Talk:No soap radio

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
WikiProject Psychology (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Psychology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Psychology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Comedy (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Comedy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of comedy on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.

Suggestion For Rewrite[edit]

Given that there were a number of meanings of the phrase "no soap," that it was in common use in the 1940's (with and without the "radio"), I suggest the entry name be changed simply to "No soap", using comments about "no soap radio" as part of the "Origin" section. Any alternative theories of origin before the '30s could be mentioned, but the phrase's connection with "soap operas" on radio seems highly probable to me and to many old-timers exposed to venacular of the 30's and 40's. Origins after the 1940's are unlikely.

The example joke doesn't correspond to its common usage and confuses the issue. An example of its meaning, and the one I've been most familiar with over the past 50 years follows. (I just saw it in the movie "Honolulu Lulu" (1941)).

A performer emphasizes her statement by pointing to the audience and saying, "No soap!", meaning "No kidding!" (or "No s**t!) It is used simply for emphasis rather than as the punch line to a joke, and in a way that implies the audience knows just what it means.

I've not bothered trying to edit since I'm not up to coding and arguing about it. My 2 cents. 'Nuf said. No soap!

Jimmy Hers (talk) 03:32, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

No soaps on the radio anymore[edit]

None of these jokes have anything to do with the end of dramatic radio serials as they were obsoleted by television soap operas, right? --Damian Yerrick 19:17, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Nope. On the other hand, podcasting has meant that dramatic radio serials are on their way back, under a new form... -- Metahacker 20:12, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

It's possible there was actually a radio station format referred to as "No-Soap Radio" at some point, referring to stations that didn't air soap operas as other stations commonly did at the time. *Dan T.* 20:05, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

I hope this section was meant to be humorous...Tvoz |talk 18:25, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
It would be if someone weren't seriously thinking of adding {{For|the decline of soap operas on the radio|Radio drama#Decline in the United States}} at the top. --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 18:29, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Ok... i hope you can make the anti-joke popular again. ElliottBelardo (talk) 23:00, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Descriptive Language Use[edit]

I won't make an edit, but just a comment for future reference: this joke is positted as a socialogical experiment, but the descriptive language used to explain the execution uses comments such as "This usually results in savage derision". As a sociological experiment this is highly unlikely behaviour - this is more a feature of 'pranking'. This language appears under the 'Pranking' heading, but is bookended by two descriptions of the prank as a sociological experiment. It also makes the prank out to be quite a cruel exercise in social ridicule, which, while possible, is not necessarily 'normally' how this prank would be conducted.

As I said, no edit, just a comment. CastorQuinn 11:56, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Examples-why animals in bathtubs?[edit]

I suspect the reason for the bathtub is to be found at [[1]] AlmostReadytoFly 21:21, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Other than radio[edit]

I've heard this joke told (here in the Midwestern US) twice by unrelated people, using a typewriter instead. As in, "what do I look like, a typewriter?"

Hour back, get it?

This is the worst Wikipedia article I have ever seen[edit]

(among those I know anything about the subject of).

The joke whose punch line is "No soap, radio" is not mentioned, not even one single example. Without this, it is impossible for anyone not already familiar with this prank to have the remotest idea of what it is about.Daqu 19:00, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Take a look at the examples at the end! Andre (talk) 19:38, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Not a strong conclusion[edit]

This article suggests that a definite conclusion as to a persons response to peer-pressure can be made. The person being pranked may be new to an office, depressed or distracted or any number of temporary factors may also be at play, I would suggest making it a less strong conclusion. BananaFiend 14:04, 15 March 2007 (UTC)


Sorry if I missed it, but how did the term, "No soap radio" come about? Is it as random as the joke itself? 00:57, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Dannowillbookem (talk) 05:48, 22 November 2007 (UTC)Edited after speaking with a relative who claimed to know the originator of the joke (Les Luhring?) and cited with Stanford page which seems to support Luhring's claims somewhat.

