"I am the only actor in the world that jumped the shark twice," said the 'Happy Days' actor
Henry Winkler’s iconic water skiing tricks have made it off television screens and into a baked good.
While on Monday’s episode of The View, while promoting his upcoming memoir, Being Henry: The Fonz…And Beyond, Winkler was surprised with a nostalgic treat for his birthday
“We cannot let you leave without a little bit of a view party because of the special day,” Sara Haines said at the end of the segment. “Our friends at Empire Cake here in New York City sent a very cool cake over to celebrate you and all 78 years. So a happy, happy birthday.”
The Barry star began grinning from ear to ear when the ornate, ocean-themed cake was placed in front of him. The actor began laughing and pointing at the cutout image of him as Fonzie, in the iconic leather jacket and swim trunks outfit, wearing waterskis and preparing to jump over a shark fin.
“First of all, my birthday cake is that I got to sit at this table. That’s number one and that is the truth. You are very powerful, point-of-view women and that is amazing,” the 78-year-old complimented the co-hosts.
He continued, cluing viewers in on the cake reference before taking a cheeky swipe of blue frosting with his finger. “Number 2, I am the only actor in the world that jumped the shark twice — once on Happy Days, and once on Arrested Development.”
The phrase “jumping the shark” was coined after Winkler's iconic episode of Happy Days in 1977. In the famous episode, Fonzie donned a pair of water skis and jumped over a shark in a display of bravado.
With that, a new idiom was born and “jumping the shark” is now used to define the moment when something success begins to go downhill. Winkler reprised the trick decades later when his Arrested Development character Barry Zuckerkorn encountered a dead shark lying on a pier and hopped over it.
Winkler has a lot to celebrate this week with his new memoir, Being Henry: The Fonz…And Beyond, coming out on Oct. 31. The father of three spoke with PEOPLE about how he transitioned after Happy Days wrapped in 1984, to supporting roles in films like Scream and Adam Sandler's The Waterboy, to series regulars in Arrested Development and an Emmy-winning role in Barry.
“I spent most of my adult life being frightened, on the outside looking like I had it together and mostly being anxious. The biggest lesson, I really now believe today in 2023 looking back, is not only must you be tenacious, not only must you be grateful, but you also have to be flexible,” Winkler told PEOPLE.
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