Chachi Arcola

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Chachi Arcola
First appearance"Hollywood (Happy Days)" - Part 1 (1977)
Last appearance"Passages (Happy Days)" (1984)
Created byGarry Marshall
Portrayed byScott Baio
OccupationHelper at Fonzie's Garage and at Arnold's, student, musician
SpouseJoanie Cunningham
NationalityItalian American

Charles "Chachi" Arcola is a character played by Scott Baio on the sitcom Happy Days and its spin-off Joanie Loves Chachi.[1]

The character of Chachi is the younger cousin of Fonzie, first appearing on Happy Days in season 5, beginning in 1977.[2] His main love interest is Joanie Cunningham, with their relationship becoming a common theme for episodes in later seasons.[3] Chachi shares a close relationship with his older cousin Fonzie. Many times, Fonzie stepped in and was able to be the older brother figure that Chachi needed. Chachi is also very close to his mother and his step-father Al.

Together, Chachi and Joanie became aspiring musicians, and the spinoff series Joanie Loves Chachi was developed when Chachi's mother Louisa and new stepfather Al Delvecchio (the second owner of Arnold's) opened a new restaurant where Joanie and Chachi performed most of their music.[4]

Joanie and Chachi, along with some of his cousins and a character named Bingo, form a band, which was never named in the series.[5]

Joanie and Chachi returned to Happy Days when Joanie Loves Chachi was cancelled, and after them being broken up for a while in the final Happy Days episode, Joanie and Chachi marry.

Development and reception[edit]

After his initial appearance, the character of Chachi was expanded to a recurring character due to positive reception by fans, with Baio receiving up to 5,000 fan letters a week. The name was given by Ron Howard's long term friend, Andrew Smith.[2] When the writers began developing the character of Chachi as a musician, Baio was against the idea because he "didn't sing," but changed his mind based on the possibility of the fame associated with becoming a pop singer.[2] His early catchphrase "Wah, wah, wah!" became popular with teenage girls.[2] However, an attempt to spark a fashion trend by having Chachi frequently costumed with a bandana tied around his pant leg did not catch on.[2]

The character was named after a street where the show's creator Garry Marshall had lived.[2] There have been false rumors that circulated claiming that the broadcast of Joanie loves Chachi had high viewership numbers in Japan and Korea because the name "Chachi" sounds like slang term for "penis" in those countries.[6][7]


  1. ^ From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century - Google Books. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Happier Days: Paramount Television's Classic Sitcoms, 1974-1984 - Marley Brant - Google Books. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  3. ^ Inventory: 16 Films Featuring Manic Pixie Dream Girls, 10 Great Songs Nearly ... - A.V. Club - Google Books. 2009-10-13. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  4. ^ What Were They Thinking?: The 100 Dumbest Events In Television History - David Hofstede - Google Books. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  5. ^ The Rocklopedia Fakebandica - T. Mike Childs - Google Books. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  6. ^ Urban Legends: The As-Complete-As-One-Could-Be Guide to Modern Myths - Ngaire E. Genge - Google Books. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  7. ^ Truth and Rumors: The Reality Behind TV's Most Famous Myths - Bill Brioux - Google Books. Retrieved 2013-08-25.

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