Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Remember When "Bewitched" Cured Racism With Blackface?

I have a soft spot of cheesy 50s/60s sitcoms, which definitely includes "Bewitched," but I don't know that I'd ever seen THIS episode before; which features the Stevens Family encountering a Christmastime houseguest/potential business-associate of Darrins who turns out to be a racist. It must have been pretty eyebrow-raising to even hear the WORD racist on a sitcom back then, alongside the bonus of one a rare instance of Samantha using her powers to "get" somebody (that was usually more of an Endora or Serena thing) - in this case zapping the bigot so that he sees everyone around him as black... and yes, the effect is accomplished by putting the "regular" white cast in tan makeup:



Yeah. The blackface is HILLARIOUSLY terrible. But Sam's final pre-commercial break zinger? How the HELL did that make it to air on network TV at that time?

8 comments:

Anubis C. Soundwave said...

Simple, man: it was the 1960s. ;)

Razmere said...

Ahhhh Bewitched. That's probably one of my favorite old school sitcoms.

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I totally don't remember this episode. WOW. The stuff they did on TV back then. Oh how times have changed.


Question, how did YOU come across it? I'm just curious, is this for an upcoming rant? (big picture, G.O., Political Bob?)

Or did you just wake up and say to yourself "I GOTTA WATCH SOME BEWITCHED! I don't CARE if it's in crap hove recording format!!!"


Just asking.

smile said...

Love Bewitched... well, I love Elizabeth Montgomery.

I do remember seeing this episode once though. There's a film by Melvin van Peebles that uses the same concept called Watermelon Man. Pretty underrated I think. I liked it more than Sweet Sweetback.

Marcomax said...

Words can't describe how amazing that little scene is. The sappy but true final message and terrible black face are hilarious enough for me to forget that I should be offended. And I'm Black. Nothing beats clever writing.

Anonymous said...

Bob, this is totally off-topic, but I did a little research and found a way to lessen the exposure of James (and anyone else that decides to follow in his footsteps). It isn't a full solution, but it will severely limit his exposure. Not sure how comfortable you are with adding modules, but here you go. Feel free to delete this post after you've read it.

blogbanscript website.

Pastebin with James banned.

Anonymous said...

Wow...i know this is a years old article but they just showed this episode a week or so ago on tv on the AntTV network. When i first saw it, i was like "wow....really". I was just surprised to see i guess because of time. I wasn't born until '76 though so i really don't know if or how big of a deal it was, but i found it surprising/shocking.

Anonymous said...

Just saw it on US TV 12/24/2014 - very good writing and acting.

mysticvirgo said...

This episode was written by black 10th graders.