Henry Winkler doesn’t play favorites. The 73-year-old actor, best known for his roles as Fonzie on the 1970 sitcom Happy Days and Gene Cousineau on HBO’s Barry, was recently hit up by the Today show’s Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on their Chooseday Tuesday segment. When Hoda and Kathie Lee asked Winkler to either name his most annoying co-star ever or reveal his favorite child, the actor didn’t skip a beat.
Winkler admitted that he does have a favorite out his three adult kids (daughter Zoe, son Max, and stepson Joel) but said he couldn’t tell who it is. Instead, he chose the “most annoying co-star” option, and it didn’t take much thought for him to come up with someone.
“I really have to say this?” Winkler laughed. “Shelley Long!”
At first, Winkler joked that he couldn’t tell the Today co-hosts why working with Shelley was so bad, but then he explained, “We were in a 50/50 and it turned into an over-the-shoulder.”
Winkler explained that he and his “annoying” co-star were in a scene where the camera was supposed to be on both of their faces evenly, but somehow it turned into Shelley towering over his shoulder because she kept moving in front of him.
“But that was a long time ago,” Winkler said.
Henry Winkler was likely referring to working with Shelley Long on the movie Night Shift nearly 40 years ago. Winkler co-starred with Long in the 1982 comedy film, which was directed by his longtime Happy Days co-star Ron Howard. In Night Shift, Shelley Long played Belinda, a prostitute with a heart of gold who becomes Winkler’s love interest in the film.
Henry Winkler is lucky he was only asked about his favorite kid and his most annoying co-star. The actor may have had more trouble had he been asked to pick his favorite movie or TV role. In September, Henry Winkler won his first Primetime Emmy Award for his role on Barry, more than 40 years after he became a household name for his breakthrough role as the Fonz on Happy Days.
In his Emmy acceptance speech, which he said he wrote 43 years ago, Winkler thanked the creators of Barry, Alec Berg and Bill Hader, and gave a sweet shout-out to his kids, who are all over age 35.
“Kids! Jed, Zoe and Max, you can go to bed now! Daddy won,” Winkler said.
You can see Henry Winkler playing Chooseday Tuesday on the Today show below.