After a re-examination of Happy Days, I’ve found that the phrase “jumped the shark” is a misnomer in pointing out when good shows go bad. If you go back and watch the show, the infamous “jump the shark” episode is really quite good and extremely entertaining.
Happy Days didn’t really take a dip in quality until Ron Howard left the show. His character, Richie Cunningham, left home to join the military.
This is when things got bad, and we got such lackluster story lines as “Fonzie and Al re-opening Arnold’s” or “Fonzie the teacher.” Joanie & Chachi became the center of attention and Potsie’s antics just weren’t as charming coming from a grown man.
One highlight of the mediocre, post Ron Howard years was when he returned for a guest appearance in the last season, sporting the finest mustache this side of the adult film industry.
So from now on, in lieu of using the now clichéd and ultimately incorrect idiom, “jumped the shark,” I’m going to use the more appropriate phrase “Richie joined the Army.”
“Did you watch all of The X-Files?”
“Nah. The first few seasons were really good, but i stopped watching when Richie joined the Army.”