Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Henry Winkler is delighted to show off his pandemic beard, the original Fonzie jacket

Henry Winkler, Jimmy Fallon
Henry Winkler, Jimmy Fallon
Screenshot: The Tonight Show

Viewers of a certain age will not find it altogether improbable that ABC’s Standards and Practices department once felt it was its duty to protect America from Henry Winkler’s dangerous sexiness. On Friday’s Tonight Show, the now 74-year-old TV veteran showed off the very leather jacket that the Happy Days higher-ups viewed as Elvis-hips-level incendiary as part of his stuck-at-home remote interview with Jimmy Fallon. (What are you gonna do—it was the 1970s pretending to be the 1950s.) Of course, the Arthur Fonzarelli leather is just one of five such dangerously alluring garments made for his unthinkably popular breakout role, but it’s still pretty—as Fonzie was wont to say—cool. (You know where the main one is.)

Is today’s Henry Winker cool? Maybe not Fonzie cool, but certainly other kinds of cool. Barry Zuckercorn cool. Dr. Saperstein cool. Gene Cousineau cool. “50-plus years in the business and still making America happy” cool. That’s cool. With all the ebullient positivity of Dr. Saperstein’s Pawnee neighbor Chris Traeger, Winkler started off his uniformly delighted (and delightful) appearance by praising literally everything about how Jimmy Fallon is doing his job in this stay-at-home new Tonight Show. Even the notoriously fawning Fallon couldn’t keep up with how hard Winkler was fanning out, even as the Emmy-winning Barry star started his all-jacket fashion show. In addition to the Fonz’s motorcycle jacket, he had his original—similar but for the garish pink gang logo—leathers from his film debut, The Lords Of Flatbush. (Alongside some chump named Stallone.) And for all you Night Shift fanatics out there, don’t worry—Winkler also proudly trotted out the nondescript sports coat he wore as nebbishy anti-Fonzie morgue attendant Charles Lumley in Happy Days pal Ron Howard’s 1982 directorial effort, Night Shift.

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And just because he’s Henry Winkler, everyone’s idea grandpa, he also had another unremarkable blazer on hand to serve as the kicker in one final, real-life, twinkly anecdote. (He’s also hoping Bill Hader will let Gene Cousineau have a glorious white beard when and if Barry ever returns.) The story’s about a girl, a young actor buying his first non-Goodwill sports coat in Hollywood, and the subsequent 42-years of marriage that resulted, and is it getting dusty in here? Winkler also reiterated the advice he had for graduates in a recent speech, hinging on positivity and the visualization of a truly delicious-sounding bundt cake. Plus, he promoted the charity started by his daughter, This Is About Humanity, which helps immigrant children currently being held in Trump’s still-abominable border camps. Henry Winkler is so damned cool, you guys.

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.

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