Netflix has just released the first clip of a new series from Funny or Die called History of Swear Words.
Each episode in the six-part series will provide some historical background on one of the most charged and offensive words in the English language — from p****, to b****, to s***, and even the f-word (not the bad f-word, just the normal one). And also episodes on “dick” and “damn” for some reason.
It’s a genuinely fascinating topic. What is it that makes certain sounds taboo, and how does their meaning and usage shift over time as cultures change?
These are questions with a lot of potential, and there would be good reason to look forward to the series premiere on January 5, until you find out that the host Funny or Die and B17 Entertainment have chosen for this series: Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage. What the **** were they thinking?
Nicolas Cage’s History Of Swear Words | Coming January 5
Is Nicolas Cage a linguist? No. Is he a historian? Watch a National Treasure movie and find out.
He’s a ****ing actor. He doesn’t know s*** about words and their history — how language and culture inform and influence each other. He barely ****ing uses language!
As an actor, that’s one of the things that makes him such an iconic, generational talent. Thoughts and emotions that others could only express in the form of an expletive, Nicolas Cage can subtly articulate with nothing more than a wild contortion of his face.
He has a primal, intuitive gift for nonverbal communication. When his face won’t capture the depth and complexity of what he’s trying to convey, he will throw his entire body into its expression. And once he does, there is never any doubt in the audience’s mind what is being “said.”
Research on human communication has suggested that somewhere between 60% and 93% of the information we share is nonverbal. But for Nicolas Cage that figure is at least 200%.
He is a virtuosic talent unparalleled in this field. And that talent is ****ing wasted having him talk about swear words.
If this was a series about the history of interpretive dance, epilepsy, or demonic possession, there could be no better host than Nicolas Cage. But swear words? Can you even think of a time when you’ve heard Nicolas Cage swear?
It has happened now and then, but in most of Nicolas Cage’s performances you’re much more likely to hear him call someone a “freaking A-hole” — before whirling off in a fit of religious ecstasy. So why are they doing this to our special boy?
He rarely sullies his mouth with anything that would be bleeped on network television. So why has he been cast as the host of this series? Is it just to p*** me the **** off? Do they think that this beautiful artist is just some walking, talking, flailing meme that they can stick in their naughty TV show for a laugh?
This is not ****ing funny! I don’t care if Nicolas Cage needs the money to avoid another bankruptcy and series of foreclosures. I don’t care if it was a choice between this show and a straight-to-DVD threequel to Ghost Rider. Nicolas Cage needs to be replaced as the host of this show. It is beneath his ****ing dignity.
That might not be what he wants, but we who are looking out for his best interest need to intervene on his behalf. Watching him make dirty, ill-informed jokes about curse words — without so much as one deranged smile — feels like someone else has cut off his face and is wearing it, like that movie, The Wicker Man.
Nicolas Cage as John Travolta as Nicolas Cage in “Face/Off”
So please, Netflix executives, I know you’re reading this and coming to terms with what you’ve done, but it’s not too late. You can put an end to this travesty before it begins. Cancel the show or replace Nicolas Cage.
He may not like it. Maybe he’ll even freak out and go crazy — which would be a welcome return to form — but what’s the worst he can really do?
Oh… before or after January 20th?