Swearing in sitcoms before 1990s

Avatar

Tim Azure

  • Thursday 30th January 2014, 2:41pm [Edited]
  • Kent, England
  • 2,037 posts

Nonexistent.

But it's interesting to see what words they use instead. Gordon Bennett! (Steptoe), Naff off! (Porridge) and so on.

The Good Life seems to be too refined to use these-damned and cripes! At least they don't go yaroo!

Avatar

Guilbert

  • Thursday 30th January 2014, 2:53pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 85 posts

Well Till Death Us Do Part did have a fair amount of mild swearing.

I think Alf's favourite was "Bloody" but there may have been stronger words.

Johnny Speight, who wrote it, did have constant arguments with the BBC about the swearing in it, so he always put more in the script, knowing they would take some out, and he would be left with what he wanted in the first place.

I am sure Steptoe had worse than "Gordon Bennett" and I seem to remember Peter Cook and Dudley Moore had swearing in Not Only But Also but I can't remember the details.

I remember the Monty Python show with the Spanish Inquisition characters in.

They constantly interrupted every sketch by coming in at the end of the sketch, but on the LAST sketch (set in a court room) they were sitting at home when the end credits started.

They rushed to the court room by bus and ran in the court room just as the credits ended and it faded to black and Michael Palin said "Bugger" which was perfect.

But I believe they had to fight the BBC to use that word, but finally got agreement.

But I have to say that some comedy has gone too far and uses swearing too much.

CLEVER comedians don't need to swear, only poor comedians need to swear, to emphasis the punch line and get a stronger laugh.

I was watching Toast of London recently and got fed up with constant use of the "F" word, which becomes a bit pointless after a while.

The one word "Bugger" at the end of that Python show was far funnier that 50 uses of the "F" word in Toast Of London.

Avatar

ScotiaNova

  • Thursday 30th January 2014, 5:25pm
  • Scotland
  • 324 posts

The first proper F bomb I remember in a sitcom has to be I'm Alan Partridge, so well used and that bit of shock.
Wasn't quite the same when they tried to do it again in series 2 . . .

Avatar

Gordon Bennett

  • Thursday 30th January 2014, 5:34pm
  • Basel, Switzerland
  • 19,199 posts
Quote: ScotiaNova @ 30th January 2014, 5:25 PM GMT

The first proper F bomb I remember in a sitcom has to be I'm Alan Partridge, so well used and that bit of shock.
Wasn't quite the same when they tried to do it again in series 2 . . .


I remember the one in the second series, where AP tells the Rob Brydon character to f*** off. But I can't remember hearing the f-word in series one. Which scene(s)?

Quote: Tim Azure @ 30th January 2014, 2:41 PM GMT

Gordon Bennett!


Yes?

Avatar

ScotiaNova

  • Thursday 30th January 2014, 5:37pm [Edited]
  • Scotland
  • 324 posts
Quote: Gordon Bennett @ 30th January 2014, 5:34 PM GMT

I remember the one in the second series, where AP tells the Rob Brydon character to f*** off. But I can't remember hearing the f-word in series one. Which scene(s)?


It's where Phil Cornwal's rival DJ Clifton is winding Alan up about being stopped by the Police and Alan cracks and tells him "oh, F*ck off" . . . the one with Rob Brydon just seems like a reprise and there was no surprise value to it . . .

Avatar

Mikey Jackson

  • Thursday 30th January 2014, 6:38pm
  • Worthing, West Sussex, England
  • 2,807 posts

There were plenty of "bastards" flung around in The Young Ones in the early 80s.
But then again, most of the other swear words in that show were funny childish made up words such as "bottom burp."

Avatar

Lee

  • Thursday 30th January 2014, 6:39pm
  • Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
  • 36,349 posts
Quote: Guilbert @ 30th January 2014, 2:53 PM GMT

CLEVER comedians don't need to swear, only poor comedians need to swear, to emphasis the punch line and get a stronger laugh.


What's their wealth got to do with it? ;)

I understand what you're saying but I don't think it's necessarily true. A funny line is a funny line regardless. Gratuitous swearing is different from just using a swear word.

AvatarBCG Supporter

beaky

  • Thursday 30th January 2014, 6:43pm
  • Malaga and Brighton, United Kingdom
  • 2,735 posts

I was astonished while reading an interview with Tracey Emin in The Telegraph yesterday that they asterisked "slagging off" into sl***ing off.

Avatar

ScotiaNova

  • Thursday 30th January 2014, 6:44pm
  • Scotland
  • 324 posts
Quote: beaky @ 30th January 2014, 6:43 PM GMT

I was astonished while reading an interview with Tracey Emin in The Telegraph yesterday that they asterisked "slagging off" into sl***ing off.


Sometimes those confound me and I put a lot more thought into what the word being replaced was than I would if it were left uncensored . . .

Avatar

MTpromises

  • Thursday 30th January 2014, 7:43pm
  • New York, United States
  • 365 posts
Quote: beaky @ 30th January 2014, 6:43 PM GMT

I was astonished while reading an interview with Tracey Emin in The Telegraph yesterday that they asterisked "slagging off" into sl***ing off.


I'd imagine slag falls under anti-female speech or slut-shaming... or something like that, I only occasionally read Gawker.

I don't understand how people find some words to be offensive. It seems like an absurd remnant of old school superstition to me. Maybe since I grew up listening to Eddie Murphy and George Carlin; F-bombs don't phase me. I can only imagine how the internet kids are going to look antiquated language rules.

Avatar

zooo

  • Friday 31st January 2014, 3:27pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 69,195 posts

I've never associated the term 'slagging off' (which just means to insult/complain about someone) with the word slag (to mean someone of either gender who sleeps around).

Avatar

Alfred J Kipper

  • Saturday 1st February 2014, 8:12am
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,257 posts
Quote: Lee @ 30th January 2014, 6:39 PM GMT

What's their wealth got to do with it? ;)

Gratuitous swearing is different from just using a swear word.


True but it does I reckon depend on the swear word. In The Trip I didn't notice much swearing but then they put the naughtiest one in on a visual. This was obviously done for impact, to be cool to use the C word on TV when it's only recently been allowed on. It spoiled it for me.

Quote: Guilbert @ 30th January 2014, 2:53 PM GMT

I was watching Toast of London recently and got fed up with constant use of the "F" word, which becomes a bit pointless after a while.

The one word "Bugger" at the end of that Python show was far funnier that 50 uses of the "F" word in Toast Of London.


Yes yes.

Avatar

SimonWing

  • Saturday 1st February 2014, 8:12am
  • England
  • 574 posts
Quote: Guilbert @ 30th January 2014, 2:53 PM GMT

CLEVER comedians don't need to swear, only poor comedians need to swear, to emphasis the punch line and get a stronger laugh.


Do you not find the swearing of Tucker/Jamie in The Thick of It "clever"?

Not having a go. Just curious....

AvatarBCG Supporter

Tursiops

  • Saturday 1st February 2014, 10:51am
  • Welwyn Garden City, England
  • 9,788 posts
Quote: beaky @ 30th January 2014, 6:43 PM GMT

I was astonished while reading an interview with Tracey Emin in The Telegraph yesterday that they asterisked "slagging off" into sl***ing off.


Our e-mail filter at work will not allow me to send or receive the word 'slag'. This is a bit of a nuisance, as I am currently working on a project concerning blast furnace waste...

Avatar

Alfred J Kipper

  • Saturday 1st February 2014, 11:19am
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,257 posts

Hmm, calling someone a heap of blast furnace waste is a bit of mouthful or handful if you're typing. What PC bollocks is that I ask?