I remember when Joe Garagiola swore on live TV. It was DEC 16, 1971 and I remembered what he said and the reason why he had lost his temper. I was 10 yrs old, lounging at home watching TV game shows that morning.
(I think I had started my Xmas holiday from school. .a couple days early)
I already knew and liked Joe G because I had read his “book” (Baseball Is A Funny Game), and I had seen him on TV during the '71 World Series. He knew the game, and my Dad & I both thought he was funny. Plus, Joe always laughed at himself.
SO here it is December, and just his 4th month as a game show host. He would make mistakes but would usually just laugh, I remember him being very likable. It seemed like he really cared about the contestants and wanted them to win some money. (He was sincere, connected with people, a great broadcaster)
The game show fades to black into one of their regular commercial breaks… and there is silence for a few long seconds…odd… . .finally, Joe starts to read some material and he sounds uncomfortable. He mangles some lines so he just starts over, mangles again, starts over again.
SO now on his THIRD TRY and this time he’s ROLLING through the text, I’m thinking “he’s gonna make it all the way through this time”. . . . I realize my heart is racing, I’m sitting on the edge of the couch, and I am REALLY pulling for him - C’MON JOE !!! I don’t know, I was 10 yrs old.
I figured that he had BETTER get it RIGHT or he’d get in trouble and his boss would yell at him. (Kinda like how my teachers at school were always yelling at me)
JUST a few more words Joe… repeat the mailing address shown on the screen.
(Pet Peeve; I loved how Networks & Advertisers back then expected viewers to write down a full address shown on the screen for ONLY 3-4 seconds, so that they could write in to get more information about “the product” or “the offer” or whatever)
OKAY JOE, ONLY 3 MORE WORDS. . . . just gotta say; “Newark, New Jersey”
So he says: “Newwyalk noowork…Christ. . .I’m sorry . . . . God DAMMIT”. . .
fade to black. . . another long silence . . 8-10 seconds, regular filmed commercials, back to the game show, no mention of any incident… . . . .How are they gonna sweep this under the rug ?? Poor Joe, he’s in trouble I’m thinking.
The next day he gives an apology on TV and he sounds very very sorry and very humbled, it was freaky. I’m thinking, WOW, he sounds like a boy who’s Father whipped his ass with a tree branch. (I’m 10 yrs old, remember the context)
I guess NBC must’ve really chewed his ass because I had NEVER heard him sound like that before that day, and never again in the 35 years that followed.
That day a 10 yr old boy felt terrible for the 45 yr old guy who got punished, but I also thought he was the coolest bravest guy ever for apologizing to millions of people, and then he moved on and was funny again. And he got to keep doing game shows AND Baseball, on TV, for many years.
Don’t wanna sound corny, but I learned that by offering a sincere apology, you’ve admitted your guilt and blame in the situation, and shown that you are willing to do whatever is needed to move on. Saying sorry and asking for forgiveness is honorable and appropriate, anytime, anywhere.
The Joe “apology” story is on page 71 (of 78) in this St Petersburg Times newspaper from 12-17-71
And the “swear words” Joe used ?? I hear them on TV every day in 2012.