Sunday, February 18, 2007

Rejected Catchphrases

Catchphrases are what makes pop culture popular. They stick in our minds and we often repeat them long after their notoriety has worn off. However, what many people don't realize is just how difficult it is to create the perfect catchphrase that will be concise enough to be mnemonic and fresh enough to be original. Sometimes it is more difficult than it may seem. Here are some examples of prototype catchphrases, and why they didn't quite make it to the final stages of production.

Change one simple vowel sound and you can change the entire direction for a burgeoning television show.

The entire British comedy angle for Diff'rent Strokes was scrapped and replaced with something to which American audiences could better relate.

After changing "retarded" to "dangerous," the "in here" part was cut for greater impact. If only they knew at the time how much of a pop sensation the original theme song would have been...

Warner Bros. execs felt that the world wasn't quite ready to embrace the hip-hop "street" culture by the 1930s.

"Wouldn't it make more sense to have them turn into vehicles and roll out than to turn into robots and walk across the country?"
". . . Shut up."

After long, serious, and arduous talks, Jimmie Walker finally was able to convince the writers that "Dyn-O-Mite!" would have a far greater impact than their original choice.

Somewhere between the final script and the shooting script, the producers decided that they did, in fact, want to go with the suspense / horror motif for the sequel.

NBC decided to change it to "Ha! I kill me!" after the meaning was lost on impressionable test audiences.

Ultimately, ABC decided they wanted to go in a slightly different direction with their Urkel character.

Larry's PR agents convinced him that it would be far less creepy to just say "Git-R-Done!" after every single joke he ever told, ever, and it would make about as much sense in context.


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