When did it become okay to say “balls” on TV?

Back in the 1970s, I busted a gut laughing to George Carlin’s seven words you could not say on television. This comedic bit is just as hilarious now as it was when I first heard it.

In one part of the bit, he talks about how a baseball player can have two balls on him but it would be improper to say he hurt his balls on the play.

Obviously, after watching this week’s episode of Two-and-a-Half Men, it is okay to say “balls” now on TV. In one scene when Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen) finally gives into his fiancée Chelsea’s (Jennifer Bini Taylor) plan to get a breast reduction (because her boobs are causing her back pain), he tells her not to get rid of her bras because he could use them for two egg-shaped appendages that might need a little support when he gets older.

Without question, these days television writers have a lot of creative leeway and freedom when it comes to their use of words like “boobs,” “balls,” and even “bitch.” Not that this makes television these days any better with the shock and comedic value these words might have within the context of a drama or a sitcom, it is interesting to see how much television has evolved.

Back in the 60s on the Dick Van Dyke Show, it was taboo to have Rob (Dick Van Dyke) and Laura (Mary Tyler Moore) sleep in one bed or on I Dream of Jeannie for Jeannie (Barbara Eden) to show her belly button.

The times have definitely changed.

Thank you George Carlin.


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