Happy Days wrote an entire episode around the weirdest Guinness World Record holder
You didn't have to be a comedian or celebrity to get on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The legendary late-night host welcomed all kinds of goofy talents. On February 20, 1976, a teenager from the Bronx hopped onto his very first airplane voyage and crossed the country to Los Angeles. The Tonight Show had booked Charles Galioto for a very specific skill. This 16-year-old was the best in the world at catching coins off his elbow.
Allow us to explain. Rest the back of your hand atop your shoulder. Lift your elbow to the level of your face, turning your forearm into a level platform. Stack some quarters by your elbow. Now, in one quick motion, fling your hand forward and try to catch the quarters before they drop to the ground. This is coin snatching. And Charlie Galioto held the Guinness World Record for catching the most coins off his elevated elbow.
The Math honor student got a week off school, flew to Hollywood, put on his favorite bellbottom jeans and patchwork flannel shirt, and went on The Tonight Show to demonstrate his unique abilities to Johnny Carson.
Johnny asked the kid if he had any aspirations to be in showbiz. "I've been in a couple plays," the Bronx boy said.
It turns out, this bizarre trick landed Galioto a rather rarified role — he became an official Fonzarelli.
A year later, at the start of 1977, Galioto appeared in an episode of Happy Days as Fonzie's cousin, Angie. The Fonz seemingly always had cousins popping in and looking for advice. The diminutive Spike was the first we saw early in the series, dating Joanie Cunningham. Of course, Chachi is the best known, also for partnering up with Joanie.
Cousin Angie was a one-off, however. He appeared in just this single episode, "The Book of Records," which was obviously written around Galioto's coin-snatching skills. Yes, they wrote an entire episode around coin-catching. The Seventies were a quirky time.
In this tale, the Magilla Book of Records comes to Al's Drive-In for a publicity event and talent contest. Fonzie's cousin, Angie, sadly has confidence issues. But the coolest cat in town give his younger cuz a crash course in Fonzarelli confidence and… well, you can probably guess what happens with Angie and his coins.
Galioto never acted on television again. There just is not a lot of use for a guy who can snatch change from his elbow.