Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Television's All Time Worst Moments 1: Potsie Quits School


In compiling any list of the all-time worst moments in the history of television, the post-1976 HAPPY DAYS would be responsible for several. Forget shark jumping. What about Super Fonz battling Mork From Ork? And the mafia. And a bull. And going blind. And all the while, his friends have feathered hair, wrist bands, pork chop sideburns and bandanas tied around one leg in 1958. Oh, and some of the lamest catchphrases I've ever heard, bucko!

But the one that always stood out for me was this May 1979 episode that had the erstwhile high school dropout becoming Potsie's tutor (shortly after he told us all to get "Liberry cards" and told Shortcake that "smokin' ain't coool"--whoa!).

One note on the video below: the original post had the lead-in, so comments 3 and 4 apply to things you'll have to watch this episode to see.  But...humor me.....

No one was more surprised than I was when St. Joseph's Aspirin actually dusted off this abomination for a new commercial a while back. A few more notes on the sucktitude of HAPPY DAYS' 142nd episode:

1) Hard to decide who has the worst combover, the biology professor or the supposedly 20 year old Richie.

2) Speaking of Richie, what a multi-instrumentalist! In season two he was the band's keyboardist, then he played guitar for a while, finally settling into a multi-season run playing the saxophone. Now, he's on the harmonica! That kid is wasting his talent majoring in journalism if you ask me.

NOTE:  for the next two, you'll need to watch the few minutes leading up to it.  Fortunately, the full episode is now available!

3) (Before the song) "He cheated!" Come on, there's exactly 15 students in the class, teach! If a guy sitting in the FRONT ROW is cheating and you didn't catch it, that's on YOU, Bub!

4) (Before the song) Super Fonz's entry here is lame. I mean, just walking in? Couldn't he have at least crashed through the wall, or something?

5) This was the final episode of the 1978-79 season, the last season that HAPPY DAYS spent in the Nielsen top 5. Looking at this scene, it's easy to see why the ratings started to slip that fall. Clearly, there was much more intelligent and realistic competition on a rival network: THE MISADVENTURES OF SHERIFF LOBO.

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