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WHAT WWE COULD LEARN FROM THE FONZ

By Albert Gourrier on 11/27/2015 9:05 AM

Arthur Fonzarelli was a character on the long running series "Happy Days" played wonderfully by Henry Winkler. By far, he is one of the most iconic characters on TV of all time. You say "The Fonz" and a good majority people of people can tell you who he is....some might even respond "Heyyyyyyy....." So iconic was he, his image adorned lunchboxes and various other pieces of merchandise that sold extremely well. Now you would think the writers had planned for him to be that popular....you would think it was the writers' plan for him to be THE guy on Happy Days...you would think the writers brought him on to be THE star...

Actually, it didn't start that way at all. The Fonz character was a bit player designed to be in and out as a character....but then it happened. The public took to him, liked his character, and as a result his popularity soared through the roof.

Here's the question: Why do you suppose his popularity kept growing when he was initially designed to be a bit player? How did he grow beyond that?

The answer is easy. The writers and creators of the show saw the public loved him and as such, they found ways of using him more. He went from bit player to THE star because the public told them they loved him and as such they most definitely obliged making money hand over fist capitalizing on his growing popularity. No one said "You know, this show is about Richie and the Cunninghams...not the Fonz...let's keep him down as much as possible no matter what our fans think!" Why wouldn't they say that? Obviously because they want to make money and give their paying public something to watch and enjoy. They didn't focus on the Fonz to shut people up...they did it to bring the public more and more in and more and more back to see the show and they kept building him more and more up to where eventually Henry Winkler was the star and got top billing.

With the exception of John Cena, who can you say that WWE has done this with? Crowds are asking for Daniel Bryan...they're asking for Cesaro...they're asking for Dean Ambrose...they're asking for NXT treatment on RAW from the NXT superstars they've grown to love and respect...they're asking for a show they can watch and be entertained by on Monday nights....they're asking for their intelligence to not be insulted...they're asking to be treated with respect...

Is this happening?

There are weeks they get it right but it seems to bug them when it is. As I've mentioned before, just when things get serious and gritty and something you can wrap your teeth in...gears get changed and they try to make you laugh, but the problem is, the comedy isn't funny, it's muddies the water, and all the time the public invests in the angle is thrown by the waist side. Look at Ron Killings from years ago...one of the rare times he's in a main event angle for the world heavyweight title where he comes across as mad, evil, and badass...but then just as quick, he's talking about "Little Jimmy" shucking it up with everyone.

Ratings could be up....money intake could be up...public interest could be up...make me wonder....are they allergic to the skies being the limit OR have they gotten so used to the glass (and Lucite) ceiling they've set for themselves that they really feel they couldn't go higher?

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