Joanie Loves Chachi
Joanie Loves Chachi is an American sitcom television series and a spin-off of Happy Days that aired on ABC from March 23, 1982 to May 24, 1983. It stars Erin Moran and Scott Baio as the characters Joanie Cunningham and Chachi Arcola, respectively. The series was cancelled after 17 episodes, in its second season, due to a drop in ratings.
|Joanie Loves Chachi|
|Created by||Lowell Ganz|
|Developed by||Thomas L. Miller|
Robert L. Boyett
|Written by||Cheryl Alu|
James Patrick Dunne
|Directed by||Lowell Ganz|
|Opening theme||"You Look at Me", performed by Scott Baio and Erin Moran|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||17 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producers||Lowell Ganz|
Robert L. Boyett
Edward K. Milkis
Thomas L. Miller
|Producers||James Patrick Dunne|
Fred Fox, Jr.
|Running time||22–24 minutes|
|Production companies||Paramount Television|
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution|
|Original release||March 23, 1982 –|
May 24, 1983
|Preceded by||Love, American Style|
|Related shows||Laverne & Shirley|
Mork & Mindy
Out of the Blue
The series is set in the early to mid-1960s and follows the exploits of Joanie and Chachi as they moved to Chicago and tried to make it on their own with a rock band and a music career at a time when the British Invasion was looming (one episode was titled "Beatlemania"). It mixed the traditional elements of a sitcom with musical performances on each show by Baio and Moran. In fact, the beginning credit sequence of the show had them singing to each other. Their backup band consists of a spaced-out drummer named Bingo and Chachi's blasé cousins Mario and Annette.
The series also starred Ellen Travolta as Louisa Delvecchio, Chachi's mother, and Al Molinaro as Al Delvecchio, Chachi's stepfather (and formerly the owner of Arnold's Drive-In in Happy Days), who opened a restaurant in which Chachi and Joanie performed most of their music. Art Metrano played Chachi's uncle Rico Mastorelli, who was the band's manager and helped Joanie and Chachi advance in their careers. Winifred Freedman played Rico's daughter, Annette, Chachi's cousin and bandmate.
Joanie Loves Chachi was the first Miller-Boyett (and only Garry Marshall-produced) sitcom developed by Thomas L. Miller and Robert L. Boyett, and was created by Lowell Ganz, Mark Rothman, and Garry Marshall. This is the only Garry Marshall/Miller-Boyett sitcom that does not have Charles Fox and/or Norman Gimbel as the show's theme song/music cue composer.
An urban legend circulated that the show was the highest-rated American program ever in Korea due to "chachi" being a Korean word for "penis". In actuality, the show was never broadcast to the general public of Korea, only to U.S. servicemen stationed in South Korea, and has never even been dubbed or subtitled in Korean.
Scott Baio later recalled:
All the Happy Days people had written the first four episodes, when the show got picked up for series, but then they left to go back to Happy Days, and we were stuck with new writers who didn’t know us. So that was a problem. And then some of the people on the show had chemical issues, and that was a problem. It was just on and on and on, and it just sort of all crumbled and fell apart. In retrospect, if given the choice again, I would not have done that show. That was just the wrong idea. If I had to do it all over again, I would’ve waited ’til Happy Days was over until I did anything else. [emphasis in original]
US TV RatingsEdit
|Season||Episodes||Start Date||End Date||Nielsen Rank||Nielsen Rating||Tied With|
|1981-82||4||March 23, 1982||April 13, 1982||4||23.3||Three's Company|
|1982-83||13||September 30, 1982||May 24, 1983||70||N/A||N/A|
The show debuted as a mid-season replacement and initially attracted high ratings, benefiting from two factors: it aired immediately following its parent series, Happy Days, and had only reruns competing for its time slot. The ratings plummeted in Season 2 with a move to Thursday nights, which put Joanie Loves Chachi up against The A-Team, and it was pulled from the schedule by the year's end. The characters were rolled back into Happy Days for that program's final season. ABC determined that the show was losing too much of its lead-in, suggesting low appeal if the show were moved.
