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Scott Baio’s one-man show a ‘thank you’ to fans for watching for 50 years.

Scott Baio practically grew up on television.

At age 9 he decided he wanted to be an actor. By 13, he landed the lead role in his first movie, the 1976 all-kid musical “Bugsy Malone.” A year later, he made the first of his 131 appearances on the iconic long-running TV sitcom, “Happy Days,” as Chachi Arcola.

In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, Baio was all over the place, starring in Afterschool Specials, appearing in shows like “The Love Boat” and “Fantasy Island,” and photographed for magazines such as Teen Beat and Tiger Beat. He made feature films, too, costarring with Jodie Foster in director Adrian Lyne’s 1980 teen drama “Foxes,” and getting goofy with Willie Ames in the 1982 comedy, “Zapped!”

Tales from this time in his life, and the decades of acting work that followed, are among those Baio tells in his one-man show, “How Did I Get Here?” that he will bring to the Coeur d’Alene Resort on Friday night.

“I hope to entertain people and inform people,” the Brooklyn-born actor said by phone from Los Angeles. “People are interested in the entertainment world, how things happen, why they happen. This is a kind of retrospective on my life and career and it’s all done in a self-deprecating way, so it’s fun and funny.”

The idea for his show came from an autograph signing he did before the COVID pandemic. It was the first signing he’d done in decades, and he was overwhelmed to find about 1,500 people waiting to see him, he said.

“I was shocked. People had great questions and stories,” Baio said. “And I couldn’t engage them in anything because of the time.”

That’s when he thought it would be fun to get up on stage, tell some stories, and “how things fall into place and the people who affect your life.”

One of those people in his life will be joining him on stage Friday night – longtime Coeur d’Alene resident Ellen Travolta. Travolta and Baio go way back – she played his mother on three different shows, “Happy Days,” the spinoff “Joanie Loves Chachi,” and then on four of the five season of the sitcom “Charles in Charge.”

“I love Ellen,” he said. “She’s great to be around. She’s entertaining … she’s a great, fun person to be around. I love her family and my mother and her were best of friends back when I was doing ‘Charles in Charge.’ And I say this, and I’ll say this again, if I didn’t have my mom, I would have wanted Ellen.”

In addition to an appearance by Travolta, the show will feature film clips and photos, as well as an opportunity for those in the audience to ask questions. “I’ll answer anything,” Baio said, “because people are generally curious.”

As he looks back on his career, from the teen idol days to recurring roles on shows such as “Arrested Development” and “Diagnosis Murder,” to his most recent series, “See Dad Run” that ran for three seasons on Nick at Nite, Baio said he has been blown away by the loyalty of longtime fans.

“People know things about me that I have forgotten and that blows my mind,” he said. “They’ll say, ‘Do you remember when you did this show back in 1980?’ And I’ll go, ‘Oh, right. Yes.’ Then I have to go into my Rolodex in my head and figure out what they’re asking me. That kind of stuff is very rewarding. I’m not an emotional guy, but it’s a moving thing when people do that kind of stuff. And it happens a lot.

“What this show is, is a thank you to people for watching my stuff for 50 years,” he added. “That’s really all it is. Just to say thank you. That’s the heart of it.”

Baio’s show does not get into politics, he said, although if someone asks a question about it during the Q-and-A, he’ll answer it. A longtime Republican who spoke in support of Donald Trump’s nomination during the 2016 GOP Convention, Baio said “my politics are my politics and yours are yours and theirs are theirs, and I don’t condemn people for anything.”

His relationship with Henry Winkler, for instance, doesn’t seem to be harmed by their political differences. The “Fonz” may occasionally take Baio to task on Twitter, but he’s also just as likely to come to his defense.

“Henry is very important part of my life. He and I disagree, but we disagree the way you should disagree,” Baio said. “I don’t call him names, he doesn’t call me names, and I forever love him for what he did for me, but we just disagree.”

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