Tony Clip 7: The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1979)
No production number in Tony history has been bleeped as insistently as this rowdy locker-room hoedown from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Sure, the cast of Spring Awakening coyly censored itself on the 2007 telecast on the words "fucked" and "ass" (though it did say "bitch" eight times.) But back in 1979, when America's ears were as pure as virgin snow, even the suggestion of immodest language was too much to endure. So "The Aggie Song," a number about football players preparing for a group trip to the cathouse, was edited to the point of unintelligibility—often with the odd effect of making it seem even dirtier than it was. In the line "We're gonna wham, and bam, and thank-you-ma'am tonight," for example, not just "wham" and "bam" are bleeped but also "ma'am," lest the rhyme give a backward hint of the filthy, filthy words before it.
Meanwhile, no one seems to have cared that this was an entire number about a horny sports team preparing to go whoring—or that Tommy Tune's choreography included some less than completely subtle suggestions of homoeroticism (say, at 0:50 and 1:15).
In case you're wondering, here are Carol Hall's actual lyrics to the censored parts, which begin at around the 1:15 mark: "We're gonna play 'em out and lay 'em out tonight / They won’t have ever seen nobody quite like me / We're gonna wham, and bam and thank-you-ma'am tonight / I swear I don't know how they’ll stand such ecstasy / (Right between the goalposts!) / We've been deprived so long but no we’re getting some / I’ll bet the girls are counting up the minutes 'til we come / (They ain't the only ones!) / Seventy-five miles until we get to heaven / Seventy-five miles until our plans are laid / Seventy-five miles until we get to Chicken Ranch / Where history, and Aggie boys, get made!"—Adam Feldman