A play on the traditional greeting "Ladies and gentlemen", possibly coined by Milton Berle. Usually takes one of the following forms:
- "Ladies and X", where X is usually some corruption of "gentlemen".
- A little less commonly, "X and gentlemen".
- "Ladies, gentlemen, and X".
- "X and Y," if the writers are clever enough, with plays on "ladies" and "gentlemen" respectively.
Although the phrase is usually Played for Laughs
, it also sees more serious use when the greeter wishes to acknowledge a non-binary gender dynamic.
Generally not used as an insult against X — but compare gender-based versions of My Friends... and Zoidberg
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- More than one sketch comedy troupe: Ladies and gentlemen, mesdames et messieurs, bozos and bozettes ....
- Hosting the 2006 Oscars, Jon Stewart said, "Good evening ladies, gentlemen... Felicity."
- Eddie Izzard often addresses his audience as "Ladies and Jellyspoons..."
- From the highly esteemed Goon Show: "My Lords, Ladies, and other National Assistance holders..."
Mater: Ladies aaaand gentlecars!
- Parodied in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story: Before Dewey Cox's band plays a Buddy Holly-esque song, the MC at the high school talent show uses the "ladies and germs" line on the audience. For some unexplained reason, the entire crowd finds it much more humorous than one could expect they would.
- Kinky Boots has "Ladies, Gentlemen, and those of you who've yet to make up your minds" as the traditional greeting in the club.
- Appears in Muppet Wizard of Oz as "Ladies and gentlemen... and unisex penguins."
- In A Night at the Opera, Groucho Marx's character begins his speech to the opera attendees thus: "Ladies and gentlemen...I guess that takes in most of you."
- Star Trek: Nemesis, before his musical number, Data addresses the audience as "Ladies and gentlemen... and invited transgendered species".
- Played straight in the SWAT team scene in Se7en.
- A Knight's Tale: "My Lords, my Ladies... And everyone else here not seated upon a cushion!"
- The white rabbit from Disney's Alice in Wonderland: "Your Majesty; members of the jury; loyal subjects; [dismissively] and the King..."
- In the 2001 Dune movie, Paul gets a little drunk and takes the piss out of the Harkonnens by pretending to make a speech as the Baron.
Paul: "Gentleman and ladies! I use the terms loosely."
- A Bug's Life:
Slim: Ladies and gentlebugs! Larvae of all stages!
- Om Shanti Om:
Om: "Ladies, gentlemen....babes..."
- In Iron Man 3, the Mandarin introduces himself at one point with "Ladies, children, sheep..."
- Flying Down to Rio:
- Spider Robinson, in many Callahans Crosstime Saloon stories: "Genties and ladlemen".
- In Screwtape Proposes a Toast by C. S. Lewis, the titular toast is introduced by Screwtape with the words, "Mr Principal, your Imminence, your Disgraces, my Thorns, Shadies and Gentledevils..."
- In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, it seems like the standard form is "ladies and gentlebeings".
- In Eric Frank Russell's anthology Men, Martians, and Machines, chronicling the adventures of the crew of the spaceship Upskadaska City, the Martian members of the crew start speeches to the (all-male) crew with "gentlemen and adults." Since the Martians are male too, this is not a gender distinction but a piece of Martian snark.
- Lois McMaster Bujold's Diplomatic Immunity, Miles opens with 'Ladies, Gentlemen, Honourable Herm', which is an accurate form of address for the genders present.
- From Dr Dre's "The Chronic" album: "What up, niggas and niggettes..."
- Rapper Slick Rick begins his song "Mona Lisa" with the introduction "Ladies, gentlemen... and lowlifes."
- "Business" from The Eminem Show begins with him saying to listeners, "Bitches and gentlemen..."
- The immortal Anna Russell began her "Introduction to the Concert (By the Women's Club President)" with, "Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen ... and others. — I'm sorry, of course I know all our members are ladies and gentlemen. What I meant to say was, some of you have brought friends."
