On Twitter, Howard, who played Richie Cunningham on the 1970s sitcom, retweeted Winkler’s recent video in which he showed off the fact that he can drink a glass of water using just one hand. In the short clip, the now-white haired, Emmy-winning actor was seen waving his left hand aside as he held a glass of water in his right hand and drank from it.
Winkler, 74, captioned the video “one hand” in a clear mockery of a viral Trump video in which the President proved he could drink a glass of water with one hand. Trump drank water with a single hand at his recent Tulsa rally after he was criticized for using two hands to drink from a small glass while giving the commencement address at West Point earlier this month.
However, Howard’s praise wasn’t just for Winkler’s one-handed drinking skills. The actor and director wrote that his longtime co-star’s “brilliant” video reminded him of when he “totally improvised” his Happy Days character’s famous hair combing move more than 45 years ago. Fans of the long-running sitcom may recall that whenever Fonzie went to a mirror to comb his hair, he realized it was already perfect, so he would just shrug and put the comb back in his pocket.
Howard wrote that Winkler has a way of “saying so much with so little.”
pretty brilliant, my friend. Reminds me of when you totally improvised the Iconic Fonz move of deciding your hair was perfect and then just shruggling to yourself in the mirror! I’ll never forget that. Awesome & elegant….Saying so much, with so little! https://t.co/EpN6xQdBnJ
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) June 22, 2020
In the comments to Howard’s post, many Happy Days fans admitted they never knew the classic Fonz move was improvised by Winkler.
“Iconic scene, and now I know it was improvised,” one fan wrote. “Awesome!”
“What a great piece of Fonz history to let us know! I love it!” another added.
Other fans asked Howard if it was his idea or Winkler’s to have him recreate the move when he played Barry Zuckerhorn on Arrested Development.
Fonzie’s signature move was so popular that it was featured on the Happy Days opening credits after the first season of the show.
Winkler has long talked about how he developed the Fonzie character. In an interview with Television Academy, the actor said he didn’t want to be a stereotype so he promised himself he wouldn’t have Fonzie comb his hair, chew gum, or have cigarettes in his T-shirt sleeve because “every actor who ever played this character did that.”
In a 2015 interview with The Guardian, Winkler elaborated, explaining that everyone who has ever played a “Fonz-like cool character” has always done the same things.
“I swore I wouldn’t do any of that,” Winkler said.
“I told the [Happy Days] director: ‘I can’t comb my hair, I made a deal with myself.’..So I walked up, held up my comb, then went: ‘Heeeey… that’s perfect, I don’t need to comb.’ That moment defined the Fonz.”