Monday, May 18, 2009

My afternoon with the Fonz

I don't mention my day job very often on this site, since it has nothing to do with films and everything to do with selling kids' books.
Today I shall make an exception, however, because last Friday these two halves of my life fused in the most noteworthy of ways.
I spent the afternoon in a primary school in the company of Henry Winkler.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that's right.
I'm talking about the Fonz.
He's a children's author these days, and I was with him while he gave a talk to a bunch of North London six- and seven- year olds, the majority of whom, oddly enough, claimed to be familiar with Happy Days.
Obviously, I didn't have time to ask him much about his career, due to the constant interruptions of little people wanting to get their books signed. I wasn't able to ask him anything about Night Shift, for example, or enquire whether he had any good anecdotes about the making of Cop and a Half.
I did manage to ask him why he wasn't in the credits of Scream (he was friendly with Wes Craven - they used to go out and eat sushi together - and Wes asked him if he'd like to be in the film so he agreed, but Dimension Films thought the known participation of the Fonz would "knock people out of the story" and create misleading expectations so they insisted he appear incognito; later when the film was a hit they came and asked him if he'd do promotion for it; he said no).
I was also able to ascertain that Fonzie's original leather jacket is now in the Smithsonian, he couldn't ride a motorcycle, and he wasn't able to start a jukebox by hitting it.
The rest was mainly about kids' books but, as I say, that's my job.
So all that remains is to show the photographic proof that this really happened outside of my head and I am not just some Fonz-obsessed fantasist:
Ladies and gentlemen: may I present the world's coolest man... .
... and on the left: Henry Winkler from Happy Days.