Jan 9, 2012

Old Timey Word of the Week

For years, I have heard the phrase "Jumping the Shark" without ever thinking about the origin.  I can remember hearing people say, "When Lou Piniella left the Mariners, that's when they really "jumped the shark."  Where did such an odd phrase come from? Fonzie. 

In 1977, the television show "Happy Days" was at its peak of popularity.  The season opened to an episode where Fonzie and the other main characters traveled to California.  Fonzie had accepted a challenge where he would perform a water ski jump over a shark pen.  Wearing his trademark leather jacket, Fonzie successfully completed the jump.  The following video is worth a watch:

The episode and the show as a whole began to change.  Many critics felt that this episode marked the decline of the show and the "beginning of the end."  Over the years, "jumping the shark" became synonymous with a television show that had become stale and unoriginal.  Eventually, the phrase expanded past the world of television and has become widely used.


The Simpsons