Joanie Loves Johnny

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Songfacts®:

  • This song is a parody of the TV series Happy Days. The happy-go-lucky environment of the show has since given way to constant drug use and characters working at peepshows. The only remainder from the old days is that "Joanie Loves Johnny." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alec - Yorktown Heights, NY
  • Set in the 1950s, the popular '70s sitcom Happy Days followed the lives of the wholesome Cunningham family and their various friends - including their greaser neighbor "The Fonz." Joanie, the youngest Cunningham kid, fell for Fonzie's younger cousin Chachi (Scott Baio) - not Johnny - and inspired the short-lived spinoff Joanie Loves Chachi.
  • The lyrics mention several characters from the show, including dad Howard Cunningham ("Mr. C"), Joanie's older brother Richie and his friends Potsie and Ralph (who's busy sniffing glue at Arnold's, the gang's hangout), and boy-crazy Jenny Piccalo (who now works at a peepshow). Fonzie and his girlfriend Pinky Tuscadero also show up as drug addicts.
  • This isn't the only Screeching Weasel song inspired by a classic sitcom. Their subsequent album, Anthem For A New Tomorrow, features the Brady Bunch-inspired track "Peter Brady."
  • After Happy Days ended in 1984, Erin Moran, who portrayed Joanie Cunningham, fell on hard times. Unable to find steady work, she spiraled into depression and drug use. In 2017, she died of throat cancer at age 56.

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