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August 10th, 2002

You Can’t Say That On Television!

This morning, TV Land promised to air the episode of I Love Lucy in which Lucy announced she was pregnant. They didn’t. I hate them.

No, it’s okay. But the interesting facet is that the title of that episode, one of early TV’s biggest, was “Lucy is Enceinte”. “Enceinte” is the French word for “pregnant” and was used because “pregnant” was one of those words that you just couldn’t say on television. Ricky and Lucy, of course, also slept in separate twin-sized beds for most of the show’s lifespan. But looking in from 2002, it’s interesting that 40 years ago, it was verboten to say “pregnant” on TV.

Now, things are wackily different. Basic cable has a littany of curse words, and pay cable even has some of today’s more “offensive” words available for your listening pleasure.

It got me to thinking, though, how different TV could be if some shows couldn’t use certain words… thinking beyond George Carlin’s seven famous ones. Could Tony Soprano exist, as a character? Would NYPD Blue be real?

What do you think? And would there be any words you’d ask to be stricken from the television record? (I’d start with “the”.)

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

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