Joanie Loves Johnny

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.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Gentle Giant

Gentle GiantSongwriter Interviews

If counterpoint and polyrhythms are your thing, you might love these guys. Even by Progressive Rock standards, they were one of the most intricate bands of the '70s. Then their lead singer gave us Bon Jovi.

Van Dyke Parks

Van Dyke ParksSongwriter Interviews

U2, Carly Simon, Joanna Newsom, Brian Wilson and Fiona Apple have all gone to Van Dyke Parks to make their songs exceptional.

U2

U2Fact or Fiction

How did The Edge get his name? Did they name a song after a Tolkien book? And who is "Angel of Harlem" about?

Director Wes Edwards ("Drunk on a Plane")

Director Wes Edwards ("Drunk on a Plane")Song Writing

Wes Edwards takes us behind the scenes of videos he shot for Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and Chase Bryant. The train was real - the airplane was not.

Jello Biafra

Jello BiafraSongwriter Interviews

The former Dead Kennedys frontman on the past, present and future of the band, what music makes us "pliant and stupid," and what he learned from Alice Cooper.

Chris Frantz - "Genius of Love"

Chris Frantz - "Genius of Love"They're Playing My Song

Chris and his wife Tina were the rhythm section for Talking Heads when they formed The Tom Tom Club. "Genius of Love" was their blockbuster, but David Byrne only mentioned it once.