Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Jump the Shark - How It All Started

Yes, it's all Fonzie's fault - the jump the shark business.The show was Happy Days and it aired in September 1977. The successful show was entering it's fifth season and as t.v. shows were apt to do in those days, they used the summer break to film on "location." That term is used loosely here because the show was set in Milwaukee but filmed in Los Angeles.

In that episode, the Fonz a/k/a Arthur Fonzarelli, the epitome of cool was asked to jump a confined shark while wearing his trademark leather jacket, swim trunks and water skis. I was a kid at the time and even I knew something was rotten about this episode.

Why on earth would such a cool guy need to prove his bravery??? And...jumping a shark??? REALLY???

But it marked the creation of a new American idiom. Whenever something wonderful has peaked and turned downhill, we say it's jumped the shark.

As a t.v. and movie buff, I hope to share many more crucial moments of shark jumping.

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