The Great Sharks of Pop Culture

By Jennifer McClelland-Smith

It’s unanimous here at Forge… we love the MEG. The prehistoric giant shark star of Steve Alten’s thrill-ride of a book series and a hit movie tops the list of our favorite sharks. What’s not to love about a 2 million-year-old monster seven miles below the surface striking terror in the hearts of all who encounter him? In celebration of MEG: Generations, the latest in the series, we’re taking a look at some of our other favorite sharks in pop culture.

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Jaws (Yeah, we know, his name is Bruce)
First introduced in Peter Benchley’s book and made legendary by Steven Spielberg, that famous “duh-nuh, duh-nuh” will forever be the first thing we think of when we see a shark fin in the water. The curiously determined sharks of the Jaws franchise tormented the Brody family over multiple films, featured in an infamously ridiculous 3D adventure, and inspired the infamous tagline “This time it’s personal.” Jaws is the original reason not to go in the water.

Land Shark
Chevy Chase was Land Shark, one of the first Saturday Night Live characters that got people talking around the watercooler. He may strike “at any place, at any time,” most famously on the fourth episode of SNL, in which he menaced an unwitting Candice Bergen. Land Shark has us double-checking the peep hole whenever we hear the word “Candygram.”

Left Shark
It was a simple enough task. Wear a shark costume and dance to the left of Katy Perry at the 2015 Super Bowl. Despite this humble assignment, Left Shark created a legacy that will last a Halftime. The millions watching that night reveled in the hapless, flailing motions of a giant, distracting cartoon shark. Dreams can come true.

Sharks with Frickin’ Laser Beams Attached to Their Heads
As Chekhov taught us, if in the first movie you mention Sharks with Frickin’ Laser Beams Attached to Their Heads, by the third movie you better have Sharks with Frickin’ Laser Beams Attached to Their Heads. Dr. Evil is promised the aforementioned creatures in the original Austin Powers, but is forced to make do with ill-tempered sea bass. It wasn’t until the third movie, Austin Powers in Goldmember, that Dr. Evil and audiences alike were finally able to witness these weaponized predators of the deep.

Baby Shark
Without a doubt the cruelest and most dangerous creature on this list… Pinkfong’s own Baby Shark. Ask any parent of a kid under 5. The mere mention of the word shark to any toddler is enough to start the cries of “Doo doo doo doo doo doo”. Even MEG might not be up for taking on the everlasting earworm power of Baby Shark.


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