Happy Days is a TV show that, for many fans, personifies 1970s culture — even though the show itself was set in the fifties.
Starring teen icons like Ron Howard and Henry Winkler, Happy Days ran for eleven seasons and remains incredibly popular in syndication. The series spawned several spinoffs, including Mork & Mindy and Joanie Loves Chachi.
One young star who rose to fame on Happy Days, and who later went on to star in Joanie Loves Chachi was Scott Baio, an entertainer who, in recent years, has made headlines on more than one occasion due to his outspoken political views.
‘Happy Days’ is a beloved television classic
Premiering in 1974, Happy Days told the story of average, all-American teen Richie Cunningham, played by Ron Howard, and the rest of his family and friends. Over the years, characters such as “the Fonz” were introduced, and storylines began to focus more on comedy and less on the individual dynamics of the Cunningham family.
Happy Days ran until 1984, by which time several members of the cast had become major television stars —B performers like Henry Winkler, Robin Williams, and Scott Baio.
Baio started acting on Happy Days when he was only sixteen years old, playing Fonzie’s cousin Chachi. He quickly became a fan-favorite, with viewers eagerly responding to his unique blend of vulnerability and charm. When the spinoff series Joanie Loves Chachi debuted,
Baio was front and center. Even though Joanie Loves Chachi never really became as popular as Happy Days, Baio remained a popular presence on television and in movies for years.
Scott Baio skipped out on a ‘Happy Days’ cast reunion
All throughout the eighties, nineties, and into the early 2000s, Scott Baio’s career remained solid, as he acted in everything from reality television shows to situation comedy series.
Still, Baio’s political views have occasionally placed him at odds with other Hollywood power players. Baio is a staunch conservative and has voiced support for high-ranking politicians such as Donald Trump. While Baio stands strong in his convictions, it has meant that he has to skip out on some projects — including a recent Happy Days reunion.
The reunion was a fundraising project meant to drum up support for Democratic political candidates in Wisconsin and included original Happy Days cast members like Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Anson Williams, and Marion Ross. Baio chose not to participate, but he had several prominent actors offer to take his place — including John Stamos.
What did Scott Baio’s former cast members say about him skipping the reunion?
Don Most, who played Ralph Malph in Happy Days for many years, was one of the cast members who participated in the fundraiser.
In the days following the fundraiser, Most opened up about Baio’s absence, stating that “I knew that he would not be a part of this because of the differences in political views. So it was not a question of whether he would be a part of it or not. That was a given.”
Still, Most admitted that he harbors no ill will towards Baio, and that the two are cordial, in spite of their opposing political opinions: “You know, Scott and I, we played golf together. It’s been a while now, about a couple of years, but we’ve stayed in touch somewhat. But in the last year, I haven’t seen him. I know he has expressed some things about the fundraiser and us getting together for it that was a little disappointing.”
Most did say that Baio’s opposition to the fundraiser felt “out of line,” stating that the rest of the cast is “entitled to our opinions.”
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