- A live recording of Finnegan's Wake by The Dubliners begins with Ronnie Drew addressing "The Lord Mayor, Your Excellencies, ladies, gentlemen... and fellow peasants".
- Emilie Autumn addresses her audience as "Ladies, gentlemen, and all those undecided or in-between".
- Cher addresses her audience with "Ladies and gentlemen...and you flamboyant gentlemen."
- Meat Loaf addresses his audience with "Ladies and gentlemen...brothers and sisters...." while doing his impression of a Southern Baptist minister.
- A Bloom County strip features a grade-school math teacher (who may or may not be drunk) addressing his class as "ladles and gentlemints" before embarking on a lesson about fractions, which is simply a thinly-disguised rant about his low pay.
- Garfield once greeted his audience as "Ladies and Germs" while on the fence for a show.
- A famous rhyme/faux speech begins with the words "Ladles and Jellyspoons". Past that there are many versions, but it always begins with those words.
- The 'One Fine Day' rhyme sometimes starts with 'Ladies and gentlemen/hobos and tramps/cross eyed mosquitoes/and bowlegged ants...’
- From an episode of The Burkiss Way:
"Your majesty, your most royal highness, your grace, your excellency, your worships, my lords, ladies and gentlemen... tables, chairs, napkins and cruets... curtains, cutlery... things in the soup... gravy on the tablecloths... stars on Sunday, raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favourite things..."
- From an episode of Hello Cheeky:
"Ladies and gentlemen...and Gladys Suavely..."
"My lords, my ladies, my dukes, my duchesses, my earls, your most royal highnesses, ladies and gentlemen...the building is on fire."
- Among the many nonsense expressions of The Goon Show was Seagoon's address, "Ladies and Gintlepong..."
- One episode has Bloodnok start a speech "Ladies, gentlemen and wogs..." This line, and some similar later ones, are omitted from repeats on BBC7.
- When he was on the Rick Dees show, Meat Loaf introduced the number one song with "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, cats and dogs, turtles and gerbils...."
- In Cabaret, the MC doesn't change the wording, but makes his feelings clear whenever he says "Ladies!... and gentlemen."
- Futurama had a wrestling announcer say "Ladies, gentlemen and smizmars...". We don't find out what a smizmar is for a few more seasons.
- Also in Futurama, Hedonismbot: "Courtesans and gentlefops..."
- Speaking of Zoidberg, he actually Lampshaded this in Futurama. "Good evening, ladies and germs. (Rimshot) That wasn't a joke. I was talking to Dean Streptococcus."
- Teen Titans: Cyborg does this just before revealing his hand-built T-Car to the rest of the team:
Cyborg: Ladies and gentlemen, and whatever Beast Boy is...
Beast Boy: (stops drum roll) Hey! Do you want your drum roll or not?!
- At the time, Beast Boy had transformed into some obscure species and was hitting his belly to perform said drum roll.
- Cow and Chicken: Chicken is in prison and
The Devil the Red Guy, who is the warder, enters. The entire group of convicts are men. So Red goes: "Laaaaaaddddddiiiiiieeeeeeees!!!!!!!... and gentlemen".
- Another instance in Cow and Chicken is when Cow wrote the school play "The Ugliest Weenie". They greeted the audience with "Ladies and Germans."
- "Ladies and Gentlesnorks" is used in The Snorks.
- Jimmy Neutron:
- "Ladies and gentlemen... and Cindy."
- "Lady and gentleman ... Mom and Dad!"
- Used in The Fairly OddParents:
Timmy: Ladies...and Timmy Turner's Dad!
- In the King of the Hill episode "That's What She Said", Hank considers a lawsuit against a new co-worker's boss-approved juvenile language and pranks:
Ms. Borginnis: "Sexual harassment" is an umbrella term. It doesn't just cover women, but also men. And transgender individuals.
