Is Ben & Jerry's 'Schweddy Balls' R-rated ice cream?
Ben & Jerry's ice cream may not be as family-friendly as you thought.
That's the assertion a group of mothers called One Million Moms is making after the ice cream company released a new seasonal flavor called "Schweddy Balls" earlier this month.
"The vulgar new flavor has turned something as innocent as ice cream into something repulsive," the group writes in a statement. "Not exactly what you want a child asking for in the supermarket."
Fans of "Saturday Night Live" will recognize the phrase "Schweddy Balls" from a late '90s skit starring Alec Baldwin, Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon that parodied a monotonous public radio show out of the Midwest. The skit is rife with unsubtle double entendre and innuendo.
Baldwin played Pete Schweddy, the owner of a holiday bakery called Season's Eatings, who spent a lot of time discussing his Schweddy balls — popcorn balls, cheese balls, rum balls — with the hosts. He ends the bit with "No one can resist my 'Schweddy Balls.'"
Not funny, say the women at One Million Moms, a group affiliated with the American Family Assn.
Under the "issues" section of its website, the group is urging its supporters to email Ben & Jerry's public relations manager with a letter requesting that no additional Schweddy Balls ice cream be distributed -- and to threaten to stop buying Ben & Jerry's products if the company does not refrain from choosing risqué names for its flavors.
"It seems that offending customers has become an annual tradition at Ben & Jerry's," said the group in a statement.
Alex Stewart, a spokeswoman for Ben & Jerry's, said the company wasn't trying to offend anyone with the name of its ice cream.
"We chose it to have a sense of humor," she said in an interview with The Times.
The company has had other controversially named flavors as well -- Karmel Sutra and Hubby Hubby (in support of gay marriage) -- for example. But Schweddy Balls has received much publicity-generating attention.
The company had been planning to keep the flavor on shelves and in scoop shops just through January, but Stewart said it could last longer.
"If this is something that people continue to really love and talk about, it could become a full-time flavor," she said.
As for what the ice cream actually tastes like, a description on the Ben & Jerry's website says it’s a vanilla ice cream with a hint of rum that's loaded with fudge covered rum and malt balls.
Image: Vermont's Ben & Jerry's newest ice cream flavor is "Schweddy Balls." The name, based on a 1998 "Saturday Night Live" skit, has infuriated members of the conservative group One Million Moms. Credit: Ben & Jerry's.