Most hardcore “Saturday Night Live” fans know the classic SNL sketch about two unwitting NPR radio show hosts who interview local baker Pete Schweddy about his irresistible Schweddy balls. The sketch is so famous that it has led to merchandise, including everything from mugs to golf balls to T-shirts. Most recently, Ben & Jerry’s whipped out — I mean, up — a batch of “Schweddy Balls” ice cream in tribute to the sketch featuring malted milk balls and fudge-covered rum balls.
Unfortunately, consumers may not be able to find this delicious dish in stores because it has been taken off many shelves because backlash from several conservative groups who wish to censor the “R-rated” product. A spokesperson for One Million Moms stated, “The vulgar new flavor has turned something as innocent as ice cream into something repulsive. Not exactly what you want a child asking for at the supermarket.”
What on Earth are these parents so scared of?
If a child is under the age of nine, there is a high probability he doesn’t even understand what’s so funny about “balls.” I sure didn’t when I was nine. I finally found out when I misused “balls” in a Mad Lib in which the phrase read “Please raise your (plural noun).” You can imagine my embarrassment when I was ridiculed for several weeks after reading it aloud to my fourth grade class because I didn’t know I had said a “dirty word.”
Trying to prevent a child from hearing a curse word by ridding the world of its commercial use takes far too much time and effort and will only delay the inevitable. Kids will learn dirty words.
And the product wasn’t really marketed to kids to begin with. Yes, it’s ice cream, but most children aren’t going to get the pop culture reference B&J’s is making anyway, so they won’t really be tempted to buy it. B&J’s is probably trying to widen their market and gain more adult buyers, and what adult can resist Schweddy Balls? It has definitely worked, too. People are tweeting store locations selling the flavor followed by #helpmefindschweddyballs. You couldn’t ask for a better marketing strategy than to let the buyers advertise for you.
Where is everyone’s sense of humor? Come on, it’s an ice cream with malted milk balls. So it’s called “Schweddy Balls,” is that really reason for people to go nuts? The reason the “SNL” sketch was so perfect is precisely the reason the ice cream was put on shelves in the first place: the characters don’t seem to know they’re making jokes with a sexual connotation, the same way the kids who ask their parents for this ice cream don’t know they’re making a sexually charged joke.
Don’t kill the humor. It’s one of the simple joys of parenthood. If I were a parent and my kid asked me for that ice cream, I’d simply chuckle about my child’s adorable innocence and grab myself a pint of Schweddy Balls.