T o d d M e r c e r
[For Henry Winkler)
Look, he didn’t write the scene,
he didn’t chime in at the meeting, saying,
“Hey guys—how about you have me
ski-jump a shark.” He drew no storyboards
showing a greaser aloft, a dorsal fin
breaking the waterline. Fonzie didn’t advocate
for the leather jacket and shorts combo.
He wasn’t ready to lose fans, he didn’t plan
to become famous for a fleeting cool,
for pushing plot too far to keep that
je nais se quoi mystique. The man
jumped the shark, that’s all.
He didn’t beg the network brass.
Fonzie read the script and did his job.
In Fonzie’s Defense