WITH his vertical thumbs and inkling for saying “Heeey!” at the drop of a hat, Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli was judged to be the epitome of cool in the 70s.
The iconic character from US comedy Happy Days adorned many a T-shirt and the show was a household favourite.
And now Henry Winkler, the embodiment of The Fonz, has paid tribute to the cast of Happy Days, at Eastwood Park Theatre.
Henry was a guest of presenters Chris Evans and Alex Jones on BBC’s The One Show.
Producers of the flagship Beeb show had learned that the local amateur dramatics group, Theatre South Productions, were staging Happy Days and sent a camera crew up to conduct an interview.
Iwan Thomas from The One Show spoke to the cast and linked them live to the London studio where they also conversed with The Fonz.
Theatre South had previously contacted the actor to tell him they were planning to stage a five-night, six-show run of Happy Days at Eastwood Park Theatre and to ask him for advice.
Fonzie then sent Theatre South actor Kevin McGuire, from East Renfrewshire, a signed photo for luck and advised him to “stay cool”.
The show last Friday night saw Kevin chat live to Henry from the theatre stage before the cast burst into the Happy Days theme.
Lorna Forrest, of Theatre South, said: “It was fantastic. The show is watched by 5 million viewers, so it’s a really good advert for local theatre.
“The staff at Eastwood Park Theatre were great – they really pulled out all the stops for us, getting the audience in their seats in time for the broadcast and putting The One Show on the screens out in reception.
“It was a great day and an amazing experience.”
Paul O’Kane, vice convener for education and equalities, said: “This is a terrific coup for Eastwood Park Theatre and for Theatre South.
“It was brilliant to see our theatre and one of the great shows it is featuring this season showcased on national TV.”
This is not Henry Winkler’s first contact with East Renfrewshire, he visited a Braidbar primary during his campaign to highlight the problem of dyslexia.