For 11 seasons, Happy Days enamored sitcom lovers with its hilariously relatable characters. But Ron Howard revealed that things weren’t always so joyful behind the scenes of the show.

Due to the popularity of Henry Winkler’s Fonzie, ABC executives pitched the idea to rename the show to Fonzie’s Happy Days.

“I said, ‘If you do that, it is an insult to everybody I’m working with. Why fix something that isn’t broken? We are really good. I live in the family, and that’s why I’m successful. I’m asking you, if you never listen to me again, leave it alone,'” Henry, 78, told The New York Times in an interview published on Monday, January 15.

Ron, 69, threatened to leave the series if the show became centered around Fonzie instead of the Cunningham family.

“I told them if you really want to change the name of the show to that, I would rather go back to USC and film school and what I was doing before the show launched,” he said in the joint interview.

Ron ended up leaving Happy Days in 1980 after season 7. He returned to reprise his role of Richie Cunningham as a guest star in season 11.

“The press kept saying, ‘What’s it like? Do you feel like you’ve become a secondhand citizen on your own show?’” the Oscar winner told Closer in December 2023. “The executives, studio heads, network heads, you know, they started treating me with a lot of disrespect from a business standpoint [and] in terms of interaction.”

Despite Ron’s departure, Henry remained a cast member on the show up until the very end in 1984.

“[Ron] told me how disrespected the network had made him feel — financially and personally,” Henry recalled. “‘You know,’ he said, ‘ABC just really doesn’t care about me.’’’

Ron Howard and Henry Winkler on the set of 'Happy Days'
Fotos International/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Ron went on to become one of the most notable directors in Hollywood, with Parenthood, Apollo 13, Cinderella Man, Inferno and more under his belt.

“I was concerned about getting locked into that one character,” he explained. “I knew I wanted to try to do many, many different kinds of roles.”

While directing and producing have become his main focus in recent decades, Ron revealed there is one person who could probably convince him to act againdaughter Bryce Dallas Howard.

“It would probably be Bryce,” he said during a December 2022 episode of Variety‘s “Awards Circuit” podcast. “It would probably be Bryce directing something and saying, ‘Dad, I really need you to come in and do this,’ or ‘You have to.’ Either of those would probably get me in the makeup chair and in front of the camera.”