Henry Winkler is good at so many things: fishing, punching Bill Hader, and opening mysterious old treasures in order to support his family after a century-old curse. He has so many layers. But he is perhaps best known to most as a guy who loves showing off his ambidextrous skills as The Fonz in Happy Days.
Fonzie always wore his signature jacket paired with his iconic motorcycle, though, in real life, Winkler doesn’t seem to know his thumbs from his feet and has no cycling skills whatsoever, much like the rest of us. In a new interview, Winkler told Jennifer Hudson that he only attempted to ride the infamous bike once, with disastrous results. “I rode it really for 17 seconds, in the beginning, going up the hill. That was it, “Winkler began before things went metaphorically and physically downhill.
He continued, “And there was a moment when they had me on soundstage five at Paramount. I was on the bike and all I had to do was rev it and move it five feet. I revved it and I [am] so dyslexic I had no idea where the brake was, where the gear was…and I shot forward.” This promptly stalled Winkler’s off-screen motorcycle career.
“The director of photography, he leaped out of the way. I put the bike down, slid under the truck, and they came running,” the Barry actor explained, though they were worried for different reasons. “Everyone was in a panic that the bike was fine, because it was rented. And then they [asked] ‘How about you, are you okay?'”
The bike was okay, as was Winkler, who has since appeared in nearly a hundred TV shows and dozens of movies since then. As for the bike…. it was recently sold for about $250K. Perhaps it would have been worth more if Winkler hadn’t shoved it under a truck.