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Home --> Radio & TV --> Television --> 'Up the Butt, Bob'

'Up the Butt, Bob'

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."

Status:   True.

Examples:

[Collected on the Internet, 1994]

Over a beer, friends and I are discussing TV bloopers. One friend says that she was watching The Newlywed Game one day and the bonus question was "Where is the most unusual place that you and your husband have ever made whoopee?" After receiving responses like "the bathroom of a 747" and "the kitchen table," Bob Eubanks comes to a "not-too-literate" [black] lady who, after a lengthy deliberation, states "It be the butt, Bob".
 

[Barris, 1993]

HOST: Where did your wife say you had your most unusual "whoopee session"?

HUSBAND: In the sink.

HOST: I'm sorry; your wife said 'in the butt.'

HUSBAND: Damn, I almost said that.

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 Bob Eubanks 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]

EW: I've gotta ask you about the famous "That would be in the butt, Bob" story . . .

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.
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:
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?

Olga:   Umm . . . (audience laughter)

[pause]

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 place . . .

Olga:   The weirdest location. I don't know. [Laughs]

Hank:   [Laughs uproariously]
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).

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
years later; by then many of the details had changed in the telling, the show hadn't ever been rebroadcast, and no home viewer had a tape of the episode to offer as proof. Eventually, Bob Eubanks finds himself being asked nearly every day about something that supposedly took place on his show. He doesn't recall the incident because the description he's hearing doesn't quite match what really happened, he's hosted a few thousand shows, and he had no reason to find the incident remarkable at the time it took place. (Contestants have given all sorts of stupid, hilarious, and racy answers on The Newlywed Game over the years, so it wouldn't be surprising if Bob Eubanks failed to realize that this one answer would become the stuff of legend in years to come.) Tired of being asked constantly about something he doesn't remember ever happening, Eubanks develops a standard "reward" response as a way of trying to get people to stop with the same old question already. (If he were offering a $10 million reward, chances would be pretty good that he was absolutely 100% sure it never happened. But $10,000 is an amount large enough to get people's attention, but small enough that he could easily pay it off if something did turn up.)

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]

"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."

The kicker?

"Her husband came out and matched the answer," said Eubanks, chuckling at the memory. "They got their 10 points and went on with the game."

And the uncle?

"I guess he's looking up at the sky about now," he said.
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.)

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 WTIC 1050, and the Ian and Paul Show:
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:

Presenter:   Gidday its XXX-FM, do you want to play the game?
Brian:   Yeah, sure.
Presenter:   O.K., Question 1 - When was the last time you had sex?
Brian:   Ohhh, maaaate. Ha ha, well, about 8 o'clock this morning.
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.
Sharelle:   O.K.
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!
Radio Silence
Advert
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.
This 'transcript' has been modified as it passed through various hands on the Internet:
  • The original (seen above) stars "Presenter," "Brian," and "Sharelle," with the prize set as a trip to Bali. Its language is amusingly Australian.
  • A further Bali version refers to the participants as "Host," "John," and either "Jen" or "Jan." It's often claimed this one came from WTIC 1050, an Australian radio station. The language of it sounds pure American. (Example: "Up the arse" is replaced with "in the ass." There are also none of those "Orrrrr" and "Ohhhh maaaaate" exclamations.) Moreover, there is no WTIC 1050 in Australia. Australian broadcast stations do not use the Wxxx format of station identification. Aussie radio stations use "xxx FM" as the ID, or 2xx AM (for New South Wales) or 3xx AM (for Victoria).
  • One last version fixes the broadcast to a show called "Mate Match" on a radio station in Chicago, WBAM-FM. (Which would be no mean feat — WBAM-FM is in Montgomery, Alabama.) The host is referred to as Edgar (sometimes just "DJ"), and the contestants (Brian and Sara) are vying for a trip to Disney World. Some forms of this piece go so far as to state the incident took place on 9 December 1998. (Which again would be no mean feat because the "Brian and Sharelle" version was scooting around the Internet weeks before that.)
Last updated:   7 August 2007

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  Sources Sources:
    Barris, Chuck.   The Game Show King: A Confession.
    New York: Carroll & Graf, 1993.   ISBN 0-786-70002-5   (pp. 71-72).

    Brooks, Tim and Earle Marsh.   The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows.
    New York: Ballantine Books, 1999.   ISBN 0-345-42923-0   (pp. 728-729).

    Fretts, Bruce.   "Laughing All the Way to the Eubanks."
    Entertainment Weekly.   12 December 1997   (p. 65).

    Nelson, Craig.   Bad TV: The Very Best of the Very Worst.
    New York: Delta, 1995.   ISBN 0-385-31359-4.

    Richmond, Ray.   "Television's Father Confessor Cashes in on Human Nature."
    Los Angeles Daily News.   28 March 1993   (p. L20).

   For Him Magazine.   "The Burning Questions."
    March/April 2000   (p. 46).