Did this man record the world’s first “Parental Advisory” pop song?
Many people believe that the first use of the word “fuck” in a commercially released pop song was in Eddy Duchin’s 1938 recording of Louis Armstrong’s “Old Man Moes”, vocals by Patricia Norman.
Apparently, the “scandal” caused the single to sell 170,000 copies. That’s about half as many as Joe McElderry has sold this week, but remember that this song was released at the tail end of the Great Depression.
No wonder they called it the Dirty Thirties.
On first listen, I was convinced there’s definitely a fuck or two in there, but on subsequent listens I’m not so sure.
When it comes to the screenwriting of Kevin Smith, I find myself torn between the part of me that loves his flair crafting wise-ass patter and profanity and the part of me that despises his derivative slapstick (Smith himself doing Batman in Mallrats, the light-sabre fight in Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back) and clunky politically correct expository get-out clauses (Chris Rock explaining Biblical historicity in Dogma, Joey Lauren Adams providing a tearfully unbelievable account of lesbianism in Chasing Amy).
But when your scripts are as chock-full of profanity as those of Kevin Smith, you can pretty much guarantee that some absolutely blinding gems will make it to the screen.
Therefore, I present Great Swears Of Our Time #2, the Mooby’s scene from Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. Smith’s never better than when he’s putting gobshite into the mouth of hetero life-partner Jason Mewes.
There are some people who believe that swearing is a sign of a poor vocabulary. I’ll quite happily challenge any of those fuckchunks to a spelling bee, any time.
There are others who seem to believe that there’s something intrinsically wrong about certain words, and get really offended when they are used. These people are cunts.
Graham Linehan, writer of some fine, fine British sitcoms, has this to say: “I’m not against swearing! I just hate it when it’s pointless and cheap or used to make a weak joke ‘funnier’.”
(Linehan who’s responsible for introducing and popularising “feck”, an Irish swear previously virtually unheard in the UK.)
Ever since he blogged the above words, commenting on a mild creative disagreement he has with Charlie Brooker, Linehan has been apologising whenever a new episode of The IT Crowd contains a “fuck”. Like last Friday’s episode.
But what a fuck. What an amazing fuck.
The situation in the clip below is so ludicrously clichéd, the cluster of religious leaders introduced apropos of nothing, at first I thought Linehan had just phoned in the script.
But the fuck, the fuck is what confounded the expectations and had me weeing myself. This scene does not work without the fuck.