Life after this

A comment on the recent ski-gate-to-the-groin video reminded me of something I’ve been meaning to address. On the Jan. 23, 2012 episode of Family Feud, this happened:

“His schlong.” They asked 100 people to name something an airline pilot might be holding during a long flight, and three of them said his schlong.

When someone sent me the link, I figured that response was an incorrect answer from a contestant, a blooper worthy of a few giggles and raised eyebrows to be filed away with the thousands of other silly things that have been said by anxious Americans under the pressure of hot lights and enthusiastic studio audiences.

But no. This was a correct answer, something premeditated and legitimized with a graphic, something neither the Thompsons nor the Browns were quite crude enough to conjure up: “His schlong.”

So either: 1) Three Family Feud-surveyed people said that an airline pilot might be holding his reproductive organ during a long flight, and the Family Feud producers met and discussed it and had an actual conversation to determine that the best choice of words to summarize those responses would be “his schlong” or, better yet, 2) three Family Feud-surveyed people, when asked to name something an airline pilot might be holding during a long flight, answered, explicitly, “his schlong.”

And of course the well-trained audience underscores and elevates the absurdity, shouting it out like oblivious participants in some massive Pavlovian prank: The bell rings, the sign flips, you read.


Steve Harvey makes a silly face and grabs the opportunity to toss out a few punchlines, another day at the office for the host of Family Feud. The Thompsons seem a little disappointed that they did not think of the airline pilot’s schlong.

The only person involved who appears to truly grasp the gravity of the moment is Ms. Marion Brown, who looks crushed — so absolutely scandalized by the answer that she would happily turn the points back over to the Thompsons and forfeit the game altogether just to be able to go back to living in a world where “his schlong” had never been a correct answer on Family Feud.

But alas, we power forward. You, me, Marion Brown, the Thompsons, Steve Harvey, we carry on now, embarrassed or liberated or disgusted or rejuvenated but undoubtedly forever altered in some way by the revelation. We’re here now, about to enter our third month of life after “his schlong” was a correct answer on Family Feud.

What hath Richard Dawson wrought?

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