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Listen: Henry Winkler Breaks Down the Meaning of Life (and Austin BBQ)

Jack Plunkett

Henry Winkler – better known as Arthur Fonzarelli in iconic 1970s sitcom “Happy Days,” and Barry Zukerkorn in cult favorite "Arrested Development" – was in Austin recently, accepting the first-ever Achievement in Television Excellence Award from the ATX Television Festival.

Winkler talked about his battle with dyslexia, the struggle to get casting directors to see beyond the Fonz, and his love for Austin barbecue. He also offered a lot of advice.

We've collected his best advice in this 90-second clip. Listen: 

KUT has rounded up a few of The Fonz's most striking quotes:

1. Know Your Direction in Life – and Deadly Allergens:

“Having a sense of what you want might be one of the most important things for you to live on the Earth. And also know whether or not you have an allergy to peanuts.”

2. Persevere, Persevere, Persevere:

“Just keep throwing yourself against the wall like pasta until it sticks.”

3. Savor Youth:

“When they say youth is wasted on the young, man that is no joke. Oh do I wish that I knew then what I know now. I'm not kidding.”

4. The Importance of Confidence:

“If I could give a gift to every child on this planet, I would give them that gift of confidence. I would give them the gift of that they are great. Children are great and they just have to figure out what their greatness is and give it to the world as a gift.”

Bonus Advice:

5. Make Negativity 'Jump the Shark'

“Every time they mention 'jump the shark' in the newspaper, they always have a picture of me in a bathing suit and I had great legs so it doesn't bother me at all. Not only that, after I jumped the shark on 'Happy Days,' we went on to stay number one for years and years afterwards so it didn't mean anything to me.”

More on the ATX Television Fest:

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
Audrey McGlinchy is KUT's housing reporter. She focuses on affordable housing solutions, renters’ rights and the battles over zoning. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @AKMcGlinchy.
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