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Live webchat with Henry Winkler on Monday 6th July at 9pm (GMT)

(466 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 01-Jul-09 09:59:09

We're delighted to welcome Mr Henry Winkler (aka The Fonz) to Mumsnet for a live webchat from his home in LA. Henry has transformed his own experiences of struggling through school with unidentified dyslexia into a great series of books for kids; 'Hank Ziper: The World's Greatest Underachiever'. As well as telling us about his books, Henry will be chatting about his own experiences with dsylexia, his recent tour of UK schools and of course dancing around the juke box at Arnold's Restaurant. If you can't join us on the day, post your advance questions here.

Pan Thu 02-Jul-09 08:48:51

ok. I'll do it.

OK - a serious question - how did you get involved in pantomime, given that it's a uniquely British tradition? (I think I'm right in saying this?)

I assume that it was, as much as anything, for the money (!), but was it a tradition that you were aware of/knew anything about?

And is there anything similar in the theatre in the US?

Interesting article in Wikipedia which suggests pantomime might exist in other countries, although not quite as we know it to be:


Dumbledoresgirl Thu 02-Jul-09 14:28:35

OMG is this for real? the real actual Fonz?! Sorry, that must be really irritating for the poor man, after all these years, but you have to know your character is a huge sex icon for women of a certain age.

Gosh need to think of a question quick so I can say I once corresponded with the Fonz....

ummm....I loved your look on Happy Days, do you ever wear a black leather jacket and if so, how old do you think a man should be when he hangs up his leather jacket for good? (dh stopped wearing his years ago and I would like to get him back into it - well, a new one actually).

Also, are you still in contact with any of the old Happy Days cast members and has knowing Ron Howard brought you any jobs? grin

slyandgobbo Thu 02-Jul-09 14:36:19

Fonz life webchat, Biscuit-threads, 'tis midsummer madness at HQ

coppertop Thu 02-Jul-09 14:37:43

Can I ask in advance:

Do you have any plans to write more books for children? If so, will you be continuing with the Hank stories or do you have a new character in mind?


<thumps the Jukebox and Suzi Quattro Leather Tuscadero blares out>

Oh dear I have come over all unecessary now and can't think of a suitable proper question blush

OK here's one, will there ever be a Happy Days reunion special?

<fluffs hair, chews gum, swishes poodle skirt>

MrsMerryHenry Thu 02-Jul-09 15:37:52

gringringringringringringringringringringringringringringringrin[gri n]gringringringringringringringringringringrin

How utterly brilliant. I loved The Fonz as a kid.

Hi, Henry! What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever done?

gringringringringringringringringringringringringringringrin[ grin]gringringringringringringringringringringringrin

MrsMerryHenry Thu 02-Jul-09 15:39:03

Oh dear. I think my grins have heatstroke.

MrsMerryHenry Thu 02-Jul-09 15:39:33

Thanks Pan - your link put a grin on my face!

BCNS Thu 02-Jul-09 17:37:12

yay the fonz!! very very cool!

okay first question.. are your new books going to be available on CD or downloadable MP3 ?.. we're a dyslexic family we love books and this would make it so much more accessible (sp)

BTW it is very very cool to be able to tell DS's that the fonz is dyslexic to!!

secondly, did you have a scribe, or voice recognition programme to write the books.. or have you worked through your issues and found ways round it or just tackled it all a bit head on? ( I remember the patterns of the words on the keyboard )

when did you eventually get diagnosed and with that how did you feel?

( my experience of this was that I had spent so long being the best I could in more artist areas, sidelined that fact that I struggle with the written word. so when I was diagnosed much later on 20/21 years old.. it was all a bit ohhh ahhh so how do we fix it then.. and of course that doesn't actually happen as such.. it has really taken me until recently that, actually if I hadn't been awful at english.. I wouldn't be doing the best job in the world now!.. but it took a while to get my head round.)

YeahBut Thu 02-Jul-09 17:46:21

gringringrin grin

OK, now I've got that out of the way, a serious question...
Do you have any suggestions for keeping a child with dyslexia motivated at school?

BCNS Thu 02-Jul-09 18:05:41

questions from my ds's.


did you get picket on at school becouse you found it harder than others to spell?

(ds1 wrote that and now for ds2 and I'm letting him type his question as well .. he's 10 )

ds2 :

what is it like being famous but disliksik?

<preen with pride at my boys!!>

BCNS Thu 02-Jul-09 18:06:30

ooops ds1 is 14..

littlelamb Thu 02-Jul-09 18:10:16

MNHQ, you have surpassed yourselves grin

I want to know if he liked this music video

ANd if he ever gets fed up of being the Fonz

FrannyandZooey Thu 02-Jul-09 18:25:00


the fonz



FrannyandZooey Thu 02-Jul-09 18:25:25


i'll be back with a proper question when i have stopped palpitating

squeaver Thu 02-Jul-09 18:29:50

Hope you don't mind lots of Happy Days questions.

Are you still friends with Ron Howard and/or anyone else from the Happy Days days?

Dumbledoresgirl Thu 02-Jul-09 18:30:33

Littlelamb, if the answer to your last question is yes, I think most of us are already in trouble!

FrannyandZooey Thu 02-Jul-09 18:32:13

ok i can't think of anything sensible or non-fonz-related
but i would love to know:

what were the other actors in Happy Days like to work with? Can you share some gossip please? For instance I would love to know if Tom Bosley was actually a grumpy old sod, or if Marion Ross had a drink problem

(i bet you are going to say they were ALL lovely)

FrannyandZooey Thu 02-Jul-09 18:34:51

Ok i am embarrassed at my own shallowness now and want to ask something else as well

(if you have time)

when and how did you discover you had dyslexia? and how did it feel to find out what had been causing your problems at school?

littlelamb Thu 02-Jul-09 18:35:05

Ooo yy, I would love it if Marion Ross was actually an old crone taking swigs from a hip flask inbetween takes.
I wonder if they knew Ron Howard would go onto greater things?

FrannyandZooey Thu 02-Jul-09 18:37:59

"greater things"??
than Happy Days? shock
surely some mistake

Lulumama Thu 02-Jul-09 18:53:01




DS has dyslexia.... we shall be watching with interest. and buy his books

Ds says he has 'lysdexia, so he can't spell very well.'
proper question for henry
I would like to know if Henry had other quirky pronounciations when he was a child, and if he developed confidence and showmanship and went into acting because of or despite his dyslexia?

DS is v v confident and dramatic and funny, and I do wonder if he would have been less so if he had not been trying to cover up how hard he was struggling to do his school work.. he had to really play on his strengths, IFYSWIM, to cover up his weaknesses..

littlelamb Thu 02-Jul-09 18:54:45

Allow me to rephrase
'greater' things
such as, you know, all those oscars. Just for example wink

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