On September 20, 1977, The Fonz donned swim trunks and, er, his leather jacket, and dared to do a water-ski jump over a shark penned in off the coast of Hawaii. Aaaayyyyy. Two decades later, Jon Hein launched JumpTheShark.com and Fonzie's stunt became the metaphor for the moment that any TV series began its descent into stupidity.
But why did Fonzie jump the shark anyway?
From Yahoo! Entertainment:
According to Winkler, his dad, Harry, is the one that set Fonzie's shark-jump in motion. "My father kept telling me to tell [Happy Days creator] Garry Marshall that I waterskied," the 77-year-old actor recalls. "I said to Garry, 'My father wants you to know I waterski. Next thing I know, I'm waterskiing!"
"I did all the waterskiing for the jump, except for the jump," Winkler continues. "They wouldn't let me do stunts. Not only that, but I didn't know how to jump! I knew how to waterski, but I didn't know how to jump like they do in the show."
(Thanks Chanté McCormick!)