A "What the Frell?" Moment

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I was surprised to find out that so many of the Veggie Tales voices were done by Phil Vischer. Bob the Tomato and Mr. Nezzar don't sound like they could be possibly be the same person.

But that pales compared to what I just discovered. Apparently, Elmo and Sam the Eagle are voiced by the same guy. That's a little disturbing, isn't it?

Update: The term 'frell' originates in Farscape, which was executive produced by Brian Henson, son of Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets. I generally prefer 'frak' from Battlestar Galactica, but 'frell' seemed more appropriate given the Muppet connection. It also has a better sound for this form of statement. By the way, catalogues of fictional curse words abound, so if you don't like 'frak' or 'frell' you can choose any of a long list.

4 Comments

My only question is: why use a fake swear word at all? The use of such words is dishonest. In the examples cited (TV shows) it is meant to overcome the objections of the FCC and thus, at least, has some transgressive political power -- even if it does come off sounding a bit lame and forced. But to use it in normal conversation is meant to do much the same, only in this case you aren't trying to avoid the FCC, but to avoid either a social or a spiritual opposition to the use of certain words. But if "swearing" is bad then surely it is not the specific words themselves that are bad (after all, swear words themselves come and go over time and linguistic shifts) but the intention behind the utterance. It's a bit, I think, like the theory of sin by thought, word and deed. You may think you have avoided committing the deed/word of swearing (though even that is questionable) but certainly you committed the thought of swearing. Perhaps it is, from a legal standpoint, attempted swearing where you had the intent to swear but failed to commit the actus reus. In any event, since the FCC doesn't patrol the internet, we might as well swear openly, or else make a real commitment to not swearing in any form.

Oh, what the frak, I don't care. Do what you want!

But if "swearing" is bad then surely it is not the specific words themselves that are bad (after all, swear words themselves come and go over time and linguistic shifts) but the intention behind the utterance.

Yes, that's right, which is why there's nothing wrong with using the words. Yet there's a strong contingent within Christianity that would never tolerate the words. That's why I never use them. But in the contexts when it would otherwise be ok to use them I have no problem using alternatives.

You may think you have avoided committing the deed/word of swearing (though even that is questionable) but certainly you committed the thought of swearing.

Only if you're using them in the circumstances when it would be wrong to use such terms apart from the considerations of how others would illlegitimately receive them. If it's used in anger, then the anger might be a problem. If it's used to demean someone, that's clearly bad. If it's used as a joke to express that something seems really strange, as in this case, then I think it involves a kind of creativity that the use of normal swear words doesn't involve.

I was doing a GIS for Sam the Eagle and happened upon your page -- I know I'm coming in REALLY late on this one, but Sam the Eagle and Elmo are NOT voiced by the same actor. Sam the Eagle is voiced by Frank Oz (the same as Miss Piggy if you still want to be disturbed by such a thing), and Elmo is voiced by Kevin Clash (I suggest you do a GIS for Kevin Clash if you want to be shocked even further).

Frank Oz used to do Sam the Eagle. Kevin Clash has also done his voice, and I do indeed know who Clash is, or I wouldn't have linked to the IMDB entry on him. I assume you didn't bother to click on that, because it lists him as doing Sam the Eagle for two Muppet movies after Frank Oz stopped doing that character.

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