Hank: * groans*
- Eddy normally started out scams like this.
- A funny corruption was used in an episode of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, when Wilt got nervous on stage and after fumbling his introductory monologue several times, he tried to start again, but his note cards had become so soaked with nervous sweat that it came out as "Lardies and gestlemen" before he got dragged offstage.
- Phineas and Ferb: "Friends, bullies, Irving..."
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, "Fillies and gentlecolts" is commonly used to address a crowd.
- The Simpsons:
- The referee in the Daffy Duck cartoon To Duck Or Not To Duck opens the boxing match between Daffy and Elmer with "Ladies and gentleducks..."
- Visually taken literally in the Bakshi Mighty Mouse cartoon "Bat With A Golden Tongue." Trophy thief Ski Nose (a caricature of Bob Hope), about to disrupt a ceremony by stealing another trophy, greets the audience as ladies and germs. The tables are populated by ladies and germs.
- Spongebob Squarepants: The line "Ladies and Jellyfish" is used on a few occasions.
- The 1980s opening: "Boys and girls, moms and dads, brothers and sisters, cats and dogs, welcome to the world of Strawberry Shortcake!"
- Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire: Bram of the Fangenschanz acting troupe welcomes the audience with "Ladies and gentle-mortals!"
- The former German federal president Heinrich Lübke, an acknowledged and frequently parodied poor public speaker, is often reported to have begun a speech with "Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Negroes" while on a state visit to Africa. (Despite his track record, however, this particular quote appears to be an Urban Legend lacking actual verification.)
- The current king of Sweden pulled one of these off giving a public speech a few years ago.
"Distinguished foreign guests, Mr Speaker, Members of the Riksdag, Mr Minister of State, Chairman of the County Council.[Beat]Dear citizens of Örebro."
- He was giving the speech in Arboga.
- Reversal: the traditional start of some auto races, especially the Indianapolis 500, is 'Gentlemen, start your engines!'. Then the women started showing up, and a few wondered how to adapt. (A valid question, since for years there was only one woman driver at a time.) The eventual solution for those years was the somewhat awkward 'Lady and gentlemen, start your engines!' Now, however, the larger pool of woman drivers allows for 'Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!'.
- NASCAR, by contrast, just uses "Drivers, start your engines!" now.
- The Disney theme parks always opened announcements with, "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls!" Others have taken that up as homage or parody. At Disneyland, Bill Rogers provides this booming voice.
- In England, the proper way to greet a crowd is "Ladies, gentlemen, and officers of the Royal Navy", due to a decree by Queen Victoria stating that officers of the Royal Navy are not considered gentlemen.
- That implies that the enlisted ranks are gentlemen.
- No, it implies that only army officers are gentlemen. I wonder why.
- What about the RAF?
- Queen Victoria has not seen fit to make a pronouncement on the status of RAF officers.
- While army officers usually had to pay for their commissions between the ranks of ensign / cornet and colonel, and this was seen as proof of their gentlemanly status, navy officers usually were promoted from the ranks. And enlisted men would not even be worth addressing.
- The Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus (and circuses in general) often have the ringmaster begin the show with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Children of All Ages!"
- John Lennon to the audience of the Royal Variety Show: "Would the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands. And the rest of you, if you'll just rattle your jewelry..."
- The tribute act The Bootleg Beatles topped this with Neil Harrison as Lennon saying "And the people in the really cheap seats, rustle your giros!" (girocheque = UK welfare payment)
- There is some discussion about how "Ladies and Gentlemen" excludes those who consider themselves neither or both. Some suggest hosts say variations of those listed on this page.
- In Israel, the audience is nowadays usually referred to as kahal nikhbad, ‘respected audience’.
- In schools, assemblies, special events and guest talks sometimes begin with "Students and faculty" instead. If there's a high possibility of people who are neither, "members of the community" or "guests" is added as well.