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Joanie Loves Chachi

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Joanie Loves Chachi
Created byLowell Ganz
Mark Rothman
Garry Marshall
Developed byThomas L. Miller
Robert L. Boyett
Written byCheryl Alu
James Patrick Dunne
Lowell Ganz
Terry Hart
Neil Rosen
George Tricker
Directed byLowell Ganz
John Tracy
Tom Trbovich
Joel Zwick
StarringErin Moran
Scott Baio
Al Molinaro
Ellen Travolta
Art Metrano
Opening theme"You Look at Me", performed by Scott Baio and Erin Moran
Composer(s)Howard Pearl
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes17 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Lowell Ganz
Robert L. Boyett
Ronny Hallin
Garry Marshall
Edward K. Milkis
Thomas L. Miller
Producer(s)James Patrick Dunne
Fred Fox, Jr.
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time22–24 minutes
Production company(s)Paramount Television
Miller-Milkis-Boyett Productions
Henderson Productions
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Original networkABC
Original releaseMarch 23, 1982 (1982-03-23) –
May 24, 1983 (1983-05-24)
Preceded byLove, American Style
Happy Days
Related showsLaverne & Shirley
Blansky's Beauties
Mork & Mindy
Out of the Blue

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 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 (Travolta and Baio would star again as mother and son later in Charles in Charge), 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 (later a cast member of the syndicated soap opera Rituals) 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. Unlike other Garry Marshall/Miller-Boyett sitcoms, this is the only series that does not have Charles Fox and/or Norman Gimbel as the show's theme song/music cue composer.

A false urban legend circulated that the show was far more popular in Korea due to "chachi" being similar to a Korean word for "penis". The program was shown on the Armed Forces Network terrestrial channel 2, which was seen by the general population, but did not cause a stir because of the name and because the program was not very popular.[1]

Scott Baio later recalled that:

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.[2]

US TV Ratings[edit]

Season Episodes Start Date End Date Nielsen Rank Nielsen Rating Tied With
1981-82 4 March 23, 1982 April 13, 1982 4 23.3[3] Three's Company
1982-83 13 September 30, 1982 May 24, 1983 70[4] N/A N/A


The show initially attracted high ratings for the first few episodes, but the ratings plummeted in Season 2 with a move to Thursday nights, and the series only lasted for two seasons (both abbreviated) before 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.

In 2010, TV Guide Network listed the show at #17 on its list of 25 Biggest TV Blunders, arguing that Joanie and Chachi was not what viewers wanted to see and that it was the Fonz who drew viewers in to Happy Days.[5]

Main cast[edit]

Actor Role
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]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Chicago"Tom TrbovichLowell GanzMarch 23, 1982 (1982-03-23)
22"The Performance"TBATBAMarch 30, 1982 (1982-03-30)
33"I Do, I Don't, I Do"TBATBAApril 6, 1982 (1982-04-06)
44"College Days"TBATBAApril 13, 1982 (1982-04-13)

Season 2 (1982–1983)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
51"Fonzie's Visit"Joel ZwickDana OlsenSeptember 30, 1982 (1982-09-30)
62"Joanie's Roommate"Joel ZwickGeorge Tricker & Neil RosenOctober 14, 1982 (1982-10-14)
73"One-on-One"Howard StormLarry LevinsonOctober 21, 1982 (1982-10-21)
84"No Nudes Is Good Nudes"Lowell GanzTerry HartOctober 28, 1982 (1982-10-28)
95"Everybody Loves Aunt Vanessa"John TracySteve Granat & Mel ShererNovember 4, 1982 (1982-11-04)
106"Beatlemania"John TracyGary MenteerNovember 11, 1982 (1982-11-11)
117"Best Foot Forward"Henry WinklerJoan Brooker & Nancy EddoNovember 18, 1982 (1982-11-18)
128"Goodbye Delvecchio's, Hello World"John TracyGeorge Tricker & Neil RosenNovember 25, 1982 (1982-11-25)
139"Term Paper"John TracyCheryl Alu & Barry O'BrienDecember 2, 1982 (1982-12-02)
1410"My Dinner with Chachi"John TracyPaula A. RothDecember 9, 1982 (1982-12-09)
1511"Christmas Show"TBATBADecember 16, 1982 (1982-12-16)
1612"First Love, Last Love"John TracyTerry HartMay 17, 1983 (1983-05-17)
1713"The Elopement"John TracyJames P. Dunne & Millee TaggartMay 24, 1983 (1983-05-24)

Home media[edit]

On February 4, 2014, CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) released Joanie Loves Chachi - The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1.[6]

In popular media[edit]

In the pilot episode of Friends, taped on 4 May 1994, Rachel Green is watching the show after she breaks up with her fiancé Barry. She says, "See! But Joanie loved Chachi! That's the difference!"[7]

The show is referenced in the Bloodhound Gang song, “Yummy Down on This”, from their third studio album, Hooray for Boobies.

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!"[8]

In the 2004 film DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story when White Goodman (played by Ben Stiller) hits Justin with a dodgeball, he says "Joanie loves Chachi!".

In Jason Mraz's 2018 song "Unlonely", Mraz references Chachi and Joanie in the line, "We could keep it sweet like Chachi and Joanie".

In the series Cybill starring Cybill Shepherd as a character with her own first name who is a failing actress, she frequently refers to her role on Joanie Loves Chachi although the actress did not appear on the show.


  1. ^ "'Joanie Loves Chachi' - Highest-Rated TV Show Ever in Korea?". 5 April 2014.
  2. ^ Will Harris, "Scott Baio talks Chachi, Bob Loblaw, and Howard Cosell", AV Club 3 April 2014 accessed 7 April 2014
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Breaking News - TV Guide Network's "25 Biggest TV Blunders" Special Delivers 3.3 Million Viewers". 2010-03-02. Retrieved 2010-03-10.
  6. ^ "Joanie Loves Chachi DVD news: Box Art for Joanie Loves Chachi - The Complete Series: Seasons 1 & 2 -". Archived from the original on 2014-01-01.
  7. ^ "The Pilot". FRIENDS. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Get It Together". Genius. 28 January 2018.

External links[edit]

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