Anthony Albanese’s Explanation For Trashing Client Liaison’s Splendour Set Is Very Funny

Albo really doesn't know what "jumping the shark" means.

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Surprise on-stage collaborations were a thing this year at Splendour in the Grass — Bernard Fanning brought out (most of) Powderfinger for a mini-reunion, Peking Duk flew AlunaGeorge here from London, Paul Kelly popped up during A.B. Original’s set for ‘Dumb Things’, and Client Liaison called up Tina Arena for a trio of songs, including her classic ‘Sorrento Moon’.

You might think that pulling one of Australia’s most successful popstars out of their hat constitutes a pretty big moment for Client Liaison. But there was one music critic in the crowd who didn’t agree — and his name is Anthony Albanese, federal Labor MP and former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia.

Albo was at the festival to speak at the Splendour Forum with Hard Chat host Tom Gleeson, but also found time to creep side-of-stage and deliver this appraisal:

But wait — did one of our most pro-live music politicians really just trash an Australian music icon?  The same guy who, just last year, played a DJ set full of music from Melbourne bands? This follow-up tweet only made things more confused:


So if Albo thinks that Client Liaison have “jumped the shark”, but also “doesn’t disagree” that their set was awesome… the only logical explanation is this: Albo doesn’t actually know what “jumping the shark” means.

To get to the bottom of this very important story, we emailed Albo’s media advisor to ask whether he knew the meaning of “jumping the shark” (which, according to Urban Dictionary, is “a term to describe a moment when something that was once great has reached a point where it will now decline in quality and popularity”.)

An hour later, I had two missed calls and voicemail message from a man very eager to explain to himself.

“It wasn’t a negative comment!” Albo told me when I called him back.

“‘Jumping the shark’ is something that comes from Happy Days, from Fonzie, who was definitely very cool. Everything he did was cool. I don’t know when ‘jumping the shark’ [got] negative connotations.”

I explain that Fonzie jumping over a shark is considered by most to be the point where Happy Days got a bit shit.

Happy Days never ever got shit! That’s people riling it in retrospect. Jumping the shark means … that you do something over the top. That’s my perspective, maybe it’s changed its meaning over time.”

I tried, again, to tell him that people today don’t consider “jumping the shark” a compliment. He is not having a bar of it: “That’s because they weren’t born when it came out! If you ‘jump the shark’ it means you did something over the top. And yes, it was over the top’.”

We hung up, and 20 minutes later this email arrived in Junkee’s inbox:


So, Client Liaison, if you’re reading this: Anthony Albanese would like to make sure you know that he didn’t think your set was bad, just over the top. Like Fonzie.