CATCH PHRASES THAT HAVE STUCK

hoffman          wife beater

When Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away last week most of were sorry that we had lost a great talent at such a young age. We were later to learn he overdosed on heroin which you still feel bad about, but heroin…really? He did leave us with one of my favorite movie quotes of all-time in the movie Along Came Polly with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Anniston. He was Stiller’s best friend and together they went to an art gallery opening to try to find available women. All of a sudden Hoffman grabbed Stiller and demanded that they must leave immediately. Why?, Stiller asks. Hoffman replies because I sharted. Stiller had no idea what he was talking about so Hoffman explained that he had tried to fart but a little shit came out, hence sharted. The quote has stuck and in one word explains a complete bowel movement causing great anxiety…classic. Snoop Dogg also has a catch phrase that has stuck to this day, Fo shizzle, which is simply for sure with an izzle…it works. It doesn’t have to be made-up words. It can also be regular words said in such a way that you will never forget them and always associate them with a certain celebrity. The brash and cocky Muhammed Ali once declared, I am the greatest. He backed it up and is still known today as the greatest, it works for me. Who do you think of when you hear the phrase, I get no respect. Rodney Dangerfield of course…it was a classic line. There are some celebrities that aren’t so famous but came up with unforgettable catch phrases when they were enjoying their 15-minutes of fame. Mr.T had, I pity the fool, and Flavor Flav’s was just Yeaaaaaah boooooyy!. Going back in history is one of my favorites, There’s a sucker born every minute, quoted by P.T. Barnum of The Barnum & Bailey Circus. What if someone was to come up to you and say in a low baritone, Thank you. Thank you very much, would you think of Elvis Presley? Probably not if you are under 40, but those of us on the plus side would know immediately. Animated characters also have their share of catch phrases that stuck such as Bart Simpson’s, Eat my shorts, or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’s, Cowabunga.  Oh my God! They killed Kenny! is a phrase that most under 40’s would be familiar with while not so much with the plus side of 40, which is from South Park. Among others are Did I do that? (Steve Urkel), Live long and prosper (Mr. Spock), Eh, what’s up,doc? (Bugs Bunny), What you talkin’ ’bout, Willis? (Arnold/Different Strokes), Dy-no-myte (J.J.Evans/Good Times), You eediot (Ren & Stimpy) and I‘ll be back (Terminator).

Which brings me to an unknown fact that I can’t even get my best friends and family to believe, that I, Craig Kinney, unknowingly at the time came up with a catch phrase that actually stuck. We were in downtown San Diego in the mid-70’s when downtown was basically a red light district with bars, tatoo parlors and sailors. This was the pre revitalized Gas Lamp district. We saw a man in a white tank-top t-shirt that was really underwear swearing and yelling at his girl friend. He raised his hand to her but didn’t strike and I said ” that guy sure is an asshole, why do those type of guys always wear those wife-beater t-shirts? Wife-beater t-shirts has become a common catch phrase and that is how undershirts like those are commonly referred to. I didn’t say it was a great catch phrase, just one that stuck. I had never in my life heard that expression before, it just came out of my mouth. I didn’t think about it until it became a common phrase 25-years later and now some t-shirts are advertised that way. It took that long to be retold over and over again until it became a standard. I wish I had said something prolific like I have a Dream (MLK), but that was the best I had. Well, I really don’t care anymore who believes it…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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