Belvin)
Scott Bernstein (Melvin Belvin)
Marla Pennington (Cynthia Brannigan)
Carol Williams (MARALEE)
Carey Williams (Moose's Girlfriend)
Paul Linke(Bruiser)
Reb Brown(Rebel)
Audrey Landers (Kitty)
Amy Irving(Olivia)
Lynda Goodfriend (Lori Beth Allen)
Happy Days
RIP
Tom Bosley (Howard
Cunningham)
Erin Moran (Joanie
Pat Morita (Arnold)
Al Molinaro (Al Delvecchio)
ED Peck(Officer Kirk)
Beatrice Colen (Marsha Simms)
Happy Days RIP 2
Gavan O Herlihy Chuck Cunningham
Heather O Rourke (Heather)
Alan Abelou(Skizzy)
John Anthony Bailey (Sticks)
bagandwallyfan52 5 days ago
Who was your favorite Corporal on Gomer Pyle USMC:
Cpl. Nick Cuccinelli Tommy Leonetti
Cpl. Boyle Roy Stuart
Cpl. Slater Ronnie Shell
On Gilligan's Island if Mary Ann Summers and Ginger Grant
Were Real Persons in the 1960s
Who would you rather go on a
Date with Mary Ann or Ginger?
Also which castaway on Gilligan's Island do you like the
Best:
Mary Ann Summers Dawn Wells
OR
Ginger Grant Tina Louise
Also if TV characters were real
Persons would you rather go on a date with Mary Ann Summers
(Gilligan's Island ) or Lou Ann Poovie (Gomer Pyle USMC)
Of these 3 characters who was
The Worst Singer on a Sitcom:
Barney FIFE Don Knotts
Sgt. Vince Carter Frank Sutton
Lou Ann Poovie Elizabeth MacRae
On Gomer Pyle USMC who was
The Best Practical Joker'
Sgt. Whipple Buck Young
Sgt. Hacker:Allan Melvin
Duke Slater Ronnie Shell
Sgt Carter Frank Sutton
bagandwallyfan52 5 days ago
SURVEY QUESTIONS:
Which Basketball Character did
You like the best and why on
HAPPY DAYS:
CHUCK CUNNINGHAM
Gavan O Herlihy
Randolph Roberts
Roger Phillips
Ted McGinley
Richie Cunningham
Ron Howard
Who was the best PRACTICAL
JOKER Character on HAPPY Days:
Ralph Malph Donny Most
Bag Zombroski Neil J Schwartz
Bobby Melner Harris Kal
Jenny Piccalo Cathy Silvers
Who was your favorite Minor
Character on HAPPY Days:
Eugene Belvin Denis Mandel
Melvin Belvin Scott Bernstein
Moose Barry Greenberg
Bag Zombroski Neil J Schwartz
Trudy Tita Bell
Wendy Misty Rowe
Marsha Simms Beatrice Colen
Gloria Linda Purl
Spike Danny Butch
Sticks Downey Jr John Anthony
Bailey
Daphne Hillary Horan
Bobby Melner Harris Kal
Tommy Kevin Sullivan
Survey Question:
Which character on HAPPY Days was the best sidekick
to Richie Cunningham:
POTSIE
Or Ralph
Or Fonzie?????!!!!!
Deleted 5 days ago
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bagandwallyfan52 4 days ago
I hope that I can dind The
Happy Days Companion by
Edward Gross published by
Pioneer Books in 1991.
bagandwallyfan52 4 days ago
You are Correct about not
Giving my phone number.
Thanks for your advice
LoveMETV22 4 days ago
Perhaps you could call Barnes and Nobles- Although they may not have the book you are mentioning they may be able to give you a source. Good decision on the previous post. I did do a quick search on the info you put up about the book, it is hard to find. Good luck in your search.
texasluva 4 days ago
Actually personally I do not care that you posted it. Only caring about you getting besieged by calls not of your liking. It was only a best advice speech. You do a very good job on all your postings. I hope you find it.
vinman63 13 days ago
Some time during it’s mid run, Happy Days was rebooted and should have been called Dappy Haze.
