Monday, April 06, 2015

E is for Eat My Shorts

This month I'm participating in the A to Z Challenge. My theme is the 80s. Today's letter is:



The 80s was a decade of catchphrases. One of the most enduring catchphrases was one that owes its longevity to this guy:


But really, as far as I can tell, the phrase originated with this guy:


Rick Dees was a disc jockey who became nationally known in the 70s with his song Disco Duck. Yes, you read that correctly. Disco Duck was a song. It's as bad as it sounds. Here's video proof...if you dare.



His 1984 release Eat My Shorts reached #75 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and apparently inspired a new catchphrase.



It also prompted a few local DJs to think they could become famous by becoming the poor man's "Weird Al" Yankovic. Middle Tennesseans were treated to Nashville DJ Coyote McCloud's salute to a popular Wendy's commercial, where an old lady said, "Where's the Beef?" This song played constantly on our top 40 station in 1984.



Luckily, the trend seemed to come to an abrupt halt, but not before "eat my shorts" made an appearance in one of the best 80s movies of all, The Breakfast Club.



What catchphrase do you remember from your childhood?

102 comments:

  1. I love The Breakfast Club, it is such a powerful, but also wonderfully silly movie at times! I remember 'Oo, shut that door!' which was Larry Grayson on the Generation Game.
    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles
    FB3X
    Wittegen Press

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a great movie. I've only seen it once all the way through. I've seen parts of it over the years, but I should go back and re-watch it!

      Delete
  2. Sadly, I remember Disco Duck.
    What phrase do I remember from my childhood? 'And I would've gotten away with it if it hadn't been for those meddling kids.' (You did say childhood!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, good one, Alex! I vaguely remember Disco Duck but watching that video--it's a little scary just how happy he is up there. And what's with the Tony Orlando look?

      Delete
  3. I've recently used the phrase on one of our fellow bloggers and he has never heard of it before :)
    I think that Alf had some catchy phrase, but I can't remember what it was...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't remember either! I never watched that show. I thought it was the most ridiculous thing ever and I think I was, what? 12? 13? If a 12-year-old thinks your show is stupid, you might want to rethink what you're doing. 12-year-olds watch Disney Channel, after all...

      Delete
  4. The Breakfast Club is such a brilliant film ... watched it with the in-laws once and I don't think they got it ;) Catchphrases ... um ... I remember Stu Francis 'Ooh! I could crush a grape!' from Crackerjack ;)
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would say you have to be part of that generation to get The Breakfast Club, but I think its themes are universal. Even in the 50s--even NOW--there are some basic things about high school that the film touches on that apply to the high school experience in general.

      Delete
  5. I remember "Eat my shorts". I never used it, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't say I've ever even said the words aloud myself, actually!

      Delete
  6. I remember Disco Duck, but not the Eat My Shorts song. In childhood, we always said, 'That's so queer!' Which made my mom mad because queer meant gay to her, even though that was the farthest thing from our minds,

    In the 80's, we always said, 'Excellent!'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only after Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, right? And then Wayne's World had everyone saying "Not" all the time.

      Delete
    2. No, we said excellent long before the movie. I specifically remember a boy I liked in 1979 who said it and then everyone was saying it. We were ahead of our time!

      Delete
    3. No surprise--I can't believe I even though the writers of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure had actually created an original catchphrase!

      Delete
  7. I don't remember the Disco Duck song or Eat My Short song , thanks goodness, I was so busy working in my shop from morning till night that I missed out on a lot of this stuff. It might have been for the best, haha...

    However I can remember the " Where's the Beef." commercial... Clara Peller was bigger than life. She imprinted on my mind real well. lol.

    I'm so glad you are participating in the A to Z challenge because you always come up with the best stuff. I know you do your homework and it shows.
    Hugs,
    JB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Julia! Yeah, it was hard to miss the Where's the Beef commercial. It was on constantly for a while there.

      Delete
  8. I remember eat my shorts. I had very large hair in the 80's. It would be that way now if I didn't tame it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL I had to work hard for mine. It required a perm.

      Delete
  9. Forgot all about eat my shorts, never knew Bart didn't start it. Sit on it was on I used as I watched happy days repeats as a kid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If nothing else, I've given credit where it's due, I guess!

      Delete
  10. I do remember the "Where's the beef?" commercials and not sure when or what movie Clint Eastwood said it in but the catchphrase that came to mind when I read your post was, "Make my day!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of those Dirty Harry movies, right?

      Delete
    2. I looked it up and it was one of the Dirty Harry movies, "Sudden Impact." that did come out in 1983 and the whole phrase was, "Go ahead...make my day."

      Delete
  11. Not sure I remember either of these, but on the variety show, "Laugh In" there were a lot of catch phrases: "sock it to me, fickled finger of fate, that's what she said," among others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same with Saturday Night Live...they haven't had a good catchphrase on that show in a while, though.

      Delete
  12. Never heard of that guy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was an 80s DJ, so way before your time!

