Winkler opened up about how an act of rebellion led to Fonzie being allowed to wear a leather jacket in an exclusive clip from the ABC special, The Happy Days of Garry Marshall. When the series premiered in 1974, ABC didn't allow Winkler to wear leather so the show's creator Garry Marshall found a loophole.
"Garry went to ABC and he said, 'Ya know? He could be hurt if he's riding a motorcycle and he falls off and he's not wearing leather. He could be scraped.'"
This argument convinced the network to change its mind, allowing Winkler to wear a leather jacket but with one caveat: only in scenes where Fonzie was with his motorcycle. Marshall promptly called up the show's writer's room and explained that they were never to pen scenes where the Fonz was separated from his bike, even when he was indoors. Once the show hit its peak, the network no longer minded the leather jacket.
Marshall, who died in 2016 due to complications from pneumonia, was the mastermind behind Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Mork and Mindy, Pretty Woman, and The Princess Diaries. He'll be honored in the May 12 special featuring some of Hollywood's biggest stars who worked with him, including Julie Andrews, Hector Elizondo, Jennifer Garner, Richard Gere, Anne Hathaway, Ron Howard, Kate Hudson, Jimmy Kimmel, Julia Roberts, Chris Pine, and John Stamos.
“In this one of a kind special, some of the biggest movie and TV stars in the business come together to celebrate Garry Marshall," director, John Scheinfeld, said in a statement. "And like all of Garry’s movies and TV shows, this program will make you laugh, touch your heart and leave you feeling great! It’s exactly what we need right now!”
Watch Winkler discuss just how clever Marshall was in the clip above.