Fonzie fights The Syndicate! That's the kind of plot you don't see in sitcoms today. I don't really like HAPPY DAYS very much now, but I watched it a lot when I was a kid (mainly when it was in weekday morning reruns on ABC during the summer). I probably saw this episode somewhere along the line, which appears, from the photo in the ad, to guest-star Harvey Lembeck.
The episode my brother and I always looked forward to seeing was the demolition derby three-parter. Epic in scope (it ran 90 minutes and was partially filmed in location), it pitted the Fonz (Henry Winkler) and his tough-talking gal pal Pinky Tuscadero (Roz Kelly) against the menacing Malachi brothers, whose signature move in the demolition derby arena was the deadly Malachi Crunch. The first episode ends on a cliffhanger with those bastard Malachis trying to sabotage Pinky's car. The stakes were higher after the second episode, which found Pinky seriously injured after a cheap shot by the Malachis. In the third part, Fonzie kicks some major Malachi Brother Ass and books to the hospital, where he proposes marriage to Pinky. By the end of the show, however, Fonzie has already pussed out and broken up with her, because--ayyyyyyy!--the Fonz has to be free.
Comedy, drama, action, tragedy, heroics--hey, what more could you ask for in a sitcom?
WELCOME BACK, KOTTER was one of my favorite shows as a kid, but, man, it is terrible. I tried to watch it a few times when it was running on TV Land and could barely get through it. It's interesting to watch for the Travolta factor; he's horrible as Vinnie Barbarino and I can't imagine how he got cast in SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER. What's amazing is that he's very good in SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER. All of the actors playing the Sweathogs look like they're around 30, and Gabriel Kaplan barely seems to be acting at all (much of his dialogue appears cribbed from his standup act).
I wonder if Vinnie kicked Big Wheel's ass for stealing his girl the way Fonzie got medieval on those damned Malachis.