this week with...Scott Baio
Do you care that a small romantic film named A Wedding for Bella is going to be released on DVD Feb. 3? You do now, because it stars Scott Baio! To mark the occasion, we asked the 42-year-old actor — who excelled as a tough kid named Chachi (Happy Days) and an unconventional nanny (Charles in Charge) — to take a stupid trip with us down memory lane. — Dan Snierson
In Bella, you play a corporate axman. If you could fire yourself from any of your previous jobs, which would it be?
Where do I start? I would fire myself from Joanie Loves Chachi. I would fire myself from a piece-of-s — -movie called Skatetown, U.S.A. I would have fired myself — well, I did fire myself from Diagnosis Murder; I quit. I might have fired myself from Baby Talk, but I don’t know. Eh, that’s about it.
You were on Happy Days for seven years. But not all the days were happy, were they, Scott?
Unfortunately, they were. It was party time every day.
Did you ever try on Fonzie’s jacket?
That was taboo, man! That thing was in a vault on the set. There were guards around it. There was a ceremony when they opened it. But there were different ones. I hate to dispel the myth.
Really? How many were there?
There was one that he would wear if he was on the motorcyle. There was one that he wore on the set. And it changed. First there was that Jimmy Dean red jacket. Then it became another leather jacket, which is a little more realistic. Then there was the third jacket, which was, in my opinion, a little wimpy. It had elastic armbands and it wasn’t black, it was brown — and that was sad.
You’ve dated Hollywood hotties including Pamela Anderson, Nicolette Sheridan, and Heather Locklear. Did you ever know that you’re my hero?
Yeah. I hear that a lot.
Seriously. How’d you do it?
I was on TV and I was cute. That goes a long way.
When Fran Drescher came out with The Nanny, were you like, ”Yo, step off my Charles in Charge gig, bee-yotch”?
It’s the same show, isn’t it? I never thought about that. Holy s — -. I’m gonna sue her ass.
You released an album in 1982 with the single ”What Was in That Kiss?” Better yet, there was the song ”Woman, I Love Only You.” Who talks like that?
Look, let’s start from the beginning. First, you have to know how to sing. I didn’t. You couple it with ”Woman, I Love Only You” and it’s pretty bad. It was a no-win situation. What was in that kiss? Money.
Did you hear that Paris Hilton is recording a CD?
I should call her.
For a duet?
No, to tell her, ”Stop. You have enough money. Don’t sing ‘Woman, I Love Only You.”’ See? I used it in a sentence.
I read on the Internet that you died in a car accident in 1997. True?
Yes. You’re talking to a ghost. Why do you think I haven’t worked since then?