|Scott Baio||Chachi Arcola|
|Erin Moran||Joanie Cunningham|
|Al Molinaro||Al Delvecchio|
|Ellen Travolta||Louisa Delvecchio|
|Art Metrano||Rico Mastorelli|
|Robert Pierce||Bingo Pierce|
|Derrel Maury||Mario Mastorelli|
|Winifred Freedman||Annette Mastorelli|
Season 1 (1982)Edit
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||1||"Chicago"||Tom Trbovich||Lowell Ganz||March 23, 1982|
|2||2||"The Performance"||Tom Trbovich||Fred Fox, Jr.||March 30, 1982|
|3||3||"I Do, I Don't, I Do"||Joel Zwick||William Bickley & Michael Warren||April 6, 1982|
|4||4||"College Days"||Lowell Ganz||James P. Dunne||April 13, 1982|
Season 2 (1982–1983)Edit
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|5||1||"Fonzie's Visit"||Joel Zwick||Dana Olsen||September 30, 1982|
|6||2||"Joanie's Roommate"||Joel Zwick||George Tricker & Neil Rosen||October 14, 1982|
|7||3||"One-on-One"||Howard Storm||Larry Levinson||October 21, 1982|
|8||4||"No Nudes Is Good Nudes"||Lowell Ganz||Terry Hart||October 28, 1982|
|9||5||"Everybody Loves Aunt Vanessa"||John Tracy||Steve Granat & Mel Sherer||November 4, 1982|
|10||6||"Beatlemania"||John Tracy||Gary Menteer||November 11, 1982|
|11||7||"Best Foot Forward"||Henry Winkler||Joan Brooker & Nancy Eddo||November 18, 1982|
|12||8||"Goodbye Delvecchio's, Hello World"||John Tracy||George Tricker & Neil Rosen||November 25, 1982|
|13||9||"Term Paper"||John Tracy||Cheryl Alu & Barry O'Brien||December 2, 1982|
|14||10||"My Dinner with Chachi"||John Tracy||Paula A. Roth||December 9, 1982|
|15||11||"Christmas Show"||TBA||TBA||December 16, 1982|
|16||12||"First Love, Last Love"||John Tracy||Terry Hart||May 17, 1983|
|17||13||"The Elopement"||John Tracy||James P. Dunne & Millee Taggart||May 24, 1983|
In popular mediaEdit
In the pilot episode of Friends, taped on 4 May 1994, Rachel Green is watching the Happy Days episode of the main characters’ wedding after she breaks up with her fiancé Barry. She says, "See! But Joanie loved Chachi! That's the difference!"
On the Beastie Boys track "Get It Together", released on 17 March 1994, guest vocalist Q-Tip likens band member Ad Rock's close relationship with his then-wife Ione Skye to that of "Chachi and Joanie"; Ad Rock himself then replies, in rhyme, "'Cause she's the cheese and I'm the macaroni!"
In the series Cybill, starring Cybill Shepherd as a character with her own first name is a failing actress, she frequently refers to her role on Joanie Loves Chachi although the actress did not appear on the show.
The show is referenced in the 1998 film A Night at the Roxbury where the owner of the Roxbury opens a bottle of wine from 1980, a woman says "1980, a good year" then Butabi says "Yeah, that was when Joanie Loves Chachi premiered" another woman named Cambi says "Yeah, yeah, Joanie Loves Chachi, but does Chachi give a flyin' f**k bout Joanie?".
The show was referenced twice on Family Guy, in the 1999 episode "Death Has a Shadow" a clip of the show was seen on TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes, where Baio (as Chachi) tries to recite the tongue-twister "Susie Sells by the Sea Shore" and gets mauled by a bear. In the 2013 episode "Save the Clam", the guys are stuck at Peter Grffin's house drinking while watching an episode of "Joanie Loves Chris Brown" on television.
In 2002, an episode of the nostalgic documentary series I Love the 80s mentioned "Joanie Loves Chachi" as a topic.
In Jason Mraz's 2018 song "Unlonely", Mraz references Chachi and Joanie in the line, "We could keep it sweet like Chachi and Joanie".
- Mikkelson, David (June 24, 2000). "Was 'Joanie Loves Chachi' the Highest-Rated TV Show Ever in Korea?". Snopes. Retrieved December 7, 2020.
- Will Harris, "Scott Baio talks Chachi, Bob Loblaw, and Howard Cosell", AV Club 3 April 2014 accessed 7 April 2014
- Lina. "The TV Ratings Guide: 1981-82 Ratings History -- Primetime is Awash in a Bubble Bath as Nighttime Soaps Become the Rage". Retrieved 1 April 2018.
- Lina. "The TV Ratings Guide: 1982-83 Ratings History -- Soap Bubbles Rise, Several Veterans Part and NBC Renews Poorly Rated Masterpieces". Retrieved 1 April 2018.
- "Breaking News - TV Guide Network's "25 Biggest TV Blunders" Special Delivers 3.3 Million Viewers". thefutoncritic.com. 2010-03-02. Retrieved 2010-03-10.
- "Joanie Loves Chachi DVD news: Box Art for Joanie Loves Chachi - The Complete Series: Seasons 1 & 2 - TVShowsOnDVD.com". Archived from the original on 2014-01-01.
- "The Pilot". FRIENDS. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
- "Get It Together". Genius. 28 January 2018.