Coming home from spring break, we passed by a skydiving venue off I-75 near Tampa. It appeared an attractive place and, as we looked on from the expressway, my passenger felt tempted to give it a try.
No matter how enticing the place was, I wanted no part of it. Having been terrified of heights since my childhood, I drove right past it.
The rest of the way home I pondered the art of skydiving, recalling television shows in which a character undertakes that hobby. Here is the list we came up with, which features classic sitcoms as well as modern series.
Howard Sprague on Mayberry, RFD
The milquetoast (played by Jack Dodson) of North Carolina’s most famous fictional town pretended to like skydiving, only because his girlfriend found it an enjoyable hobby.
Bud Bundy on Married With Children
Al and Peg’s only son (played by David Faustino) found himself up in a plane with a girl, hoping to impress her with his courage.
Marge Simpson on The Simpsons
To break herself out of a rut, Homer’s wife decides to experience the feeling of free falling through the air.
Woody, Norm and Cliff on Cheers
On the episode titled “Jumping Jerks” the three pals make a pact to disembark with parachutes.
Peggy Hill on King of The Hill
“The Decline and Fall” episode has Hank’s wife taking up the hobby of skydiving, something the propane salesman never tried.
Drake Bell and Josh Peck on Drake and Josh
The guitar playing step brother boards a helicopter from which to leap, causing the more sensible Josh to climb on in hopes of talking him out of it.
Jesse Katsopolis on Full House
Before his wedding, Mary Kate and Ashley’s favorite uncle (played by John Stamos) decides to take a literal plunge. He landed in a tree and ended up riding home in a tomato truck, only to show up late for the ceremony.
Peter Griffin on Family Guy
“Turban Cowboy” is the episode where Peter, Quagmire and Joe all go skydiving to break up their boring lives. Peter finds the activity so invigorating that he keeps jumping until a landing on the Eiffel Tower sends him to the hospital, where he is almost persuaded to convert to Islam.
Carly, Spencer, Freddie, and Sam on iCarly
After being invited to accept an award in Japan, the gang ends up having to sky dive into Tokyo in an episode titled “IGo to Japan.”