Happy Days and "Jumping The Shark"

Saying that Happy Days jumped the shark is a rather popular phrase, due to the episode where Fonzie quite literally jumped over a shark on Jet Skies, and the phrase "Jump The Shark" has since became a popular term to describe a show that is past it's prime, and often uses gimmicks or other methods to try and keep the show going longer.

So, outside of the Fonzie and the Shark episode, I really didn't find most of the other episodes of that time period to be all that gimmicky or ratings grabbing, although the writing quality was certainly starting to decline a bit.

What are your thoughts?


I've said this before, but I think 99.9% of the times that the term "jumped the shark" is used that it is nothing more than an attempt by the person using the term to try to make their own personal disappointment with the program sound more important than it really is. I think it is far better for people to use words that communicate their own feelings, when it is their own feelings that they're expressing, and use objective evidence, such as ratings, when they're seeking to communicate something with regard to how a show is viewed more broadly.


Funny thing is the "Jump the Shark" epsiode happened in the beggining of Happy Days 5th season. That wasn't even halfway through it's run.


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
It's more of a rationale for when a series may have turned in a way that fans don't like. Insiders joke about it. The producers of Burn Notice have said that when they want to 'jump the shark', they will bring back Michael Shanks as Victor.

Everyone really loved that character, and they've gotten a lot of requests to bring him back, even though he's dead.

The opening is that they had a poor editing job. Shanks has explained that it's because they used a piece of footage from one shot and combined it with a piece from another shot. What that means is that Victor's dead body moved when it shouldn't have, which begs the question -- is he really dead? Fans have clung to that bad editing job because Victor was a cool character.

Anyway, that's what the producers have said. They've even talked to Shanks about it. They get a lot of mail over it, so that's their story -- Victor's back when they jump the shark. :}


Fans, though, are rarely-if-ever always of the same mind. A good example is Brothers & Sisters, where there are some fans who are really pulling for more focus on a Justin & Rebecca relationship, perhaps making that couple the focus of the series, while there are other fans who want Rebecca to vanish off the face of the Earth. Both ways could end up with a good series, but quite frankly, either way the producers go will constitute a "jump the shark" moment for at least some fans. They can't win.


DTVUSA Jr. Member
LOL I became a fan of their site jumptheshark.com but now that phrase is wayyyyyy overrated and wasted since you can apply it to anything, it really jumped the shark itself.
Happy Days remained an entertaining show long after the Fonzie incident occured, and it was still widely popular with many people. While the earlier seasons of the show may have been better overall, there was still plenty of highlights to keep fans of the show tuned in, and then of course we have all of those spinoff shows, a few of which became quite popular in their own right.


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
Happy Days eroded when Ron Howard left, though I still watched and enjoyed it, but the original concept was forever changed at that point. I've never forgotten the story that goes with that, when Ron knew he was leaving and called up the gal who played his girlfriend and told her to get her contract signed now. That's a nice guy giving a solid head's up.
I think Ron Howard leaving certainly hurt Happy Days a great deal, but even that wasn't enough to get the show off the air. As popular as Ron Howard was, Happy Days was in the somewhat fortunate position to have another iconic character like Fonzie around to keep the show going as long as it did. Very few other shows could have survived after losing their main character, but Happy Days was one of the few that could do just that.


I guess it just goes to show that a tv show with as wide of a following as Happy Days can keep on chugging even after the writing declines. I think it's time for a Happy Days Movie. We've already redone the '80s so lets redo some of the '70' s shows.
Honestly, I really hope that they never make a Happy Days movie...since I think it would be a total disaster.

Of course i'm sure it'd still do well at the box office regardless of how some people would feel about it...and since studios are so money hungry I could see them trying.


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
They've had get togethers on TV and that's been nice. That's actually what I like about Ron, he doesn't forget his roots. He's done several TAGS reunion shows and the same for Happy Days. He's never gotten that bloated head after becoming a highly successful director.
Ron Howard always struck me as a rather down to earth guy, regardless of how much success he has had over the years.

You hear about celebrities all the time that try to forget where they started, or pretend that it never even existed...but Ron Howard was never like that, and he seems genuinely proud of everything he's been a part of.


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
I'm a big fan of the old Combat series and remember some fans telling a story about Ron. A lot of Combat scenes were filmed around the place where the opening for The Andy Griffith Show was filmed. One day Ron and his wife were there with the kids, just showing them 'this is the place'. I thought that was great. The kid grew up right. I still also love the story or actually the fact that to this day there's only one person who still calls him Ronnie -- and that's Andy. It's so cool.