Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Podcast Tuesday: "Putting the FUN in Funeral!"

Henry Winkler on Happy Days.

Do you ever think about your own funeral? It's difficult not to. As Tom Lehrer once famously sang, "When you attend a funeral, it is sad to think that sooner or later those you love will do the same for you. And you may have thought it tragic, not to mention other adjectives to think of all the weeping they will do." 

So right now, I'd like you to imagine your own little send-off ceremony. Who will show up? What will they say about you? Will it be a lavish, extravagant affair or perhaps something a bit more humble? Maybe your funeral will be a joyous celebration of your generous and productive life. Maybe it will be like something out of a soap opera or a Greek tragedy, with the mourners wailing uncontrollably because you were snatched away so quickly from them by the cruel hand of Death. Maybe it'll just be a little dull.

In the Season 6 Happy Days episode "Fonzie's Funeral (Part 2)," Arthur Fonzarelli (Henry Winkler) gets the rare opportunity to attend his own funeral! Some gangsters want him dead, so he pretends that he is, and the Cunninghams throw a fake memorial service in his honor. Calling himself "the widow Fonzarelli," Fonzie dons a black dress, a gray-haired wig, and a veil so that he can be there without arousing suspicion from the bad guys.

The Cunninghams know Fonzie is really alive, but some of the mourners think the service is real and grieve accordingly. Among the attendees: Officer Kirk (Ed Peck), Arnold Takahashi (Pat Morita), and the cast of Laverne & Shirley (Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams Eddie Mekka, Michael McKean, and David Lander). Fonzie gets to hear what all of these people say about him when they believe he's dead. That's a privilege most of us will never have.

Does any of this make for a good episode? Find out when we review "Fonzie's Funeral (Part 2)" on These Days Are Ours: A Happy Days Podcast