Henry Winkler, who stars in HBO's Barry alongside Bill Hader, got his start as the eternally cool Fonz in Happy Days. Throughout his long and varied career, Winkler has many accomplishments to be proud of, but one stands out above the rest: he's the only actor to have literally jumped the shark...twice.
The phrase "jumped the shark" is often used by fans to refer to the moment a TV show, after a period of popularity, begins to decline in quality. Many of these "jump the shark" moments are large gimmicks that indicate to the audience that the show's writers have run out of plausible, interesting story lines.
Do the kids today realize the expression "jump the shark" comes from a Happy Days episode? Do they even know who Henry Winkler is??— Jen Lancaster (@Jen Lancaster)1300245281.0
One of the first "jump the shark" moments involved jumping over a literal shark: 1977's three-part season premiere of Happy Days culminated in a finale where the Fonz did a ski jump over a live shark. Critics were not fond of the moment and felt it marked the beginning of the end for the beloved sitcom.
Happy Days Fonzie Jumps the Shark youtu.be
Winkler, however, is proud of his contribution to television history:
"I jumped the shark in Hollywood. A young man named John Hein was sitting at Michigan University and came up with the phrase."
Wow. As a cat who lives to make "jump the shark" analogies I'm *this* tempted to geek out on Henry Winkler some 9 feet ahead of me.— Questlove (In E flat) (@Questlove (In E flat))1341083763.0
I'll bet Henry Winkler hates it when people say 'jump the shark.'— Hugh Morris (@Hugh Morris)1326182278.0
But that wasn't the end of Winkler's shark-jumping career! Over 20 years later, on Arrested Development, Winkler's inept lawyer character, Barry Zuckercorn, encountered a dead shark on a pier. You can guess how he decided to get past it:
Henry Winkler Jumps the Shark... again... youtu.be
Fans love Winkler's shark-related performance history:
I have just realised the jump the shark joke in Arrested Development. He literally jumped the shark! Mitch Hurwitz, you goddamn genius.— katy (@katy)1363474690.0
Me explaining the "jump the shark" reference in Arrested Development https://t.co/fBd9bZ25Ni— Kayla Sharp (@Kayla Sharp)1465965103.0
How many shows can Henry Winkler jump the shark in? #ArrestedDevelopment— Brett Rudy (@Brett Rudy)1373248236.0
#Arresteddevelopment season 4 is the 2nd show with Henry Winkler to jump the shark. #iwanttheoldwritingback #netflix— Emily Couture (@Emily Couture)1369808006.0
In my mind they made The Fonz jump the shark in Happy Days as a call forward to Barry Zuckerkorn jumping the shark in Arrested Development.— JimTheSchoolGirl (@JimTheSchoolGirl)1423735265.0
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT is still the master of the jump the shark joke, #Sharknado2.— Matthew Jackson (@Matthew Jackson)1406773191.0
At the SAG awards, Winkler was nominated for Best Male Actor in a comedy series for Barry. His fellow nominees included Barry co-star Bill Hader, "The Kominsky Method's Alan Arkin and Michael Douglas, plus Tony Shalhoub from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."
Shalhoub would go on to win the award.
Tony Shalhoub: Award Acceptance Speech | 25th Annual SAG Awards | TNT youtu.be
Shalhoub may have won this year's SAG award, but nothing can ever take away Winkler's repeated shark jumping.
Forgot how funny watching @hwinkler4real jump the shark on Arrested Development is...brilliant!!! Getting brushed up for #May26 #bluth— Teri Kovacs (@Teri Kovacs)1367438140.0
Finished Arrested Development, can´t believe I missed the ¨jump the shark¨ joke. Maybe if I realised that the actor was Henry Winkler.— Authenticated D (@Authenticated D)1228079880.0