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The Potsie character, who had already been spun off from the devious best friend of Richie to Ralph's best friend and confidante, held little grist for the writers in this new age, and was now most often used as the occasional "dumb" foil for punchlines (most often from Mr.
Set in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the series revolves around teenager Richie Cunningham and his family: his father, Howard, who owns a hardware store; traditional homemaker and mother, Marion; younger sister Joanie; Richie's older brother Chuck (seasons 1 and 2 only), and high school dropout, biker and suave ladies' man Arthur "Fonzie"/"The Fonz" Fonzarelli, who would eventually become Richie's best friend and the Cunninghams' upstairs tenant.
The earlier episodes revolve around Richie and his friends, Potsie Weber and Ralph Malph, with Fonzie as a secondary character.
However, as the series progressed, Fonzie proved to be a favorite with viewers and soon more story lines were written to reflect his growing popularity, and Winkler was eventually credited with top billing in the opening credits alongside Howard as a result.
The leather jacket worn by Winkler during the series was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution for the permanent collection at the National Museum of American History.
With season four, Al Molinaro was added as Al Delvecchio, the new owner of Arnold's, after Pat Morita's character of Arnold moved on after his character got married.
He took over from the departed Richie Cunningham character, acting as counterpoint to Fonzie.