Runeshaper 14 days ago
It's super cool that the Fonz remembered Julian and that they were able to reconnect all of those years later.
Jeffrey 14 days ago
I didn't know any of that, so it's nice to find it out. Thank you MeTV!
bagandwallyfan52 15 days ago
Metv Viewers:
What is Your Favorite TVTheme
Song and Favorite Movie Song?
I like Swinging Safari which was
Used for The NBC Version of
The Match Game with Gene
Rayburn and The Theme Song
From The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour by two artists:
Nelson Riddle and Mason Williams and I like The Little
Rascals Theme Song(The Good
Old Days) and Petticoat Junction
Theme Song and Green Acres
Theme Song. Ellie's Theme from
The Andy Griffith Show is a
Beautiful instrumental.
Amy's Theme by Nelson Riddle
Is another beautiful Instrumental.
The one the only.....BONANZA!
" I'll be There for You", The Friends Theme by the Rembrandts is one of my favorites.
327053 bagandwallyfan52 14 days ago
Too many theme songs: Airwolf, Chips, The Incredible Hulk, Greatest American Hero, etc.
Favorite movie theme songs: Rocky 3, Police Academy, Robocop, too many to name 😊
Too many to list. I like the movie company, animation studio and production company intros they have at the beginning of movies.

A lot of creative intros beyond the well known:
AnnieM bagandwallyfan52 12 days ago
'Green Acres' - #1 fun for me. 😊 The main theme music from almost ANY 70's cop or detective show is pretty iconic. I always loved the 'Kolchak' theme, too, how it starts off with Darren McGavin whistling along to these light, cheery notes that suddenly go DARK and ominous as he starts typing - I still think it's one of the most clever pieces of theme music ever. For more modern tunes, when my hubby & I got married, instead of the tired old stripper music for the garter toss, I gave the DJ a copy of the 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' title theme and had him play that. Right now, 'Save Me', the theme from Smallville is my ringtone. Another current-day favorite is the theme from The Walking Dead - love all those cellos and violins. 😊
I also like the eerie music
Used for the instrumental
Theme Song DARK SHADOWS .
bagandwallyfan52 15 days ago
Michelle by The Beatles and
I Only Want To Be With You
By Dusty Springfield Are excellent songs.
You're The One by The Vogues is a great song to
Dedicate To Your Sweetheart on the radio.
bagandwallyfan52 15 days ago
I like PRACTICAL JOKERS on
Popular Sitcoms:
1 Wally Plumstead Skip Young
Of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
2 Bag Zombroski Neil J Schwartz of Happy Days
3 Eddie Haskell Ken Osmond
Of Leave It To Beaver
4 Lumpy Rutherford Frank Bank
Of Leave It To Beaver
5 Uncle Arthur Paul Lynde of
Bewitched
6 Hawkeye Alan Alda of MASH
7 Ralph Malph Donny Most
Of Happy Days
8 Bobby Melner Harris Kal of
Happy Days
9 Sgt.Hacker Allan Melvin of
Gomer Pyle USMC
10 Sgt. Whipple Buck Young
Of Gomer Pyle USMC
METV Viewers:
Who are Your Favorite
Practical Jokers on Popular
Sitcoms?
AnnieM bagandwallyfan52 12 days ago
Remember, in that M*A*S*H episode, it was *BJ* who was pranking everyone: "AIR RAID!!" 🤣 Larry Linville must have been a great sport for Frank to always have stuff being done to him.
Don't know if he would be considered a "piratical joker/antagonist" but Maynard (Bob Denver) G. Krebs was to Dobie Gillis what Eddie Haskell was to Wally & was "way too cool for school"!
