This summer, the city unveiled an $85,000 bronze statue created by sculptor Gerald Sawyer to honor the Happy Days icon who made Milwaukee more than just another dot on the map.
For those of you who may not remember the Happy Days hey-dey (and there are more of you than I’d like to admit), The Fonz (aka: Arthur Fonzerelli or Fonzie) was a James Dean meets Elvis-on-a-motorcycle character who carried his comb like a side arm and could get any woman he wanted simply by uttering his signature “Ayyyyyyyyy”.
Henry Winkler brought the iconic character to life and was there with the entire Happy Days cast to celebrate the statue’s unveiling (sans Ron Howard but plus Laverne and Shirley!)
“I just want to say, this is truly beautiful,” said Winkler after the sheet was removed. “You can hear about it, you can talk about it, we had conversation though e-mail, but to see it in real life and that it exists, it’s just unbelievable, it really is.”
The sculpture itself is a life-size replica, standing at five feet, six inches tall and was paid for by the fund-raising efforts of Milwaukee’s passionate citizens after sponsor, TV Land, pulled the plug on the project.
If you’re sensing more than a whiff of nostalgia on this end, you’d be ‘Correctomundo’. So I was Pinky Tuscadero to next door-neighbor Neil Heiger’s The Fonz for Halloween as a kid.Sue me.