The Shark Jumper
From The New York Times' recent interview with actor/writer/director/producer Garry Marshall:
Fred Fox Jr., who was the writer credited with the famous episode where Fonzie jumped the shark on “Happy Days,” said that the idea came from you.
Yes, it was my idea.
Considering the phrase’s fame, any regrets?
Well, it wasn’t good. I think “New Year’s Eve” is a good picture, but I don’t think that episode was very good. We were stuck in Malibu making believe we were in Hawaii, and we had to do something a little special for Fonzie. So I said: “Jumping’s worked well for us. Let’s jump something maybe on water skis.” At the time we put it on, viewers didn’t throw rocks at it or send letters, but later some very clever guys said that’s when the show turned. So if it’s used about a show going down, fine. I got a word into the American vernacular.
Full interview here.