No Sauce Required: Reviving the Fonze

Remember Happy Days? When the Fonze pulled a stunt so amazing, so great, that it was sure to wrench Happy Days out of the sea of descending popularity it was drowning in? Yes, he jumped over a shark.

Spoiler alert: he dies. Just kidding. He jumped over the shark with success.

This is what is known in popular culture as (surprise, surprise) “shark jumping.” Derived from Happy Days, it refers to the way that increasingly unpopular TV shows pull crazy gimmicks in an attempt to drag in viewers.

I have discovered that increasingly unpopular political leaders (read: all

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politicians) are pulling crazy shark-jumping gimmicks to try to get the voters on the bandwagon. So, for the second week in a row I will be talking politics (waits for applause).

This time, I’ll be rating politicians’ weird publicity stunts using the scientific measurement called Fonzies. Stunts will be rated on a scale of zero to ten Fonzies.

1. Peter Beattie swims with some sharks

Arguably the father of political shark jumping, back in the days of being Queensland’s premier, Peter Beattie swam with some sharks to get attention. One could argue that he one-upped the Fonze, because he actually got close enough to a shark for it to eat him.

That said, Beattie was at an aquarium, with trained sharks and a bunch of security. This one happened in 2001, but totally worth mentioning with all this talk about sharks

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and politicians.

Fonzies: 8

2. Bernadette Black: “Hey There, Rockstar

This 32-year-old Liberal candidate attempts to reach out to her younger audience by saying some things that young people love, such as:

“You look like the kind of person who’s fun to be with.”

“… like some secret power in the universe is stopping you from being the amazing leader that you know in your heart, you are totally capable of being.”

“Why do I keep wanting to like my friend’s Instagram of LOL cats?” (My personal favourite.)

OMG rolfcopter! YOLO. SWAG. #Finally, a politician who understands my language!

Unfortunately this video didn’t gain too much exposure because, who knows? She’s probably a bit 2 kool 4 skool is my best guess.

Fonzies: 2

3. Kevin Rudd shaves

This one’s a doozy. Kevin ‘Wet Mouth’ Rudd, accidentally cut his face open while shaving. And what do you do when you cut your face open? Put some toilet paper on it, take a photo of yourself, add a stupid filter, and post it on Instagram. Duh.

This made news for the next two days in Australia. It’s worth nothing that on the day Ruddy posted this photo, something important happened in actual politics. Of course, no one cared because they were too excited about Rudd’s shaving mishap. I can’t remember what it was because I was too disgusted by Rudd’s shaving mishap.

Fonzies: 8

It raised his popularity with the youth and distracted citizens from politics. I guess it worked.

4. Tony Abbott chills out with Katy Perry

What is with all these politicians trying to get the youth vote? Anyway, the well suited pair had a lovely old radio chat, and Katy Perry concluded that, “I like you as a human being I just don’t believe in your policies so that’s what a lot of people should be doing.”

Tony Abbott is a fan of Katy Perry, apparently. That’s good enough for me.

Fonzies: 7

This “news story” trended all day.

5. Clive Palmer sings about pie

No, seriously. Sings about pie. He also finally reveals his Palmer Institute for World Domination, and mentions his Dinosaur Park. He ends his song by saying “motherfingers,” a word which I am yet to work out the meaning of. I don’t even.

Fonzies: 11

He sings about pie. Extra points deserved.


When I am sad, I go on Buddy Rojek’s Twitter account and read his tweets to myself in a low, serious voice. It makes all of life seem better.

Buddy’s quality created with Microsoft Word flier tells of a celebration: anyone who volunteers for his campaign gets to party with hot models, and they might have sex with you.

This man is generally quite funny, but I am unsure if he is fully equipped to take on the responsibility of a Federal member of Parliament. But hey, each to their own.

Fonzies: infinite

Extra points awarded because he would probably actually jump over a shark if he was asked to.

Possible future Political Shark Jumps:

1.Kevin Rudd is an intruder on Big Brother.

2. Tony Abbott concludes that being same-sex attracted is probably OK.

3. Bob Katter dons a baseball cap for sake of the youth vote.

4. Clive Palmer rides a dinosaur to the moon.

In other news …

Norweigan PM

poses as a taxi driver. Passengers crap themselves.

A cancer curing drug is revealed to be probably not so much cancer-curing.

China dressed a dog up as a lion and put it in the zoo. The hoax fell through.

Google STILL thinks it’s okay to hoard all your private information and pictures.

The Afghan soldier who killed Australian solders was killed. As the phrase goes, “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

SERIOUS NEWS ALERT: Egypt Crisis. Please be aware of it. Here’s an explainer.

gif. credit: Nick Inglefinger


Samantha Winnicki

Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

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