The Origin of "Jumping the Shark"
Origin of the Expression, "Jumping the Shark"
Have you noticed the growing popularity of the expression, "jump the shark" by cable news talk show hosts? Most recently, I heard Keith Olbermann say that Republican minority leader, McConnell, "jumped the shark" when he likened the FBI questioning of the underwear bomber, Abdul Mutallab, to an interview by Larry King. This wasn't the first time I'd heard the expression, "jump the shark," but it piqued my curiosity about the origin and meaning of the expression. This led me to the video below of Fonzie jumping the shark way back in 1977.
According to Wikipedia,"The expression was coined in 1985 by Jon Hein, who would later create the web site jumptheshark.com. Hein explained the concept as follows: "It's a moment. A defining moment when you know that your favorite television program has reached its peak. That instant that you know from now on...it's all downhill. Some call it the climax. We call it 'Jumping the Shark.' From that moment on, the program will simply never be the same."
Some are currently wondering if President Obama has "jumped the shark." (I'm not one of them.)
Fonzie Jumps the Shark
"Jumping the Shark" on Wordspy
- Word Spy - jump the shark
Each day, a new and insanely interesting word or phrase. The phrase "jump the shark" has enjoyed such a vogue in recent months, I'm surprised it didn't turn up on the list of overused expressions put out by Lake Superior State University this month.