These days, our knowledge of celebrities too often originates with paparazzi images and snarky quotes by anonymous "insiders." After a while, it's easy to forget that stars are real people. That's why HuffPost Celebrity decided to launch its all-new #nofilter quick-fire question-and-answer series. Because how well do you know someone until they've shared their guiltiest pleasures?
Scott Baio takes one for the team -- team "Happy Days." It's almost too much for the mind to comprehend that it was 40 years ago this week (Jan. 15, 1974) that ABC launched "Happy Days" -- one of the greatest sitcoms of all time. Along with Baio, the entire cast -- Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Marion Ross, Tom Bosley, Anson Williams, Donny Most and Erin Moran -- became instant stars because they came into our living rooms each week -- from 1974 to 1984 -- bringing nostalgia with them. The 1950s and '60s -- Whoa! Simple times. Happy days indeed.
Baio, who played that adorable teen heartthrob, Chachi Arcola, blended in so well with the boy-next-door, Richie Cunningham; Mr. Cool himself, Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli; and Mr. and Mrs. C (Marion and Howard Cunningham).
Baio, 53, had some fun with HuffPost's #nofilter quiz. We caught up with him just after his Aspen vacation with his wife, Renee, and 6-year-old daughter, Bailey, and just prior to his studio call where he will begin shooting the third season of "See Dad Run." He tells us whether he would really consider doing a "Happy Days" reunion show (you'll love his answer!); the hilarious piece of career advice he received from veteran actor/comedian Dick Van Dyke ... and much more.
It's hard to believe that "Happy Days" is turning 40! Tell me a little bit about "Happy Days." Do you miss it? Do you keep in touch with your fellow cast members?
I don't miss it. People ask me, "Do you still keep in touch with these people?" and I go, "You know, let me tell you ... I'll tell you exactly what it's like. You live in a neighborhood. You've lived there for seven, eight, nine years and you move and you say, "Well, we'll keep in touch and I'll always love you," and when you go away, the first couple weeks, you call them and you go to dinner. Then you meet new people and then you do another show and you start becoming friendly with those people and you sort of lose track of the other people, and that's how it is. Although, just the other day, I was just out with my daughter who was riding her bike, and I just knocked on Marion's door and we hung out for an hour. It was great. She lives like a minute from me.
I asked Henry Winkler if he would do a "Happy Days" reunion if Garry Marshall called him, and he said, "yes." I asked him if he could see himself as a 60-year-old Fonzie, and he admitted he could. Would you do a "Happy Days" reunion with the cast if Garry Marshall called you?
I would take a ski lift naked up Snowmass mountain in -33 degree weather for Garry ... so, yes.
What movie you could watch 10 times?
"The Godfather" ... 1000 times!
What's your guiltiest pleasure?
"The Devil Wears Prada."
Finish this sentence: You will never catch me...
...running because I hate running. I don't know why anybody runs. My wife is a marathon runner and I can never understand doing anything that seems so boring. I go to the gym a couple times a week. I play a lot of golf and I'm always active. I'm always doing something, but I can't just run, run, run for miles. I don't want to drive miles, let alone run miles.
What's the ugliest piece of clothing you own?
I have a pair of Grinch sweatpants, Mr. Grinch. Oh my God. I own a pair of white jeans that I will not wear anymore.
Have you ever had a stubborn streak that cost you a relationship or a job?
Your article isn't long enough for the answer.
What would you not do for a million dollars?
Go on a ski lift naked to the summit of Snowmass Mountain in Aspen in -33 degree weather.
Here's my favorite Piers Morgan question: How many times have you been properly in love?
Two. The second one is my wife.
When did your wife, Renee, first take your breath away?
I was at a charity event in a house and she had a clothing company. I went over to her booth and said hi ... a lot of people were gifting their stuff for charity. Then, I was off to the side and I saw a couple of women walking by me and she was one of them. She had this little mini skirt on and she just turned and looked at me, and it was one of those slow motion things. I went, "Oh man. What the hell is that?" And that was it.
Finish this sentence: The funniest comedian on the planet is...
I interviewed Dick Van Dyke last year. He was wonderful. What career advice did Dick give you when you acted with him on "Diagnosis Murder" that you'll never forget?
Don't work with a monkey. Dick worked with a monkey in -- I can't remember if it was a movie or a show many years ago. He said the monkey was a pain in the neck. He'd tell the funny stories where he would wake up and he'd go to work in the morning and there was the monkey sitting in the director's chair, smoking a cigarette and drinking a cup of coffee. He said that the monkey was the most temperamental little pain in the ass he ever worked with. (Laughs)
When was the last time you cried?
I cry all the time now with my daughter. I'll tell you what I really got choked up about. Her school called us in for her first report card review a couple months ago. I had no idea what to expect because I was a complete ne'er-do-well in school. I didn't really care about it, but she was in kindergarten and everything that they wrote about her was she was terrific, terrific, terrific. Then, each teacher writes a paragraph about the child and every paragraph started with "Bailey is such a delightful, happy girl and she's a joy to have in class every day."
I started crying in the principal's office. She said, "What's the matter?" I said, "Every night I go to bed thinking I've screwed up my kid in some way because you don't have all the answers. You think that every day, "Oh God, I've ruined her life today by telling her whatever," and I realized that I'm not screwing my kid up ... and the fact that she is just a happy little girl made me even more emotional.
If you're talking with someone who's boring you, how do you gracefully get out of the conversation?
Oh my God, I've got about a 40-second window where I tune out most everything, so my mind goes other places and I'll think about my golf swing while they're talking to me, so I'm pretty much out of the conversation in 40 seconds. I've done it in a lot of different ways. I've said, "Excuse me. You know what? I really don't care about what you're talking about right now, so I'm just going to walk away." I do it as a joke, sometimes not a joke. It depends -- and I'm not a pompous ass. (Laughs)
If you had only one choice, would you rather be the sexiest person in the world or the smartest?
I think the smartest. You make more money.
What's your biggest pet peeve when you're driving?
People who cut me off and give me the finger.
Could you actually be a stay-at-home dad like your character, David Hobbs, on "See Dad Run?" -- and let your wife be the bread winner?
You can watch Baio in his current sitcom "See Dad Run" on Nick at Nite -- which currently airs at 8 p.m. on Sunday nights -- where he plays David Hobbs, a stay-at-home dad allowing his soap-opera wife to jump back into the spotlight. Who wouldn't want this dad attending a Mr. Mom's 'Mother's day out' adventure?
Check out Scott's website for so much more: www.scottbaio.com
Follow Scott on Twitter: @ScottBaio