You Call That a Dirty Joke?

If you’re younger than I you may have never heard of Rusty Warren or Redd Foxx. Even if you know of Redd Foxx it’s probably from his role as Fred G. Sandford of television fame. But long before Sandford and Son, Foxx was known as the king of dirty jokes while Warren was the queen.

In the 1950s people secretly listened to Redd Foxx and Rusty Warren on long-play, 33 1/3 r.p.m., vinyl record albums which society in general viewed as extremely raunchy humor. Everyone owned a couple of these albums, or had a friend who did. Adults routinely held house parties with a part of the evening’s entertainment consisting of sitting around the record player listening to the latest album from one of these comedians.

Rusty Warren was, and still is, considered by many a major figure in the sexual revolution of the 50s and 60s. Her most famous song,  Knockers Up,  encouraged women to proudly and boldly march through life with their breast held high. She followed up with an album titled Bounce Your Boobies urging women to shed themselves of the constraints of the bra. The burning of brassieres became an iconic symbol of the era’s women’s liberation movement.

Warren, a classically trained musician, eventually moved her comic act to Las Vegas where she performed for years. She has since retired from show business and resides in Hawaii.

Redd Foxx recorded dozens of  blue humor albums which by today’s standards may seem pretty mild. But, by the standards of the 50s, Foxx was seen as one of the raunchiness comedians around. His success with recordings eventually led to Las Vegas where he became the first black comedian to entertain white audiences.

He went on to further fame in film and on television where his straight forward style of humor put him in frequent conflict with TV networks and their censors.

What prompted this article was a joke I heard on radio this morning of Foxx telling a story about how man acquired his sexual capabilities.  The entire joke goes,

“When God created man, God gave the man 20 years of good sex and the man accepted it. Then God went to monkeys and gave them 20 years of sex. The monkey says to The Creator that they didn’t need that much and only wanted 10. The man asked the monkeys if they can have those extra years and so they did. Next God went to the lions and gave them 20 years and the lions only wanted 10 as well. The man asks the lions for those extra years of sex and the lions agree. Then God went to the donkeys and gave them 20 years of sex and they only wanted 10 as well so the man agreed to take 10 years off for them. This explains why men have 20 years of good sex, 10 years of monkeying around, 10 years of lying to himself, and 10 years of making an ass of himself.”

This story is typical of that found on most of Foxx’s albums. While funny, today it would barely rate being called cute or ornery.  In the 50s it would have been a thing not told in polite company and the album would have arrived at one’s front door in an unmarked brown paper wrapper so neither the mailman or the neighbors would know what you were spending your money on.

Certainly things have changed and society is far more open today. Whether it is change for the better is to be determined and/or decided by the eye of the beholder. Now, if you want to read a joke that really is raunchy, click HERE!

One thought on “You Call That a Dirty Joke?”

  1. Well, you’re right again; I had never known about Redd Foxx’s comedic past, but it now makes sense why he was chosen to play in Sanford & Son, and – as far as I know – I’d never heard of Rusty Warren.

    Sometimes I wonder about Jay Leno and David Letterman; why were they chosen for the roles in their evening comedy shows; that is, did they each have comedic pasts as well?

    Anyway, going along with the theme, here is a catchy limerick that’s on topic, I think:

    There was a young man who met a young woman;
    She offered her honor,
    He honored her offer,
    And all night long it was honor and offer.

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