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Happy Days: Season 3

4.5 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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(Nov 27, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Happy Days was set in the 1950s in Milwaukee, the heart of middle-class America, and told the story of the Cunningham family. Mr. Cunningham (Tom Bosley) ran the local hardware store and Mrs. Cunningham (Marion Ross), like all good TV Moms, spent her time in the kitchen. Their son, Richie (Ron Howard), hung out at Arnold's Drive-In with his pals Ralph Malph (Donny Most) and Potsie (Anson Williams), trying to be as cool as the coolest greaser in town, the Fonz (Henry Winkler). Richie's sister, Joanie (Erin Moran), tagged along whenever she wasn't at her friend Jenny Piccolo's house. The Cunninghams also had an older son, Chuck, but he mysteriously disappeared after the first season.

The 1975-76 season of the highly successful Happy Days is largely defined by the placement of the Fonz (Henry Winkler) in even closer proximity to the Cunningham family--making him, tacitly and literally, a member of best friend Richie’s household. When Fonzie's grandmother moves into the ultra-cool, womanizing biker’s apartment, he takes a room over the Cunningham’s garage, making Richie (Ron Howard), his mom Marion (Marion Ross), and sister Joanie (Erin Moran) happy, but leaving cantankerous-but-lovable dad Howard Cunningham (Tom Bosley) something more than ambivalent. While several episodes deal with one or another conflict between strong-willed Fonzie and stubborn Howard--at one point, the two sue each other over a roof that collapses from the weight of Fonzie's pigeon coop--life otherwise lurches along for Richie and his gang. In "The Other Richie Cunningham," Richie tries an end run around his dad's expectation that he take a business associate's daughter out for a date. Enlisting pal Potsie (Anson Williams) to pretend to be Richie, the Howdy Doody-faced teen finds the plan backfiring when Potsie proves to be less than a gentleman to the unfortunate girl. "Jailhouse Rock" finds Richie and Howard sharing a jail cell after protesting an arbitrary curfew by police on teens, while "Tell It to the Marines" concerns a desperate attempt by Ralph (Donny Most) to earn respect by threatening to join military service. Not surprisingly, however, most of Happy Days: The Third Season follows the exploits of Fonzie as he constantly lives up to the reputation that inevitably precedes him. The two-part "Fearless Fonzarelli" begins with the Fonz so worried he's losing his cool that he agrees to jump 14 garbage cans on his motorcycle for a television show--and ends up with a serious leg injury. "Fonzie the Superstar" is a popular episode in which the Fonz agrees to substitute for Potsie as vocalist in Richie's band, then freezes up with stage fright on the night of a show at Arnold's. (Winkler's performance on "Heartbreak Hotel," while not exactly singing, is so charged with energy one can tell the actor was probably breaking through his own inhibitions during the scene.) "Bringing Up Spike" focuses on Fonzie's first encounter with child-rearing when his visiting, little delinquent cousin gets into a jam with the law.

Happy Days: The Third Season is definitely a peak in the show's lengthy history, just before the series took a turn for the silly (or sillier). This was the year Laverne (Penny Marshall) and Shirley (Cindy Williams) were introduced to the world on Happy Days (before landing their own spin-off series). And armchair TV historians will take note how sexist the show could be while it simultaneously takes a minor stab at American racism in "Fonzie's New Friend" (in which the Fonz shows up with an African-American pal to play drums in Richie's band, and gets a hostile reaction from whites in the community). --Tom Keogh

