|First appearance||"Love and the Happy Days" (pilot on Love, American Style)
"All the Way" (series)
|Last appearance||"Fonzie's Spots" (officially)
KSTP-TV's ads (unofficially)
|Created by||Garry Marshall|
|Portrayed by||Anson Williams|
|Occupation||Works at Howard Cunningham's hardware store|
Potsie was a close friend of Richie Cunningham and Ralph Malph, who often spent time at Arnold's Drive In. He was characterized as not being very bright, somewhat gullible, socially clumsy, and in modern hindsight, very "square." An enthusiastic singer, he was frequently called a nerd by friends and acquaintances. Potsie's musical endeavors became more central to the character as the series progressed. Potsie's extremely sour relationship with his father (never seen on camera) was a minor running joke on the series, with lines such as "I'm gonna talk to my dad too; will be the first time in six months!"
The February 19, 1974, episode titled The Deadly Dares (Season 1, Episode 6) revealed how Potsie got his nickname. He was asked, "Potsie Weber? What kind of name is this?" He replied, "They call me Potsie because when I was a young boy I used to like to make things with clay, and one day my mother called me Potsie."
In the pilot and early seasons, Potsie appeared with best friend Richie in the plots and appeared to be more savvy than him, a character trait that would be dropped by the writers. As the series progressed, and with the breakout character Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli becoming close friends with Richie, Potsie was more commonly paired with Ralph in stories, particularly when the pair rented an apartment together upon leaving high school.
Like his friends, Potsie had his share of crushes on members of the opposite sex. His one steady girlfriend was Jennifer Jerome, played by Lorrie Mahaffey, Williams's wife from 1978 to 1986. The two met in college and shared a passion for singing, as evidenced by a duet they sang during their fraternity/sorority "pinning ceremony." Her departure from the show was left unexplained.
Potsie—who was assistant manager of Cunningham Hardware, the hardware store owned and operated by Richie's father, Howard Cunningham, throughout the series—was apparently smart enough to get into medical school, and continued to work toward his goal of becoming a psychiatrist during the later years of the show's run.
Potsie was one of the few characters to remain through the entire run of the show, even though his appearances became sporadic in the later years (Potsie appeared in only six episodes apiece for the final two seasons). As episodes began to shift toward Fonzie and the other characters, Potsie became more of a "dumb" foil for punchlines, usually from Fonzie or Mr. Cunningham.
Although he is credited as a star during the opening credits of the series finale, "Passages," he does not appear in the episode, other than in archive footage from previous episodes in the end montage.
- Bianculli, David. "'Happy Days' Crew Expects the Worst", Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) - Wednesday, November 16, 1983
- McArdle, Kerry (December 26, 2006). "Know it All". San Mateo Daily Journal.
- "Happy Days - where are they now?". Virgin Media. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
- "The Deadly Dares". IMDb. Retrieved August 11, 2012.