Archaeologists at a Hollywood studio have found what appears to be an episode of popular TV series Happy Days dating back to the late 19th century, indicating that, contrary to widespread belief, the popular series about life in 1950s America wasn't made simply during the 1970s and 1980s.
In the episode unearthed from the archive, dated 1881 according to the end credits, the Fonz has to repair his motorcycle while Richie, Pottsy and Ralph have an argument about which of them will ask out Jenny Piccolo, indicating that plot lines have changed little during the series' 100 year history. Expert in 1950s pop culture Dr. Little Richard said:
"These story lines never age. Viewers in the 1880s had similar problems to viewers in the 1950s and viewers today, like whether to ask a girl out to the prom or how to pay for repairs to their Harley-Davidson."
The discovery has led to increased speculation about the age of one of the show's stars Ron Howard, who played Richie Cunningham, the son of Howard and Marion Cunningham, and brother of Joanie, in whose basement Arthur ("the Fonz") Fonzarelli lives, and whose house is the setting for most of the scenes. Youthful-looking Howard left acting in the 1980s to become a producer and director, and many of his films have been great successes, such as Splash, Cocoon and more recently Da Vinci Code.
Dr. Richard added:
"We now know why this guy's so successful. He's had over a century worth of experience in the business."
Commenting on further rumours in France that a pilot episode of Happy Days with an ever youthful looking Richie was found buried in Napoleon Bonaparte's Palace, he concluded:
"This doesn't surprise me at all. The only way to know how old this guy really is would be to carbon date him and the rest of the cast of Happy Days."