It's being called a "celebration of cool."
"It's pop cultural history being made in Milwaukee. And we're bringing in, of course, Henry Winkler, the guest-of-honor, because we're dedicating the Bronze Fonz statue downtown … but I think in testimony to how well-liked and how grounded Henry is to this day, all of his colleagues are coming."
Dave Fantle from Visit Milwaukee.org says characters from the late '70s, early '80s television sitcom joining the celebration include Mr. and Mrs. C, Joanie, Potsie, Ralph Malph, Laverne, Shirley, and "Happy Days" creator Garry Marshall. Richie Cunningham — superstar movie producer Ron Howard — will be there via video tape.
Fantle says the show with a positive message set in the '50s has a sort of "timeless innocence" about it.
"It was successful in the '70s because we were coming off some really tough times in our history with Watergate, the Vietnam War. People wanted to leapfrog back to what, at least in their memory banks, was a simpler time."
Fantle says Henry Winkler, much like his character Arthur Fonzarelli, is simply a great guy. The Fonz has been called many names, including a "Rebel with a Heart," or "the Tough Guy with a Heart of Gold."
NOTE1: In one episode, Fonzie acquires a library card and boasts, " Reading is cool." The next week showed a 500% increase nationwide of kids obtaining library cards.
NOTE2: Happy Days originally aired from 1974 to 1984 on ABC.