The Grand Tour

The Grand Tour: What Does Jeremy Clarkson’s ‘Jumping The Shark’ Joke Mean?

The Grand Tour Presents: A Massive Hunt has now been released to Amazon Prime Video, but fans are stumped over a certain joke Jeremy Clarkson makes that refers back to the old days of Top Gear.

Their travels through Madagascar come after Andy Wilman, producer of the show, challenges them to find the lost treasure of famous pirate La Buse. The presenters modify three cars and prepare for the worst roads in the world.

While relaxing in the sun partway into their retreat on a Madagascan beach, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond joke that them, along with James May, were “jumping the shark” in 2013. This joke had fans scratching their heads at what they meant by this, so here’s an explanation.

The term ‘jumping the shark’ refers to something that has reached its peak, and will never be as popular as it was before. In this scenario, Clarkson and Hammond are obviously referring to 2013 Top Gear, which they apparently believe was the peak of their car shows’ success.

2013 Top Gear gave us some of the greatest episodes of the car show, including their tribute to British engineering which saw cars and vehicles from all over the country grouping together on the roads of London, including Formula 1 cars and work vehicles.

Do you think they’ve reached their peak and are now on a steady decline? Let us know in the comments below.


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  1. The phrase “jumping the shark” refers to an episode of Happy Days where The Fonze jumps over a shark-pen on water skis. It is a stunt intended to revive a flagging show but just doesn’t fit or is so unbelievable that it effectively kills off the show. A more modern alternative is “nuking the fridge” and refers to Indiana Jones surviving a nuclear test by hiding in a fridge which was then launched through the area. He survives without a scratch but in reality would have been turned into radioactive spam (and very very dead).

  2. Jumping the shark refers to an old TV show, specifically an episode of Happy Days where Fonzie jumped a shark on water skis. It was pretty ridiculous and didn’t really fit with the show.

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