Special Features

  • All 23 episodes from the 1975-76 season on four discs

Product Details

  • Actors: Ron Howard, Henry Winkler
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Restored
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: November 27, 2007
  • Run Time: 540 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000UX6TKM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,913 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Happy Days: Season 3" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This, in my opinion, is the best season of Happy Days. The writing was outstanding and Henry Winkler was at his peak. THIS is the season that should have ranked as the #1 show on television (it finished at #11, season four is the one that reached the top). There is one problem with the DVD though. Certain episodes (very few...I think) are edited. One of my all-time favorite scenes is missing. It is the end tag of the episode titled "Fonzie's New Friend". This is where Fonzie does the limbo. But it's gone....why? I also noticed a couple of edits here and there on one or two other episodes. The sad thing is that this is probably the only form these episodes will ever be released in. Yet, we won't ever be able to see certain parts of some episodes. Sad.
On a lighter note, I recently had the opportunity to see the Happy Days house when I was in Hollywood. Of course this was just used for the exterior shots, but it hasn't changed much. If you're ever out there and you're interested in seeing it, it's easy to find. I can't give you the house address here (especially since people actually live there) but it's easy to research on the internet.
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Format: DVD
After going through favorite episodes on all four discs, I can tell you the original music is there. It's a great season to begin with and having the original music makes this a fantastic release. There's music on this set that isn't even on the sydicated version of the show. A must own for any Happy Days fan.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was suprised to see that the music was all there, even though the back of the box says that the music has been changed. Not as good as the first 2 seasons because they filmed before a live audience, but it's still early Happy Days!
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Format: DVD
I never write reviews or participate in leaving comments but i was compelled to considering i waited so long to buy the happy days 3 seasons available because of the negatives everyone mentions , and yes the seasons 2 & 3 are packaged differently from season 1 and apparantly
the fans that know the episodes well notice a scene edited here or there and certain music couldnt be used because of the expense to paramount but now that currently 45 bucks buys all 3 new with free shipping i would recommend these. I know dvd sets can be made much nicer with better packaging and extras like bloopers , commentery & interviews and its good to know ahead to expect all your gonna get are the episodes but they are clean, great quality , and have nice menus, also just the fact that you get the full picture without all the logos and junk you get if you record the shows off tv. I would hope they get season 4 released soon and I want to add now in recent years nick at nite has self destructed & tv land has ventured into reality tv giving replacement to the great classics like happy days and well on its way to becoming another channal to flip past making the great tv series dvds more important now than ever before. I recommend these dvd's even with the negatives that are true but holding out for better dvds aint an option. life is short paramount...get em released !
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Format: DVD
This is the 3rd season, the one season when I became a fan of the show. I remember begging my mother to buy me a Fonzie T-shirt at the local store! Here, you have Fonzie (Henry Winkler) co-starring with Richie (Ron Howard), along with their buddies Ralph Malph (Donnie Most) and Potsie (Anson Williams) and sister Joanie (Erin Moran), mother Marion (Marion Ross) and father Howard (the late Tom Bosley). I had to dock it one star because the endings of Fonzie's New Friend and A Date With Fonzie are missing (I hope if this is ever released on Blu-Ray, the omission will be rectified, that and re-storing the music in Season 2 to its original). Also, the popular song "Happy Days" makes its debut at the opening (though it was used as background music and the ending theme as early as Season 1. Fonzie debuts his catchphrase "Aaaaay!," Ralph debuts his catchphrase "I still got it," Potsie is known as much by his singing abilities as his occasional dopey actions ("You're such a Potsie, Potsie!") and Richie debuts his theme song "I found my thri-i-ill on blueberry hi-i-ill!" and his sarcastic "Huh! Huh! Huh!" laugh.

In the opening episode, Fonzie Moves In, Fonzie rents out the room in the Cunninghams' garage and becomes a part of the family (though Howard naturally has his reservations). In Two Angry Men, Fonzie builds a roost for his pigeons on the roof and the roof caves, leaving Fonzie to sue Mr. Cunningham and Howard counter-sues (June Lockhart plays the judge). A Date With Fonzie marks the debut of characters Laverne (Penny Marshall) and Shirley (Cindy Williams), who would earn their own show later that season in 1976 ("'Laverne, you have a mouth like a sewer', I said. So she curls up her chubby little fist and BAM!" knocking down Richie who's just brought in refreshments).
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I appreciate those who hold the first two seasons with such high reverence at the expense of the live audience seasons, but I'm not sure it's terribly deserved. Objectivity is difficult, but I (and some other viewers who have posted, as well) found Season 2 to be relatively not-so-well-written, and, worse, boring and dry at many turns. Sure, it was shot film style ... and, yes, "every episode is like a little movie," etc. ...

But, Season 3 leaps off the page. The energy is so palpable you become a part of it. And, I think Season 3 is the raciest and sexiest of all the seasons (sometimes downright - and very UN-Happy Days-esque, naughty). It is truly the peak of Fonzie mania, and it captures the Winkler/Howard/Williams/Most fab four at their rawest. Tom Bosley's character has an edge (and layers) in this season that the writers never really gave him again. After watching Season 2, pop in Season 3 and I defy you to miss it: it's live, it's raw, it's exciting ... and funny as all hell. Probably the most laugh-out-loud season of all eleven. Purists may be purists, but I truly believe if Happy Days had stuck to the first formula (one-camera with canned laughter), it wouldn't have seen a fourth season. Happy Days was quite Darwinian. It morphed into a variety of shapes to survive 11 seasons. Like some, I love them all, and all for different reasons. Garry Marshall said, "I just wanted to create a group of people that you'd want to welcome into your home every week." He sure did. These kinds of heartwarming shows just don't exist anymore. At least we have these DVD sets!
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question for the diehards
I know in the original version, after the mention of watermelon, they cut to Stick's face and he rolls his eyes and makes an exasperated look. Something else is said that I can't recall. The syndicated episodes on TV Land and Nick at Nite don't cut that scene. Also, the DVD is missing the tag... Read More
Nov 5, 2013 by Breather |  See all 2 posts
Happy Days Reunion Movie?
What's to say they'd be irked? They were transcending eras themselves anyways.
Mar 7, 2008 by Robin Orlowski |  See all 4 posts
only 1 episoded edited(pretty sure)
Hello Brian, I can tell you for sure that these episodes have been edited or they are the syndicated masters. On my post i mentioned that in the episode where they bring in Laverne and Shirley for the first time when Richie and Fonzie go out on a double date with the girls at the end of the... Read More
Oct 19, 2008 by S. Bowles |  See all 4 posts
Please Keep those Happy Days Coming!

Not every television show is on permanent display in the Smithsonian. Sounds like a must-release-on-DVD-season-sets marker to me.

I still remember seeing the final episode of Happy Days when it originally aired. Oh to permanently own all the seasons on DVD again.
Oct 12, 2007 by Robin Orlowski |  See all 4 posts
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Happy Days: Season 3
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