Ben Stiller Had a Fake Fonzie Autograph, So Henry Winkler Got Him the Real Thing

"The Fonz always had great timing."
June 29, 2020
Source: Getty Images

If you’re a fan of Henry Winkler’s character Arthur Fonzaralli (aka “Fonzie” or “The Fonz”) from “Happy Days” you’re in good company. Comedian Ben Stiller is also a long time fan and in April he tweeted that in eighth grade, he was able to snag an autographed photograph of the Fonz via Winkler’s niece, Cheryl. The image was inscribed “To Ben, One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor.”

However, Stiller wanted to double-check that the photo was authentic. “Do you think you actually signed it? No worries if it wasn’t you, I’m sure there were a lot of requests,” the “Zoolander” actor tweeted at Winkler.

“Cheryl is my niece,” Winkler tweeted back and the case seemed closed.

However, Stiller was still looking for answers. He dug up the old photograph in June and tweeted the image at Winkler. “I found this prized possession going through stuff at my folks’ apartment,” Stiller wrote. “I thought it was lost to the ages. I hope you actually signed it but if you didn’t it still made me very happy and still does.”

This time, Winkler did not respond, leaving the issue a cold case.

However, this weekend, Stiller announced that his beloved autograph was indeed fake. Nevertheless, Winkler made sure he got a real one — featuring not just him but also his dogs.

“In case we need more proof of @hwinkler4real greatness, on a bad day yesterday I received in the mail this,” Stiller tweeted along with two signed photos from Winkler. The first was him in his Fonz getup, which reads “Ben! You are so cool and so powerful.” The second features the 74-year-old today grinning with his dogs Mosie and Sadie.

“I had told him I had a Fonz photo from childhood signed which he told me was forged, so he replaced it with the real deal,” Stiller wrote, thanking Winkler. “The Fonz always had great timing.”

Stiller is not shy about his love for Winkler’s role in “Happy Days.” In 2019, when Winkler tweeted out a photo of the cast during a Thanksgiving episode, stating, “I am thankful that I was part of this family,” Stiller responded, “Me too. #respect #Ayyyyyyy.”

While the autograph may not have been real, Stiller’s love for Winkler’s iconic character certainly is.

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