Blazing Saddles

The family is cuddled up on the sofa, flipping past the usual Food Network, Science Channel, 700 Club… Also, QVC. Oprah’s OWN. Fox News. Chick Flick Central. Worst of ’80s TV. Telemundo. (No, not really the Science Channel. Just kidding. Also kidding about a couple of the others.)

We land on “Blazing Saddles,” edited for TV and pan-and-scanned instead of letter-boxed. But, we get sucked in. It is quite possibly the funniest, most referenced movie of all time. The only problem: The kids.

Isabella (she’s 6) is mostly asleep, so she won’t be scarred too much. Some of it will seep in, but in a good way. Or so I hope.

Julianna (8), though, is wide-awake, but she’s distracted by her on-going Mindcraft iPad game. Hopefully, she won’t notice the adult humor.

J: Why do they all hate the man whose skin is black?

Crap! She paying attention.

Me: Well, Honey. There was a time when some people didn’t like other people because their skin…

J: What are they afraid of when he says, “Excuse me, while I whip this out?”

Oh, God. This is going to be difficult. But, it is such a great movie that I will not be denied watching it. Lynn (the Mommy at the Fun Time) can barely contain her giggles.

It seems that every wildly inappropriate line from the movie is met with an inquisitive question by the eight-year-old.

J: Why do they keep saying “Ni…” (Censored by the network, not me.)

J: Why are they farting? Hahahaha!

J: Why is that lady mostly naked?

J: Why don’t the Mexican people need badges?

J: Why are the German people raising their hands?

The showstopper question comes after Madeline Kahn sings: “They’re always coming and going, and going and coming.. And, always too soon.” What does she mean?

Me: Well, that a double entendre… You see.. Shit. No. I don’t know, Sweetie. Not Ready.

I want my kids exposed to great cinema. And, “Blazing Saddles” easily qualifies. But…

Frankly, I’m torn. “Blazing Saddles” is one of the funniest and most important movies ever made. But, I don’t really want to tell my 8-year-old what “Lillie Von Shtupp” actually means.

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