Henry Winkler is an American actor, director, producer and author best known for his role as Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli on the popular sitcom Happy Days, from 1974–1984.
Winkler gained national fame for his auto mechanic-greaser role as "The Fonz", starting out as a minor character at the show's beginning but having top billing by the time the show ended.
His character in Happy Days ensured lasting references in popular culture when the phrase "jumping the shark" was coined due to a memorable scene in the show.
The term "jumping the shark" alludes to a scene in Happy Days in which The Fonz, on water skis, literally jumps over a shark. The scene was so preposterous that many believed it to be an ill-advised attempt at reviving the declining ratings of the flagging show.
Since then, the phrase has become a colloquialism used by television critics and fans to denote the point at which the characters or plot of a TV series veer into a ridiculous, out-of-the-ordinary storyline.
Typically, such a show is deemed to have passed its peak. Once a show has "jumped the shark," fans sense a noticeable decline in quality or feel the show has undergone too many changes to retain its original charm.