Henry Winkler’s Scariest Fan Interaction Was All Thanks to the FBI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation massively mishandled their formidable assets to meet the Fonz
Henry Winkler’s Scariest Fan Interaction Was All Thanks to the FBI

Next time someone from the Federal Bureau of Investigation wants Henry Winkler to shake their hand, they should sit on it instead.

For all the Winkler fans who know him best as the nebbish-y character actor on critically acclaimed shows like Arrested Development and Barry, it may be hard to believe that Gene Cousineau was once the coolest cat in sitcoms. Winkler’s performance as the slick, motorcycle-riding, leather-jacket-wearing Arthur “Fonzi” Fonzarelli on the ABC sitcom Happy Days was, and still is, one of the most iconic roles in all of TV comedy as Winkler encapsulated everything cool to mid-1970s America. And at a time when J. Edgar Hoover’s body was barely cold and his soul burningly warm, the G-men of the FBI didn’t have quite the affection and admiration of America’s youth that a pre-shark-jump Fonzi enjoyed.

As such, when a handful of die-hard Happy Days fans in the FBI apparently thought that an impromptu meet-and-greet with Winkler would up their cool factor, they created the single most memorable and pants-shittingly surprising fan encounter of Winkler’s life. On the most recent episode of the SmartLess podcast, Winkler told hosts Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett that, at the height of his Happy Days fame, a gaggle of G-Men dropped in on his apartment unexpectedly to express their appreciation of his work on Happy Days, giving him a minor cardiac event in the process.

Oh, also, Winkler was smoking weed when the FBI came knocking on his door like it was the side of a jukebox.

Winkler told his hosts that, during Happy Days, fans occasionally found the address of his L.A. apartment and would stop by to pay their respects. Specifically, Winkler humble-bragged, women would knock on his door and lift their shirt and ask me to sign parts of their anatomy. However, the most memorable house-callers were rarely seen without their dark suits, fedoras and bulletproof vests.

“So Im sitting in my apartment. I have a Victrola because everything was vinyl,” Winkler recalled of the day of the G-men gave him the scare of his life. “I went to Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard. I bought Dan Fogelberg, and I was listening to Dan Fogelberg on my rented Victrola. The door knocks. I get up. There are three men with badges. And I said, Oh no, you do not smell what you think youre smelling. Oh my god.”

Winkler evasively admitted, “There was some weed going,” but thankfully, his fans were from the FBI and not the DEA. “They said, Were with the FBI. Were not here for that. We just wanted to meet the Fonz,’” Winkler recounted.

“Thats a bit of an abuse of their assets, right? They just looked up your address?” Bateman asked. 

Winkler, however, didnt have time to consider his civil rights in the moment, saying of his reaction, “I was so happy that I was not being put in handcuffs that I didnt care what they did.”

Next time the feds come knocking, though, they shouldnt expect an autograph or a selfie, and may end up with a lawsuit on their hands — we hear Winklers lawyer is very good.


Scroll down for the next article
Forgot Password?