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The "jump the shark" moment from classic sitcom Happy Days has become universal shorthand for that moment when a once-great show veers off into ridiculousness. Ron Howard, one of the stars of the show, was there that fateful day. He sat down with George at the Toronto International Film Festival and explained what it was like to see the moment go down.
Ron's latest film Rush is in theatres now.
In this clip, Ron talks about...
Being there when the shark was jumped
George Stroumboulopoulos: Jump the shark, you were there the day it happened.
Ron Howard: [LAUGHS] I was there, I was there.
GS: A day that will live on in infamy.
RH: I was getting sunburn. That's what was happening.
GS: You were. And jumping the shark wasn't really the moment where 'Happy Days' jumped the shark because it lasted for some time after that.
RH: Well, I tell ya, it was, if I got it right, I think the beginning of our fifth season and we'd become a number one show and the year before we'd kicked off the two-part destruction derby with the Malachi brothers, which was pretty action packed! And so this year, the network - we didn't get a script until the last minute, really. Suddenly, we knew it was everybody supposed to go to Hollywood. Ok? So that's what we were doing. We knew that there was some skiing involved because Henry Winkler can ski. And get to the part where Richie is driving and I don't know why he jumped the shark, but he did! And there was a shark looming and that was the freeze, the cliffhanger and then he jumped it. I remember standing there, getting sunburn and standing to the side. I was standing next to my buddy Donny Most, who played Ralph Malph - he and I were really close. We loved sports. Same age exactly. We were both talking a little bit about the script. Donny kind of looked around, leaned in and said, 'He's jumping a shark now?' And I said,
'Hey, the Malachi brothers worked! They seem know what they're doing. Yeah, he's jumping a shark'.