Slang, like time and character, always marches on.  The notorious Batman story wherein the Joker uses the concept of a “boner” (i.e., a mistake or faux pas) has aged poorly due to the word’s re-purposing as sexual slang.  Another DC hero went through the Golden Age as a spirit with a pleasant demeanor, evocatively named ‘The Gay Ghost,’ a name which no longer has the same connotations.  But the worst of the lot probably has to be Golden Age Marvel (or, for the purist, Golden Age Atlas) character Bob Frank, who put on his lemon-yellow costume to fight crime as THE WHIZZER!  A classic half-baked Golden Ager to begin with (his origin was a transfusion of mongoose blood, and not even radioactive or magical mongoose blood, at that) Bob’s choice of attire has become retroactively hilarious due to the intervening generations commandeering “whiz” as a term for urination…  On the one hand, it’s kind of a shame, but on the other, I have to admit I giggle a bit whenever his name comes up.

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) is going back to it’s real name, Gern Blanston, for a new ABC sitcom this fall, “The Gern Blanston Show,” asking:  Even given the cultural differences evident in its 1940s origins, is there any pop culture name out there WORSE than ‘The Whizzer?”


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Robert Hulshof-Schmidt on

    For very different reasons, Black Goliath has always bothered me as being pointlessly specific.

    As for the poor Whizzer, I’ve always had the same reaction to his name, even disregarding the costume. The slang use of “whiz” for urination dates to the 20s, too. Even though it might not have been as common, it’s still pretty hard to excuse.

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