DouglasHolste 15 days ago
I see Happy Days as essentially two shows. The first two years (which were not that popular) and then the live studio audience/Fonzie centered/highly rated that existed after then. Lennon visiting during first season is slightly going against a popular opinion. I prefer the early episodes.
When Ralph Malph Donny Most left Happy Days in
198O and Bag Zombroski Neil J Schwartz left Happy
Days in 1977 That's the Day
That The Two Practical Jokers Went Out The Happy Days EXIT DOOR
Right after and before
Basketball Guy Chuck Cunningham Randolph Roberts went out the Happy Days EXIT DOOR and
Then Those 3 Characters
Were Residents of THE
SITCOM ZONE forever.
Starting in 1980 Bobby Melner Harris Kal played
Practical Jokes but it
Wasn't quite the same
Without Ralph's and Bag's
Practical Jokes
Roger Phillips Ted McGinley
Was a good basketball guy
But with Roger Phillips on
Happy Days it wasn't Quite
The same without basketball guy Chuck Cunningham (Gavan
O Herlihy and Randolph Roberts).
Aaaaayyy(Fonzie's Lingo)
KellyTenace 15 days ago
I wonder why the article doesnt include as picture of the event. It's not too difficult to find one online...
lemon222 15 days ago
Awful lot of rude comments on here, isn't that what twitter is for? If you can't play nice...
UTZAAKE lemon222 15 days ago
YouTube has its share of rude comments, too. Most of the ones I encounter on Twitter are just annoying.
RichLorn 16 days ago
I was about to make a parody joke about the song Imagine and Richie's missing brother Chuck, until I ran across the announcement that Gavin O'Herlihy (Chuck) recently passed away. That's nothing to joke about.
RichLorn lemon222 15 days ago
He passed away less that one week ago. That's too soon to make fun.
bagandwallyfan52 16 days ago
Pluto TV carries Happy Days
Laverne and Shirley and
Morj And Mindy on THE
SAME CHANNEL.
I wish that Pluto TV would
Show Happy Days ONLY on
One Channel and find 2
Different channels for
Laverne And Shirley and
Mork And Mindy.
I wonder which character on was smarter: Mork or Uncle
Martin(Ray Walston) from
My Favorite Martian.
I wonder if METV shows
UNEDITED Episodes of
Happy Days
Gomer Pyle USMC and
The Andy Griffith Show ((!!
NO, They don't.
vinman63 Jeffrey 13 days ago
2 weeks ago the edited version of the Three Stooges The Yokes on You was on.
AnnieM bagandwallyfan52 12 days ago
The unedited eps aren't even on the DVD sets, at least for Laverne & Shirley. I bought Season One a few years back and was surprised to see they were the syndication cuts rather than the originals. I was pretty bummed. 😒
bagandwallyfan52 AnnieM 12 days ago
On the third season of
Happy Days for the episode
Fonzie's New Friend on the
DVD set the epilogue.was
Left out where Fonzie went
Under the LIMBO BAR.
Fonzie's new friend was
Sticks Downey Jr John
Anthony Bailey.
I have a PRERECORDED VHS Tape of The Three Stooges Short called
The Yokes On Me .
I will mail the Three Stooges Tape FREE to the
FIRST Person to call me at
540-982-1818.
Thanks For thinking of me. The complete short is on you tube.
Deleted 16 days ago
This comment has been removed.
kb7rky 16 days ago
Please...tell us how you really feel...
templar99 16 days ago
Your “facts” are b.s. And that’s a fact.
dangler1907 16 days ago
One day, when you grow up, you can wear big boy pants. Until then, you're stuck in your wet diaper. Have a wonderful day.
DerekJ 16 days ago
John Lennon was also a self-admitted beater of women so I'm not exactly going to gush over this little anecdote.
Candygraham100 DerekJ 16 days ago
Feel better now that you have beat up on a dead man?
dangler1907 DerekJ 16 days ago
Nobody will ever gush over you ... but they will pretend to.
327053 16 days ago
Wow! “IMAGINE” that!!! 😆
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