Enjoying some more happy days


Scott Baio was a tender 15 when fame tapped him on the shoulder and changed his life forever. The TV show was “Happy Days,” he played Chachi, and Joanie would eventually love him. America too.

But he’s a married father of 47 now and hosting a new VH1 show that ruminates on the whole young-fame thing: “Confessions of a Teen Idol,” premiering at 8 p.m. Sunday. The eight-part series features seven onetime hearthrobs, including Christopher Atkins (“The Blue Lagoon”), David Chokachi (“Baywatch”) and Adrian Zmed (“T.J. Hooker,” “Grease 2”).

“Jason Hervey [‘The Wonder Years’] is a partner with me on this,” said Baio. “It’s kind of an analysis of fame and what it does to you. I’ve known some of these guys forever.”


Regarding his own celebrity and what percentage of it was positive, Baio says, “I was lucky, because I had a very good family that helped keep my head on straight. Never got into drugs or alcohol. I did enjoy myself, I had a good time. The only downside was what I didn’t get to do -- going to a prom, going to college, coming-of-age things. I’d say it was 90% positive.”

Just like Mom’s

One of the best Italian restaurants in the city as far as my wife, Renee, and I are concerned is OlivA in Sherman Oaks. I grew up with my mom cooking Italian every day, so it’s tough to please me. What a lot of people consider Italian is really not even close, to me, and this place has absolutely delicious Italian food. It’s very homey, run by some Italian guys from Philly.

Another place that’s fun is Firefly over in Studio City. You can go there and eat a quiet dinner, and then later things get a little nutty as it kind of becomes almost a nightclub. But we’re out of there by 10:30 or 11.

Fore!play Saturday

One of my favorite things to do is play golf at Braemar Country Club. It’s quiet and not overly crowded. The people are nice, and there’s wildlife all around the course. As far as my game itself, I can go from a 10 handicap to a 30, depending on the day. Afterward, I’ll smoke a cigar.

One thing I won’t be doing on a weekend is shopping. I just don’t like it, and I haven’t bought an article of clothing for a very long time. I usually just take wardrobe from shows I’m on. It’s much easier.

In the evening, we like a steakhouse in Encino, Larsen’s. A great-looking place; New York style with dark wood, a guy playing the piano. And the menus light up, which is kinda neat because at my age it’s tough to see things sometimes. My wife goes nuts for the macaroni and cheese, and I get a bone-in New York, medium well, with a Caesar salad, and I’m good for about a week.


An easy Sunday

For breakfast we love the Marmalade Cafe in Sherman Oaks. Really good food, a comfortable family vibe that becomes kind of a cool restaurant at night. I usually get scrambled egg whites with turkey sausage. Renee likes French toast with bacon on the side.

Later, I love going to Zuma Beach with friends or to the Getty Museum. Something I never get tired of is the Universal Studios tour. That’s just fantastic. I got in a lot of trouble once because I did a series there and I used to sneak over to the exhibits. I got caught in the King Kong area by the head of the studio and just got completely reamed.