Actually, in a few places on our website we have links to you and Scott Baio singing the Joanie Loves Chachi theme via You Tube. Sam: Now I just re-watched the first season of Happy Days.
Erin: Yeah, that was a little later but actually, for my first movie I was five. ” Sam: So after your time on Daktari you worked on stuff like The Courtship of Eddie’s Father and My Three Sons and… Now Garry Marshall, who created Happy Days, was a writer for that movie and Jerry Paris, who directed almost every single episode of Happy Days, was the director! There is no doubt about it: the 1970s were the golden age of the television sit-com. Stuck between the kooky creativity of the 1960s and the bland politically correct sentimentality of the 1980s, the 1970s provided TV audiences with the best writers, producers, actors and envelope pushing that the television sit-com had to offer. So you can imagine how excited I was when I was given the chance to sit down and have a one-on-one visit with Happy Days star Erin Moran, who portrayed Joanie Cunningham for all ten seasons of Happy Days, not to mention the disastrous spin off series Joanie Loves Chachi. So I went in with my Mom and had the interview with her and she signed me right their that day and the first commercial that I went for, which was for the First National Bank, I got and I’ve worked ever since.
Beginning her acting career in commercials at the age of four, Erin was the “jump the shark” kid in Daktari, and eventually wound up striking pop culture gold when she got the part of Joanie Cunningham as a young teenager.
Sam: Now back in the early episodes you were really just the smart-mouthed kid sister that actually had all the best lines. Sam: Did you feel that later on the writing changed for you? It was kind of hard for Ron Howard because he was the star of the show and then all of a sudden here comes Henry kind of outshining him, not that he was jealous in that but he didn’t really want to act anyways.
It was really funny because when Henry was taking off and we were becoming number one they offered Henry his own show called, I don’t know, “The Fonz Show” or something ridiculous and I remember Henry going, he said this: “Why would I want to do another show where I have to get another whole cast of people who I am going to have to try to mesh with and get along with when I already got it right here.
Over ten years America watched as Erin grew up from smart mouthed kid to beautiful and spunky woman. Erin: Yes, and then my very first series was Daktari. Sam: With Judy the Chimp and Clarence the cross-eyed lion! Sam: So how did you get into acting at the age of four?
She may have loved Chachi, but TV audiences loved her. Erin: Well, a friend of my Mom’s had a friend who was just starting out as a child agent, and the friend of my Mom’s said, “just take Erin in and just meet with her”.
Then my last play I did was called “Vanities” with Linda Blair and Jill Whelan and that was fun because I got to play an alcoholic and that was fun because I’ve never gotten to do that before.