Henry “The Fonz” Winkler receives OBE

Happy Days star is honoured by the British Empire - but remember when he jumped the shark?

Henry Winkler, better known as The Fonz from Happy Days, has been awarded an honorary OBE in a ceremony at the British Embassy in Washington.


But which of his many achievements elicited this, frankly overdue, honour? Was it his important work on jukebox maintenance? His services to chicks? Or simply for being the coolest man on the planet?

In fact, it was something even more worthy. Winkler, who was diagnosed with dyslexia as an adult, received the award in recognition of his work with children with dyslexia and special educational needs. He has spent the last two years touring UK schools to talk about the condition.

It just goes to show that The Fonz’s coolness works in many mysterious ways. 

And in celebration of that fact, let’s remind ourselves of the origins of the phrase “to jump the shark”. It denotes the point at which a TV show or film franchise has perhaps pushed the envelope that little bit too far. And the Fonz inspired it by literally jumping over a shark. On water-skis. In a leather jacket…