Sunday, September 07, 2003


I note with astonishment that NBC’s new sitcom starring Whoopi Goldberg -- cleverly titled "Whoopi," it will show Tuesdays at 8 p.m. -- takes place in part in a hotel lounge called the Nappy Dugout.

Now, while it is fantastic that the network is providing a home for a show about which “The first thing you notice ... is its militant lack of political correctness,” as noted today by Boston Herald television critic Monica Collins, it will be interesting to see how long Whoopi gets to keep the name of her lounge.

As a slang term, “nappy dugout” is obviously doing pretty well, despite its age: Funkadelic popularized it on its “Cosmic Slop” album in 1973. The term is not only being kept alive on Whoopi’s new show, but immortalized in the 1998 Warren Beatty movie “Bulworth,” as a cocktail (hmm) and as a challenging climb at Rifle Mountain Park in Colorado.

I do wonder how many NBC executives have given a recent listen to Ice Cube’s “Givin’ Up the Nappy Dugout” from his 1991 album “Death Certificate.” I wonder how many even know what the term means.

Something to do with the vagina, by the way.

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