Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Podcast Tuesday: "The Candy Man Can... But He Probably Shouldn't"

Richard Moll, Gino Conforti, and Cliff Emmich on Happy Days.

There's "over the top," there's "way over the top," and then there's "Fonzie's Funeral." If you thought "Hollywood" and "Westward Ho" were the silliest multi-episode sagas in Happy Days history, you ain't seen nothing yet. "Fonzie's Funeral" has it all: gangsters, explosions, secret passageways, counterfeit money in coffins, the works -- all done in the hammiest way possible. Scenery isn't just chewed, it's devoured. This is a story so utterly absurd, it took two episodes to tell it.

Actually, this is par for the course in Season 6. For some reason, the show did a lot of Scooby Doo-esque episodes with creepy villains and spooky music that year. "Fonzie's Funeral" is the culmination of a trend that started with "Fearless Malph,"  "The Evil Eye," and "The Claw Meets the Fonz." You wouldn't think a nostalgic family sitcom set in the suburbs of Milwaukee would have a lot of use for stock shots of lightning, but these turn up frequently on Season 6 of Happy Days.

The plot of "Fonzie's Funeral" involves Fonzie (Henry Winkler) and Richie (Ron Howard) discovering that a counterfeiting ring is operating out of a local funeral home. The mastermind of this criminal operation is a corpulent, white-suited villain known only as the Candy Man (Cliff Emmich), aided and abetted by his two henchmen, diminutive Sticky (Gino Conforti) and towering Eugene (Night Court's Richard Moll). When Fonzie turns some of their "funny money" over to a treasury agent (John Moskal, Jr.) as evidence, Candy Man's goons retaliate by blowing up the garage where Fonzie works. "Part 1" ends with Richie racing to Fonzie's rescue. Does he make it in time to save America's favorite mechanic?

This is just one of many questions my cohost and I will ponder when we review "Fonzie's Funeral (Part 1)" on These Days Are Ours: A Happy Days Podcast.