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Fonzie and The Shark!

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Hello, Summer Campers!

Or…as The Fonz would say, “Ayyyyyyyyy!” Well, I suppose there are likely many of you out there who are unfamiliar with ‘The Fonz’ from ‘Happy Days’. But you really ought to know about him—he’s the king of cool, Fonzie, Arthur Fonzarelli! Pretty equally well-known a name is Henry Winkler, the actor who brought everyone’s favorite 70’s sitcom character to the screen.

Henry Winkler never attended summer camp as a camper himself, but he did have a summer camp experience as a camp counselor. Being born and raised in New York with a love for waterfront activities he was the ski instructor at Blue Mountain Camps in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

While you may not be familiar with Fonzie, what you may very well be aware of is the television term ‘Jump the Shark’. For those who don’t know, a television show jumps the shark when it includes far-fetched events and gimmicky sort of material for the sake of bringing something new to the show.

Television shows have come to use this term widely, though it saw its beginning on an episode of ‘Happy Days’ in which Fonzie literally jumps a shark while water-skiing. Yet, the true origin of this phrase actually began at summer camp when Mr. Winkler was acting ski instructor for summer camps.

“I was once a counselor in summer camp and I did a lot of water skiing,” he is quoted to have said. “My father would always tell [show runner] Gary Marshall about it. So they wrote it in. I just went with the flow.” Though there weren’t any sharks back then, it’s funny to trace this commonly-used showbiz term to Henry Winkler’s time at summer camp.

These days are yours and mine—happy and free! Enjoy the ridiculous moment in the video below and, as always thanks for reading!


- John



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