Ally McBeal

ALLY MCBEAL/FOX/1997-2002 (Armless, Legless)

On episode No. 9 “The Dirty Joke” (aired November 17, 1997) Ally McBeal (Calista Flockhart) and her friend Renee Raddick (Lisa Nicole Carson) were talking about dirty jokes while watching television. Renee didn’t think that prudish Ally (whose high school class voted her “Most Likely to Become Julie Andrews”) could handle hearing such ribald tales. Ally insisted that she could and so Renee began to tell her a dirty story.

One day a man was walking along the beach and heard a woman crying. The woman had no arms and no legs. When he asked what was the problem, she revealed, “I’m twenty one. I have no arms and legs and I have never been kissed.” Bending down, the man gave her a soft yet passionate kiss and then began to walk away. At that, the woman continued crying. Again, the man asked what was the problem. She continued, “I’m twenty one, I have no arms and no legs and I’ve never been screwed.” The man paused for a moment, then picked her up and tossed her into the ocean. Walking away, he yelled, “You’re screwed now!”

Upon hearing the joke’s punch line Ally got angry. Renee told her to lighten up and that it was just a joke. But Ally insisted the joke was not funny but cruel and challenged Renee to stand up in front of the audience at their local pub and tell the same story. She was sure the joke would not make people laugh.

Renee accepted the challenge but as part of the deal (if she won the bet) Ally had to get on stage and tell the only dirty joke she knows about a “flea” (that gets stuck in the mustache of a man after making love to a woman).

At first, Ally shuddered at the thought of getting on stage in front of all of those people but she reluctantly accepted the challenge to make a point about Renee’s dirty joke. To gauge her “prudishness,” Ally even told the joke to her coworkers but they too laughed.

Later that week, Renee got up on stage, warmed up the audience with some minor frivolities and then told her “Screwed” joke. Consequently, the audience laughed to high heaven.

Losing the bet, Ally agreed to fulfill her part of the bargain. The next night Ally told her “flea” joke and was humiliated when the audience sat in silence at the punch line. Feeling one-foot tall, Ally fled the stage.

That night, Ally had learned a valuable lesson. That people can be cruel. That the men in the audience laughed at the joke because they were “Men.” And that the women in the audience were laughing at the men in the audience for being such jerks.

Even a Rabbi that Ally dated enjoyed the joke and told Ally people laugh at such jokes to release repressed tensions, and that he even wrote a thesis on it in school.

Later at a bar, Ally confessed to her attorney friend, Billy Thomas “I’m…hardening up aren’t I?…I told a dirty joke on stage, I think I’m ready to be released into the real world.” He agreed and they drank a toast to the newer, harder (and less innocent) Ally McBeal.


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