Days," "Hollywood Part 3"
It's vacation time in
Season 5 when the Wisconsin-based characters head to Hollywood: Fonzie
has a screen test in the hope of becoming the next James Dean. A local,
"California Kid," challenges Fonzie to a ski-off; Fonzie water skis a slalom
course (in shorts and his ubiquitous leather jacket), ending with a jump over
one of the only things he fears, a shark. And just like that, an idiom was
born. To be fair, the episode had more than 30 million viewers, and the
series continued for six more seasons, so if that jumped shark was the beginning
of the end, viewers didn't seem to know it at the time. When a show starts its
inevitable downhill slide, it's generally dubbed "jumping the shark," but might
better be called "introducing a Cousin Oliver."
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