Have you ever heard the phrase, “Jumped The Shark”? Do you know what “jumping the shark” refers to?
“Jumping The Shark” is a Hollywood term for a show that has been on the air long enough (usually too long) that it’s plot has run it’s course, so much so that the show’s script-writers have no new good ideas left and have gone completely overboard with quirky and weird plot-lines.
The original reference to “jumping the shark” actually comes from an episode of Happy Days, where Fonzi is being pulled behind a speed boat on water skis (in Santa Monica Bay) and … jumps over a shark in the water. The scene was so ridiculous and out of context for the 50’s based show (supposedly set in Milwaukee, WI) that EVERYONE including viewers and show producers thought, “that’s it… we’re done with this show”.
Below is a snippet from Happy Days showing the actual scene where Fonzi, “Jumps The Shark”
Do you wonder what the rest of the cast thought of this particular Happy Days episode? Check out this interview with Ron Howard from the Archive of American Television.