Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: In response to a question from host Bob Eubanks about the "most unusual place you've ever made whoopee," a female Newlywed Game contestant responded, "That would be up the butt, Bob."
Origins: The Newlywed Game, a game show in which newly-married husbands and wives were separately asked the same questions and had to predict how their spouses would answer, was a staple of American television for over twenty years. It aired in a prime time network version from January 1967 to August 1971 and ran during the day from July 1966 to December 1974. A syndicated version was produced from 1977 until 1980, and the show was revived yet again as The Newlywed Game in the fall of 1985, a version that lasted until 1990.
"What was the strangest place you've ever made whoopee?" was one of host Bob Eubanks' favorite questions, almost always prompting at least one (unintentionally) hilarious response. Over the years this question has featured in one of the most hotly-debated items in urban legendry: whether a contestant responded to this question with the answer, "That'd be up the butt, Bob." Legions of television viewers have sworn they saw this event, and opposing legions of pundits have insisted that the whole thing was merely a joke and no such exchange ever took place on a broadcast Newlywed Game episode. Among this latter group is host Bob Eubanks himself, who has repeatedly denied that any such occurrence took place on his show (and has offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who can prove it did):
[Entertainment Weekly, 1997]Recently a Newlywed Game clip (from a Game Show Network rebroadcast of the show) has come to light that may or may not be the origin of this legend. In a 1977 "Maternity Day" episode, Hank Perez guessed that his wife Olga would say the strangest place she'd ever had the urge to make whoopee was in their car on the freeway. When the wives were brought in to provide their answers to the same question, here is what transpired:
EW: I've gotta ask you about the famous "That would be in the butt, Bob"
EUBANKS: It never happened. No matter where I go, it's mentioned three or four times a day. Everybody swears they saw it. I'm going to write a book and call it That Would Be in the Book, Bob.
Bob: Here's the last of our five-point questions. Girls, tell me where, specifically, is the weeeeeiirdest place that you personally, girls, have ever gotten the urge the make whoopee. The weirdest place. Olga?Is this the "smoking gun" urban legend aficionados have been waiting for? It's hard to say for sure, because some of the key details of this clip don't match the details of the legend. The overwhelming majority of people who claim they saw this episode air stated that the couple was black, and that the woman's response was "That would be in the butt, Bob" (or some similar dialectal version, such as "That'd be the butt, Bob," "Up da butt, Bob" or "It be the butt, Bob"). Neither Hank nor Olga — nor any of the other couples on the show that day — was black, and Olga's response didn't correspond to either the structure or the phrasing of the legendary answer (i.e., she didn't use the word "butt," end her answer with "Bob," or phrase it as a declarative).
Olga: Umm . . . (audience laughter)
Bob: Yes, Olga?
Olga: Uh . . .
Henry: Go ahead.
Bob: Yes, Olga.
Olga: I'm trying to think. Umm . . . [Turns to husband.] Gee Henry, what did you say?
Bob: Hey, don't ask him. He can't help you out at all.
Olga: Is it in the ass? [Last three words bleeped]
Bob: No no no . . . no . . . what I'm talking about is the weirdest location, the weirdest
Olga: The weirdest location. I don't know. [Laughs]
Hank: [Laughs uproariously]
For many, their first opportunity to see the clip came when it appeared on The Most Outrageous Game Show Moments, an NBC special originally aired in February 2002 which has since been reprised a number of times. (Which was not true for readers of this web site, though — we'd been displaying that clip for two years prior to that.) During this special, Eubanks said he'd thought the "In the butt" tale had been a legend because he'd forgotten the incident.
Why has Bob Eubanks spent years denying this ever occurred and offering a reward to anyone who could prove it did? We can only guess at this point, but we might surmise something like this:
The episode originally aired well before VCRs became a household item, and well before the proliferation of cable channels created a network dedicated to replaying old game shows. The legend about the incident didn't gain widespread currency until several
It is true that by 1993 Eubanks didn't even mention "up the butt" when asked to recall the show's most outrageous moment:
[Daily News, 1993]Guess we'll just have to wait and see if Bob pays up. (Exactly who would get to claim the reward is anybody's guess.)
"I asked this young lady what was the one thing that her husband told her not to talk about," recalled Eubanks. "She said that her brother and cousin planned to kill her uncle for his insurance money."
"Her husband came out and matched the answer," said Eubanks, chuckling at the memory. "They got their
And the uncle?
"I guess he's looking up at the sky about now," he said.
In late 1998, a Australian radio version of this legend began circulating on the Internet, attributed variously to an unidentified Sydney station, an unidentified Melbourne station, Waterbury
This story occurred on Melbourne radio last week. One of the FM stations has a competition where they ring someone up, ask them three personal questions, ring their spouse or partner, ask them the same three questions; if the answers are the same, the couple win a holiday to Bali. Last week the competition went like this:This 'transcript' has been modified as it passed through various hands on the Internet:
Presenter: Gidday its
Brian: Yeah, sure.
Presenter: O.K., Question 1 - When was the last time you had sex?
Brian: Ohhh, maaaate. Ha ha, well, about
Presenter: And how long did it go for Brian?
Brian: Orrrrr . . . about 10 minutes.
Presenter: 10 minutes? Good one. And where did you do it mate?
Brian: Ohhhh maaaaate, I can't say that.
Presenter: There's a holiday to Bali at stake here Brian!
Brian: O.K. . . . O.K. . . . On the kitchen table.
Presenter: (and others in the room - much laughter) Good one Brian, now is it O.K. for us to call your wife?
Brian: Yeah, alright.
Presenter: Hi Sharelle, how are you?
Sharelle: Hi. Good, thanks.
Presenter: (Explains competition again.) We've got Brian on the other line. Say Hello.
Sharelle: Hi, Brian.
Brian: Hi, Sharelle.
Presenter: Now Sharelle, we're going to ask you the same three questions we asked Brian, and if you give the same answers, you win a trip for two to Bali.
Brian: Just tell the truth, Honey.
Presenter: Sharelle, when was the last time you had sex?
Sharelle: Oohhhh, noooooo. I can't say that on radio.
Brian: Sharelle, it doesn't matter. I've already told them.
Sharelle: O.K. . . . About 8:00 this morning before Brian went to work.
Presenter: Good, nice start ! Next question: How long did it go for, Sharelle?
Sharelle: (giggling) About 12, maybe 15 minutes.
Co-Presenter: That's close enough. Brian was just being a gentleman.
Presenter: O.K. Sharelle, final question. Where did you do it?
Sharelle: Oh no, I can't say that. My mum could be listening. No way, no.
Presenter: There's a trip to Bali on the line here.
Brian: Sharelle, I've already told them so it doesn't matter anyway. Just tell 'em!
Sharelle: Ohhhh . . . alright . . . Up the arse!
Presenter: Sorry if anyone was offended before. We're going live here, and sometimes these things happen. We've given Brian and Sharelle the holiday. Now we'll take a music break.
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