Ben Franklin once opined that both fish and houseguests begin to stink up the joint after three days. Likewise, it has long been held that some TV shows wear out their welcome – or at least run out of raison d vivre – long before going off the air. This of course is known as ‘jumping the shark’ which is a reference to an episode of the nostalgia comedy Happy Days, in which Henry Winkler’s character, Fonzi, literally jumped a shark. This was evidence that the writers just didn’t have anything more to say with these characters, and unfortunately the show ran for a number of years after the fact, and even birthed itself a terrible spinoff.
At least it managed to introduce a handy phrase into our collective lexicon. Today anything of which you have grown can be said to have ‘jumped the shark.’ It can even be applied to people, and I think that there are a few of us who feel that the daughter of the Achy Breaky Hair singer achieved the big fish leap when she recently embarrassed herself and a nation on the MTV Video Awards. Even films can jump the shark, some before they reach the theater. I’m sure you don’t remember the ad campaign for the turd that was the Godzilla reboot, but its shark was actually a vinyl wrapped bus with the words, HIS FOOT IS AS LONG AS THIS BUS on it.
With many model names lasting for decades, it’s not surprising that even cars and trucks can eventually wear out their welcome, especially if a particularly insipid model is released on an unwelcoming public. Consider cars like Porsche’s Cayenne, or Toyota’s Corolla, was it perhaps time to pack up and move on with these models years ago – you know, before they started embarrassing themselves? What do you think, is there a car or truck that has, in your mind, jumped the shark?
Image source: WhatCanILearnToday