‘Happy Days’ Ron Howard on Robin Williams’ Arrival on the Show: ‘It Was All We Could Do To Hang On’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Robin Williams and Ron Howard in a scene from

When actor Robin Williams arrived on the set of Happy Days in 1978, the solid had no concept of what they have been in for, present star Ron Howard defined in an interview.

With his electrifying and energetic comedian fashion, Williams shook that present’s arrange, after which established himself in roles afterwards that shook up the world.

Robin Williams and Ron Howard in a scene from 'Happy Days,' 1978
Robin Williams and Ron Howard in a scene from ‘Happy Days,’ 1978 | Walt Disney Television through Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television through Getty Images

‘Happy Days’ ran for 11 seasons

The comedy sequence set in 1950s Milwaukee premiered in 1974, starring The Andy Griffith Show star Ron Howard, in addition to Henry Winkler as Arthur ‘The Fonz’ Fonzarelli. At first, the present didn’t do very nicely within the scores, however quickly sufficient it picked up steam and have become some of the profitable applications of its time.

Ron Howard in 2006 informed the Archive of American Television how the sequence received off the bottom.

“[The 1973 film] American Graffiti was this big hit and ABC began wanting round and saying, ‘We should do a `50s show.’ And [producer] Garry Marshall went again to them and stated, ‘We already have one. You came close to picking it up but you didn’t, it’s Happy Days. So they determined they might do it.”

The cast of 'Happy Days,' 1974The cast of 'Happy Days,' 1974
The solid of ‘Happy Days,’ 1974 | Bob D’Amico/Walt Disney Television through Getty Images

How Robin Williams was solid in ‘Happy Days’

Garry Marshall recalled in his dialog with the Archive of American Television that it was Robin Williams sitting head first on a chair that received him the a part of Mork from Ork.

“First of all,” Marshall stated, “I didn’t know who the hell he was. But my sister discovered him for me. My sister, Ronnie, was my casting director. And my sister Penny was in an performing class with him. They stated, ‘ You gotta see this guy Robin Williams.’ I stated, ‘What has he done?’ And my sister Ronnie actually stated, ‘He’s completed nothing. He stands on a road nook and he does mime and he passes his hat round they usually give him cash. That’s what he’s completed to this point! And you must see him.’

“And I did and he did the entire audition standing on his head. He was nice, so he went into Happy Days. He was making me cry, I used to be laughing so exhausting.”

Robin Williams as Mork from Ork on 'Happy Days,' 1978Robin Williams as Mork from Ork on 'Happy Days,' 1978
Robin Williams as Mork from Ork on ‘Happy Days,’ 1978 |
Jim Britt/Walt Disney Television through Getty Images

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Ron Howard on Williams’ frenzied look on the sequence

Howard, who performed Richie Cunningham on the comedy till 1980, was round lengthy sufficient to see Robin Williams’ look in Season 5. The filmmaker recalled the solid being shaken to the core – in a great way – by Williams’ presence on the set. And it began with an episode about an alien.

“That was an incredible occasion. It was an episode [about an alien visiting Milwaukee] that didn’t learn so nice. And the community needed to actually throw it out. They didn’t just like the fantasy factor of it. Garry [Marshall] actually fought for the present.

“And then we had another problem. We couldn’t cast the alien, Mork from Ork.”

Robin Williams, Ron Howard, and Henry Winkler in a scene from 'Happy Days'Robin Williams, Ron Howard, and Henry Winkler in a scene from 'Happy Days'
Robin Williams, Ron Howard, and Henry Winkler in a scene from ‘Happy Days’ | Walt Disney Television through Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television through Getty Images

The former youngster actor revealed that many actors had been thought-about for the position of the alien, together with comic Dom DeLuise. Finally, they discovered their actor.

“Suddenly, our casting director comes strutting in,” he stated. “We have been rehearsing the present. He got here in, beaming, saying, ‘I’ve received our man.’ And following him was Robin Williams, a man that nobody knew. I definitely didn’t acknowledge him.

“He was wearing these clown suspenders, rainbow-colored suspenders. We started right in rehearsing. And he started improvising instantly. It was the most exhilarating thing because it was hilarious. We realized it was all we could do to hang on. That became our job that week, was to just keep up with Robin Williams. It was something I will never forget.”

Williams, who died in 2014, was such a success, a second episode that includes him as Mork from Ork was added. Eventually, ABC ordered a spin-off sequence for the character known as Mork & Mindy starring the actor and Pam Dawber as Mindy.

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