      Delete
  13. I used to say "eat my shorts" all the time! Haha! The Breakfast Club. Nuf said. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never used the term but I had honestly completely forgotten it was used in The Breakfast Club until I was writing this post.

      Delete
  14. I remember that phrase. I was glad to see it exit stage left too.

    I'm enjoy your posts about the 80s. Great choice of themes.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, we loved our catchphrases back in the day. Kids today seem to just abbreviate everything they say. "Spending time with the fam." "What's the sitch?" (Sitch for "situation.") "Whatev." That sort of thing.

      Delete
  15. had no idea rick dees originated that phrase.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure I'm making the world a better place with this kind of knowledge!

      Delete
  16. I remember that phrase, though I don't think I or anyone I know ever said it. I still find "Where's the beef" to be funny, particularly now that I'm an adult and understand the hidden dirty meaning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And even funnier because it was being said by an old lady.

      Delete
  17. Instead of "tell the truth" or "is that a fact" in our Jr. High we said "Hit the right"

    "Hit the right you made out with Sarah smith!" I don't think it ever caught on beyond our school.

    We may have had a number of kids very familiar with the court system.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Hit the right?" I've never heard that one!

      Delete
  18. De plane! De plane!

    FIRE BAD!!!

    Like buttah...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. De plane...I was watching Fantasy Island on YouTube a few weeks ago...someone has put some episodes out there but not all of them. I finally got frustrated that so many episodes were missing and stopped watching. It really wasn't a very good show but I wish Fantasy Island and Love Boat were available for streaming on Netflix or Hulu. I'd probably watch them again just for kicks.

      Delete
  19. Interesting how those phrases catch on and stick for such a long time. Then poof. History.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. I'm sure my stepdaughter would say she's never heard those words, even though she's seen The Breakfast Club (I think?).

      Delete
  20. I liked The Breakfast Club, but the rest of this post is news to me. I didn't know that was once a popular phrase. Now I've got to catch up on your first few posts and see if I learn anything else. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know--I'm having a hard time keeping up with everyone's posts right now, too. So many comments every day, it's exhausting.

      Delete
  21. "No doubt." According to my yearbook, this was my favourite saying, even though I can't remember saying it. Also, everyone was "ig-nert."

    Interesting about the Rick Dees angle. I didn't know that, but I did have that Disco Duck album. Gllllaaaahhhh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You had the whole album?! I'm impressed. I don't even remember how I heard it...but it's the type of song that's perfect for kids.

      Delete
  22. Oh gosh I had top 70's hits and Disco Duck was on that album-hahahaaa. I remember "Eat my Grits"-from Alice and "Excuuuuuuuse Me!" from Steve Martin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We did have a LOT of catchphrases back then, I'm realizing today.

      Delete
  23. I never saw The Breakfast Club but I do remember "Eat my shorts." Those crazy 80s.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know. At least everyone had fun with it all, I guess!

      Delete
  24. I remember 'Oh, boy!' from Quantum Leap - I used to say that a lot! I also used to quote Optimus Prime quite a bit, but that's just showing my geeky side ;-) I remember John Bender saying 'Eat my shorts!' in The Breakfast Club - I absolutely love that movie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never watched Quantum Leap, but it seemed like a good show.

      Delete
  25. Oh yes! I remember it! I'm glad you dropped The Breakfast Club reminder. I loved John Bender...(that ridiculous bad-boy thing).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More on John Hughes later this week...

      Delete
  26. Oh dear. I just watched a little bit of Disco Duck and my eyes and brain hurt. Oh the smooth moves. Urk.
    Childhood phrase. 'It wasn't me.' Used far too often, sometimes truthfully.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was a BAD performance. His big smile and the way he's "dancing" as he sings...it just looks really creepy!

      Delete
  27. I remember "cool beans" which I still use today. And, I remember saying something was "bad" when it really meant it was super cool. Guess I'm dating myself - ha! I enjoyed your blog from the Blogging A to Z challenge. www.dianeweidenbenner.com I am #1800 and something on the list ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The girl I went on senior trip with was very fond of "cool beans." We even had an airbrushed T-shirt made with the saying on it to commemorate our trip.

      Delete
    2. Oh, yes "bad" meaning "good." I tried using that phrase once to a girl I really hated (long story) and she took it too literally. And she though she was such a genius. And this was about three years before Michael Jackson titled an album "Bad."

      Delete
  28. I loved Rick Dees. He was so funny.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't remember ever hearing his show--I think he hosted American Top 40 sometimes when Casey Kasem was on vacation? Am I remembering correctly?

      Delete
  29. Such a fan of the Breakfast Club! Tilting the head and saying "Didu didu, didu didu," mimicking the Twilight Zone theme when something was weird... I remember all these song! Showing my age... Ha ha! Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog, Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've had the Twilight Zone as my ringtone many times over the years.

      Delete
  30. I actually heard that "eat my shorts" started with The Breakfast Club. Or at least that was one the of movie facts I read while watching it on TV some months ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like they didn't do their research. The Breakfast Club came out in 1985. Rick Dees' song was #75 on the Top 100 charts in 1984. Not saying Rick Dees made the saying up, though...he could have heard it in the same place John Hughes heard it while writing the screenplay...

