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Secret Pop Culture History: The Dick Joke Buried in ‘Willy Wonka’

Secret Pop Culture History: The Dick Joke Buried in ‘Willy Wonka’:

The 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory has been an accepted family film classic for decades. One of my earliest childhood memories is of watching Gene Wilder hobble down the front walk of the chocolate factory on a cane, only to suddenly fall forward into a spectacular tumble and then greet his guests with a tip of his hat. I was delighted by it, and I’m sure a lot of you were too, but did you know author Roald Dahl snuck a dick joke into this movie?

First, take a moment to recall this scene, in which Wonka shows the children and their chaperones one of the first wonders of his factory: lickable wallpaper.

“Snozzberries” is a fun word, and people still love to quote this scene from the movie because, on the surface, it’s just an amusing thing to say that doesn’t actually make much sense. Dahl was great at coming up with stuff like that, and children’s literature is full of delightful made-up words, so there’s no reason to think on it anymore. Except, in this case, there actually is something more to it.

In 1979, Dahl published My Uncle Oswald, a very not-for-kids book about a man who concocts a scheme in which he and a sexy accomplice will steal the semen of famous and powerful men throughout Europe (by capturing it in condoms), then sell it to women hoping to have famous and powerful children. In one particular scene, unearthed by Cracked’s Anthony Scibelli, Oswald and his cohort Yasmin Howcomely (what a great ‘60s Bond Girl name) discuss how Yasmin was able to procure the semen of writer George Bernard Shaw.

“How did you manage to roll the old rubbery thing on him?”

“There’s only one way when they get violent,” Yasmin said. “I grabbed hold of his snozzberry and hung onto it like grim death and gave it a twist or two to make him hold still.”

“Ow.”

“Very effective.”

“I’ll bet it is.”

So…according to Willy Wonka’s creator, snozzberries are, in fact, penises. Now, it’s worth noting that the novel was published eight years after the movie came out, and it’s entirely possible that Dahl had either forgotten he’d already used the word or simply decided to use it again without any malicious intent toward the film, though he always did have a taste for dark humor. Whatever the case, there’s now a retroactive dick joke in a beloved children’s classic. Use this knowledge on your children cautiously.

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