The TV show became a major hit, for the younger generation reading this, that TV show was Happy Days.
The Cunninghams, the main family in the Happy Days series, was the all American family. The main character, Richie was a lovable redheaded teenager who continued to get into various situations, that not only had moral implications but were always resolved by the help of his friends. As you can imagine, I was called Richie through most of my childhood. Despite that, I was a big fan of the show. In fact, I think everyone was a fan; specifically a fan of the Fonz.
As it grew in popularity over the years the series seemed to get a bit more ridiculous. In fact, the phrase "jump the shark", which is used to identify an artist giving up their values to make more money, came from the episode where Fonzie, in a leather jacket and water skis jumped over a shark tank. Some of the other more ridiculous things that happened on the show had lasting impacts. Richie, dated a girl named Shirley. She had a friend named Laverne. This became the long-running television show Laverne and Shirley a year later.
One of the most ridiculous Happy Days episodes, gave birth to one of the greatest comedians of our time. This was the episode where an alien visited the Cunningham family. The aliens name was Mork from the planet Ork. This exposure to Robin Williams, and his outstanding comedy, was the beginning of the TV show Mork and Mindy, which became a long-running hit and was the launch pad for Robin Williams's career.
Although spinoffs don't always succeed, the two mentioned here did pretty well for several years. This weekend however, we celebrate another spin off. And that is the one where a small group of individuals decided to separate from their government when they felt it was no longer appropriate for them to remain under the king's rule. Just last week, I finished watching the John Adams miniseries which was produced a few years ago. I highly recommend it to all.
By most historical accounts, the decision to declare our independence, was not one that was taken lightly. The southern states were generally against it as they had not yet seen any aggression from the king that the northern states had experienced. Over time however, they stood with their northern brothers and declared our independence from the British monarchy. The took this leap because the ideals that they believed in were so compelling, that they could not stand to see them compromised.
So over this holiday weekend, reflect on the ideals that prompted you to get into the profession or business that you are in. Double check your reasons for doing what you do and make sure that they still align with what you are actually doing. Make sure you haven't "jumped the shark!"
Happy Fourth and Na-nu Na-nu!