Luhring's claim is wrong - I heard, and told, the joke as a kid in the late 50s and very early 60s. Way before 1968. Tvoz |talk 18:27, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

A third possible reaction[edit]

I have a bizarre sense of humor. I love Conan O'Brien and things that just don't make sense. When some guys told me this joke long ago, I think they were surprised by how hard I laughed--the kind of laughing where you have to force yourself to stop because your stomach hurts. The whole joke sort of backfired on them. I still think "No soap, radio!" is a hilariously random answer to a question, to this day. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Singularitarian (talkcontribs) 09:53, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Exactly! I was going to say the same thing; I love non sequitur humor, & I though "No soap radio" was hilarious the first time I heard it. Purple monkey dishwasher. (This comment added by the not-logged-in CaptHayfever.) (talk) 03:50, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
While I found most examples just nonsensical, I actually burst out laughing at the toaster one :) aditsu (talk) 20:26, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

You really had to be there...[edit]

I recall seeing a sketch on the UK comedy, Alas Smith and Jones, a version of the No soap radio gag. Four actors sitting around a kitchen table, one (smith?) laughs, waves away questions, another laughs, setting off the first, again waving away questions. It builds up amongst three of the players, with knowing looks and "you had to be there", until finally the obviously confused and paranoid fourth player laughs. This is uproariously funny to the other three, and the fourth leaves in a huff.

I haven't included it for obvious reasons (bold be damned, I can't even explain it properly here!), not least of which being whether it does constitute an example of the joke? Thoughts?? -- PaulxSA (talk) 16:10, 12 January 2008 (UTC)


I was "no soap, radioed" at Harvard in 1960 by Phillips Academy Andover graduates: the invention in 1968 by a non-notable Les Luhring is not documented, any more than my account is. The character of the prank suggests an origin among be-bop musiocians. --Wetman (talk) 06:30, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Slightly funny after all?[edit]

I can think of a way in which two of the examples contain a slight amount of humor.

  1. Two polar bears are sitting in a bathtub. The first one says, "Pass the soap". The second one says, "No soap, radio!"
  2. A penguin and a polar bear are sitting on an iceberg. The penguin yells, "Radio!" They both jump in the water.

The joke in both cases could be that if you drop a plugged-in radio in water you are in, it will electrocute you. So both examples could be construed as reference to the endangered status of polar bears and penguins, saying that they are too dumb to avoid lethal dangers (or they have a death wish). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Walker1991 (talkcontribs) 11:36, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Halberdo (talk) 13:20, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

This entire article seems to be "made up"[edit]

the only decent source I can see is: "Not much in the sitcom had any particular meaning, including the title, the punchline of a joke which is purposely not funny."(tv guide) That was cited in the article for the 1982 show. Basically the "popular culture" section is the only one with any sources. I can see examples of the joke on the web, which maybe could be used as citations for the "Examples" section. But I don't see any proof this is really a "traditional punch line for a prank joke... known for its use as a basic sociological and psychological experiment."

edit: ok I do see other web sites claiming the same thing, so "evidence" but not any reliable source...

Honestly this article should probably be deleted/merged in favor of the one for the TV show. Is there any real evidence of "no soap radio" before 1982?

edit2: I found a couple things on google books and will probably add them to the article, which will remain >90% "original resarch"

It would be nice to have real sources for this article, but you may rest assured that the phenomenon was real. I was on both sides of it in the early 1970's. Erniecohen (talk) 11:51, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on No soap radio. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 15:44, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

Rick and Morty example[edit]

The "Redgren Grumbholdt" (or whatever the correct spelling is) joke in the time-unfreezing episode (S2E1) seems to be an example of this, albeit without the traditional punchline. Depending on whether "no soap radio" is referring to faking a joke to trick people in general, or to faking a joke *with the punchline "no soap radio" specifically,* it might be useful to include this as an example, since the show is relatively well-known. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:32, 13 November 2019 (UTC)