Robert Klein Drops HBO’s First F-Bomb
In 1975, less than three years after launching, HBO aired its first comedy special, “On Location: An Evening with Robert Klein.” Best known for his “I Can’t Stop My Leg” routine, Klein was one of the top observational comics of the 1970s, but he could also sing and dance without embarrassing himself, making him a perfect candidate for HBO’s foray into comedy. In “On Location,” Klein further made history: he dropped HBO’s first F-bomb — a word that would, in a way, allow HBO to become the most respected channel on TV years later, paving the way for in the final item on this list and every line of dialogue from “Deadwood.”
The Sex Pistols and the F**king Rotter
Host Bill Grundy and the rest of Thames TV’s “Today” crew had to know something was going happen; after all, their guests, the Sex Pistols, had just released their first single, “Anarchy In the U.K.,” which begins with the line, “I am an Antichrist.” Nevertheless, the Pistols — who were a last-minute replacement for Queen and given drinks before filming – were allowed on live TV for an interview with Grundy.
Things quickly grew awkward between the host and the young punks. Siouxsie Sioux, a friend of the group, was present for the interview, and after she told Grundy she had always wanted to meet him, he responded, “We’ll meet afterward, shall we?” Guitarist Steve Jones took offense and replied, “You dirty sod. You dirty old man.” Jones and Grundy, who later claimed he was drunk, kept trading witticisms before the Pistol effectively ended the conversation by calling Grundy a “f**king rotter.” [Editor's note: No idea what that is.] The next day, the Daily Mirror ran a front-page article about the incident, under the headline, “The Filth and the Fury.”
Twenty-nine years later, the band’s ex-bassist, Glen Matlock (replaced by Sid Vicious in 1977) complained about the prevalence of swearing on TV. He said, “It’s pathetic when people just swear for the sake of it.” He probably wouldn’t be too happy, then, that the footage from “Today” is now the most requested TV clip ever.
David Brent Tells Finchy Where to Go
One of David Brent’s finest and most honest moments came near the end of the final episode of “The Office.” In “Christmas Special Part 2,” David, played by Ricky Gervais, meets his blind date, Carol, and the two quickly hit it off. He brings her to the office and after she departs, outside sales representative Chris “Finchy” Finch makes a joke about her appearance. Without even a fake laugh, David looks at his supposed friend and says, “Chris, why don’t you f**k off?” He walks away a bigger man.