Wednesday, January 03, 2007

How Monty Python gave SPAM a new meaning...

As I was reading through some of the supporting materials for the upcoming production of Spamalot, I came across an insane amount of information about SPAM. Truly, this is information you might only find useful if you like to annoy your friends w/ random facts or plan to become a contestant on Jeopardy. But I thought, what the hey, I'd share it with you fine folks...
SPAM was on of the few meat products excluded from the British food rationing that began in World War II (and continued for a number of years after the war), and the British grew tired of it. The British comedy troupe Monty Python used this as the context for their Spam sketch, which gave rise to the term spam.
In the Python sketch, a restaurant serves all its food with lots of SPAM, and the waitress repeats the word several times in describing how much SPAM is in the items.
When she does this, a group of Vikings (do you really need to ask?) in the corner start a song: "SPAM, SPAM, SPAM,SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, lovely SPAM! Wonderful SPAM!" Until told to keep quiet!
Thus the word SPAM became a term to describe something that keeps repeating and repeating to great annoyance. Today, the term "spam" also means network abuse on the Internet particularly junk e-mails and massive junk postings.
Hormel, the maker of SPAM, does not object to the term, but insists that it be spelled in lower case so as to distinguish it from the capitalized SPAM trademark.
And now you know!

- Angela L.

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