      Delete
  31. Oh, God, I had forgotten that Rick Dees "song." But it was still better than "Disco Duck." Most of the catchphrases from my childhood were raunchy along the lines of "eat me!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eat My Shorts has been stuck in my head all day. I think I'd rather have Disco Duck stuck in my head than that sappy song!

      Delete
  32. I loved Rick Dees. It was the highlight of my Sunday night (I was a party animal!)

    I do remember Disco Duck, don't remember Eat My Shorts. I hope Bart is giving him some royalties!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had to look up what he did on Saturday nights. Into the Night? He hosted Solid Gold for a while...I'm sure I knew that as a kid but I just remember Marilyn McCoo.

      Delete
  33. I missed Eat My Shorts somehow and the Disco Duck song, maybe it was good that I did miss them back then :)

    betty

    ReplyDelete
  34. I just love your theme. So many fun things to remember. Breakfast Club makes my top ten list of all time favorite movies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was so much fun writing them and now I'm getting to enjoy reliving it all with everyone else!

      Delete
  35. I've only ever heard it in the Breakfast Club. Great post!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never really been a fan of The Simpsons myself.

      Delete
  36. Oh yes, I totally remember this and used the phrase myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You seem way too young for that!

      Delete
  37. Rick Dees was local. Now his old slot is filled by Ryan Seacrest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That show Ryan Seacrest does is syndicated here, I think. But they play it during a time when most people are at work. Occasionally I'll catch it around lunchtime...I think it's on our Top 40 station.

      Delete
  38. Eat My Shorts...what a bad saying!! LOL Love the Breakfast Club...so many funny lines in that movie!
    TheCyborgMom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it is a silly saying when you think of it!

      Delete
  39. This is hysterical. LMAO. Thanks for rocking my day.
    Maui Jungalow

    ReplyDelete
  40. I am loving your theme, it brightens my week!! Ha, I remember Eat my Shorts...my brother had the Simpsons game for Nintendo and Bart always said it. I think the biggest catch phrases I remember most were from Full House: "Oh mylanta" (DJ) "How rude!" (stephanie) and "You got it dude" (Michelle) lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Full House was quite full of catchphrases, wasn't it?!

      Delete
  41. I totally remember this phrase from the 80s! I remember it from The Breakfast Club and Bart Simpson saying it- but I had no idea about Rick Dees! Thanks for sharing. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure how I heard the song as a kid. I'd forgotten all about it until I started researching the origin of the catchphrase (looking for an "E"). I was sure it was The Breakfast Club like other people were!

      Delete
  42. I do remember the phrase but never made the connection till now. Awful music wasn't it? But more power to him making a living this way. There were enough of us who bought and enjoyed it apparently.....Thanks for the trip back to the 80s!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He certainly made a national name for himself. I think Disco Duck did it...way over-the-top, but it worked.

      Delete
  43. Oh my goodness. I had forgotten those. Thanks for the reminder. :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. It makes sense that the Simpsons copied it. Everything on that show is a reference or parody to something or other in pop culture.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I remember both, Disco Duck AND Breakfast Club. :D

    ReplyDelete
  46. Wow, I would've thought "eat my shorts" originated with Bart Simpson. You really know your 80's! Breakfast Club is so great. Even my son liked that one, and a lot of the 80's movies we tried to get him to enjoy were just to slow for him.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hi Stephanie! I remember Rick Dees, and I agree with Shell, I thought Eat My Shorts was from the Simpsons too! In my day, John Denver would always say "Far Out!" and that was the catch phrase of my youth. That was a long time ago :)
    Nice to see you again!
    Ceil

    ReplyDelete
  48. There are so many catch phrases over the years... I love that move The Breakfast Club... a lot of sayings came from it... xox

    ReplyDelete
  49. Oh yeaah Bart Simpson sure gave us a lot of catch phrases, didn't he?

    ReplyDelete
  50. I used to have the Simpson's game for Gameboy and I played Bart who was always on his skateboard. This post definitely takes me back!

    ReplyDelete
  51. I was in Jr. High in 1976... Disco Duck wasn't the only strange song to make it to #1 on the pop charts for a week that year.. Convoy by CW McCall also went to #1. For a while in high school it was impossible to walk down a hall without hearing "We're a couple of wild and crazy guys...".

    ReplyDelete
  52. Oh yeah, I remember Disco Duck and Where's the beef:)

    ReplyDelete
  53. Dare I admit to remembering Disco Duck, but not any of the "Eat My Shorts"

    ReplyDelete
  54. I always wondered where that phrase came from. I only knew it from The Simpsons.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Rick Dees was huge in southern California -- in part because he was a local DJ. The 80s were great! I am so glad you are digging up these memories.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Ah... the nostalgia. I remember the "Where's the beef!" lady. And I had never even noticed that "eat my shorts" phrase was in Breakfast Club. The first thing that came to mind for me was The Simpsons, but I should have known it was from earlier than that.

    ReplyDelete