Sure, The Flintstones were known to peddle cigarettes on occasion, but that can't really be held against them considering everyone in the 1960s smoked like an elderly divorcee by the time they were in second grade. The jokes on The Flintstones rarely got more sophisticated than blatant chauvinism and using woodpeckers as typewriters. That is, except for the time they quietly slipped a thunderous dick joke into an episode right under everyone's nose.
In the episode, Fred and Barney take a trip to the costume store, as cavemen are wont to do. Fred asks Barney what kind of costume he's going to get. Barney replies that he'll buy something that makes him look tall, so Fred suggests he buy another head. Barney retorts, "What do I need three of them for?" (The second head, of course, being his penis.) They then break into hysterical fits of laughter, because 95 percent of this show was Fred and Barney cracking themselves up.
That's right -- the guys are sharing a yarn about Barney's throbbing, bulbous c**k helmet in a puzzling example of getting a pretty explicit gag past the infamously hard-nosed censors of the 1960s. The show's producers even had the balls to follow it up with the laugh track, just to make sure everyone watching caught the joke.
Warner Bros. Animation"We wanted to have him pull off his hair revealing him to be an anthropomorphic dick, but we went over budget."
The truly baffling thing is, there is absolutely no other way to interpret what Barney said. That means some Standards and Practices guru watched the episode and either A) got the joke and put it on the air anyway because they thought it was too funny to pass up, or B) didn't understand the joke at all and thought Barney was just spitting gibberish all over Bedrock in a way that amused both Fred and the prerecorded studio audience. But at least they resisted the temptation to throw in an anal rape joke.
Matt Pass is a comedian in New Jersey, and you can follow him on Twitter. Cole Norton can be found in your dreams and on Twitter, as can Dennis Fulton. Jeetesh comes from the mystical lands of India, and you can send him a friend request on Facebook. Carolyn can be found on her blog or on Twitter.
For more grossly inappropriate content in children's media, check out 17 R-Rated Easter Eggs You Never Noticed in Disney Movies.
Related Reading: Our cartoons still aren't nearly as hardcore as France's children's cartoons. They feature cannibalism like it ain't no thing. And if that's not crazy enough for you, let this North Korean cartoon explain how geometry can help you defeat America. Since we've already taken things to a depressing place, check out the dark origins of these lovable children's characters.