The phrase “jump the shark” was born in 1977. On the sitcom “Happy Days”, the Fonz donned water skis during a trip to Los Angeles and jumped a shark tank to prove his bravery. At that moment, our favorite 50′s family took a fateful step toward — or was it into — something very wrong.
At that point, “Happy Days” had been on the air for five years, and hung around for another seven before its demise. But even the stars of the show saw the writing on the wall and started exiting en mass.
This morning, the long-running “Today Show” not only jumped the shark, but I’m pretty sure the shark caught it in its mouth, chewed it up and spit it out.
The usually dignified Matt Lauer and the rest of the “Today Show” crew gathered at Medieval Times to shoot a piece about what they do in their ‘down time.’ Dressed in medieval gear, they chowed down at a feast in the Hall of Arms and then were challenged by the King to defend his honor in a battle of arms.
Shockingly, the “Today Show” gang won the highly choreographed fight and were individually knighted by the King and his daughter.
When they returned to the studio, Matt’s comment “If anyone is still watching…” was a little too close to the money. The piece wasn’t funny at all; it played like bad children’s theatre.
Then they went to commercial promoting the fact that Meredith was producing the fourth hour of the show.
Oh yes, the “Today Show” has jumped the shark.
The question is: will it take a cast change to right the ship?