Combine an ill-fitting swimsuit, a pair of water skis, a leather jacket and a man-eating fish and you have the origins of TV history. The actual “Jump the Shark” episode of “Happy Days,” spawning the term that network execs fear the most, airs Aug. 1 on The Hub at 10 p.m. ET.
In what is clearly a wink and a nod to Discovery Channel’s popular Shark Week, The Hub has dusted off this classic and/or dubious episode of television.
Here’s a quick history for the uninitiated:
The 1970s program starring Ron Howard and Henry Winkler began their fifth season in Los Angeles rather than their normal home on Milwaukee’s North Side. Fonzie, attempting to prove his mettle, skied into television lore with the moment that unintentionally signaled the beginning of the end for the series — a literal jumping of the shark. The term has since become synonymous with a TV show that is on the decline.
Winkler proved he has a sense of humor about the whole thing. During an episode of “Arrested Development,” his character Barry Zuckercorn jumped over a shark again.
If you don’t have time to watch the episode or if you just want to see the good parts, below is the video. Cringe as necessary.