A history of foul language | EW.com


A history of foul language

A history of foul language--Some memorable off-color mutterings from ''SNL,'' ''NYPD Blue'' and others

From the I Guess They Can Say That on TV Dept.: a time line of TV’s most memorable off-color mutterings.

MARCH 18, 1979 The PBS documentary Scared Straight! brings prison-speak (i.e., the seven dirty words) to prime time.

FEB. 21, 1981 Charles Rocket is fired from Saturday Night Live after he says ”f—” on the air (Norm Macdonald is spared his job when he uses the same word 16 years later).

FEB. 26, 1984 A confused Phoebe Cates asks ”Which one of you bitches is my mother?” on the miniseries Lace.

JAN. 22, 1990 Guns N’ Roses’ Slash and Duff McKagan rifle off four-letter words, including f—, on the American Music Awards.

SEPT. 10, 1990 The premiere of CBS’ Uncle Buck opens with a 6-year-old yelling ”You suck!” Though execs scramble to justify the language, the show’s suck-cess is short-lived.

SEPT. 21, 1993 Dennis Franz yells ”You pissy little bitch!” in the series premiere of NYPD Blue. Before the episode ends, audiences will also be introduced to d—head and a–hole.

FEB. 19, 1994 Martin Lawrence’s scatological Saturday Night Live monologue — referencing John Wayne Bobbitt and feminine hygiene — irks NBC enough to ban him from the network.

MARCH 21, 1999 Whoopi Goldberg says the S-word twice — and throws in a few double entendres — while hosting the Academy Awards.