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  • Happy Days - The Complete First Season
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Happy Days - The Complete First Season

List Price: $22.99
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Happy Days - The Complete First Season + Happy Days: Season 2 + Happy Days: Season 3
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ron Howard, Henry Winkler
  • Directors: Art Fisher, Joel Zwick, George Tyne, James Tayne
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Dolby
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: August 17, 2004
  • Run Time: 360 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000291Q3Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,565 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Happy Days - The Complete First Season" on IMDb

Special Features

  • All 16 episodes from the 1974 season

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Set in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the 1950’s, HAPPY DAYS revolves around Richie Cunningham and his family and friends. A "wholesome" young man, Richie is a Jefferson High School student who would do anything to get a date and he spends plenty of time with his friends at Arnold’s, the local burger joint. Contrasting with his wholesome nature is Arthur Fonzarelli, best known as Fonzie, a rough-around-the-edges motorcycle riding high school dropout famous for his slicked hair, leather jacket, and the catchphrase "aaayyyy!" Fonzie is a regular around the Cunningham house, with Mrs. Cunningham doting on him and Richie turning to him for advice on how to attract girls.


Less than a year after Ron Howard played a college-bound adolescent enjoying a final, summer-of-1962 romp with old friends in American Graffiti, he turned up as high school innocent Richie Cunningham in the memorable, ABC television network debut of Happy Days, set a few years earlier in Milwaukee. The show would last a decade and go through many changes in tone, cast, and character development, but that first season got a boost from the natural perception that it had some things in common with Graffiti: Howard, of course, but also fumbling teenage sex, drag races, drive-in food, pesky little sisters, and laconic greasers.

Happy Days: The Complete First Season is a sweet trip back to the Garry Marshall-produced sitcom's 1974 entry in primetime television, before political correctness would make stories about clean-cut boys fixated on seducing girls unthinkable, and long before older kids were defined by angst on the WB and Fox TV. At least in its first year, before Happy Days developed more of a comic-book feel and energy, the show was about Richie's all-too-human inclination to grow up too fast, to bite off more than he could chew and learn poignant lessons in the process. He was a sympathetic naif, not the charming braggart he later became, and major characters appear to have been created to provide both ballast and motivation. Among them is best friend Potsie (Anson Williams), a superficial hustler who typically incites Richie's enthusiasm for booze, reputed nymphomaniacs, and sophisticated, older girls, and fast-talking Ralph Malph (Donny Most), owner of a fantastic, yellow hot rod. More important are counterparts Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli (Henry Winkler), a vaguely dangerous drop-out, and Richie's exasperated father, Howard Cunningham (Tom Bosley), each of whom provides Richie the validation of an experienced male: Fonzie's raw worldliness versus Mr. C's seasoned view of a man's responsibilities. First-season highlights include the pilot episode (co-written by Rob Reiner), "All the Way," in which Richie's typical decency allows him to see past the sex-mad reputation of an amiable girl from school. Season closer "Be the First on Your Block" finds the Cunninghams' plans to build a bomb shelter turning into a popularity contest as Richie's friends vie for a guaranteed spot in the event of nuclear war. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

I'm so glad Happy Days, is released on dvd!
Blanche Dougherty
Why there were not any EXTRAS on a Classic like this is a shame, otherwise this is a great DVD set.
Richie Dee
As a little kid growing up in the 70s, Happy Days was - without question - the show.
Daniel Jolley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 31, 2004
Format: DVD
How can it possibly be thirty years already since Happy Days first premiered? That fact makes a guy feel very old, for I can't imagine having grown up without Happy Days; fortunately, being able to watch these classic episodes brings back great memories that almost make me feel young again. As a little kid growing up in the 70s, Happy Days was - without question - the show. I was trying to be Fonzie - strutting around, giving thumbs up, and saying Heyyyy! all the time - even before I learned to read. The show remained a constant presence in my life throughout the 1980s, as well, as it was a staple of after-school programming (back before all the talk shows took over). The first season's episodes were never really my favorite - mainly because a lot of changes were made at the start of the second season, Richie was a little wild that first year, Joanie was still a few years away from babehood, Fonzie was basically just a peripheral character, and - let's face it - there was just way too much Potsie in these early shows. In the first season, Potsie was the second-most important character, although Howard and Marion came on strong in the last half of the season.

Richie really wasn't a clean-cut paragon of virtue in Season One. In the very first episode, he set out to go "All the Way" with a girl who had a "reputation.
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Da Man on January 27, 2005
Format: DVD
I am part of the camp who thinks the earliest seasons of Happy Days were the best. This first season aired in the first half of 1974, and The Fonz was a smaller character (he's not even in the opening credits in season 1). However, these early single-camera episodes bring out the best of the series IMO.

If you compare these episodes to a season 4 episode for example, you can see vastly different tones for the series (it went live in season 3). The earlier episodes are a lot more authentic 50's, while it became more and more a product of the 70's and 80's in the latter years.

When the show went live, we didn't see as much outside action, as many of the funniest moments of the first season take place outside of Arnold's.

I hope Paramount announces season two soon, I love the early (first 4) seasons of this show and will gladly add them to my library as soon as they come out.

$39.99 might seem insane for a show without extras, but these are the uncut (over 25 mins on average) episodes as they haven't been seen since 1974, and as icing on the cake, it is very cool to see the old-school red Paramount tags that have long been replaced at the end. The only downfall is that some scenes have really dirty prints, but I am willing to overlook it. Happy Days does not look this great on tv.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Quasimort on August 27, 2004
Format: DVD
Its nice to finally have the 1st season of Happy Days on DVD, but this set is a little lean with 16 episodes, and no extras at all. Considering all the 'Happy Days' specials that have been on TV over the years, you'd think Paramount would have something to add as an extra.

Also, the pilot episode titled 'Love & The Happy Days' is not included. The pilot was originally an episode of the the show Love American Style, and included most of the same actors from season 1 of the regular series.

Mabey they will include the pilot on later season sets of Happy Days, or on a Love American Style season set if that ever makes it to DVD.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Todd on August 21, 2004
Format: DVD
I respectfully disagree with Brandon Harlow's review of the "Happy Days" DVD set for the first season. Mr. Harlow was basing his review on his personal dislike of a television classic. I will commend him on his twenty-five cent word, "misogynstic", and for putting it in a sentence. However, it means "a hatred of women", and Fonzie definitely didn't hate women. He just didn't know how to have a healthy relationship with them. However, that is our 21st century P.C. revising the history of "Happy Days". The DVD release is quite basic: just the first 16 episodes for Season One on 3 DVD's. Nothing extra that I can see, yet this is really all you need to start a collection. "Happy Days" then, and now, takes the viewer back to a perceived simpler time. It was never meant to be anything more than entertainment. These early episodes of the series were the best, in my opinion. They were filmed without a studio audience and the floor plan to the house was somewhat different. (It obviously had to change to accomodate playing in front of a live studio audience.) Other reviewers have said it better than I, but within it's 24 minutes, they tried to tell a story with a positive lesson to be learned. Most of the time they succeeded, with laughter to help bring the lesson home. In conclusion, the best thing about TV coming to DVD is, like a television show that you don't like, you can either change the channel or shut the television off. The same rules apply for DVD sets: If you don't like them, don't buy them. Mr. Harlow, I recommend that you don't buy this DVD set. For those of you who like good television that entertains, I would recommend this for your home collection. It's a wonderful trip down Memory Lane.
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