Whoosh! Issue 15 -
December 1997


IAXS project #377
By Fern Waxman
Copyright © 1997 held by author
602 words

More Similarities Than You Can Shake a Stick At (02-03)
Mentors (04-05)
Even More Similarities! (06-07)

Dark Characters With "Good Hearts":
A Comparison of Xena And Fonzie

All I have to do is snap my fingers... One more time, and I slice them off!

Could Fonzie have handled a sword? Could Xena get by with threatening but not hitting?

[01] When channel surfing while on vacation, I came across one of my favorite TV shows from the 1970s, Happy Days (1974-1984). Although my taste in TV shows have changed, from liking Happy Days to being obsessed by Xena: Warrior Princess, I noticed that the two shows had more in common than one would think.

More Similarities than You Can Shake a Stick At

[02] There are many similarities between the two main characters, Arthur Fonzarelli, "The Fonz", and Xena of Amphipolis, "The Warrior Princess". Both characters have questionable pasts, while in the present they are considered heroes. As one looks more carefully, other similarities become obvious. Their clothes are alike in that their outfits are leather, The Fonz in his leather jacket and Xena in her leather warrior's outfit. The Fonz's and Xena's appearances are alike also, with their jet black hair and special smiles.

[03] Aside from their appearances there are many other similarities. Their respective modes of transportation are another parallelism not apparent at first. The Fonz has his motorcycle that is very special to him and Xena has Argo, a very special horse. Both modes of transportation are part of the characters' trademarks. Also, Xena and The Fonz are noted for being great healers: Xena for her knowledge and abilities when it comes to medicine and The Fonz for his excellence in auto mechanics. Another common factor is that neither The Fonz nor Xena can say "NO" when asked to help a person with a problem. Furthermore, each has a special trade mark cry that makes them stand out. Xena's is "Yiyiyiyiyiyiyi!" and The Fonz's is "Hayyyyyyyyyyyy". Childhood for these two heroes can likewise be compared. The fathers of both these people left them when they were very young.


At least I didn't have to deal with THOSE rumors. Oh, you think so?

Would Richie have looked better with a bare midriff? Would Gabrielle do better in a sweater?

[04] A very important factor in the comparison of these two heroes is one of mentors: Richie for The Fonz and Gabrielle for Xena. The appearance of the mentors is alike: both have reddish blond hair and are young looking.

[05] Gabrielle and Richie are also both interested in telling stories. Gabrielle is thought to be the author of the Xena Scrolls, while Richie's writing skills are demonstrated by the study of journalism at the university. Both use their communication skills to help The Fonz and Xena do the right thing whenever The Fonz and Xena face personal conflict.

Even More Similarities!

[06] Other similar characters in the shows are Potsie and Ralph who can be compared to Joxer and Salmoneous respectively. Both Potsie and Joxer are looked upon as "fools", while Salmoneus and Ralph are usually trying to swing some business deal.

[07] The theme that makes both shows popular is the change from bad to good for both The Fonz and Xena. When "Happy Days" first started, The Fonz was only a minor character and Henry Winkler was not even mentioned in the opening credits. As the show evolved, The Fonz became more popular and Henry Winkler was eventually moved up to be second in the opening credits. That a person who has done some bad things in the past can go on to be good is an optimistic view that people would like to believe. It is this belief that there is some good in all of us that made Xena and The Fonz so popular.


Fern Waxman Fern Waxman
I live in Montreal with my very supportive family: my husband, daughter and son who all manage to put up with my XENA obsession. When I am not spending time with my family, watching XENA or playing softball, I am working as a system analyst.
Favorite episode: REMEMBER NOTHING (26/202)
Favorite line: Xena: "I have many skills" THE BLACK WOLF (11/111)
First episode seen: CRADLE OF HOPE (04/104)
Least favorite episode: GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN (28/204)

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